Sustainable Landscapes

Sustainable Landscapes are based on principles of permaculture, healthy communities and true urban smart growth.  Buildings, neighbourhoods, and settled areas of all types with their landscapes become part of a total environment that helps to improve energy and resource use efficiency, reduce capital and operating costs, improve waste water and air quality, produce food and process organic wastes, increase soil fertility, protect ecological functions and improve quality of life.

Sustainable Landscapes, also referred to as ‘Solar Landscapes’, or ‘Smart Landscapes’ thus play a significant role in helping to reduce Green House Gas emissions and our ecological footprint.

Click to view examples of Sustainable Landscape Projects.

The Sustainable Landscape design model can be applied to new projects or retrofit to existing developments.

The following is an excerpt from THE SOLAR LANDSCAPE by C. Brad Peterson Environmental Management and Landscape Architecture, July 2002:

Healthy housing, smart buildings and eco-village developments are rapidly gaining acceptance in this time of concern over green house gas emissions, rising energy costs and declining air and water quality.  Solar landscapes are the natural alternative to conventional landscapes that assist green developments achieve their energy, cost efficiency and environmental protection targets.  Solar landscapes, eco-landscape or healthy landscape principles can be applied at any scale, from individual homes to the eco-village, to communities of municipal smart growth. Operational efficiencies may be gained at known thresholds or scales of application.

The premise behind innovative use of landscape and living elements in eco-village and solar structures is quite simple: plants and living systems do work that benefit the environment and our communities.  The building, its occupants and their activities, and landscape are viewed as one contiguous ecosystem.  Energy and material flows involving space heating and cooling, water heating, food production and organic waste assimilation are integrated into a total living environment.

The Solar Landscape model explains the following seven major landscape themes:

bulletIntegrated Site Planning
bulletBiological Integration with Architecture
bulletGrowing Food in Communities
bulletMaintenance of Ecological Functions
bulletCultural Significance and Quality of Life
bulletTransportation, Communication and Livelihood
bulletTrue Integration.

The entire four-page document can be ordered for $ 5.00, including postage and handling, by emailing A hard copy graphic of the Solar Landscape model can also be ordered for $ 8.00, including postage and handling. All orders must be prepaid. Please include your mailing address and allow 2-3 weeks delivery by surface mail.

Home ] Sustainable Agriculture ] Permaculture ] [ Sustainable Landscapes ] Green Innovation Award ] News ] Vertical Gardens ] Links ]