Global Job Task Analysis


Chiara Sonzogni

Have you ever wondered what the landscape architecture profession looks like around the world?

Geoffrey Alan Jellicoe, the First President of IFLA, was one of the first architects to grasp the importance of the landscape architect's role as the one who “helps just by doing his work well, not commercially, but for the good of all. Every bit of good landscape helps towards this end and helps towards the objective of people living in harmony one with the other”.

However, almost a hundred years later, the role of landscape architecture is still too often underestimated. So much so that even the members of IFLA APR ExCO consider it a top priority mission for landscape architects to have their value and skills recognized not only as 'green consultants' but as professionals capable of understanding the complexity of the project in its entirety: from environmental to social aspects, from technical to cultural aspects.

For this reason, at the beginning of 2022, the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) and the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB)[1]* undertook a systematic research initiative to define the global landscape architecture practice, delving into the intricacies of the profession, called “Global Job Task Analysis”. The research was conducted through a survey in 10 languages extended to 2,000+ participants representing 100+ countries. The survey was developed by a commission comprised of 13 SMEs selected by IFLA and CLARB, with oversight from the Steering Committee, based on their specialization withing landscape architecture, the number of years they have been practicing landscape architecture, and geographic location, plus two CLARB staff and two Professional Testing staff.

The focus group met for three days, in person in Honolulu, Hawaii May 11-13, 2022. From this initial meeting, a 23-question questionnaire was developed and presented following the DACUM Method.

The objective was to understand the facets of the profession: what are the tasks of a landscape architect? What knowledge and skills do they possess? What abilities are required of them? Similarly, values associated with the work of landscape architects were  identified, and investigated, as: Social sustainability,Environmental sustainability/Nature conservation, Economic sustainability, Climate change resilience,  Indigenous/Ancestral/Native/Cultural values, Inclusion/Diversity, Designing with nature/Biophilia/Biodiversity/Balanced ecosystems, Finances/Budget/Cost, Aesthetics/Beauty.

The results of this first ever Global Job Task Analysis have been presented by a webinar on December 12, conducted by Adrienne W. Cadle, Professional Testing and Rebecca Moden, and the full report is available here.

Thanks to the job of CLARB and IFLA we now have a broader view of who is practicing landscape architecture, what the practice of landscape architecture entails and what is the potential impact to the future of the profession.

Once again, there are no better words than those of Geoffrey Alan Jellicoe:


“The world is moving into a phase when landscape design may well be recognized as the most comprehensive of the arts. Man creates around him an environment that is a projection into nature of his abstract ideas. It is only in the present century that the collective landscape has emerged as a social necessity. We are promoting a landscape art on a scale never conceived of in history.”


By Chiara Sonzogni


[1] The Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB) is a United States-based nonprofit association that works to protect the public’s health, safety and welfare by establishing and promoting professional licensure of landscape architects and verify their education, experience, examination and licensure history  in the area of Canada, the United States, Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands. Its mission is to promote the landscape architecture profession within a collaborative partnership of the allied built-environment professions, demanding the highest standards of education, training, research and professional practice, and providing leadership and stewardship in all matters.