The idea of landscape as culture, the result of layers of interaction between humans and the environment, helps us to understand and view the urban scene.

As designers we search for a key to reveal the nature of our interventions, in our quest to create places that embody ideals and celebrate place, searching for a sense of identity rooted in the unique features of a site – geography, history, patterns on the land…

But quality in urban design is not only won at the small scale. It must also be supported on all planning levels, as shown by some of the best-ranked cities in the world, that have made important political commitments related to increasing greenery and open space systems as a means of achieving a more sustainable future.

Trees and plants are without doubt important allies in making our urban areas better places to live; understanding their contribution and physical needs, and integrating them into our designs, will ensure that these elements of the public realm can thrive and play a significant role not only as ornament but also as green infrastructure, addressing our health and the future of cities.