The ILA's founder members were:
President: Thomas H. Mawson
Marjory Allen (Lady Allen of Hurtwood)
Stanley V Hart
Arthur J Cobb
JE Grant White
In 1930 there were just 42 Institute members
At the beginning of the 20th century urban design, then known as civic design, was the preserve of architects and engineers in the UK. Civic design, despite a rather paternalistic tone, was concerned with improving public health and amenity, and concentrated on 'seemliness'. In contrast, the Garden City Association formed in 1899 and led by the Victorian idealist, Ebenezer Howard, wanted to build completely new communities to fulfil those same ambitions, and combined the virtues of the rural idyll with the convenience of the town and communal shared space. The first of their experiments, in 1903, was to plan and build the new development of Letchworth Garden City in Hertfordshire.
Government intervention in the planning process was minimal at this time. The 1909 Housing and Town Planning Act was the first, rather half hearted attempt to exert some kind of design control over development and the following year Thomas Adams (1871-1940) became the first town planning inspector of the local government board. In 1914 a group of like minded individuals which included Adams got together and formed the Town Planning Institute (TPI. The 'Royal' title was conferred much later, in 1959). Thomas Adams was the natural choice to become their first President. Subsequently, he was made a Fellow of both the RIBA and the newly created Institute of Landscape Architects (ILA) serving as the ILA's fifth president from 1937 to the outbreak of the Second World War.
The interwar years (1918-1939) were a time of great debate in the UK about the need for some form of comprehensive planning control. Concern was expressed about the quality and type of suburban development that was being built and this was combined during this period with arguments for and against greater access to the countryside. The mass trespass of Kinder Scout in 1932 is perhaps the most famous example of the direct action that was taken at this time.
In 1923 Thomas H Mawson (1861-1933) became the President of the TPI and, like Adams and other later TPI Presidents Patrick Abercrombie, Thomas Sharp and WG (Lord) Holford, was invited and accepted the offer to join the ILA in an honorary capacity. In Thomas Mawson's case he already had a thriving practice as a garden designer and planner of parks and other civic spaces throughout the UK as well as completed commissions in Europe and elsewhere. He was the obvious choice to become the Institute of Landscape Architects' first President with his reputation as a garden designer, town planner and now landscape architect secure and was duly invited to do so. He took on the role but was in poor health and, while he served his term, he did not actively participate in establishing the fledgling Institute.
'...urban design is 'located' somewhere between planning, architecture, landscape architecture and transport planning'...'The history of landscape architecture is a rich one and there has been much interchange with the structure of urban form'
extract 'Introducing Urban Design' by Greed, C & Roberts,M, 1998, p4
Urban design is not, of itself, a profession. Neither is urban design the preserve of any one profession or group. It is an important and relevant area of work for the modern landscape architect since the aesthetics of urban design is now linked to an agenda of sustainable growth and resilience in the face of both climate change and biodiversity loss. In encouraging the early adoption of green and blue infrastructure for new development, retrofitting older settlements and engaging with local communities, the landscape architect remains a key contributor, with others, to our urban futures.
"As the pressures upon these densely populated islands continue to mount it would seem that the role of the landscape architect in Britain is guaranteed into the distant future. The job is always changing, shifting as society and government redefine priorities/ ...
in the late 1970s the enthusiasm was for country parks and the funding followed the enthusiasm. New Towns and coal-tip reclamation were also major sources of employment. The 1980s saw the emphasis move on the one hand to the edge-of-town business park and on the other to the inner city, where environmental improvement and urban regeneration were the rallying cries. Garden Festivals caught the public imagination. Groundwork Trusts emerged as a third-way option between the public and private sectors and pioneered new ways of working more closely with communities/...
In the 1990s we/had urban development corporations and/ the Millennium Commission and the Heritage Lottery Fund".
(extract from Ecology, Community & Delight, Thomson, I.H, E & FN Spon, 2000, p.189)
Dr. Ian Thompson, Reader in Landscape Architecture,School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape, University of Newcastle
In May 1997 a Labour government was elected with a huge majority and an agenda for change in society and the way we live in our cities.
