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Landscape architecture and sustainability

By Jeanne Brown on October 31, 2006 11:36 AM | Permalink
The role of landscape architecture in sustainability initiatives and responses to global warming is critical. The recognition of this reality was front and center at the recent American Society of Landscape Architects conference in early October. The theme of the conference was "Green Solutions for a Blue Planet." ASLA met jointly with the International Federation of Landscape Architects, and the international perspective was certainly appropriate for this world-wide issue. A student report on the conference can be found at http://www.planetizen.com/node/21561. Another report by a graduate student / professional landscape architect is at http://www.planetizen.com/node/21562. The Architecture Studies Library has several titles worth examining on the topic of landscape architecture and sustainability. Here are a few: Regenerative Design Techniques: Practical Applications in Landscape Design by Pete Melby and Tom Cathcart [SB472.45 M45 2002] Ecology Community and Delight: Sources of Values in Landscape Architecture by Ian H. Thompson [SB472 T48 2000] Landscape Planning: Environmental Applications by William M. Marsh [HD 108.6 M37 2005] Note: this title includes case studies such as "Modifying Urban Climate and Reducing energy Use Through Landscape Design." Ecology and Design: Frameworks for Learning by Bart Johnson and Kristina Hill [SB472.45 E39 2002; also available as an e-book] Note: approaches to teaching ecology in landscape architecture studio and classes. There is much more on this topic. and much more to say. For the moment let me just add one more citation, an article specifically on reducing carbon emissions: "Indirect Carbon Reduction by Residential Vegetation and Planting Strategies in Chicago, USA" in the Journal of Environmental Management 61, no. 2 (February 2001): 165-177. The abstract notes that "the effects of shading, evapotranspiration, and windspeed reduction were considered and were found to have decreased carbon emissions by 3.2 to 3.9% per year...."

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