When an architect or a town planner plans, he is in actuality, intervening with ‘living system’. The intervention can be disastrous if insufficient thought is given to the effects of development, especially its long-term consequences on the environment. The blend between man and nature will not be harmonius, but there will be imbalance or contradiction instead. In the long-run the total environment is bound to deteriorate. This is what ecology is all about- the inter-relationship between living and non-living things and their habitat.
With the coming of industrial revolution we witnessed the horrifying effects of population explosion and sudden growth of concrete jungles with abuse and disregard to nature. And unfortunately, we lost the concept of whole ecosystem when man was one with nature. Today, man’s intervention with nature has caused havoc in the environment often upsetting the delicate ecological balance beyond redemption and posing a great danger to the mankind itself.
Remember what Poet John Ruskin says ” Man in his ignorance crushes natural sublimity and in return nature crushes human beings.” We should therefore be conservers and not destroyers of the mother nature and the planet. Good environment is essential for the well-being of the people, for they in turn will collectively contribute to the well-being of the state. It is comparatively recent that the growing awareness to maintain ecological balance and prevent further environmental pollution.
When man builds, he must take both nature and society into account. With this concept – the ecological approach to landscape architecture-both the natural and man-made environment should be blended to produce a harmonius whole, so that while altering the ‘living system’, the vital inter-relationships between living and non-living things are not distributed. It is with this insight and understanding that the landscape architect plans his work. As such the role of landscape architect and his profound insights into the functioning of the ‘living system’ assumes very much importance nowadays.
Lawrence Harpin, the eminent landscape architect says “if one can step for a moment into an outdoor space, no matter how small and get a glimpse of the sky and the smell of the earth, trees and flowers, then the overwhelming scale and density of urban life can be largely overcome”.