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The charge is serious. The charge is urgent. The moment is now.

The New Landscape Declaration calls us to act.

It is not good enough to be a good designer; landscape architects need to be active designers, engaging in politics, policy, finance, community service, and more. LAF offers a range of programs, tools, and stories of impact to inspire you and help you get started.

We pledge our services. We seek commitment and action from those who share our concern.

 

Image: NASA Earth Observatory courtesy of NASA/GSFC/METI/ ERSDAC/JAROS and the US/Japan ASTER Science Team

Aerial view of Teshekpuk Lake in Alaska
Together We Can Transform the World Through Design

This is our Action Plan

The call to action in the New Landscape Declaration is enormous and bold. We all have a role to play. To get started, here are ideas from listening to over 6,000 landscape architects: 

 

1. Up your game

Build your knowledge, skills, and credentials. Understand climate science and how to design for it. Increase your cultural literacy. Research, read, and travel to learn different ways of looking at and doing things. Learn the language of developers and politicians. Find out what the kids are talking about. Sit on an awards jury or call your alma mater and see what’s new. Innovation is born at the intersection of theory and real life practice.

 

2. Design with purpose

The Earth is our client. Design makes a difference, so design with nature. Do everything you can on every project to think big. Look beyond site boundaries and what is asked of you. Reframe projects as problem-solving opportunities. Listen. Practice empathetic design. Make landscape architecture indispensable.

 

3. Go for it

Set performance objectives and evaluate your work. Aim for zero carbon, zero waste, and equity on all your projects. Stretch further to regenerate. Use data to innovate and promote the value of a landscape approach

 

4. Walk the talk

Lead by example. Reduce your ecological footprint at home and in the office. Curate your practice for diversity and create an equitable and inclusive work environment. Team with others who share these values. Love where you live and practice in your community. Steward others into leadership roles.

 

5. Partner, partner, partner

Landscape architects are uniquely trained, talented, and expert in understanding context and scale. Leverage your impact through engagement and collaboration. Build teams across disciplines, practice types, and communities. Join a network. Implement a research project with academic, community, and practice partners.

 

6. Future proof 

Work upstream to influence policy and planning. Meet with decision-makers before there is a project. Assemble new funding sources with agencies, community groups, corporate leaders, and funders. Use innovative tools and technology. Show compelling graphics of alternative futures. Invite non-landscape architects to events, juries, and media. Provide internships. Support alternative career paths. Be a mentor. Take kids outdoors

 

7. Use your voice

If you see something, speak out. Speak for land, water, and all living things. Speak for those not at the table and make sure they’re included next time. Establish a social media presence and promote exemplary work. Practice grit advocacy. Understand the system and intervene to change it. Embrace messiness. Run for office

 

8. Get involved

Provide world-class design services to people and places that can’t afford it. Reconsider how you allocate your time. Serve on boards, associations, and zoning commissions. Passion, time, and talent will dictate your role.

 

9. Donate

Give financial support to landscape architecture, environmental, or other charitable non-profit organizations

 

10. Vote

Support candidates that stand for your priorities for the environment and equity. Vote in all elections. Get out the vote to others. Reference the voting records of elected officials and hold them accountable

Need inspiration? Check out this trailer or watch the full 20-minute documentary from our Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future. 

LAF is grateful to the many individuals and organizations that provide financial support towards fulfilling our mission to support the preservation, improvement, and enhancement of the environment.

Much of what LAF is able to accomplish would not be possible without the thought leadership and financial investment of our major supporters, including ASLA, which provides over $125,000 of in-kind support annually.

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