Mangrove forests that shield shorelines from damaging storms are an example of a natural system that can help protect communities from disasters.
Courtesy ASLA Mangrove forests that shield shorelines from damaging storms are an example of a natural system that can help protect communities from disasters.

A new online guide from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) explains how communities can better protect themselves from natural disasters through resilient landscape planning and design.

According to the guide, the goal of resilient landscape planning and design is to retrofit communities to recover more quickly from extreme events, now and in the future. In an era when disasters can cause traditional built systems to fail, adaptive, multilayered systems can maintain their vital functions and are often the more cost-effective and practical solutions.

The free guide is organized around disruptive events that communities now experience: drought, extreme heat, fire, flooding and landslides. Biodiversity loss is also explored.

The guide includes hundreds of case studies and resources demonstrating multi-benefit systems as well as small-scale solutions. It also explains landscape architects’ role in the planning and design teams helping to make communities more resilient.