It can be argued that landscape architects are some of the most creative professionals and experts. Not only are they artists, they also have the ability to combine form and function seamlessly. They are skilled and trained in the art of design and engineering. The average person sees a landscape design and can recognize its beauty. A landscape architect looks at the same design and sees the mechanics of how it was formed and developed.

The planning and details that go into any landscape design are extremely complex. Many landscape architecture experts focus on sustainable landscape design to create a better more livable community.

This is definitely easier said than done. But it is profitable.

Landscape architecture in gardens, outdoor living spaces, and recreation areas are currently in the highest demand according to a survey done by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).  “Homeowners know that designed landscapes add value to their lives as well as their property values,” commented ASLA Executive Vice President and CEO Nancy Somerville. “They’re interested in livable, open spaces that are both stylish and earth friendly.”

In Southwest Florida we have such natural beauty in natural ecosystem, our wildlife, plants, flowers, and palm trees. Our subtropical environment has historically led to development based solely on what the tourist, snowbird, and visitor wants to see. But our warm winters, and wet summers create a perfect environment for naturally sustainable communities and landscape design

Solar power, permeable paving, and the use of recycled materials are extremely important to focus on implementing to reduce our negative impact on water quality. Lighting design is a popular trend in city development, but we need to recognize how lighting design impacts other design elements in an overall sustainable community development focus. So many great outdoor spaces come alive at night. Lighting built into an organic landscape design can add so many dimensions to the overall experience.

What was a beautiful garden during the day, becomes illuminated at sunset. Fountains, spas, and grottoes are also designed into our community. Creating a sustainable landscape should use all natural resources available. Utilizing a environmentally-friendly water filtration landscapes helps keep the nutrient laden runoff from entering our rivers and ending up impairing our beaches. It keeps the lighting design from shedding light on algal blooms and dead fish, which are the result of an impaired waterway.

Our communities need to be able to continue to grow and prosper in a thoughtful, planned, ecological friendly manner. Living and working in Southwest Florida gives us a vested interest in ensuring our communities future.

It’s time we get sustainable.