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Date: 08 December 2009 

Landscape architects help Queenslanders keep an outdoor lifestyle

Landscape architects will be among the leaders in the battle to keep Queenslanders cool - and outside - as the world deals with climate change, according to QUT's Professor Gini Lee.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the first graduates in landscape architecture from Queensland University of Technology and Professor Lee is looking forward to the positive impact her students will have on the world over the next 40 years.

There are only seven university programs in landscape architecture in Australia and QUT's Brisbane-based program is focused on the region's subtropical climate.

"We want to encourage a more positive attitude to how people deal with climate change issues in Queensland, whether they are students, residents or planners," she said.

"We have a great opportunity to improve the public urban spaces in south-east Queensland and look at how we live and exist in this climate.

"Everyone at the moment is finding it difficult in the heat. When it comes to public spaces, we do need shade and shelter and there's still work to be done to provide adequate levels of this in all areas."

Professor Lee cited Brisbane's South Bank as an example of a public space that successfully provided various shelter options while still embracing an outdoor lifestyle.

"The challenge for landscape architects is to provide diverse and remarkable spaces that meet the needs of the wide group of people who come together in public areas," she said.

"It will be interesting to see how development along other areas of the Brisbane River progresses - the city needs good landscape architecture that is an interface of infrastructure, design, art, ecology, practicality, and sustainability."

Media contacts:
- Professor Gini Lee, QUT head of landscape architecture, 07 3138 2535 or gini.lee@qut.edu.au
- Mechelle McMahon, QUT media officer, 07 3138 2130 or ml.mcmahon@qut.edu.au