PPN Live: Professional Development on the EXPO Floor

Earn PDH right on the EXPO floor at four Professional Practice Network (PPN) sessions for PDH, taking place in PPN Live, and eight PPN EXPO Tours on Saturday and Sunday, October 20-21, 2018, during the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO. / images: EPNAC

The 2018 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Philadelphia this month offers many opportunities to learn and network during the largest gathering of landscape architects in the world. In addition to education sessions, field sessions, and workshops, ASLA’s Professional Practice Networks (PPNs) offer two more ways to earn professional development hours (PDH), right on the EXPO floor:

PPN Meetings for PDH

International Practice PPN Meeting
Rethinking Landscape Interventions During Urban Renewal of Chinese Cities
Saturday, October 20, 9:15 – 10:15 am

Unleashed urban sprawl propelled by rapid economic development has caused many issues in China during the past 40 years. With growing public awareness and global vision on the environmental quality, social justice, and cultural heritage in China, as well as the ever strict control on land uses across the country, many cities are refocusing on the developed areas and promoting urban renewal efforts. Case studies will be used to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the recent urban renewal efforts in China through the lens of governance, urban planning, and landscape design.


  • Dou Zhang, PLA, ASLA, Sasaki Associates;
  • Ming-Jen Hsueh, ASLA, Sasaki Associates;
  • Yufan Zhu, Tsinghua University

Sustainable Design & Development PPN Meeting
A Discussion of Sustainability at Different Scales
Saturday, October 20, 12:45 – 1:45 pm

How do you apply sustainability in your practice? Do you see a need for change? What does the future of sustainability look like in your city? In the Sustainable Design and Development (SDD) PPN meeting, participants will engage in a discussion about how sustainability, including established rating systems such as SITES and LEED, are applied at different scales and in different contexts. Comparisons of urban vs. suburban vs. rural, watershed-level vs. site scale, and mandatory policies vs. voluntary guidelines will be explored. This interactive session will be facilitated by SDD PPN leaders, and participants from varying backgrounds, experience levels, and viewpoints are encouraged to attend in order to have a robust discussion on the current and future applications of sustainability.

ASLA 2014 Professional Research Award. Weather-Smithing: Assessing the role of vegetation, soil, and adaptive management in urban green infrastructure performance, Philadelphia, PA. Andropogon Associates / image: Barrett Doherty and Andropogon


  • Hunter Beckham, FASLA, Beckham Consulting;
  • April Phillips, FASLA, April Philips Design Works, Inc.;
  • Kristen Reardon, ASLA, Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners;
  • Lisa Cowan, ASLA, SITES AP, Studioverde;
  • CeCe Haydock, ASLA, SITES AP, LEED AP, Studioverde;
  • Kevin Burke, ASLA, Atlanta Beltline Inc;
  • Jamie Statter, Vice President, Strategic Relationships, U.S. Green Building Council

Parks & Recreation / Children’s Outdoor Environments PPN Meeting
Parks, Play, and People: Equity and Community in Recreation
Sunday, October 21, 9:15 – 10:15 am

Access to recreation and play opportunities for city dwellers is a critical component of equity and sustainability, yet development of public parks can have the unintended effect of gentrification in the communities they seek to enhance. This session explores the ways that urban green spaces and parks can be designed to support access by all members of the community—as well as the ways that play and recreation can support equity—by drawing on the experiences of landscape architects who have worked towards this goal in cities across the country.

image: Joy Kuebler, RLA, ASLA


  • Diane Jones Allen, ASLA, The University of Texas at Arlington and DesignJones, LLC;
  • Joy Kuebler, ASLA, Joy Kuebler Landscape Architect, PC;
  • Andrew Spurlock, FASLA, Spurlock Landscape Architects

Environmental Justice PPN Meeting
Environmental and Climate Justice in Community Design: Case Studies and Tools
Sunday, October 21, 12:45 – 1:45 pm

Landscape architects play an important role in addressing environmental justice and implementing resilient landscape design in coping with climate change while serving socially vulnerable communities. This session examines recent research and practice applied to community design for addressing environmental justice and an emerging issue of climate justice. Participants will learn about the Westchase District Streetscape Improvements Initiative and the 2018 ASLA Student Award Winner A Student’s Guide to Environmental Justice Version 1.3.

