Think Globally, Act Locally: The Making of a Model Sustainable SITES Landscape Ordinance

by Paul Wessel

Bartholdi Park at the U.S. Botanic Garden / image: Sustainable SITES Initiative

Land use in the U.S. is largely governed at the local level. Since infrastructure is on everyone’s lips right now, it’s a great opportunity to talk locally about green infrastructure, and interdisciplinary, integrated approaches to sustainable and resilient site development.

A great way to begin local discussion is by proposing landscape guidelines to be adopted by local town councils.

ASLA Sustainable Design and Development Professional Practice Network (PPN) Co-Chair Joshua Sloan, ASLA, who is also the Vice President and Director of Planning and Landscape Architecture at VIKA Maryland, has begun drafting a Model Sustainable SITES Landscape Ordinance to get the ball rolling. And he’s looking for your assistance.

The goals are to:

  • Provide a framework for holistic landscape design guidelines to integrate into or augment existing landscape guidelines and ordinances
  • Encourage sustainable and resilient landscape design
  • Establish performance-based landscape design standards
  • Foster an awareness of the Sustainable SITES Initiative and the elements that go into sustainable, resilient landscape design
  • Allow SITES certification to substitute local landscape guidelines as a professionally-vetted, nationally adopted framework for sustainable site design

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