News & Insights

Alan contributes to Queensland’s first landscape planning guideline

Senior Consultant Alan Chenoweth has had a long career in landscape architecture and ecology and even though he has started transitioning towards retirement, he has continued to take on new challenges and contribute to the industry he is passionate about.

After a five-year period of consultation and development, Alan and a committee of experienced landscape planners recently launched guidance notes for the practice of landscape and visual impact assessment in Queensland, through the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA).

Australian Landscape Architects have traditionally relied on various guidance documents available internationally or from government bodies, but to date there has been no agreed industry standard. The project arose from a need for a consistent approach and terminology for a field that is continually growing in importance for governments, developers, and affected communities.

“Authoritative guidelines are useful for planning and approval agencies when assessing the documentation which accompanies development applications,” Alan said.

“Guidelines exist for almost all areas of technical expertise, but there hasn’t been one for landscape planning in Queensland, so it’s a real first.

“Landscape planning is about creating a balance between development and protection of a range of values, including the natural and scenic elements of an area.

Photo of Alan Chenoweth

Alan Chenoweth, Senior Consultant

“It’s important a development application accurately describes and assesses the impacts of proposed infrastructure accurately and this guideline provides a framework for how you should approach the process,” he said.

Alan believes that the growing role and voice of communities in the development of urban and city infrastructure has also driven the need for an industry guideline.

“As our cities become more densely populated, there is need for new development but communities are also very focused on liveability, so they want to maintain amenity, scenery and character of an area and encourage designs that enhance a sense of place.

“Community identity is also important - people still want to recognise a particular part of the coastline or the distinctive visual elements of their suburb, district or region.

“This guidance note provides a common framework and language when analysing the existing conditions, describing the proposed development, and identifying and mitigating impacts it may cause,” he said.

Alan hopes that in the future, he and his colleagues will be able to develop the guideline to include more in-depth material and practical examples. He would also like to see it developed for use throughout Australia.

“After forty years in the industry, I’m pleased to be able to contribute to further methodology development in this field so we can continue to create environments that are beautiful to look at, have high liveability and also provide a sense of place.

“Guidance documents like this build our collective knowledge as a profession, which in turn improves the way we engage with our stakeholders and deliver our projects.”

View the guidance note on the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects website.
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