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Landscape architecture competitions are structured similarly to other types of design competitions (architecture, industrial design, graphic design etc.). In the case of landscape architecture design competitions, the procedure is sponsored by an organization or client that intends on implementing a new landscape design to a property in their care or ownership. Just as in architectural design competitions, the winning design is usually selected by an independent jury composed of design professionals and stakeholders such as government and/or local representatives. In general, design competitions are often used to stimulate new ideas in design, generate public debate, serve as a form of public relations for the project in question and integrate emerging designers into a more level field of competition.
In some countries, like Germany for example, landscape architecture competitions for public projects of a certain size are subject to fixed regulations concerning the scope and details of the competition and the overreaching procedure of tendering public contracts within a competition process.
Parallel to architectural design competitions, there are a number of different types of landscape architecture competitions:
With larger landscape planning projects within urban or semi-urban contexts, part of the competition brief will often address concepts of urban planning and/or development of a master plan. Contemporary approaches to public space advocate mixed-use allocation of resources. That can mean that outdoor space must also serve other needs like recreational, athletic and cultural facilities, commercial facilities (like small shops and restaurants) among others, besides the conventional aspects expected of a planted and green environment.
Landscape architecture competitions often address the introduction of new or refurbishment of existing green space or the transformation and reuse of existing infrastructure (e.g., defunct industrial sites). When projects are inserted in urban areas, planners inevitably must integrate in their proposals aspects of urban planning like traffic planning, public utilities, and sociological factors like demographics and cultural context.
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