Europe is renowned for its rich history, diverse culture, and breathtaking natural scenery, making it an ideal destination for those seeking inspiration. Danielle Carlson, a professional landscape architect who joined RVi in August 2022, had a comparable experience exploring the continent. Earlier this year, Carlson took a trip to England to visit a few places, including Norwich and Cley. She shared her experience and observations with the RVi team, noting the landscape architecture of the two villages.
Norwich is a city located in the East of England, and its landscape architecture is a rich blend of historic and contemporary design elements. One of the most notable features of the Norwich landscape is its network of streets that create a sense of intimacy and enclosure, which gives the city its unique character. The landscape is functional and beautiful, with a mix of paved plazas, gardens, and water features that create a lively and dynamic public space. The Norwich landscape also has many parks and green spaces, providing residents with a place to relax and enjoy the area’s natural beauty.
Cley, England, is a small village located on the North Norfolk coast. The landscape architecture of this area is characterized by its unique mix of natural beauty and man-made structures, including brick and flint houses, church towers, and windmills. The landscape architecture of Cley is also characterized by its network of footpaths and cycle routes. The Norfolk Coast Path runs through the village, providing a scenic route for walkers and cyclists to explore the area. The landscape architecture of Cley is a testament to the importance of balancing the needs of humans and nature.
What she saw in Europe is similar to what is being done at Mueller, a thriving mixed-use village located three miles north of downtown Austin. The mixed-use development covers over 700 acres and includes a variety of residential, commercial, and retail spaces, as well as parks and public spaces. The development is designed to encourage walking and biking, with a network of sidewalks, bike lanes, and trails that connect residents and visitors to the various amenities within the community-similar to what was observed in Europe. The landscape architecture of Mueller is a testament to the power of thoughtful design to create sustainable, livable communities that encourage multi-modal travel and inspire the community to “open the outdoors.” The development’s emphasis on walkability, connectivity, and community engagement, along with its commitment to environmental sustainability, make it a model for future development projects.
Looking back at her experience, Carlson noted the different styles of landscape architecture and planning in Europe and the US. However, Mueller stands out and draws upon the communal aspect of European planning and landscape architecture, bridging the gap between the old world and the new world. Through travel, getting outdoors, and engaging with the community, one can connect and draw inspiration from the world around them!