Makeover

Beautification appears to be the name of the game in the outdoor design business at the moment. From RTA talking about sprucing up Sheikh Zayed Road last month to Dubai Municipality unveiling its plan to prettify Port Saeed Plaza this month, announcements of improvement projects are coming in thick and fast.

COMMENT, Design

Beautification appears to be the name of the game in the outdoor design business at the moment. From RTA talking about sprucing up Sheikh Zayed Road last month to Dubai Municipality unveiling its plan to prettify Port Saeed Plaza this month, announcements of improvement projects are coming in thick and fast.

In a city that is being created at such breakneck speed, there will always be things that could have been done better.

So it is impressive to see that whilst authorities are busy pumping funds into new projects, they are also committing significant sums to improving old ones and to rendering our surroundings not only more aesthetically pleasing but also more suited to the local climate, through the addition of elements such as more shading.

Beautification is, of course, often cited as being at the heart of landscape architecture, the constant rendering of that which surrounds us as more acceptable or more pleasing to the eye.

So it is fitting that there is so much focus on this topic as we move into the month that has been declared as the national month of landscape architecture by the American Society of Landscape Architecture (ASLA).

"Landscape architecture is a very distinguished, rewarding, and lucrative career," Perry Howard, president of ASLA, said.

"With sustained growth in demand projected for landscape architecture services, there are major opportunities for young people considering entering the profession.

It's a very good time to be a landscape architect," another ASLA representative added.

They are talking about the US market, of course, but it could just as well be the GCC where demand for landscape services is unprecedented.

And if it's a good time in the US to be an outdoor design professional, then it's a great time to be one in the Middle East - landscape spend is tipped to exceed US$16 billion in the region in the next five years.

The universal search for beauty, it seems, is very good news for business.

Michele Howe is the Deputy Editor of Commercial Outdoor Design.

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