For the Landscape Institute (LI), the two most relevant actions by the new government under the direction of Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott were the commissioning of the Urban Task Force in 1998, chaired by Lord Rogers, leading to the publication of Towards an Urban Renaissance in the summer of 1999 and the creation of the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment or CABE which was tasked with improving the quality the design of buildings and our environment.
Despite much lobbying, the Landscape Institute was not represented on the Urban Task Force although we were involved with CABE from its inception.
The LI was more successful when engaging with decision makers on the need for an in-depth review of public parks in the UK. Once the showpiece of many British towns and cities, urban parks were recognised as being in a state of almost terminal decline despite their value to urban life. The LI had produced a policy paper in 1992 on Urban Parks [Tom Turner, Robert Holden, John Merivale] and was subsequently invited to give evidence to the parliamentary select inquiry into town and country parks in 1998. Two years later 'the Urban White Paper 2000 - Our Towns and Cities - the Future', recommended the formation of an 'Urban Green Spaces Taskforce' with the LI fully represented on working groups and the steering committee chaired by a government minister. The report's aim was to develop "…a new national strategy for urban parks and green spaces …at the heart of our vision of liveable sustainable modern towns and cities." Included in the 52 recommendations was the formation of an 'urban green spaces agency' later to become Cabe Space.
Around the same time a movement developed among the principle professional institutes involved with design of the environment to collaborate in a co-ordinated overview of urban design leading to the formation of the Urban Design Alliance in December 1997 including the Landscape Institute, RIBA, RICS, RTPI, ICE, Urban Design Group and Civic Trust. Terry Farrell of the RIBA was the first chair followed by the RICS, ICE, RTPI and the LI represented by Tim Gale. UDAL's mission published in 1998 was "…to act as a forum for discussion, to foster greater awareness and to seek higher standards of urban design through education. To this end UDAL seeks to encourage collaboration between the public, private and voluntary sectors."
Action was based on this central focus of a forum for discussion bringing the design professions closer during a period of expansion and rising prosperity. An important legacy was the interactive tool Placecheck – a structured method of engaging with local communities.
These strands came together in 2003 with the formation of CABE Space, a specialist unit of CABE with the aim to…" bring excellence to the design and management of parks and public space in our towns and cities." A steering committee including Tim Gale from the Landscape Institute was set up and two new CABE commissioners Alan Barber and Jason Prior, were appointed with special responsibility for Space. Over the next eight years CABE Space operating within the wider CABE organisation established a body of evidence-based research, design advice and enabling.
The austerity-focussed coalition government elected in 2010 withdrew all funding to CABE which became part of the Design Council a charity.
Text by Tim Gale, PPLI; President LI 1999 – 2000; Chair of UDAL 2001; Steering Group Member of 'Urban Green Spaces Taskforce'; Member of steering group of CABE Space
1929 The Institute of Landscape Architects is founded
1930 The first full time diploma course in landscape architecture is introduced at the University of Reading. Arthur J Cobb, a founder member of the Institute was then a senior lecturer in horticulture at the University. Geoffrey Jellicoe lectured at Reading between 1934-1938. This Diploma was discontinued at the outbreak of war in 1939
1931 Artist Colin Gill, brother of Marjory Allen and both cousins of Eric Gill, designs the Institute of Landscape Architects' seal. The initials 'CG' are clearly visible in the design
1933 First Institute educational syllabus published
1933 'Sir Ebenezer Howard and the Town Planning Movement' by Dugald Macfadyen is published. The following is an extract from the foreword: 'This book, being a labour of love, it has been possible to secure the co-operation of those who knew Sir Ebenezer Howard best....To all whose names appear as contributors, acknowledgements are due...Without pooling our resources nothing adequate could have been done.'
1934 Landscape & Garden, the Institute's Journal begins as a quarterly publication. The editor is Richard Sudell
1937 Thomas Adams President
1938 'Gardens in the Modern Landscape' by Christopher Tunnard published
1939 Geoffrey Jellicoe becomes President, a position he held for 10 years until 1949
1939 Exhibition of Landscape Architecture at the RIBA (designed by Christopher Tunnard)
1942 Three year diploma course restarts at the University of Reading. HF (Frank) Clark appointed Sessional Lecturer in Landscape Design at Reading and combines this post with that of Special Lecturer at the University of Liverpool as well as taking on private commissions.
