Cemetery Design Thinking Beyond a Place to Lay a Grave

Cemetery Design

Modern cemetery design must think beyond a place to lay a grave; it must also incorporate the community’s perception of what a cemetery should be.

That’s why it’s important to plan for future needs, proactively engage the community and provide them with a stake in your master plan progress. Getting them involved makes everyone feel appreciated and helps to establish your long-term connection with the community.


Throughout history, graves have served as places of remembrance and memorialization. They have also provided a resting place for those who cannot return to their loved ones.

Modern cemetery design is often influenced by the concept of permanent memorialization, with headstones and plaques used to mark the location of a grave. These monuments can be either monumental or lawn-style.

In addition to graves, cemeteries can also contain natural landscape features like groves and forests. These features provide both natural habitat and aesthetic value to the burial site, which can help preserve them for future generations.


Crypts (from the Greek ‘krypto’, which means hidden or concealed) are vaulted rooms typically made of stone. They’re most often found beneath a church or cathedral, but they can also be found in cemeteries and mausolea.

A crypt is a unique type of burial chamber. It can be used to house casketed remains or cremated remains in an urn.

They’re also considered an excellent option for families with multiple generations. Because they’re located above ground, crypts can offer a more serene environment to bury your loved one. They’re also much less expensive than traditional burials and can be a great place to honor your loved ones.


While the cultural benefits of cemetery space are well documented, fewer studies have examined their role as green infrastructure. A lack of shared understanding, a wide range of definitions and the fact that they do not fit neatly within simplistic land use zoning, means that opportunities to integrate cemeteries into wider green infrastructure networks may be missed.

In this paper we explore the extent of this role, and suggest how a more joined-up approach to cemetery design could benefit the delivery of ecosystem services and the provision of doorstep and neighbourhood greenspace in urban England. The analysis demonstrates that cemetery spaces across the country are an important provider of doorstep, local and neighbourhood greenspace for hundreds of thousands of people.


In a cemetery, drainage is vital to maintaining the integrity of burial plots and other areas. It also allows water to flow through the site and into the surrounding environment, helping to preserve the natural beauty of the cemetery.

In the context of the proposed expanded cemetery, there are several ways to ensure adequate drainage.

Roads and driveways in the cemetery should provide good access to all sections of the property. The roads should be well-designed, winding paths that are attractive and help to enhance the visual appeal of the cemetery.

Burial Areas should conform to the existing terrain, with grades ranging from two percent to 15 percent to achieve positive drainage and pedestrian access. Grading should not be extensive, however, as this could adversely impact adjacent land or destroy natural site features that make the cemetery appear out of character with the surrounding landscape.


The landscape design of a cemetery is an intricate process that involves many elements. Decorative features, different shades of green that will cumulatively give the space its identity, species of flowering trees and outdoor lighting are all important components in creating an environment for people to spend time in.

The cemetery is a site where a lot of importance is placed on the visual aspect, and therefore the landscape must be carefully designed to convey a sense of peace and tranquility. The landscape must also reflect the history of the place and create a strong connection with nature.

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