What is Landscape Architecture?
Founded in 1899, The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is the national professional association for landscape architects, representing 15,000 members in 49 professional chapters and 72 student chapters. The Society's mission is to lead, to educate, and to participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning, and artful design of our cultural and natural environments. Members of the Society use the “ASLA” suffix after their names to denote membership and their commitment to the highest ethical standards of the profession.
Landscape architecture is one of the most one of the most diversified of the design professions. The profession combines the structural design skills of architecture, the scientific principles of engineering and the broad development knowledge of urban planning to design aesthetic and practical relationships with the land.
The work of landscape architects surrounds us in design and planning of public squares, parkways, college campuses, hospital and therapeutic gardens, community parks, waterfront recreation areas and corporate courtyards, and also in the preservation of national parks and monuments. By providing well-managed design and development plans, landscape architects offer a broad range of services and expertise that reduce overall costs and add long-term value to a project. For an interactive tour of the landscape architecture profession see http://bit.ly/15fIyh0.
Other types of projects produced by landscape architecture professionals include:
- Arid climate design
- Corporate and commercial landscapes
- Green infrastructure
- Hospitality and resorts
- Landscape art and earth sculpture
- Non-motorized, multi-modal transportation planning and design (e.g. trails, pathways, on- and off-street bicycle facilities
- Security design
- Stormwater management
- Transportation corridors
- Visual quality planning
- Gardens and arboreta
- Historic preservation
- Interior landscapes
- Land planning including open space and regional planning
- Safe Routes to School
- Site restoration (including brownfields) and environmental clean up
- Streetscapes and public spaces
- Urban design
- Water harvesting
Check out the latest quick facts about the landscape architecture professional.
Not all green landscapes are good for the environment or provide the benefits of natural ecosystems. Thoughtful design and careful planning can result in landscapes that are context sensitive, address stormwater, increase wildlife habitat, mitigate greenhouse gases, offset the urban heat island effect and more. Landscape architects are co-leading a collaborative and interdisciplinary partnership to create comprehensive “green” guidelines and performance benchmarks to measure sustainable landscapes. Learn more about this pioneering work.
Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) program to record and document our landscape history. Read more about the landscapes that define us.