On August 28, 2012 we released the Top 20 International Landscape Architecture Websites 2012. Now, the time has come to create a new list for 2013. This year’s Top 20 lists for urban planning and architecture were released on July 1st and we were excited to see a mix of sites from last year’s lists, as well as some new names joining the ranks. With that being said, who do you expect to find on this year’s list? We have searched through the world-wide web, near and far, to compile a brand new list that reveals where Landscape Architects are receiving and sharing information. With the help of Alexa International Rankings, Global Site Plans found this select group to be the Top 20 International Landscape Architecture Websites for 2013. The immediate stand-out is Places, which has held onto the top spot two years in a row. Land8 and Landscape Online are the only other sites that have remained in the top 10 since last year. We can bid farewell to The Garden Landscape Guide, Sustainable Design and Development Blog, which all held high rankings last year but have completely dropped out of this year’s Top 20. Several sites that did not even make the top 20 last year now hold high rankings. But that is enough of an overview from us. Take a look at this year’s updated list and find out where the Landscape Architecture community is getting their news.
Last year’s number one ranked landscape architecture website has captured this position once again. This non-profit is an interdisciplinary journal that began as a printed journal when it was founded in 1983 by faculty from MIT and Berkeley. It moved into the online world in 2009 and has continued to pursue its goal of promoting sustainable landscapes through research, advocacy and public outreach. Places Journal is published by the Places Journal Foundation in collaboration with the Design Observer Group and is supported by a network of North American and European universities. The site publishes essays, peer-reviewed scholarship, multimedia and even poetry and fiction. Places encourages site visitors to submit these works, as long as they follow the editorial and submission guidelines. If you are interested in getting more involved, you can create an account, which will allow you to comment on articles and sign-up to receive their newsletter.
Amazingly enough, Landscaping Network wasn't even in last year’s Top 20. But this year’s number two ranked landscape architecture website has gained notoriety by being a valuable resource to those interested in learning about any and every aspect of landscaping. The website is owned by ConcreteNetwork.com, which was founded in 1999 and acts as a source for the concrete and landscaping industries. Landscaping Network publishes articles that give you ideas for your front yard and backyard, as well as information on the latest landscaping trends, products, events, schools and jobs. You can view an impressive gallery of pictures for inspiration or sign up for their free newsletter.
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has worked it’s way up from number five on 2012’s list to number three on this year’s list. Whether you are completely new to the industry or a bona fide landscape-architecture expert, this site needs to be on your “must visit” list. The ASLA was founded in 1899, with the mission of being a leader and educator in the planning of our natural and cultural environments. The organization represents over 15,000 members in forty-nine professional chapters and sixty-eight student chapters. The site provides news on advocacy, meetings, and job opportunities, as well as interviews from professionals within the practice. You can easily connect to multiple resources linked on the site and even shop for published materials and software. If you’re an aspiring landscape architect, ASLA offers a thorough guide that explains the profession and how you can get involved.
Garden Visit is one of our new sites that entered the 2013 list with a bang after not even making the Top 20 in 2012. The site was founded in 1998 by Tom Turner, a landscape architect and garden historian, and then re-launched in 2007 with a larger stock of content and images. With sections devoted to landscape design, history, theory and garden design, this is your information kiosk for landscape architecture and gardens. You can scan through images of gardens from around the world, shop for garden products, look up garden history, and even search for nearby gardens, nurseries and hotels with an interactive map. Garden visit also has a link to CrinkeCrankle, which is essentially an online store for fibreglass planters and pots. To learn more about landscape architecture and gardens, scan through Tom Turner’s blog and sign up for Garden Visit’s newsletter.
5. The Landscape Design Site / www.landscapingideas.the-landscape-design-site.com / @landscapingman
The Landscape Design Site is a stranger to our list, but despite its absence from 2012’s list we welcome the website with open arms in 2013. This site covers the ins and outs of landscape design including garden plans, design principles, lawn care and countless other categories. If you are seeking inspiration, click through their photos, videos and design plans. Read through the blog to gain knowledge on specific topics or look through their directory of landscaping contractors and companies to see what other people are working on. To submit your own work, all you have to do is create an account and then you can become a small part of this great community.
Landscape Juice Network was nowhere to be found in the 2012’s Top 20, but here we see them at number six in 2013. Phil Voice started the Landscape Juice Blog in 2006 and then the Network in 2008 with the noble intention of helping small businesses in the industry use the web to network and grow. Users can participate in online forums, look up events, scan through photos or find a trader. In order to enjoy all of the site’s perks, you must become a member. This enables you to create your own profile, network with over 3,000 like-minded professionals, post blogs, comment in discussions, share content and promote events. If you are looking to brand yourself online, Landscape Juice Network provides several advertising options as well.
Last year this site was holding the number six ranking under the slightly different alias, Land8Lounge. But despite the entrance of several new sites, Land8 has dropped only one spot in our rankings. After launching the site in March 2008, Andrew Spiering has grown Land8 into an effective, easy-to-use online forum where landscape architects can share ideas and market themselves to fellow professionals. Those who register with the site can create their own profiles, post and comment on blogs, start discussions and post their resumes. You can also view project galleries and shop for Land8 t-shirts. But perhaps the most lucrative membership benefit is getting featured in the member spotlight.
Landezine just missed last year’s Top 10 list when it was ranked as number eleven. Now, in 2013, the site has worked its way up three spots to number eight. There is little information on the site’s history, but we can tell you it started in Slovenia. Landezine brings you contemporary landscape architecture from around the world and allows you to search for projects on an impressive global map and easily send in your own. There’s an impressive array of projects displayed for your viewing pleasure that range from parks and playgrounds to atriums and bridges.
9. Landscape Online / www.landscapeonline.com
Landscape Online went unrepresented in 2012’s list, but now we bring the self-proclaimed “largest landscape database on the internet” into our Top 20 for 2013. But frankly, this site provides a plethora of resources that could satisfy even the deepest cravings of any landscape architect. Whether you want to search for editorials or articles, submit your own work, shop for equipment or look up events, Landscape Online has it all. As a registrar you can subscribe to various media sources, create a vendor profile or list your association.
Greenroofs enters our 2013 list at number 10. The online news media organization was founded in 1999 with the goal of becoming a facilitator and source of information for the green roof movement. For those new to Greenroofs, their most popular section, “Greenroofs 101,” is a great place to start, as it provides thorough background information on the topic. There are plenty of ways to learn more about the green roof movement on this site. Check out their TV section, marketplace, blog and news section to get your information. Students can submit their work or search for job and internship opportunities as well.
The next ten websites on our list may not have their own synopsis, but that does mean they aren't worth a click or two. Some of these were in the top 10 last year, including The Vertical Farm Project, Center for Land Use Interpretation and The Cultural Landscape Foundation - so make sure you give them a read through!
With so many sites moving up and down the list - and others entering and exiting - it may be safe to label this the most competitive group of websites out of our four lists; architecture, engineering, landscape architecture and urban planning Top 20. But please, let us know what you think. Are there any websites you think deserve to be in our Top 20 that we missed?
Credits: Images and data linked to sources.