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Sustainability & Landscape Codes

Presented by: Buck Abbey, Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture at Louisiana State University
Friday, March 30th - 10:30 - 11:30 AM

Course Description:

This presentation conducted with illustrations, drawings and photographs will describe the present trend for green laws to get greener as sustainable design practices become better known. Landscape codes, land development regulations and tree ordinances, across the nation are being revised to include sustainable practices by landscape architects, contractors, material supply manufacturers and maintenance companies.

The history of landscape codes will be given to form a basis for understanding these public policies dating back to the Law of the Indies 1573 and the Pennsylvania Shade Tree Law of 1700 and early contemporary landscape codes developed on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina in the late 1960's.

Evidence that codes are going green begins with the Irvine, California Sustainability in Landscaping Ordinance and comes of age with the Homestead, Florida Landscape Code written 1992.

Other cities will be mentioned in passing that are moving their landscape ordinances toward sustainability including New York City, Miami, Chicago, New Orleans and Seattle.

The presentation will cover regional sustainability programs that are used across the county, the national LEED/SITES program being developed by the American Society of Landscape Architects, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas, and the United States Botanic Garden in cooperation with the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). The discussion will also address salient parts of the California Building Code (CalGreen) and the International Green Construction Code (IGCC).


D.G. 'Buck' Abbey, ASLA is Associate Professor in the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He lives on the Louisiana gulf coast near New Orleans. Abbey has taught design, site engineering, graphics and professional practice courses at LSU since 1974. He teaches the only course on municipal green laws in the nation.

Abbey is the recipient of the 2008 Frederick Law Olmsted Award from the Arbor Day Foundation.

Abbey received his terminal degree from Harvard University. He is a recognized authority on municipal landscape codes and is author of the book, U.S. Landscape Ordinances, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. As associate editor of Landscape Architect & Specifier News Magazine, he writes regularly on landscape codes and related municipal planning law.

Abbey is also Principal Consultant to the Louisiana, landscape architecture - planning firm, Abbey Associates, Inc. He provides consulting services and expert witness testimony on landscape codes and site planning nationwide and draws landscape plans, master plans and land development documents. Abbey maintains a research web site at LSU on the subject of landscape, tree and land alteration ordinances. The site provides assistance to anyone seeking help with writing landscape codes, tree preservation laws and land development regulations.

Buck Abbey, Associate Professor, Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture at Louisiana State University

Schedule subject to change

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