Alexandra Steed | Building Better Cities through Landscape Architecture


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How can well-designed landscape & public realm help create better cities for people?

Alexandra is a chartered landscape architect in the UK, and also worked for a number of years in Canada where she was responsible for a series of innovative public realm projects for the City of Vancouver.

In 2013, Alexandra founded URBAN with the stated aim of creating better cities for people through a synthesis of art, landscape and sustainability.

Before starting her own practice, Alexandra led the Aecom Europe Design Team, and was also Practice Director for Martha Schwartz Partners’ London office. Aside from her work with URBAN, Alexandra acts as a Built Environment Expert for Design Council Cabe, and sits on the Highways England Design Panel. She lectures at architectural schools, conferences and is a reviewer at universities including Harvard and The Bartlett, UCL.

In this podcast:

  • Is the role & remit of landscape architecture misunderstood?
  • How can you demonstrate ROI in landscape and public realm?
  • What should good landscape seek to achieve?
  • Does ownership impact on public realm and how can this be overcome?
  • How is landscaping used as a medium for regeneration?
  • Where in the world is landscaping most difficult & what can be learned from this?
  • What role does future-proofing & innovations such as autonomous vehicles play in influencing the shape of the urban architecture?

For her favourite building, Alexandra selects Quai Brandley by Jean Novel & Patrick Blanc for its seamless integration between building and landscape.

The recommended addition to the Building Our Future reading list is:

Alexandra’s technology to watch for is autonomous vehicles and its potential impact on the ways that cities are designed and in which people move.

34 episodes