The resource concerns of a urban landscapes differ from those of a rural landscapes. The impervious rooftops, roads, parking lots, and compacted areas or urban landscapes increase surface runoff; delivering sediment, nutrients, hydrocarbons and other pollutants to receiving bodies of water. Urban landscapes often experience greater populations of invasive species and weeds that increase the potential of damaging wildfire. Plants in urban landscapes can be used to manage storm-water runoff and/or as biofiltration systems. Bioswales, bioretention cells, and rain gardens use plants to capture runoff from surfaces such as rooftops, driveways, and patios.
Many of the Plant Materials Programs conservation plants are useful in creating aesthetic, low water-use sustainable landscapes. Documents developed are useful in providing solutions for improving plant communities, conserving soil and improving water quality for homeowners and municipalities.