The Director of Landscape Architecture at PARSONS is one of the Urban Design & Landscape Expo's Advisory Board members

Don Sharp
Don Sharp

Don Sharp, the Director of Landscape Architecture at PARSONS, is one of the Advisory Board members of the Urban Design & Landscape Expo (UDLE), the Middle East's only dedicated trade fair for urban, green and open spaces.

Here's what he told us ahead of the UDLE:

What attracted you to the Landscape Industry?

“I was 17 years old and I was looking for a new Boy Scout merit badge. I had a little pamphlet for architecture for 50 cents, and right next to it there was a Landscape Architecture merit badge pamphlet.  I had absolutely no idea it was possible to do such a cool thing for a living, so I decided to do it when I was 17, and I've never looked back.”


What do you enjoy the most in your work as landscape architect?

“The number one thing that motivates me is building big, engaging, outdoor spaces for people to enjoy, as well as being the unseen hand behind places that bring meaning and joy to people's lives.”


How is the landscape industry evolving in Dubai?

“When I came back for my current role, I was absolutely amazed at the strides that Dubai had made: it's really filled in beautifully, it's a very livable and unique place.
Dubai is a maturing market in which it's time now to look both at the porosity issues and at how to get from one place to another outdoors. These, in fact, are critical elements that also relate to the well-being of the entire society, and address health issues like diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular issues.
As we know, Dubai is a very hot place; half of the time it has a perfectly lovely weather, but as everybody knows, during the other half, it ranges from uncomfortable to unbearable. Nowadays, strategies are evolving with old and new technologies in various combinations to make people comfortable outdoors. I think that's one of the key things that our industry has to offer. As landscape architects we also see the larger picture and have the specific expertise to put together design interventions that enable people to get out of their houses, meet other people, move their bodies, and get healthy in the bargain.
In future, I expect more investments in the public, open spaces, as well as in developing the connections between different places.”


How was your experience at the Urban Design & Landscape Expo 2018?

“I think that the products’ range and getting access to the suppliers was really great. Getting the contacts and network with them has helped us keep up to date with current trends in terms of both materials and products.”


Register and attend for free the Urban Design & Landscape Expo HERE.

To know more about the Urban Design & Landscape Expo visit www.udlexpo.com.



About Don Sharp

Don is a landscape architect with a broad range of experience in the design and management of complex urban international projects featuring innovative public realm design and construction. He has made significant contributions to projects in multiple countries, including: UAE, Kuwait, Lebanon, USA, United Kingdom, Ireland, China, Japan, Korea, Finland, Costa Rica, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, and France.

Prior to joining Parsons, Don worked for another leading international practice focused on activating and regenerating urban sites and city centers, where he was responsible for concept generation, design direction, technical guidance, quality assurance, mentoring, and managing a team of 25+ designers in the London head office.

Don also has also served as Adjunct Professor of Landscape Architecture Urban Design Studio Guest Critic for the Rhode Island School of Design in the United States.

Some of the landmark projects Don has worked on across the world include: Mesa Arts Center, Arizona, USA; Exchange Square, Manchester, UK; Minfu Square, Shanghai, China; Xixi Blossom Hill Inn, Hangzhou, China; Gifu Kitigata Apartments, Gifu, Japan; Palace of Justice, Kuwait; Wuyuan Bay Shopping Center, Xiamen, China; Urban Riverfront Park System, Quanzhou, China; Yongsan International Business District Master Plan, Seoul, South Korea; Entry Esplanade of the Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, CA, USA; Broward County Civic Arena, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.

About Urban Design & Landscape Expo

23 - 26 November 2020, Dubai World Trade Centre

The Middle East’s premier trade show for urban green spaces.

Middle East's only dedicated trade fair for urban, green and open spaces,  the Urban Design & Landscape Expo returns from 23-26 November to the Dubai World Trade Centre as part of The Big 5, the region's largest construction event.

Addressing Municipalities, government bodies, landscape architects and designers, property developers, parks and resorts, contractors, as well as engineering and building consultants, the Urban Design & Landscape Expo will feature both local and international exhibitors, as well as a broad educational agenda in 2020. 

Organised by dmg events, the event will feature a wide range of landscape and urban design solutions spanning from garden & street furniture, to outdoor lighting, kitchens and water features; machinery and equipment for construction and maintenance of outdoor spaces; outdoor materials and components; irrigation and drainage; sports and playgrounds; landscape design, planning & consulting; and a specialist sector including grassing and planting in buildings, trees transplanting and maintenance, and soil regeneration, among others. 


About dmg events 

dmg events is a leading organiser of face-to-face events and a publisher of trade magazines.

We aim to keep businesses informed and connect them with relevant communities to create vibrant marketplaces and to accelerate their business through face-to-face events.

dmg events organises more than 80 events across 25 countries, attracting over 425,000 attendees and delegates every year. The company’s portfolio of products includes many industry-leading events in the energy, construction, hospitality & design, coatings and transportation sectors. ADIPEC, The Big 5, Gastech, EGYPS, The Hotel Show and INDEX are the company’s flagship events. For more information visit www.dmgevents.com.

Founded in 1989, the company is headquartered in Dubai, UAE, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Daily Mail and General Trust plc (DMGT, www.dmgt.co.uk), one of the largest media companies in the United Kingdom.