The New Landscape Declaration: Guiding LAs Boldly Into the Future

Fifty years ago, landscape architects wrote a Declaration of Concern to capture and express their fears of irreparable environmental harm, and share how landscape architects are uniquely qualified to create creative solutions and positive change. This year, that declaration was re-created for a new generation of landscape architects.

Walking trails in Bothell, WA. Photo Credit: Bob Silverman

This past June over 700 landscapes architects, united with a common concern for the future, were assembled by the Landscape Architecture Foundation at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Using the LAF’s 1966 Declaration of Concern as a guide, the group crafted “The New Landscape Declaration,” a 21st-century call to action, creating a new vision for landscape architects of today.

This updated Declaration exclaims the importance of landscapes, saying “what we do to our landscapes we ultimately do to ourselves.” It states that we have entered an “age of extreme climate change,” and leaves off the sugar coating as it lists the details, with understandably more urgency than the 1966 declaration.

Today’s landscape architect looks slightly different than the landscape architects described a half century ago. There is no mention of historic art this time. Instead, the focus is on resiliency and democracy, “The urgent challenge before us is to redesign our communities in the context of their bioregional landscapes enabling them to adapt to climate change and mitigate its root causes.” The declaration vows to create places that bring social and ecological justice for all beings and that nourish our connection to nature and each other. It also vows to serve the health and well-being of all communities.

What do you think about this declaration? Does it align with your values and the work that you do?

To view and sign the new declaration, visit


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