HomePast ConferencesSpeakers (2019)

Louise Custance

VIDA Landscape Architects & Planners

Louise Custance


Co-presenter of: After the Fire is Out

Presenting with Matthew Flynn.

Natural disasters (namely fire) can devastate communities and regional economies who depend on the land for their livelihood. Tourism and new development can provide a way forward for fire devastated regions like California and ultimately Australia. The timing of legislation changes regarding cannabis decriminalisation has provided a lifeline for tourism in northern California. Along with a history of viniculture and a myriad of thermal springs, a unique opportunity has arisen for tourism which combines health, wellness and product-based experiences. The development provides a welcome economic boost and acceleration of regrowth and habitat for a unique hospitality experience. Local government bodies can be willing to accelerate the permitting process to ‘ignite’ their disheartened communities.

As planners and landscape architects, VIDA’s role is to create projects which balance creativity, sustainability and profitability. While we always strive to reduce our environmental impact and plan for the future, we have come to realise the importance of achieving economic targets to drive conservation efforts and achieve a greater level of regeneration, particularly in regional areas. We design spaces for people to connect to their surroundings, and product-based experiences allow for an even deeper level of connection to place.


Small town South Australia is a world away from Costa Rica – both literally and metaphorically. But, when you’re offered an opportunity to meld your skills, interests, training and passion, 15,000km is hardly an obstacle. Louise completed a Master of Landscape Architecture in 2013 at the University of Adelaide and knew that the profession offered her the perfect balance between art and science, creativity and construction, chaos and order. After almost five years in Costa Rica’s beach and city studios, Louise is now living closer to home, heading up VIDA’s Australia studio on the Sunshine Coast. When she isn’t off exploring new places near and far she can be found playing sport, taking photos, speaking Spanglish, surfing, diving or cooking.