Jared Green wrote a review for The dirt a new tool for assessing the climate footprint of landscape projects. The tool is free and quite easy to use, but requires some modifications to apply to non-US territories.
Let's face it: landscape architecture projects can contribute to the climate crisis. If projects are not intentionally planned and built with their carbon footprints in mind, they are likely to contribute more greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere than they can bind over their lifetime. Projects may contain too much concrete and other carbon-intensive materials, too few trees and shrubs, or require industrially-produced fertilizers or gas-powered mowers or shears for long-term maintenance, creating long-term emissions.
Instead, landscape architects can design and build projects that should not only be climate neutral, but also go further and become "climate-positive". This means that they bind more greenhouse gas emissions than they embody or produce over their lifetime.
She also threw down the glove with a new one ChallengeIf all landscape architects and designers use this approach, they could reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere by 1 gigaton by 2050. This would make landscape architecture one of the 80 best solutions on the Internet Project drawdown report,
Climate Positive Design, Conrad says, "is not just an opportunity to imagine how we shape our world in every way, but also a responsibility."
Use the website Pathfinder toolLandscape architects and designers can set and then retrieve specific sequestration and emission reduction targets for their own projects. "A five-year target is proposed to offset CO2 emissions for greener projects such as parks, gardens, campuses and mixed-use buildings. For more urban projects where more programming time is required, a twenty-year offset period should be sought. "
Through her research, which includes illustrative and useful case studies Conrad, who produced with CMG, stated that "goals could be achieved without changing the program or reducing quality – the projects just became more environmentally friendly."
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