There are a variety of strategies which landscape architects can consider adopting either now or in the future to address climate change in their work. We have broken these down into the categories listed below, and hope to continue to add more detailed and specific information in the future. In each case we’ve outlined the potential climate change issues related to each category, feedback we’ve received from current practitioners in the state, and information about potential strategies and/or resources that are related. In addition, the American Society of Landscape Architects has resources related to climate change and resilient design at these links.
Many of the ways that landscape architects can address climate change are oriented around their role in creating urban green infrastructure, and its impact on stormwater management, water resource use, and habitat creation. Choices that landscape architects make have the ability to assist in carbon sequestration and reducing air pollution; reducing heat island effects; supporting pollinators and other wildlife; reducing urban flooding water shortages, and pollution; and controlling invasive species. Landscape architects are uniquely positioned to address climate change through the design of resilient landscapes that are also effective and make sense today.
It is important to emphasize that science and information about these topics is still being developed, and that also in many cases detailed or prescriptive guidance is not possible to provide due to the range of projects and locations that landscape architects work in. However the information here is intended to provide a starting point for actions that landscape architects can adopt or adapt based on their own knowledge and expertise. By making informed choices which promote a more resilient, functional, and resource efficient landscape, the consequences of climate change may be offset or at least reduced.