Role of landscape designers in promoting a balanced approach to green infrastructure.
Breed, Christina A.
Cilliers, Sarel S.
Fisher, Roger C.
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The importance accorded to green infrastructure is related to sociocultural values, which also affect the social production of ecosystem services. The literature distinguishes four categories of ecosystem services to be included in green infrastructure, namely cultural, regulating, provisioning, and supporting services. This study considers the current role of landscape design practice in South Africa in the social production process by analyzing design projects featured in three prominent profession-focused magazines over nine years, since 2004. The magazine analysis indicates that, contrary to what the scientific literature and theory propounds, landscape design practitioners perceive cultural and regulating services as more important than provisioning or supporting services. This is evident from recurrent discussions in these magazines focusing on aspects such as social and community matters, sustainability, and the showcasing of design and aesthetics. The analysis also suggests that environmental law, ratings systems, and award systems influence what landscape design practitioners consider important. It is suggested that award systems are best positioned to reorient values and promote a well-balanced inclusion of ecosystem services in green infrastructure