David Hopman

Document Type



Landscape architects have an important duty to be forward leaning stewards of the environment in the development process. There is also an increasingly important imperative to reverse the ecological decline that has multiplied the extinction rate of species 1,000-fold since the advent of the industrial revolution. This lecture addresses both these issues with an evidence-based presentation on why landscape architects must address ecology in metropolitan areas and not focus almost entirely on environmental concerns such as global warming, carbon sequestration, clean air and clean water. If landscape architects do not become advocates for native plants, animals and regional ecologies, there is almost no chance that other players in the development process will. After an initial discussion of the ecological imperative, common reasons for not using native plants that are proposed on a regular basis and have been widely published in books, magazines and online will be addressed through the lens of potential solutions. The final part of the presentation will explain and demystify an approach to using plants indigenous to a specific ecological area in dense intermingled combinations, referred to here as aesthetically qualified native polycultures. Professor Hopman has been researching, designing, and implementing native polycultures since 2014. Examples of installed native polycultures, both successful and unsuccessful (with lessons learned), are presented. Finally, questions from the audience are addressed to facilitate adoption of this important tool for bringing ecological performance into metropolitan areas.

Publication Date





Media is loading


Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.