“Now open spaces have to be incorporated into the design of modern urban centres. Look at Dubai, for example. I feel there have been a lot of missed opportunities as there is a lack of greenery between buildings.

The Marina for example has lots of beautiful water but no vegetation along the promenade.” Rad said he felt people were starting to want a more natural approach to design in the Middle East. “Residents of Dubai, for instance, are starting to appreciate the fact that greenery is becoming more important” he said. 

“Greenery means a place for people to walk, for children to play, or even just a place to relax and watch the sunset. At the end of the day humans came from nature. We do enjoy seeing buildings – but we also do enjoy seeing the natural landscape.”

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Recent high profile developments have shown the value a landscape architect can bring to a project, according to Duncan Denley, manging director of Dubai-based Desert INK. He said the “human experience” of a project can be enhanced when attention is paid to surroundings and the spaces between buildings. “There was a time when developers considered appointing a project landscape architect as a luxury; the first to be sacrificed when budget becomes an issue,” he said. “Where a landscape architect was appointed, it was often too late to add significant value other than a bit of ‘window dressing’ here and there. Thankfully however, recent years have seen a number of major projects led by landscape architects, such as New York’s Highline, The UK’s Eden Project and the spectacularly-successful London Olympic Park.” Denley said these high profile success stories have not escaped the attentions of clients and project managers and the profession now finds itself better understood and appreciated than ever before.

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This article was originally published here on designmena.com