In his book 'Introduction to Landscape Architecture' published in 1975 and still in print, Professor Michael Laurie (1932-2002) who studied at both Reading and Edinburgh under Frank Clark, before moving to the US, wrote this acknowledgement: (to) 'Frank Clark, who taught me the importance of the interrelationship between disciplines and how the study of history made the present meaningful'
1942 Lord Reith appointed Honorary Fellow
1943 Landscape courses started at Regent Street Polytechnic, London
1944 Dower Report on the National Parks in England and Wales
1946 New Towns Act passed
1946 Stevenage New Town
1946 Conference on Landscape Architecture held in London
1946 ILA Education Committee members include WG Holford and Thomas Sharp
1947 Town & Country Planning Act passed
1947 Harlow New Town
1948 Olympic Games held at Wembley, London
1948 First adventure playground set up in Camberwell, London by founder member Marjory Allen; 1948 'Land & Landscape' by Brenda Colvin published (the first time the science of the land was related to the art of landscape design)
1948 International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) founded
1948 International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
1949 The National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act; Countryside Commission
1949 Vita Sackville-West addresses Institute general meeting in December
1949 Basildon New Town
1949 P/t certificate course in landscape design begun at University College, London
1950 Thomas Sharp becomes President. Presidential badge made and presented to Dr Sharp
1950 Postgraduate diploma at University of Durham/Newcastle under Brian Hackett
1951 Brenda Colvin is elected President, the first woman to hold this office
1951 The Festival of Britain. Involvement of Institute members
1953 'Modern Gardens' by Peter Shepheard is published
1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II
1954 Geoffrey Jellicoe appointed to the Royal Fine Arts Commission as a landscape architect
1954 Postgraduate course at Leeds Polytechnic
1955 'The Making of the English Landscape' by WG Hoskins is published
1956 'Tomorrow's Landscape' by Sylvia Crowe published
1957 Sylvia Crowe is elected President, only the second woman to hold the position. It would be 47 years before another woman is elected as Institute's President
1957 1 st National Conference: 'The Landscape of Industry' held in Newcastle
1958 'The Landscape of Power' by Sylvia Crowe published
1959 Opening of the MI motorway
1959 'Landscape for Living' ILA travelling exhibition tours venues throughout the UK for 3 years
University of Reading Alumni who qualify during the 1950s include:
William (Bill) Gillespie
Aziz G Megalli (then Chief Inspector of Parks, Alexandria, Egypt)
The 1960s saw an expansion in education of landscape architects in the UK. For example, in 1966 Leeds Polytechnic began a 4 year undergraduate course which gave exemption from the Institute own examinations. In 1970, just 2 people graduate with Diploma in Landscape Architecture (Dip. LA), while two years later the figure had risen to 12 students. By 1974 approximately 24 people are graduating from the course every year
1960 'The Landscape of Roads' by Sylvia Crowe published
1960 Sylvia Crowe voted 'Woman of the Year' by the Architects' Journal
1960 434 members of which 120 are fully qualified
1961 Jane Jacobs publishes 'Death & Life of Great American Cities'
1961 'Townscape' by Gordon Cullen is published
1961 Cuban Missile Crisis; Yuri Gagarin is the first man in space
1962 'Silent Spring' by Rachel Carson is published.
