Think globally, act locally: The making of a model Sustainable SITES Landscape Ordinance

Published on: 
26 May 2021
Paul Wessel

Land use in the U.S. is largely governed at the local level. Since infrastructure is on everyone's lips right now, it's a great opportunity to talk locally about green infrastructure, and the interdisciplinary, integrated approaches to sustainable and resilient site development.  

A great way to begin local discussion is by proposing landscape guidelines to be adopted by local town councils.

ASLA Sustainable Design and Development PPN Co-Chair, Joshua Sloan (who is also the Vice President and Director of Planning and Landscape Architecture at VIKA Maryland) has begun drafting a model Sustainable SITES Landscape Ordinance to get the ball rolling. And he’s looking for your assistance.

The goals are to:

  • Provide a framework for holistic landscape design guidelines to integrate into or augment existing landscape guidelines and ordinances
  • Encourage sustainable and resilient landscape design
  • Establish performance-based landscape design standards
  • Foster an awareness of the Sustainable SITES Initiative and the elements that go into sustainable, resilient landscape design
  • Allow SITES certification to substitute local landscape guidelines as a professionally-vetted, nationally adopted framework for sustainable site design

Take a look at the outline of the Model Sustainable SITES Landscape Ordinance and let Josh know your thoughts on the language and how you might use this in your community.