What’s the Difference Between Urban Design and Landscape Architecture?

Urban design and landscape architecture are two related professions that are often confused as being one and the same. While there is some overlap between the two, there are distinct differences between them. Urban design is focused on the large scale planning of cities and towns, while landscape architecture deals with the smaller scale design of outdoor spaces such as parks, gardens, and public squares.

Urban designers create plans for how a city should look and function. They consider factors such as transportation networks, land use patterns, economic development, public services and amenities, green space allocation, infrastructure needs, housing types and density levels. Urban designers take into account the needs of all stakeholders including residents, businesses, government authorities and other organizations in order to create a balanced plan for a city or town.

Landscape architects specialize in creating outdoor spaces that are both functional and pleasing to look at.

They create designs for parks, gardens, public squares and other outdoor areas that include features such as walkways, play areas, water features and seating areas. Landscape architects also work on projects such as natural resource preservation projects or ecological restoration projects.

Both urban designers and landscape architects need to understand the principles of design in order to be successful in their respective disciplines. They must also be adept at working with people from diverse backgrounds in order to ensure their designs meet the needs of all stakeholders involved in a project.


Urban design focuses on large-scale planning of cities while landscape architecture focuses on small-scale design of outdoor spaces such as parks and gardens. Both professions require knowledge of design principles but have different sets of skills associated with them. Ultimately urban design is concerned with creating healthy communities while landscape architecture is focused on creating beautiful outdoor spaces.