Sustainable landscape architecture

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Sustainable landscape architecture is a category of sustainable design concerned with the planning and design of outdoor space.[1]

This can include ecological, politically correct, social and economic aspects of sustainability. For example, the design of a sustainable urban drainage system can: improve habitats for fauna and flora; improve recreational facilities, because people love to be beside water; save money, because building culverts is expensive and floods cause severe financial harm.

The design of a green roof or a roof garden can also contribute to the sustainability of a landscape architecture project. The roof will help manage surface water, provide for wildlife and provide for recreation.

Sustainability appears to be a new addition to the traditional Vitruvian objectives of the design process: a structure must be solid, useful, and beautiful (firmitas, utilitas, venustas). But it can be seen as an aspect of both solidity and usefulness: an outdoor space is likely to last longer and give more usefulness to its owners if it requires low inputs of energy, water, fertiliser etc., and if it produces fewer outputs of noise, pollution, surface water runoff etc.

Professional Practice[edit]

The American Society of Landscape Architects' sustainable design guidelines include the following[2]:

  • Public Health + Landscape Architecture: Health benefits of nature
  • Community Design: Climate change, green infrastructure, healthy and livable communities, resilient design, sustainable transportation, sustainable urban development.
  • Residential Design: Improving water management, increasing water efficiency, applying ecological design, using low impact materials.

The American Society of Landscape Architects also provide a sustainability toolkit that includes economic, environmental, and social models, for projects of different scales, that can be used in practicing landscape architecture[3].

The scales includes:

Sustainable Regional Planning

Sustainable Cities & Community Planning

Sustainable Neighborhood Planning

Sustainable Landscapes

Green Buildings

Professional Certifications[edit]

Award Winning Sustainable Landscape Architecture Projects[edit]






See also[edit]


  1. ^ Orr, Stephen. "A Sustainability That Aims to Seduce". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  2. ^ "Sustainable Design Guides |". Retrieved 2017-12-13.
  3. ^ "Sustainable Design Guides |". Retrieved 2017-12-13.
  • Landscape and sustainability John F. Benson, Maggie H. Roe (2007)
  • Sustainable Site Design: Criteria, Process, and Case Studies Claudia Dinep, Kristin Schwab (2009)
  • Sustainable urban design: perspectives and examplesWork Group for Sustainable Urban Development (2005)

External links[edit]