Landscape architects adapting to changing climate when designing outdoor spaces in Austin

Landscape architects adapting to changing climate when designing outdoor spaces in Austin


AUSTIN (KXAN) – While the world is warming, doing things the same way is unsustainable. The same applies to the design of outdoor areas.

“If you go back a few decades, that’s where you see the biggest changes. So there are a lot of plants that our grandparents would have planted that we no longer do because they just needed so much water, ”said Chris Jackson, landscape architect at TBG Partners in Austin.

A new section of the trail will give the northern Austinians better access to the park

His company is responsible for the landscaping around the Q2 Stadium, the Oracle campus, Butler Park and the Alliance Children’s Garden. Reducing water needs is one of its main concerns.

“The plants you see here are all native and adapted to central Texas, so they have a lower water coefficient, which can reduce the amount of water you put on them compared to a typical landscape,” said Jackson.

After the record break, many of these plants turned out to be quite resilient.

“We were pretty shocked at the time, but in the end we were very happy to see how much came back. It was the most effective, ”he added.

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Extreme heat can also damage a park’s landscape.

“It really depends on the depth of the soil and the composition, and that the soil is not baked so much that the heat is absorbed and the plants can no longer live,” said Jackson.

To counteract this, they use soil that can store moisture for longer. It is also good for all of us to keep the plants cool.
Not only are parks like the Alliance Children’s Garden in Austin great parks to visit, see, and visit with the family, but they also serve one purpose – to keep Austin cool!

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Buildings and concrete absorb and store heat, but city parks can help lower the temperature.

“All of these trees were planted here to help mitigate the heat island in the space that is crowded with people and families right next to town,” said Jackson.

This makes these sustainable outdoor areas a method to make our lives more sustainable as well.