Climate change top of agenda for third year study trip to Lisbon

Lisbon study trip

Third year undergraduates from the Department of Landscape Architecture received a crash course in the potential effects of a changing climate on landscape design and management recently, on their international study trip to Lisbon.

The five-day field study trip, which is included in the undergraduate course fee, saw 34 students studying BA and BSc Landscape Architecture fly to the Portuguese capital for a packed programme exploring the streets and landscapes of the city and its surroundings.

Whilst in previous years, the field-study trip has visited Munich, Vienna and Reykjavik; Lisbon was chosen specifically for students to see the impacts of a warmer climate on vegetation design and management.

The students witnessed many examples of planting schemes with dead or dying vegetation and used these as a basis to discuss how to improve design, species selection and water management.

Carrie Bayles and Immi van Ruiten present their work Lisbon study trip

BA Landscape Architecture student Ollie Pike said: "Lisbon was a great experience and allowed us to look at a different kinds of landscape architecture which we wouldn’t normally find here in the UK. The warmer climate was not only a lot more enjoyable than the wet and cold of Sheffield this time of year but also affects how the whole city operates from the wider use of public squares, colour of buildings and the way people move throughout the city.”

He added: “What I took from the trip most was the different climate adapted planting in and around the city. This is something that we can all learn from and can potentially use in the future to help public landscapes adapt to climate change here in the UK."

Having researched the squares, parks and gardens of the city, each student was required to present their findings to the class in situ. As a mark of both the depth of information in the presentations and the confidence of those presenting, the talks often attracted the attentions of passing tourists, who stopped to listen in.

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The packed programme took in a different area of the city and aspect of Landscape Architecture each day. As far as possible, sites were visited on foot or by public transport, with the students and staff walking over 50 miles over the duration of the trip.

Students were free each evening to explore the city and make the most of the capital’s night-life.

Whilst in Lisbon, the group were tasked with choosing one aspect of the city, which sparked their imaginations. They will present their personal reflections to each other in few weeks time in a ‘pecha kucha’– a short-form presentation lasting just six minutes.

The international field study trip was lead by University Teacher Laurence Pattacini, who was accompanied by Dr Paul Brindley and Hannah Whitelam-Hodges.

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BSc Landscape Architecture student Esther Chan said: “My impression of Lisbon is of a colorful and energetic city; its beauty is out of my expectation. The trip has strengthened my observation skills, as we explored the city, not from a tourist perspective, but using a professional approach. This trip was useful not only for my 3rd year studies but also my future practice of landscape architecture.”

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Day 1
Travel to Lisbon
Introduction to the city

Day 2
Lisbon urban squares and city parks
Praca Luis de Camoes
Terracos de braganca
Praca do Comercio
Castelo de S. Jorge
Rossio Praca Dom Pedro IV
Parc Eduardo VII
Garden of the Caloust Gulbenkian

Day 3
Housing and planning
Alta de Lisboa
Parque Oeste
Waterfront regeneration East
Portuguese national pavilion
Braco de Prata Factory housing development

Day 4
Centro cultural de Belem
Champalimaud Foundation

Day 5
Cascais and Sintra
Casa das Historias Paula Rego
Praia dos Pescadores