LandArch Studios, P.L.L.C. is a full service Landscape Architecture and Land Planning Firm committed to providing its clients with a sustainable native twist to the built environment, whereas sustainability is defined as the design, construction and maintenance with practices that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. LandArch Studios, P.L.L.C. is intent on providing design and consultation services for outdoor spaces so they are not only functional but also beautiful and harmonious with the natural environment. The “twist” consists of the integration of the Sustainable Site’s Initiative concepts in conjunction with Smart growth ideas to traditional landscape and land planning practices.
The Sustainable Sites Initiative
The Sustainable Sites Initiative (“SITES”) is an interdisciplinary partnership led by the American Society maintenance of Landscape Architects (“ASLA”), the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin and United States Botanic Garden to ”transform land development and management practices through the nation’s first voluntary guidelines and rating system for sustainable landscapes, with or without buildings.” What does this mean? Everyone seems to know what Leadership Stewardship in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is; in other words, SITES is to the landscape as LEED is to buildings.
Traditional development practices typically shape the landscape to fit the project. By doing this, the essential benefits of the environment are typically thwarted in the short term and ultimately damaging in the long term, The concept behind the SITES program us to ultimately shape a project to fit the landscape. By doing this, the essential benefits of the environment are encouraged in the short term and are promoted in the long term. The alignment of development and management practices with healthy ecosystems becomes valuable in that any type of landscape can be functional and capable of providing cohesive benefits which are essential to human and ecological health.
The guidelines and performance benchmarks established through SITES are adaptable to any type of development whether its new or existing, large or small, public or private; even down to an existing residential landscape. So check out the publication Landscapes Give Back, Benefits of Sustainable Sites, here to learn more.
Smart Growth consists of managing future growth in a way that takes into to account the economy, the community and the environment. “Growth presents a tremendous opportunity for progress. Communities around the country are looking for ways to get the most out of new development and to maximize their investments. Frustrated by development that requires residents to drive long distances between jobs and homes, many communities are challenging rules that make it impossible to put workplaces, homes, and services closer together.”
Again, typical development practices are implemented shaping the landscape to the project. Engulfing the landscape and creating a suburban sprawl patchwork of disconnected housing, offices and shopping that is only accessible by the automobile. The scattering, sprawling monoculture development has created an exhaustive economy that has sent governmental costs spiraling out on control. The small urban centers have been lost for decades, but with realization to the growing costs associated with the suburbs, the urban centers are to be valued again. The focus is to recreate these spaces of existing infrastructure and molding them into revitalized mixed-use, efficient, sustainable, integrated neighborhoods. So check out the publication What is Smart Growth? here to learn more.
Take some time and review the sources provided above, do a Google search and digest the information. Then, when your ready give LandArch Studios, P.L.L.C. a call, use the widget to the left or use one of the other points of contact on the Contact Information page, to see how we can help develop your project with an eye in the direction of SITES and Smart Growth.