ASLA 2018 Student Communications Honor Award. A Student’s Guide to Environmental Justice Version 1.3. Kari Spiegelhalter, Student ASLA; Patricia Noto, Student ASLA; Tess Ruswick, Student ASLA, Cornell University and Rhode Island School of Design / image: Roane Hopkins


  • Chingwen Cheng, PhD, ASLA, Arizona State University;
  • Erin McDonald, Associate ASLA, Design Workshop;
  • Kari Spiegelhalter, Student ASLA;
  • Theresa Ruswick, Student ASLA;
  • Patricia Noto, Student ASLA


This exciting opportunity to learn more right on the EXPO floor are show floor tours designed to highlight PPN topic areas. The tours offer attendees the opportunity to learn about new and improved techniques that can assist in creating a successful design project. All tours depart from PPN Live on the EXPO floor, and will be available to the first 30 participants.

image: EPNAC

Design-Build / Residential Landscape Architecture PPN EXPO Tour
Saturday, October 20, 9:45-10:45 am

This tour of the EXPO floor will include the exhibitors: Country Casual Teak, EcoSense Lighting, Parasoleil, and Sod Solutions.

Country Casual Teak
When it comes to outdoor furniture, teak wood is often hailed as the best of the best. From its durability to its longevity, there are many benefits to selecting teak for outdoor furnishings. Teak is easy to care for and maintain. There are a variety of options for using it in site settings and teak will deliver even in high-trafficked spaces.

EcoSense Lighting
Architectural lighting has changed dramatically since the introduction of LED light sources. Structures and landscapes can now be illuminated better than ever using smaller, more efficient light sources. Participants will learn lighting design techniques for dramatically illuminating exterior facades, entries, architectural details and landscapes, using knowledge of LED fixtures intensities, optics and mounting locations.

Participants will learn how to use patterns for lasting design.

Sod Solutions
Turfgrass is an important functional part of landscape design. This session will educate and give references for landscape architects to specify “The Right Turfgrass for the Right Landscape.”

A 2016 PPN EXPO Tour / image: EPNAC
A 2016 PPN EXPO Tour / image: EPNAC

Ecology & Restoration PPN EXPO Tour
Saturday, October 20, 9:45-10:45 am

This tour of the EXPO floor will include the exhibitors: BLM Plant Conservation Program, ECOncrete Tech Ltd, LiveRoof, LLC, and SavATree.

BLM Plant Conservation Program
Large-scale disturbances and other stressors threaten important plant communities and the ecosystem services they provide. These stressors include the spread of invasive plant species, altered wildfire regimes, habitat modification, land overuse, and natural disasters. Our ability to repair these damaged lands and stem the loss of cultural and economic benefits to society depends upon appropriate seed, research, decision tools, and public support for ecological restoration. Through collaboration and communication, we can more effectively manage public lands and protect our valuable natural resources.

ECOncrete Tech Ltd
With over 60% of the human population concentrated around coastlines experiencing threats of sea level rise and increased storminess, accelerated coastal development replacing rich coastal habitats with unproductive hardened coastlines is inevitable. To date, most coastal infrastructure were built according to structural and economic considerations, neglecting environmental aspects. Recently, efforts are being made to integrate principles of ecological engineering in coastal projects promoting biodiversity and productivity. ECOncrete’s exhibit uses real case studies and a 6.5’ coastline model to expose landscape architects, engineers, scientists and policy makers to a holistic approach of urban waterfront design that integrates ecological, structural and social considerations. We present an innovative suit of concrete based products and designs that increases the ecological value of structures like seawalls, piers, and beach stabilization measures while decreasing their ecological footprint. Our technology relies on slight modifications to concrete composition, texture and design that enhances biological process and facilitates bioprotection.

LiveRoof, LLC
Participants will learn the benefits of having a green space in the built and urban environment.

More than 30,000,000 tons of urban wood waste is generated annually across the nation. Much of this waste comes in two streams – urban timber, or wood from tree removals; and urban lumber, wood from demolished buildings. Buildings can be deconstructed rather than demolished, with the flooring, framing, and architecturals recovered. Trees removed from a construction site may be cut, dried, milled, and incorporated into the new buildings and/or nearby projects, depending on species and quality. More urban wood is disposed of than is harvested from National Forests in the US. Much of this wood is salvageable and useable. We describe the Baltimore Wood Project, a project that uses these waste streams to create jobs and value from urban lumber and timber.

The 2016 Planting Design PPN EXPO Tour / image: EPNAC
The 2016 Planting Design PPN EXPO Tour / image: EPNAC

Planting Design PPN EXPO Tour
Saturday, October 20, 1:00-2:00 pm

This tour of the EXPO floor will include the exhibitors: J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co., Halka Nurseries, InstantHedge, Ruppert Nurseries, and Star Roses and Plants.

