What Is Cultural Landscape Design?

Cultural landscape design is a term used to describe the design and planning of outdoor spaces that contain elements of both physical and cultural significance. It combines traditional landscape design principles with a focus on cultural heritage, preserving the history and character of a space while also making it accessible to the public. Cultural landscape design is often used in urban areas, parks, historical sites and other public spaces.

The goal of cultural landscape design is to create places that are aesthetically pleasing, functional and meaningful to the community. Through carefully selected materials, plants, structures and colors, designers are able to create spaces that honor local cultures, traditions and stories. By incorporating elements from the past into modern designs, these spaces become living symbols of a region’s history.

In addition to preserving cultural heritage through traditional means such as monuments or historical markers, designers can also use plantings, seating areas and other details to evoke a certain feeling or emotion within visitors. These elements can be used to evoke memories of the past or create new connections with the present day. Cultural landscapes can also be designed in a way that encourages social interaction between visitors and their environment.

Designers should also consider how their designs will interact with existing site features such as topography or existing vegetation. By using natural features such as hillsides or trees in their designs they are able to create unique experiences for visitors while still honoring existing site characteristics. Additionally, designers should take into account how their designs will interact with larger environmental contexts such as climate change or water management systems.


Cultural landscape design is an important part of creating meaningful outdoor spaces that honor local cultures while also providing functional public spaces for recreation and social interaction. Designers must consider many factors when creating these landscapes including existing site features, environmental contexts, traditional materials and plants, as well as how these elements will interact with one another.