2 Responses to “What does a sustainable landscape look like?”
Michael Hale Says:
April 9, 2010 at 8:54 am
Sustainable design, from a municipal standpoint, is more than just a few green roofs, porous pavement and rain gardens in private development projects. It requires a holistic approach to the master plan and zoning standards. Taking a hard look at setback standards, form-based codes, transect zoning and true mixed-use development standards in the downtown core can go a long way toward sensible and sustainable growth. The all too familiar alternative of course, is un-checked suburban sprawl.
Mark L. Johnson, ASLA Says:
April 14, 2010 at 3:37 pm
A sustainable landscape plan can be approached in a narrow manor, using Low Impact Design principles, “right plant, right place” considerations, etc. In this case, we find ourselves a little limited, but many exotic ornamentals are still available as part of our palette. However, if we are seeking landscapes that providing habitat for other creatures and an elimination of the insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers that have some unwanted and unnecessary side affects, a truly “sustaining” and sustainable landscape might look like the well-established back yards of rural and small town homes over 50 years ago. There would be a lot more “natural” habitat and much less constant, bombastic floral display, monocultural groundcovers and beds, and well-trimmed hedges.
I realize that a primary reason for landscape architects, like myself, to enter our profession is because we are aesthetically inclined (hopefully, talented). But, I have concluded that anyone truly concerned about sustainability needs to be education their clients and community that the heavily maintained “resort” aesthetic that permeates the American ideal is not sustainable; no matter what gimmicks entrepreneurs and scientist come up with.