J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.
Understanding tree production timelines is key to specifying and selecting trees that will contribute to the success of your designs. Landscape architects familiar with the 7-15 year production cycle for landscape trees will understand why it is essential to plan for and procure trees well in advance of the time projects go to bid. By visiting tree nurseries, becoming familiar with the precise production practices required to produce top quality trees, and developing direct lines of communication with growers, landscape architects will achieve better results and have more satisfied clients. Keeping abreast of new developments in tree breeding, selection and introduction, being aware of what’s available in the marketplace, and communicating your design needs to growers and plant breeders will help you bring your designs to life.

Halka Nurseries
Participants will learn about how we are trying to eliminate girdling roots, summer digging, and root pruning with our Growing On initiative.

This presentation will cover how to utilize hedges in landscape design, best planting practices for hedges, and how new technologies can speed up the installation process.

Ruppert Nurseries
Ruppert Nurseries’ discussion will address selection of appropriate trees for particular planting applications. During this talk we will also highlight some of our favorite tree species with particular emphasis on Genus that are typically problem free, hardy, and adaptable to a variety of sites.

Star Roses and Plants
Participants will learn the history of roses, from “T’s” to trees, to modern day “please!” The presentation will also cover the disease pathology, symptoms, and control measures to ensure success with landscape roses.

Eric Gilbey, ASLA, of Vectorworks, demonstrates how practitioners can utilize BIM workflows for sites during the Digital Technology PPN EXPO Tour. / image: EPNAC
Eric Gilbey, ASLA, of Vectorworks, demonstrates how practitioners can utilize BIM workflows for sites during the Digital Technology PPN EXPO Tour. / image: EPNAC

Digital Technology PPN EXPO Tour
Saturday, October 20, 1:00-2:00 pm

This tour of the EXPO floor will include the exhibitors: Earthscape; Hunter Industries / FX Luminaire; Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning, Utah State University / Intel® Corporation; Vectorworks; and Victor Stanley.

The variety of digital products that can be used during the landscape architectural design process is remarkable. The use of these tools assists with the communication of concepts and ideas and enables a more effective collaborative design process with consultants and clients. To create innovative and creative playground designs, the same process and tools facilitate seamless integration with landscape architecture firms to generate beautifully rendered concepts and constructions drawings. Join us for a discussion of collaborative design and the integration of technology and digital tools in the design process for site-specific playground design.

Hunter Industries / FX Luminaire
Lighting: This presentation will explore the latest technological advances in outdoor LED lighting that enable Landscape Architects to create fully customizable Wi-Fi controlled lighting zones and programs for every site to maximize aesthetics, energy efficiency and safety.
Irrigation: Landscape Architects are stewards of the environment and the communities in which they live, work, and play. As stewards, Hunter Industries encourages you to explore the aspects of social responsibility, the importance of finding a balance between priorities, and the significance of partnering with likes minded organizations to promote long-lasting landscapes for generations to come.

Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning, Utah State University / Intel® Corporation
Participants will learn about using virtual reality as a design creation tool in the conceptual phases of the design process and how it can be integrated with site data.

Vectorworks, Inc.
This portion of the Digital Technology PPN tour will demonstrate how practitioners can utilize BIM workflows for the site. Referred to as Site Information Modeling, landscape architects accomplish more efficient and best practice design workflows, by using integrated 2D/3D and information rich tools and features. The practical examples included will emphasize how these site-specific CAD tools enable sustainable design functions such as erosion control, runoff calculations, cut and fill calculations, existing/proposed plant tracking, native plant selections, and sun/shade analysis can be accomplished, as well as other methods to achieve better landscape performance.

Victor Stanley
The push for cities to become “smart” is becoming more and more evident. The goal of this tour is look into what information is important to Smart Cities, how this data is collected and managed, and how Smart Cities may change the future of landscape architecture and design.

The 2016 Design-Build / Residential Landscape Architecture PPN EXPO Tour / image: EPNAC
The 2016 Residential Landscape Architecture / Design-Build PPN EXPO Tour / image: EPNAC

Water Conservation PPN EXPO Tour
Sunday, October 21, 9:45-10:45 am

This tour of the EXPO floor will include the exhibitors: Deeproot Green Infrastructure, EnviroTech Soil Solutions, Inc., NDS Inc., and Tree Diaper.

Deeproot Green Infrastructure
Landscape architects should take full advantage of the stormwater mitigation potential of urban trees and soils, as research on suspended pavement systems conducted at North Carolina State University is consistent with downtown revitalization efforts such as in Uptown Normal, IL.

