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What's Happening at Sites Southwest

PioneeringSustainability

in Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, and Community Planning

Welcome to the forefront of sustainable design, where innovation meets tradition, and modern technology intertwines with the timeless beauty of the high desert, from the Great Basin in the Northwest to the Chihuahuan and Sonoran deserts of the American Southwest. At Sites Southwest, we are not just practitioners of landscape architecture, urban design, and community planning; we are trailblazers, shaping the future of sustainable development in the region.​

Our Legacy of Sustainability


Founded on the core principles of environmental, cultural, and economic sustainability, Sites Southwest has been a beacon of sustainable practices since our inception. Our founders were early advocates for sustainability, establishing key local and regional organizations such as the Xeriscape Council of New Mexico and the New Mexico Chapter of the Green Building Council, while also supporting the Supportive Housing Coalition and the Land and Water Summit, the premier sustainability conference in the region.


Our projects, like Bernalillo County’s North Valley Bachechi Open Space, showcase our commitment to sustainability. At this park, we utilized circular design, providing a composting facility large enough such that no green waste from maintenance leaves the park to fill up landfills. Additionally, all rainfall is harvested in water gardens and cisterns in such a way that there are no visible engineered ponds, and no water leaves the site. We used solar collectors as shade structures to power the Environmental Education Center, we used native plants exclusively, and we provided perennial no-plow fields for migrating birds, like the ever-popular Sand Hill Cranes. The few trees taken down were limited but handpicked and repurposed. County staff refashioned them as benches, made by their landscape management team. These sustainable construction practices not only reduced waste and costs, but they also created functional design elements that blend seamlessly into the natural landscape and cultivate spaces that reflect our values of preservation and innovation. 

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The benches at Bachechi Open Space were made using recycled tree timbers built by Bernalillo County Land Management staff.

Innovating For the Future

At Sites Southwest, we understand that sustainability extends beyond landscape design and planning. Our diverse team creates spaces that foster community engagement, economic vitality, and environmental stewardship.


Our creative approach integrates green infrastructure, smart growth principles, and resilient planning to address the unique challenges of the high desert environment. We design urban spaces that promote alternate transportation options, reduce heat islands, conserve water, and enhance the overall quality of life for residents. By incorporating native plants and water-efficient technologies like Green Stormwater Infrastructure, we ensure that our urban landscapes are both beautiful and sustainable.


We prioritize the needs of diverse populations, creating inclusive spaces that reflect the cultural richness of high desert regions. Our projects are designed to promote social equity, economic resilience, and environmental justice. We work closely with communities to understand their needs and aspirations, ensuring that our plans are both visionary and grounded in reality.

Leading the Way with Cutting-Edge Technology

Staying ahead of the curve means embracing modern technology and innovative solutions. At Sites Southwest, we leverage the latest advancements in sustainable design to push the boundaries of what's possible.


Our expertise in water conservation is unmatched. We have pioneered the use of water harvesting and green stormwater infrastructure, water wicking, and the use of water-saving soil additives like zeolites to minimize resource use and costs. We understand that one size does not fit all, and our customized solutions ensure that every project achieves maximum efficiency. Whether it’s utilizing low-water use turf grasses, designing swales on-contour to prevent erosion and to passively irrigate nearby plantings, or by implementing state of the art irrigation systems, our goal is to create lush, vibrant landscapes that thrive and endure in desert environments.


A Holistic Approach to Sustainability

Sustainability at Sites Southwest is not just a buzzword; it’s a holistic approach that permeates through every aspect of our work. In all aspects of our cohesive projects, we strive to balance development with the principles of natural and cultural preservation.
Our commitment to sustainability is reflected in our comprehensive understanding of water conservation and the use of native plants with low water requirements for strategic and innovative designs. We emphasize the horticultural and future management needs of landscapes, xeric plant knowledge, and design scenarios that ease maintenance without the use of chemicals, and enhance public accessibility.

 

Creating Sustainable Futures


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The results of our sustainable practices are evident in the transformative projects we’ve completed over our 27+ year history. We have turned non-functional spaces into accessible community hubs, rejuvenated inactive areas with refreshing designs, and created new, activated spaces that resonate with the spirit of the West.


Join us on this journey as we continue to lead the way in sustainable landscape architecture, urban design, and community planning. Together, we can create a future where innovation and sustainability go hand in hand, transforming the Southwest one project at a time.
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Explore our projects and learn more about our commitment to sustainability at Sites Southwest. Follow us on social media for the latest updates and insights into our work. 

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Sites Southwest's design of this iconic detention basin in the center of the High Desert Community in Albuquerque incorporates materials harvested on site and plants native to the surrounding Sandia foothills. Stormwater feeds the landscape, raised planters provide a respite for hikers, and public art echoes the shape of surrounding native grasses.

Our team designed the Hahn Arroyo Greenway which includes a trail, native landscapes fed by cisterns, and a new channel with seat walls made from reutilized concrete, resulting in significant environmental benefits including water conservation and reduced energy use required by concrete construction.  

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