1963 John F Kennedy assassinated
1964 Sylvia Crowe appointed as landscape consultant to the Forestry Commission
1964 Runcorn New Town
1965 Institute of Landscape Architects registered as a charity
1965 'The Countryside in 1970' 2 nd Joint Conference with LI/RSA/NC
1965 Greater London Council (GLC) set up to replace London County Council
1965 River Tyne Study published. The first 'river corridor' study for areas in industrial decline
1965 The Garden History Society is founded
1966 Landscape Research Group is founded
1966 The Aberfan disaster
1967 Chairs of Landscape Architecture created at Newcastle and Sheffield Universities
1967 Milton Keynes new town
1968 Apollo 8. All can now see Earth as a living planet for the first time in human history
1968 Warrington new town
1969 'Design with Nature' by Ian McHarg is published
1969 Institute has c. 900 members
1969 'Derelict Britain' by Barr, is published
1969 University of Sheffield sets up the first UK Department of Landscape Architecture and appoints Arnold Weddle its Professor of Landscape Architecture
Throughout the 1960s the Institute holds annual conferences in various parts of the UK, including Glasgow, Bristol, Manchester, Shrewsbury, Southampton, Bangor, Durham and Lancaster
1970 Sylvia Crowe becomes Hon. Fellow of the Royal Town Planning Institute
1970 'Nature in Cities' Conference at University of Manchester
1970 'New Lives, New Landscapes' by Nan Fairbrother (1913-1971) published
1970 'The Environmental Revolution' by Max Nicholson, founder of Land Use Consultants
1971 Name of Institute Journal is changed to 'Landscape Design'
1972 Interrail introduced. Students enjoy cheap independent travel in Western Europe
1973 Britain joins the Common Market/now the European Union
1973 Publication of Essex Design Guide
1974 Work starts of the Thames Barrier, London
1974 Reorganisation of local authorities in England and Wales
1975 1435 members (only 28% qualified, the majority are students)
1975 'The Landscape of Man' by Geoffrey and Susan Jellicoe is published
1976 Concorde makes first flight
1978 Urban Design Group is founded to campaign for better urban spaces
1979 Landscape Institute celebrates Golden Jubilee. c. 1500 members
1979 Expansion of Institute, incorporating the ILA into the Landscape Institute
1979 'Landscape towards 2000' Joint IFLA/LI conference
1979 Urban Wildlife Group set up. Chris Baines, founder member
1980 'The Restoration of Derelict Land' by Bradshaw, A & Chadwick, M. 'Recently an awareness has developed that the world's resources are not infinite...Perhaps the most basic resource of all is the land...The future must lie in some middle way in which resources are carefully utilized, husbanded and recycled' (extract from preface)
1981 Groundwork organisation established in North West of England
1981 Toxteth Riots, Liverpool
1981 Merseyside Development Corporation created
1983 Institute sets up the Landscape Design Trust to publish its Journal, Landscape Design
1983 Charity: Common Ground is formed
1984 1st International Garden Festival in UK held in Liverpool. 3 million people visit in one year
1984 The Miners' Strike
1985 Council of Europe's directive on environmental assessment published
1985 50 years of Landscape Design edited by Sheila Harvey published
1985 The first Live Aid concert raises £50million
1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident
1987 'Our Common Future' Brundtland Report published; European Environment Year; EFLA set up
1987 The Great Storm in Southern England. Institute sets up an appeal
1987 Water Act passed
1987 Inauguration of Docklands light railway and London City Airport
1987 Tyne & Wear Development Corporation formed
1988 Scottish Devolution/Scottish Parliament
1989 Conference: 'Landscapes to Live in- a vision for the 21st Century'
1989 Fall of the Berlin Wall
Between 1984 and 1992 a series of garden festivals are held at two year intervals after Liverpool at Stoke-on-Trent, Glasgow, Gateshead, Ebbw Vale
1990 'This Common Inheritance' published by DoE; Environmental Protection Act passed
1990 Charity: Learning through Landscapes is formed
1990 Annual Conference, Durham. Keynote Speaker: Laurie Olin
1990 Topping out of Canary Wharf tower, London
1990 Community Forests set up in 12 areas of England by Countryside Commission
1991 Institute of Environmental Management is founded. In 2013 it gained its Royal Charter and its title is changed to CIEEM
1992 Rio Earth Summit (Agenda 21 one of the resulting documents)
1992 The Olympics, Barcelona
1992 'Making People Friendly Cities' by Francis Tibbalds published
