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.

Daniel Joseph Nadenicek and Catherine M. Hastings, Environmental Rhetoric, Environmental Sophism: The Words and Work of Landscape Architecture (2000)

Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park (2012)


(Header: Kennardphillipps Art Collective recreation of Andrew Wyeth’s “Christina’s World” (c.2015))

None Owns

The charming landscape which I saw this morning, is indubitably made up of some twenty or thirty farms. Miller owns his field, Locke that, and Manning the woodland beyond. But none of them owns the landscape. There is a property on the horizon which no man has but he whose eye can integrate all the parts, that is, the poet. This is the best part of these men’s farms, yet to this their land-deeds give them no title. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature (1836)

Thomas Jefferson et alt., Virginia University Campus (1825)


Header: Andrew Wyeth, Christina’s World (1948)