A 21st century call to action

Distinguished speaker, Barbara Deutsch, was a highlight of the Landscape Architecture program’s 120-year anniversary celebration last fall presenting “The New Landscape Architecture Declaration; a 21st Century Call to Action!”

Image of Barbara Deutsch, CEO of the Landscape Architecture Foundation.
Distinguished Speaker Barbara Deutsch, CEO of the Landscape Architecture Foundation.

Distinguished speaker, Barbara Deutsch, was a highlight of the Landscape Architecture program’s 120-year anniversary celebration last fall presenting “The New Landscape Architecture Declaration; a 21st Century Call to Action!” She is the CEO of the Landscape Architecture Foundation.

In June 2016, the foundation assembled more than 700 landscape architects with a shared concern for the future. Inspired by the foundation’s 1966 Declaration of Concern, they drafted a new vision for landscape architecture in the 21st century. 

The declaration has a potent beginning stating, “Across boarders and beyond walls, from city centers to the last wilderness, humanity’s common ground is the landscape itself. Food, water, oxygen – everything that sustains us comes from and returns to the landscape. What we do to our landscapes we ultimately do to ourselves. The profession charged with designing this common ground is landscape architecture.”

The declaration goes on to say, “As designers versed in both environmental and cultural systems, landscape architects are uniquely positioned to bring related professions together into new alliances to address complex social and ecological problems.”

It is through partnerships and collaborations beyond a singular profession that society can begin to address climate resiliency. Landscape architects will lead necessary global collaborations.

Furthermore, the declaration states, “As landscape architects, we vow to create places that serve the higher purpose of social and ecological justice for all peoples and all species. We vow to create places that nourish our deepest needs for communion with the natural world and with one another. We vow to serve the health and well-being of all communities.” 

Climate change knows no boarders. As Deborah Gunther points out in her article “Democracy: The Urgency of Equity in the Face of Climate Change,” the Resilient by Design challenge in the San Francisco Bay area revealed the need for an equitable design process in responding to democratic representation in the context of climate change.

The 21st Century Call to Action is upon us, and it is up to each of us to establish action plans that help fulfill the new Landscape Declaration.

According to the foundation, our personal plans should include: 1) upping our game, 2) designing like you give a damn, 3) setting performance objectives, 4) walking the talk, 5) engaging in partnerships, 6) future proofing the profession, 7) using your voice, 8) volunteering, 9) donating, and 10) voting!

 For more information about the declaration, visit the Landscape Architecture Foundation.


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