What Makes a Landscape Sustainable?

Rebecca Ford New Canaan

November 24, 2022

Creating sustainable landscapes can be a difficult task, and many people are confused about how to go about it. There are several aspects to a landscape that must be considered, including scale, connectivity, functionality, configuration, and maintenance.


Increasing landscape connectivity promotes ecosystem service delivery across urban landscapes. It also enhances the resilience of social-ecological systems. A study on the relationships between social and biophysical connectivity was conducted to assess how landscape connectivity patterns differ across cities. Using an urban case study, this research developed new analytical approaches to account for connectivity between nodes in the landscape.

In this study, we compared the degree of social and biophysical connectivity across Chicago, Baltimore, and New York City. These cities are known for their diverse social and ecological characteristics. We also examined the degree of spatial scale dependency in the landscape. In addition, we evaluated the influence of external landscape features.


Using landscape governance as a lens, this article explores the role of scale in territorial development. It proposes an approach to scale that makes a landscape sustainable. The paper uses this approach to understand landscape governance in relation to a farming and nature integration initiative in The Netherlands. Landscape governance is defined as the interplay of institutional practices, natural-spatial conditions, and discourses. It also reveals how policy integration occurs at the bottom of the hierarchy.

Forman proposes four landscape categories that are based on essential characteristics: the landscape of the future, the landscape of the present, the landscape of the present day, and the landscape of the past. Using this framework, he argues that there is a proper spatial configuration of ecosystems and land uses that serves to meet our environmental and social needs. This approach is a good indicator of what we should consider when we think about landscape sustainability.


Choosing a landscape configuration that makes a landscape sustainable is a matter of perspective. Whether a landscape is sustainable is dependent on the number of inputs it receives, how many of them are excessive and how long the landscape will be in use.

While the idea of making a landscape sustainable is not new, there is not a lot of research on this topic. A new field of study, known as sustainable landscape patterns, has emerged to tackle this problem. The concept is based on the increasing trend of anthropogenic disturbance. Sustainable landscape patterns aim to minimize anthropogenic threats through design that provides essential protection to ecosystem services and social-ecological processes.

Functionality Landscape Sustainable

During the planning phase of a landscape project, it is essential to understand how the landscape will be used. It is also a good idea to consider the site conditions, budget, and timeline. These factors will impact the final design of the landscape.

One of the most important goals of sustainable landscape design is to incorporate multi-functional features into every project. This includes elements such as bioswales, rain gardens, native plants, and site climax vegetation. The benefits of these features include reduced inputs, reduced waste, conserving water, and reduced adverse effects on the environment. In the past, landscaping was primarily used to separate natural habitats. It also served as a means of maximizing the economic gain of the land. It was also commonly used to cultivate the land for food production.

Increasing the amount and quality of green spaces in the urban environment

Increasing the amount and quality of green spaces in the urban environment can be beneficial to everyone. It improves human health, increases perceived safety, and reduces stress. Increasing the amount and quality of green spaces can also improve the environment and the economy of the area.

Urban green spaces are essential sources of ecosystem services. It reduce air pollution, cool temperatures, and sequester carbon dioxide. They help mitigate regional flooding and water scarcity. This also aid in soil nutrient cycling. Increasing the amount and quality of green spaces may have unintended consequences for specific communities. They can increase housing costs and lead to gentrification. They may force some residents out of their communities and force others to live in less desirable neighborhoods.

Changing maintenance a Landscape Sustainable

Changing maintenance makes a landscape sustainable is an important concept to keep in mind. Not only can it reduce costs, but it can also help save the environment from pollution and erosion. Sustainable landscaping is also an opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint.

The first step to creating a sustainable landscape is to understand your site’s unique characteristics. This includes weather, soil, soil moisture, and microclimate. When planning your landscape, choose a mix of native plants that will thrive in your area. This will reduce the need for pesticides, water, and fertilizer. Native plants also attract pollinators, which are essential in the local ecosystem.

Using suitable hardscape materials is essential. Rock gardens and garden walls are good examples of these. You can also use solar-powered landscape lighting to reduce your electricity bill.