The Urban Design & Landscape Expo (UDLE), the Middle East's only dedicated trade fair for urban, green and open spaces, will host Ian Rose as a key speaker this year. The Senior Associate at Cracknell and member of UDLE's Advisory Board will be participating in a panel discussion on the "Contribution of Urban Design and Landscape Architecture to Citizens’/Residents’ Happiness" at the event's Urban Design and Landscape Summit on November 27.
Here's what he told us ahead of the UDLE:
What attracted you to the Landscape Industry?
“Back at school, I was interested in design and biology. As I was looking at what industries might bring those together as a career, Landscape Architecture was something that jumped out.
Back then we had a very good school career service that gave us a chance to go in some practices and found a very inspirational Landscape Architect in Canterbury, my hometown, who showed me the difference you can make in people's life through landscape architecture. That's what really set my interest and passion in landscape architecture alight, and the rest is history so to speak!”
How is the Landscape Industry evolving in Dubai?
“I think the landscape industry in Dubai is very exciting, especially looking at the scale of the work and the pace of the work. It's good to see how it has matured over the years: I've been here since 1998, so I’ve seen quite a lot of changes in terms of the interest in sustainability, connectivity, and the science behind the landscape industry.
The focus is still on beauty, as it is very important that the landscapes we create are attractive, but now the industry is also focusing on the environment and the biodiversity, so I find it an exciting challenging place to work.”
What are today’s major trends in landscape architecture?
“I think that the most interesting part of the work is to see how it evolves over time and the scientific base behind the work we do is developing: there is more knowledge in the marketplace about how to be more sustainable, there is more interest in using native plants and in developing the plant pallets that are more climatically adapted.
I think there’s a better understanding of how we can create sustainable landscapes, as well as in terms of material selection, since materials available have massively broadened in the years I've been here.
So we're getting better at what we do, we're getting more choices with the materials and the plants we can work with here, and I see a bright future ahead.”
What are the major challenges for Landscape Architects in Dubai?
“The major challenges on projects are always the same: time, finishing - landscape tends to come at the end so we often get crushed or have to work in the wrong season. Also, budgets: showing clients, developers the value of landscape, what it can bring to their project and that it is not just something that looks beautiful, it is not an optional extra, but rather a fundamental part of the success of their project.
This has always been a challenge, it is still the challenge, but to show that landscape does bring value to projects in real terms to people's lives - that's why I'm a landscape architect.”
How would you like the regional industry to evolve in future?
“I’d like it to look at the city holistically, look at connectivity, look at how we can mitigate climate on a large scale. I’d like it to bring pedestrian connectivity, cycle connectivity, and improved transit network. We are seeing this across the Emirates, not just in Dubai but also in Sharjah, in Abu Dhabi, and it's exciting to see the work across all the Emirates. To bring that together into a more holistic standard for the UAE would be great.”
How was your experience at the Urban Design & Landscape Expo?
“I went last year, it was a very good event, I’ve enjoyed the talks and everything was very good! I am very excited about the upcoming edition, to see the speakers at the conference, the content, and also to see the exhibitors and discover what new materials are there. I’m looking to see more innovation in the materials being offered, so I think it will be a great event and can't wait for it.”
Register and attend for free Ian Rose's panel discussion by clicking HERE.
To know more about the Urban Design & Landscape Expo visit www.udlexpo.com.
About Ian Rose
Ian is a Senior Associate with Cracknell, leading a talented team of landscape architects in designing landmark projects across the region and internationally. His passion is to improve people’s quality of life by reorienting the public realm around communities and creating liveable places.
He is a chartered member of the UK Landscape Institute and acts as a mentor for Pathway to Chartership candidates.Previously he worked with Abu Dhabi City Municipality advising on landscape and public realm development, planning and projects. This role involved working with other government entities, developers and consultants within Abu Dhabi on strategic policy, planning and design to assist with the development of a coordinated approach to public realm in Abu Dhabi.
He has more than 20 years professional experience, much of which has been spent in the Middle East, working on all stages of project design and execution. In the UK he worked with Groundwork, the UK’s leading environmental regeneration charity. He has also worked for several international design and engineering consultancies.