Various rhetorical positions on environmentalism exist within the profession, categorized, for the purpose of this chapter, by deep environmentalism, preservation environmentalism, integrative environmentalism, and ecological environmentalism. Such categorization is not intended to suggest absolute philosophical boundaries or established group positions. In reality, even individual landscape architects express multiple perspectives on environmentalism, which only supports the assertion that misunderstanding, controversy, and debate on environmentalism within the profession is inevitable. In short, the work of the profession does not support the rhetoric, because landscape architects are, in effect, speaking multiple languages of environmentalism.
While a better understanding of the various environmental perspectives can improve communication, a more careful use of language will not correct the schism rooted in the diversity of the profession. If there is a common ground given the multiple perspectives on environmentalism, it appears to be in the profession’s traditional role of engaging in the pressing debates of the age through the artistic manipulation of the landscape.