Use of Landscape in Urban Spaces

Trees and hedges can be used as part of built frontages or to articulate spaces in their own right, in the form of a barrier or screen. For example, a block of trees in the centre of a square may transform the square into a linear circuit of spaces, while a block of trees across the middle of a large or long space may transform it into two separate spaces.

A tree may also be used as a centre-point to punctuate and reinforce the character of a space. Alternatively, rows of trees may be used to give directional emphasis to a dynamic space. It is important that the design of the space is such that it can accommodate the mature growth of trees suitable for these purposes.

The use of trees as a natural or ‘soft’ form of enclosure is beneficial to people with dementia, who benefit from clearly defined spaces but who can perceive harder forms of enclosure as oppressive or imprisoning.

The proportion of tree enclosure to built enclosure will affect the identity of a space, giving it a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ character. Similarly, an area with higher tree content will have a different character from one with lower tree content.

Page updated: 22/02/2023

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