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Key Tenets of Sustainability in the Landscape

Thursday January 27, 2011

To help further define "sustainability" in the landscape, Landscape Resource has compiled four basic tenets to be treated as the guiding framework for sustainable landscapes.  To be truly sustainable, the design, construction, and maintenance of a landscape must answer to these tenets.  By doing so, such a landscape will offer compelling inspiration for others to emulate. 

Cyclical Integration:  Many typical landscapes are linear:  Take, Make, Waste.  In contrast, energy and resources must be circulated and renewed through natural processes.


Waste Free:  All of the natural resources added to a landscape must enrich the soil, air, and water.  Man-altered resources integrated into the landscape should be capable of rapid and natural renewal by the earth (decomposition) or be candidates for re-using, re-purposing, or recycling. 


Benign Impacts:  From initial design through continued care, a landscape should benefit the user at no expense of the environment. 



Resource Productivity:  Rather than requiring inputs to be maintained, a landscape should create its own resources by sequestering carbon, producing oxygen, and storing and cleaning water.


For more on the defintion of Landscape Sustainabilty, see the article What is Landscape Sustainability?