‘Build Back Greener’: Amey Consulting’s Chris Leeming named as one of Pro Landscaper’s 30 Under 30

19 November 2021
Head and shoulder image of a man stood on a mountain.

Pro Landscaper has officially announced Chris Leeming as one of its 30 Under 30 and ‘Next Generation’ of landscape architects. Announced at the FutureScape exhibition on 16 November, the UK’s leading landscaping publication honoured Chris as one of ‘the most exceptional young people within our industry’.

Chris is a Senior Landscape Architect at Amey Consulting and has significant expertise in delivering landscaping works for major infrastructure projects. He is currently working on the Stage 3 Assessment for the dualling of the A96, a multimillion-pound scheme being led by Amey and Arup in Scotland. This has involved assessing route options at key junctions, reviewing and inputting into the scheme wide landscape and aesthetics document, as well as producing a Landscape and Visual Principles report focussing on the 'Eastern Section', East of Huntly to Aberdeen.

On receiving his award, Chris took time to share his thoughts on his chosen profession and the impact it can have on people and places.

What impact can you make in a career in Landscape Architecture?

“I believe that Landscape Architecture is a an extremely holistic and wide-reaching profession. It touches upon many areas and benefits, such as, mental health & wellbeing, physical health, social, biophilic, transport/connectivity, green and blue infrastructure, economic, environmental and many more. It is an artform that has a positive impact on everyone and on the climate/planet. The government are wanting to ‘Build Back Better’ I think this should read ‘Build Back Greener’.

This is how we can meet our net zero carbon targets for 2050 and have a real impact on climate change which I think can be achieved through our profession. I am passionate about the environment and people. In designing places for people through the medium of landscape architecture I feel I can make a real impact on improving the natural and built environment, and peoples wellbeing. Leaving a mark within the sector would be knowing I have directly affected people’s lives for the better.”

Why should young people enter the industry?

“I think any young person who is passionate about the environment should consider this industry, whether they are creative or more technical there are ways in which you can apply both of these skills. I really do see Landscape Architecture becoming increasingly important and the solution to addressing global issues. Landscape offers the opportunity to work on global projects, to travel and to create designs that have a positive impact on people’s lives whether that’s helping to aid inclusivity and creating safer places or integrating technology to ensure future resilience Landscape Architecture is an extremely versatile profession. I wanted to do landscape architecture after undertaking some work experience at a local practice where I shadowed one of the directors. I loved how it had such an interesting balance and variety of work as well as having such great core values.”

How can we improve the Landscape industry?

“Knowledge sharing should be a key focus for the industry as well as helping to make the value of landscape (Natural Capital) more tangible and we should be considered leaders in addressing climate change. Our profession is extremely holistic, it has many ways in which it can help to tackle climate change and other global issues. One thing that will help is offering more pathways for younger people to enter the profession so that it provides equal opportunities for all. E.g. apprenticeships, sponsored degrees, school leaver programmes, T Levels, Traineeships etc. Ultimately, I think we need increased funding for landscape projects, initiatives and research so that we can truly provide all the benefits that landscape brings and positively benefit people’s lives as well as improving the environment”.

Chris has been a chartered Landscape architect for 3 years and has previously held roles at WSP, DEP and Mouchel.