1993 Suffolk Design Guide published which prioritises urban design over architecture
1993 London Docklands Dev. Corp. wound up and holdings go to English Partnerships
1994 Annual Conference, 'Urban Parks, Design for Use'
1994 Glasgow Cities 2000 Conference on Urban Parks
1994 Channel Tunnel opened by French President Francois Mitterand and Queen Elizabeth II
1995 'Park Life: Urban Parks & Social Renewal' by Greenhalgh & Worpole is published
1995 Institute archive is set up after Jellicoe drawings are gifted to the Institute
1995 The Landscape Foundation charity is set up by Geoffrey Jellicoe & Institute's Peter Broadbent
1995 GLVIA (1 st Edition) produced jointly by LI and IEMA
1995 'Urban Space' LI/RTPI Joint Conference, Birmingham
1995 Environment Act passed; PPG1(R) includes section on importance of urban design for first time
1996 'Greening the City' LI/RTPI Joint Conference, London
1997 Landscape Institute obtains its Royal Charter
1997 Terms of Kyoto Agreement published
1998 Sheila Harvey, Landscape Institute librarian is made an Hon. Fellow
1999 Welsh devolution. Welsh National Assembly/First Elections
1999 Countryside Commission merged with other agencies, leading to set up of Natural England, the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW), Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology (ITE)
1999 Sylvia Crowe Monograph by Geoffrey Collens and Wendy Powell published
Environmental activists protests over road schemes in south of England from Twyford Down (1992) to Newbury By-Pass (1996) ; Urban Design Alliance is formed in 1990s
A New Century:
2000 Millennium Dome built on the Greenwich meridian line
2000 'Ecology, Community and Delight' by Ian Thompson published
2000 'The Regeneration of Public Parks' by Ken Fieldhouse and Jan Woudstra published
2000 WRAP (Waste Resources Action Plan) charity formed to use resources sustainably
2001 Urban Green Space Task Force set up
2001 Institute Past President, Tim Gale, takes over as Chair of Urban Design Alliance (UDAL) for one year 2001 9.11. New York
2002 'Green Spaces, Better Places' is published
2003 LI President, Rod Edwards, describes the Journal as 'a significant archive of theory and practice as well as a stimulating record of the changes that have achieved a new and relevant landscape for society in the late 20th and early 21st century'
2003 Annual Conference: 'Making Cities Liveable', Stoke
2003 CABE Space launched
2004 75th Anniversary of the Landscape Institute
2004 Prof. Kathryn Moore becomes President
2004 Annual Conference: 'New Lives, New Landscapes', 2 day conference, Birmingham
2004 Peter Shepheard Monograph by Annabel Downs published
2005 7.7. London
2006 European Landscape Convention is ratified by the UK government
2006 LI President's Award is introduced and the winner is the Eden Project, Cornwall
2007 5150 members
2007 Failure of Northern Rock and sub-prime mortgage crisis in US
2008 Jellicoe drawings from the Institute archive are exhibited at Het Loo, Netherlands
2008 Financial crisis and recession
2008 'Hungry City How Food Shapes our Lives' by Carolyn Steel is published
2009 'Landscape Modernism Renounced The Career of Christopher Tunnard (1910-1979)' by David Jacques and Jan Woudstra published
2010 UK Landscape of the Year Award, Liverpool. Run by LI on behalf of Defra
2010 Coalition Government formed after general election in the UK
2010 The 'Lawton Report' Making Space for Nature published
2011 UK Entry (Durham Heritage Coast) is runner up at Council of Europe Awards
2011 Green Infrastructure Partnership set up by Defra/TCPA take on management in 2014
2011 'Brenda Colvin' by Trish Gibson published
2012 The London Olympics
2012 A National Landscape Policy for Scotland, 50 th Anniversary Conference, Perth
2013 GLVIA (3rd edition) published by LI and IEMA
2013 'Green Infrastructure' Joint Conference LI/CIEEM), Birmingham
2013 Institute library and archive move to MERL, University of Reading
2014 LI's 'Liveable Cities' campaign
2014 'Good Cities, Better Lives' by Peter Hall published
2014 Inaugural meeting and AGM of Friends of the library & archive (FOLAR)
2015 'Rediscovering Preben Jakobsen'. Talk by Karen Fitzsimon in MERL's 'Discovering the Landscape Series', University of Reading
2015 General Election. SNP win 56 seats in House of Commons. Conservative Government
2016 Referendum in the UK. British people vote to leave the EU
2016 USA Election. Donald Trump wins the election to become the next US President
And looking to the future.....
In 2029 the Landscape Institute will be 100 years old