Three Big Uses Of Landscaping In Civil Engineering

4 August 2016
 Categories: , Blog


If you are someone with an interest in land design, read on to consider how civil engineers use landscaping as a physical part of projects.

When civil engineers start drafting big plans, they often use landscaping as one part of the engineering sketches and land use blueprints that they present to municipalities and other stakeholders. Civil engineers have to create physical spaces in very specific ways — and trees, shrubs and other landscaping play a major role in these projects.

Open Spaces - Land Use Designs

In a very fundamental sense, civil engineering builds open land and green space into plans, according to local laws, ordinances, and other standards. Many development projects are required to have some green space, and that means there must be a plan to include some type of landscaping for those open spaces. Very few projects use only sod and grass spaces in a plan. In general, civil engineers look for native plants in order to provide a more symbiotic environment, or they look for landscaping that requires less maintenance going forward.


In many cases, landscaping is installed in residential or commercial civil engineering plans for the purposes of privacy. Many new developments are going to be built close to existing homes or businesses.

Planners may want to maximize the separation of different plots of property, and the privacy that nearby households and businesses can enjoy. They'll build in landscaping to accommodate these purposes — this may involve privacy fencing along with evergreens or other trees that will mature to provide a natural barrier between properties.

Storm Water Planning

Another major role of landscaping in civil engineering relates to storm water planning.

With new federal regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and state laws in place, municipalities have to be aware of storm water handling for commercial and residential projects. So often, plans will involve an element of storm water encapsulation and holding.

Some plans will involve rain gardens, where landscaping helps to filter and hold existing storm water. Other types of landscaping will work to prevent erosion or help planners to maintain some best practices when designing new projects that might pave over more open land in the area.

All of these aspects of landscaping are often present on civil engineering plans. Land use planners have to keep in mind all of the many aspects of public planning that the project will affect when it is done and installed. A proper civil engineering plan helps stakeholders and others to envision how the project will work when it's built, and what the community will look like as a result.

For more information, contact professionals like Morris-Depew Associates Inc.