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Landscape design - Essay Example

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Sustainability is the goal that through the process of societal advancement and construction, we maintain the integrity of the environment in which our advancement takes place. A sustainable environment is one in which the intricacies of native ecosystems are protected and life forms are encouraged to thrive…
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Landscape design
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Download file to see previous pages We have civilization because we are able to distort the natural environment for our benefit.
Functional landscapes are those that necessitate few resources in order to be maintained. The landscaping boom of the twentieth century in rural and urban environments altered the land through the use of supplementary resources. "Currently, we frequently select plants that are not highly adapted to dry climate regions and need regular care and attention to perform well" (ATTN).
Since the onset of Conservation campaigns of the 1980s, we are quickly finding that the most functional landscapes are those whose native state has remained intact. The native species and their particular interactions with water, light, and soil in Mediterranean climates are those that landscape architects are returning to now, for their inherent ability to succeed in arid or semi-arid environments with relatively little rainfall. The ability to design functional landscapes around the parameters of native environments is the landscaper's role in sustainability.
In order to be considered functional and sustainable, design concepts in both rural and urban areas should be guided by bioregionalism. Bioregionalism is the idea that life species native to specific regions or microclimates are those suited to the given environment. The coupling of those life systems and its environment creates a self-sustaining ecosystem and necessitates no use of additional resources. The scientific concept of bioregionalism is used in practice for landscape architects and known as green landscape design.
Green landscape design is a sub-discipline of landscape design. Like green building, it is setting a new, more environmentally friendly standard for its parent field. The field generally emphasizes the use of native plants to restore or maintain natural habitats and the healthy functioning of ecosystems. (Kravitz 2006)
The methods taken at the initial planning stages determine the forthcoming sustainability of the areas altered. Responsible techniques taken at the design stage will ensure that while alterations in landscape take place, it is with little or no detriment to the land's natural state. During this architectural conception, the landscaper must endeavor to maintain the integrity of the natural ecosystem.
A benefit of returning landscapes to their natural states is that few natural resources are needed. Watering and supplemented nutrients like mulch and fertilizers are kept to a minimum. This principle encompasses a landscape designer's use of xeriscaping, turfgrasses, hardscaping, plant location, and plant selection. Soil nutrition and water conservation are part of the bioregion to consider. Designers reconstruct landscapes using their natural biology. The ability to maintain constructed landscapes with minimal additional resources is the concept of a sustainable/functional environment.
Xeriscaping is an ideal technique within Mediterranean climates and its microclimates. The process is carried out by using drought tolerant plants. The potential in xeriscaping evolves from the choice of flora. The use of drought tolerant plants conserves water; these are often the native species that occur within the arid Mediterranean climate. In this, xeriscaping is dually advantageous. Less water is needed for ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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