This is our Action Plan // The New Landscape Declaration
in 1966, the Declaration of Concern was the result of the imperative need for a small, yet influential group of leading landscape architects to voice their concern and solutions for the future of our American environment. Fifty years later, over 700 landscape architects from around the world gathered at the University of Pennsylvania to follow in the leadership roles of the six landscape architects of 1966.
The New Landscape Declaration revisits many of the same critical situations they saw climaxing in our country but now examines how we address them globally. Its mission to ignite action by spreading this declaration come at a most poignant time in the current state of our world and nation.
If you haven’t already, we ask our community, no matter your profession, to take a moment to read and join us in signing the Landscape Architecture Foundation’s NEW Landscape Declaration.
From this call to action, the Landscape Architecture Foundation, along with over input from 6,000 fellow Landscape Architects, have created 10 actions to implement and play vital roles in our daily work.
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, say it. Speak for the 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.
Give financial support to landscape architecture, environmental, or other charitable non-profit organizations.
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.
We pledge our services. We seek commitment and action rom those who share our concern.