SESSION 9: Sustainability: Beyond Design and Construction

APA New Jersey Chapter


Monday, March 13, 2017
11:20 a.m. - 12:20 p.m. EDT

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Typically when we speak of sustainability we are speaking of design elements such as rain gardens, meadows, etc. as well as construction methods, materials and practices. But what about sustainability beyond design and construction? What does sustainability mean for the completed project?

Typically, maintenance, operations, and financing issues beyond construction are not included when we are considering sustainability. But in fact, the long-term sustainability of our designs, particularly in the public sector, is crucial to achieving the desired design goals. Maintenance, operations, governance and funding are important considerations that contribute to the long term “Management-sustainability” of projects. Additionally, people and human activity are key component of any “sustainable landscape”.

The public sector is under constant pressure to reduce spending with disproportionate cuts to parks and other “non-essential” services. Can we have landscape areas and diverse plantings, serve the numbers of visitors anticipated and deliver a high quality maintained park landscape, while within these financial limitations? Even without financial pressures, accommodating visitors and their needs while balancing the needs of landscapes can be challenging. Special events only add to the pressures on landscapes, yet are an important component for visitors and, one can argue, security, as a vibrant public space is an important factor in public space safety.

Like all questions of municipal governance and management, operating a park raises issues of public versus private control and ultimately of accountability, effectiveness and equity. Today, imaginative options exist throughout the U.S. of new management and funding initiatives, many having been operating for a number of years. These models attempt to ensure long-term “management-sustainability”.


This presentation will look at a number of recent projects where ETM ASSOCIATES has worked closely with landscape architectural firms, public sector groups, and non-profits to identify maintenance, operational and governance issues in order to ensure their long-term management sustainability.


Tim Marshall

Timothy Marshall, principal and owner of ETM Associates, LLC , has been providing professional public space design and management solutions, strategies and developmental guidance since 1984. Mr. Marshall has been involved with public space issues for more 30 years. Mr. Marshall was formerly the Deputy Administrator and Vice President for the ... Read More

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Christopher Brown,