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The New Landscape Declaration is Here!

laf-summit-226wThe Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) released The New Landscape Declaration, a 21st century call to action, at the American Society of Landscape Architects’ Annual Meeting in New Orleans. LAF is now encouraging landscape architects across the globe to sign on to this ambitious vision and share how we can turn the ideas into actions to solve the challenges of our time.

The Declaration is the product of LAF’s historic Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future, which brought 700 landscape architects from around the world to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in June. For four months, LAF has been synthesizing all of the ideas and input from the Summit, and the The New Landscape Declaration is the result of many drafts and probing discussions.

We invite you to read through and share your thoughts for action in the comments section below.

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THE NEW LANDSCAPE DECLARATION

Across borders and beyond walls, from city centers to the last wilderness, humanity’s common ground is the landscape itself. Food, water, oxygen – everything that sustains us comes from and returns to the landscape. What we do to our landscapes we ultimately do to ourselves. The profession charged with designing this common ground is landscape architecture.

After centuries of mistakenly believing we could exploit nature without consequence, we have now entered an age of extreme climate change marked by rising seas, resource depletion, desertification and unprecedented rates of species extinction. Set against the global phenomena of accelerating consumption, urbanization and inequity, these influences disproportionately affect the poor and will impact everyone, everywhere.

Simultaneously, there is profound hope for the future. As we begin to understand the true complexity and holistic nature of the earth system and as we begin to appreciate humanity’s role as integral to its stability and productivity, we can build a new identity for society as a constructive part of nature.

The urgent challenge before us is to redesign our communities in the context of their bioregional landscapes enabling them to adapt to climate change and mitigate its root causes. As designers versed in both environmental and cultural systems, landscape architects are uniquely positioned to bring related professions together into new alliances to address complex social and ecological problems. Landscape architects bring different and often competing interests together so as to give artistic physical form and integrated function to the ideals of equity, sustainability, resiliency and democracy.

As landscape architects we vow to create places that serve the higher purpose of social and ecological justice for all peoples and all species. We vow to create places that nourish our deepest needs for communion with the natural world and with one another. We vow to serve the health and well-being of all communities.

To fulfill these promises, we will work to strengthen and diversify our global capacity as a profession. We will work to cultivate a bold culture of inclusive leadership, advocacy and activism in our ranks. We will work to raise awareness of landscape architecture’s vital contribution. We will work to support research and champion new practices that result in design innovation and policy transformation.

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

  1. Landscape Architecture FoundationDec 19th, 2016 1:44pm
    Landscape Architecture Foundation said:

    William, you can sign here: http://www.lafoundation.org/declaration

  2. William WilsherDec 19th, 2016 8:24am
    William Wilsher said:

    I look forward to signing on, when available.

  3. DanielNov 6th, 2016 1:22am
    Daniel said:

    Thanks for sharing this new update

  4. Landscape Architecture FoundationOct 27th, 2016 11:57am
    Landscape Architecture Foundation said:

    Thanks for the feedback, Heena! We are working on a way to have people "sign on" to the Declaration. Look for that in November.

  5. Heena GajjarOct 26th, 2016 3:47pm
    Heena Gajjar said:

    Glad to read the simplest and straight forward definition of landscape architecture. Very strong and cohesive! Definitely helps to reorient the focus of the profession with the current emergency. I hope there could be a way to define 'nature' and 'ecology' in a way landscape architecture is defined. I understand these are relative terms and they could be defined in million ways. However, having a clarity of these basic terms would be helpful so that we all have the same image in mind when talking about these words in practice.

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