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University of Minnesota Extension

Extension > Garden > SULIS > Design > Sustainability and Landscape Design > Functional Landscapes

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Functional Landscapes

Sustainable designs need to be functional. A functional landscape allows for the easy accomplishment of movement, work, recreation and leisure that occurs in and around the landscape. These functions are related to the actual process or activities associated with a family, a business, or a public place.

Examples that are not functional:

  • Steps or ramped steps with the improper riser to tread ratio, making them uncomfortable or unsafe to use.

    Service Road

  • Service roads too narrow and loading zones with limited space for turning.

    Steep Slopes

  • Turf areas located on steep slopes that are difficult or dangerous to maintain.
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