Matt Baida

I believe the creativity and innovation of a landscape architect can have a significant influence on the social and environmental investigations into mining landscapes. Mining has long been a key interest of mine. Working in exploration I experienced first-hand the environmental impact mining has on our landscapes resulting from our need for precis metals. Left with the feeling of wanting to benefit the mining industry I completed my Master’s in Landscape Architecture in Adelaide, Australia.

My journey now sees me delivering geomorphic waste rock dump designs in the sub-arctic landscapes of Sweden, where I reside. Key to moving to Sweden was being fortunate enough to be awarded a Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowship. The premise of my travels was the identification and formation of knowledge on key themes considered crucial to the success and failure of post-mining areas. Through my investigative travels I had the opportunity to visit Germany, South Africa, the USA and the United Kingdom to explore, meet and learn from mining companies, mining consultants, landscape architects, communities, artists and universities.

My experience as a landscape architect has seen me work on numerous regional planning and development projects in Australia and now I specialise in geomorphic landform design and post-mining land-use projects, which focus on creative and innovative post-mining legacies for local communities. Geomorphic landform design focuses on replicating natural landforms to create long-term stable and erosion free landforms, which also increases the ability for successful plant establishment, biodiversity increase and land re-use.

As a people’s person I enjoy a collaborative and communicative process, two critical factors to deliver high quality outcomes. I understand the importance of enjoying a laugh and the work that I do while being an organised operator with an appreciation for project economy and delivering projects on budget. My landscape architectural skill set, knowledge base and background allow me to facilitate a genuine balance between the environmental, social and economic interest in projects. Through such input we can start to challenge the traditional thinking around mine site rehabilitation and move beyond the idea that the original landscape should be restored.

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