1st Edition

Phyto Principles and Resources for Site Remediation and Landscape Design

By Kate Kennen, Niall Kirkwood Copyright 2015
    378 Pages
    by Routledge

    380 Pages
    by Routledge

    Winner of the 2017 CBHL Literature Award of Excellence in Landscape Design and Architecture

    Phyto presents the concepts of phytoremediation and phytotechnology in one comprehensive guide, illustrating when plants can be considered for the uptake, removal or mitigation of on-site pollutants. Current scientific case studies are covered, highlighting the advantages and limitations of plant-based cleanup. Typical contaminant groups found in the built environment are explained, and plant lists for mitigation of specific contaminants are included where applicable.

    This is the first book to address the benefits of phytotechnologies from a design point of view, taking complex scientific terms and translating the research into an easy-to-understand reference book for those involved in creating planting solutions. Typically, phytotechnology planting techniques are currently employed post-site contamination to help clean up already contaminated soil by taking advantage of the positive effects that plants can have upon harmful toxins and chemicals. This book presents a new concept to create projective planting designs with preventative phytotechnology abilities, ‘phytobuffering’ where future pollution may be expected for particular site programs.

    Filled with tables, photographs and detailed drawings, Kennen and Kirkwood's text guides the reader through the process of selecting plants for their aesthetic and environmental qualities, combined with their contaminant-removal benefits.

    1. Phytotechnology and the Contemporary Environment: an Overview, 2. Fundamentals, 3. Contaminant Classifications and Plant Selection, 4. Phytotypologies (Phytotechnology Planting Types), 5. Site Programs and Land Use, 6. Additional Resources, Afterword (Dr. Jason White and Dr. Lee Newman)


    Kate Kennen is a landscape architect, and the founder and president of Offshoots, Inc., a Boston, Massachusetts landscape design practice focused on productive planting techniques and phytotechnology consulting. Offshoots has won numerous awards for projects integrating plantings to clean up polluted sites. Having spent her childhood at her family’s garden centre in central Massachusetts, Kate is well versed in the plants of the Northeast. She completed her undergraduate studies in Landscape Architecture at Cornell University, and received her master’s degree in Landscape Architecture with distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Kate is also a Visiting Lecturer in Landscape Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Previous to opening Offshoots, Kennen worked as an Associate at Design Workshop in Aspen, Colorado. ?

    Niall Kirkwood is a landscape architect, technologist and Professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where he has taught since 1992. He teaches, carries out research and publishes on a range of topics related to landscape architectural design, the built environment and the sustainable reuse of land including urban regeneration, landfill reuse, environmental site technologies and international site development. His publications include Manufactured Sites: Rethinking the Post-Industrial Landscape (Routledge), Principles of Brownfield Regeneration (Island Press) also published in Korean and Chinese translations, Weathering and Durability in Landscape Architecture (Wiley) and The Art of Landscape Detail (Wiley). Professor Kirkwood is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects and in addition is the Gerard O'Hare Visiting Professor, University of Ulster, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Distinguished Visiting Professor, Korea University, Seoul and Visiting Professor, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.

    Phyto is a hefty but approachable read. It’s clear and well organized, the language is scientific only when needed, illustrations are lively, charts and legends abound, and photos are interesting… Although the authors are never preachy, they show clearly the tragic extent of the harm humans have inflicted on the environment and future generations. But they also show how nature and constructed landscapes can beautifully regenerate themselves and thrive when they get what they need.Laura Solano, ASLA, Landscape Architecture Magazine

    This book is incredibly useful and an amazing resource for all practitioners. It is full of information that can be used to address the real issues that we face today and will face in the future.  - Martha Schwartz, Principal of Marth Schwartz Partners

    In two words: "Beyond comprehensive". Phyto is by far the most comprehensive compilation of Phytotechnologies out there. It truly goes beyond by tying together this broad set of plant technologies for cleaning the environment with the necessary form and functionality of landscape design. As an advocate and trainer in Phytotechnologies, I especially appreciate the illustrative graphics and easy-to-understand descriptions that clearly conveys the science, engineering, design, and planning to the technical and artisan alike. - David Tsao, Ph.D, BP Corporation North America, Inc.

    Phyto is a fantastic resource, not just to landscape architects but also to engineers and scientists as well.  As Phytoremediation developed, advancement efforts focused on the biochemical science of the processes, and while the field was cognizant of ‘ancillary benefits’ valuation was not considered, mostly due to lacking knowledge and resources. Phyto brings the social and physical science into a common meeting place, and provides much needed discussion, fantastic visualizations and cross cultural presentation of plant-based technologies that can be incorporated into our urban spaces to serve both public health and the quality of life itself. - Joel G. Burken, Missouri University of Science and Technology

    This book closes a very important gap between phytotechnologies and practice. Through creative design, the authors succeed in translating a comprehensive subject matter into accessible information. A special merit is that the book  predicts vegetation strategies becoming an anticipatory tool in the hands of the landscape architect in advance of potential future contamination preventing human exposure to soil, water and air contamination. - Jaco Vangronsveld, Centre for Environmental Sciences of Hasselt University, Belgium


      Phyto is a very well written handbook with communicative diagrams and clearly presented tables to bridge the otherwise somewhat obtuse theory and research on phytoremediation with real-life applications for the design praxis and education. - Frank Sleegers, JAE Online