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Sustainable Sites Initiative On-Line Resources

The Sustainable Sites Initiative is a partnership of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin and the United States Botanic Garden in conjunction with a diverse group of stakeholder organizations to transform land development and management practices with the first national rating system for sustainable landscapes. These guidelines apply to any type of designed landscape, with or without buildings, ranging from shopping malls, streetscapes, subdivisions, corporate and academic campuses, transportation corridors, parks and recreation areas, all the way to single family homes.

The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES™) was created to promote sustainable land development and management practices that can apply to sites with and without buildings including, but not limited to the following:

  • Open spaces such as local, state and national parks, conservation easements and buffer zones and transportation rights-of-way
  • Sites with buildings including industrial, retail and office parks, military complexes, airports, botanical gardens, streetscapes and plazas, residential and commercial developments and public and private campuses.

SITES will provide tools for those who influence land development and management practices and can address increasingly urgent global concerns such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, and resource depletion. They can be used by those who design, construct, operate and maintain landscapes, including but not limited to planners, landscape architects, engineers, developers, builders, maintenance crews, horticulturists, governments, land stewards and organizations offering building standards.

For more information, visit

Northern Research Station
United States Department of Agriculture
USDA Forest Service


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