EnviroTech Soil Solutions, Inc.
Building the Soil for Water Conservation: Researchers have identified three different soil amendments as having unique and distinct properties from all other amendments due to their porous structures. Learn how Internally Porous Inorganic Amendments (IPIAs) provide more absorption and water release for plant use that rivals or surpasses organics amendments to improve soil moisture uniformity, and plant available water to reduce irrigation. This presentation will compare many amendment choices, with photos of various field applications including rooftop, bioswale, landscapes without irrigation, and sports fields.

NDS Inc.
NDS, Inc. will present the problems that ineffective stormwater management causes to landscapes, buildings, and foundations. Mismanaged stormwater can result in financial losses and increased costs for repairs. We will discuss common drainage issues and the best management practices (BMP) to solve them. Specifically, we want to educate audiences to:

  • Understand the impact of stormwater management
  • Diagnose and identify drainage problems
  • Understand the components and benefits of an effective stormwater management plan

These learning objectives will help empower decision makers to implement effective stormwater BMPs on their future projects. Furthermore, compliance with state and local regulations for stormwater management will be discussed.

Tree Diaper
Novel irrigation technologies that are best for urban plantings and cope with the harsher growing urban environment will be discussed with case studies. These technologies are water and labor saving, low maintenance, and low impact, and feature stormwater retention and more.

A stop on the 2017 Water Conservation PPN EXPO Tour / image: EPNAC
A stop on the 2017 Water Conservation PPN EXPO Tour / image: EPNAC

Urban Design PPN EXPO Tour
Sunday, October 21, 9:45-10:45 am

This tour of the EXPO floor will include the exhibitors: L.M. Scofield, Street Furniture Australia, Victor Stanley, and WunderCovers.

L.M. Scofield
Our intent is to provide the design professional with new ideas for enhancing concrete with dramatic results, whether you’re designing flatwork, precast elements or cast-in-place structures. Architectural concrete can provide a broad palette of colors and finishes, with the beauty and durability of a “Green” building material.

Street Furniture Australia
Quantifying the Impact of Design: #BackyardExperiment and #WodenExperiment.
Many of us have seen the effects of great place design on a community’s social and mental health, and business prosperity. Most of your clients would value these effects, if they could be proven with hard data. You might have considered how smart city technologies can help. Join us to examine two Australian case studies that aim to quantify the impact of design, with amazing results. In 2016 #BackyardExperiment, an eight-day activation in Canberra, attracted nearly 250% more dwellers to spend time in a thoroughfare. Social groups increased by up to 780%. Learn how we achieved this, how we measured it, and how we hope to create similar results with user-centered design in a second six-month project. Take these findings home to show your clients, using the power of data to demonstrate why great place design and landscape architecture is a MUST.

Victor Stanley
The push for cities to become “smart” is becoming more and more evident. The goal of this tour stop is to look into what information is important to Smart Cities, how this data is collected and managed, and how Smart Cities may change the future of landscape architecture and design.

Utility covers are a distraction to the aesthetics of a landscape. There are several options to hide these utilities.

Parks & Recreation / Children’s Outdoor Environments PPN EXPO Tour
Sunday, October 21, 1:00-2:00 pm

This tour of the EXPO floor will include the exhibitors: BCI Burke, Goric Playground, KOMPAN, and Landscape Structures.

BCI Burke
Play is more than fun and games—it is an essential component in helping children develop critical physical, mental, emotional, and social skills that lay the foundation for adulthood. This short session discusses how play impacts child development and describes the options and considerations for designing a space that fosters development and creates a playground that benefits all children and the community.

Goric Playground
Enter the Goric world of innovative, European play equipment to get an in depth look at how and why to design with their play elements. Learn about the Goric philosophy behind the versatility and timelessness of their play equipment.

The term “play value” is used widely in the playground industry and has been for many years, but there is very little agreement on precisely what the term means. A quick search of the term on the websites of the major playground manufacturers doesn’t make it any clearer. In this speed session we will provide a clear, concise definition of “play value.” We will also share a practical method for evaluating the play value of any piece of play equipment from any manufacturer. To the extent that time allows, we will also practice evaluating play equipment by using the tool.

Landscape Structures
“You can lead kids to a playground, but you can’t make them play.” “Boring playgrounds are just as likely to be abused as ignored.” “I like to play indoors, because that is where all the electrical outlets are.” Likely you have heard this all before… Sure, some will make a mad dash for the monkey bars and work up a sweat in five minutes. Others will start a spontaneous game of tag, darting in and out of play structures to avoid the pursuer. But there will always be kids who avoid playgrounds altogether because it either bores or intimidates them. Parks today face the challenge of providing environments that will attract children and families to engage, play and stay; and to compete with indoor, sedentary activities. In this session, we will examine playground trends that create kid magnets, that facilitate multi-generational interaction, and signature playgrounds that tell a community story.

image: EPNAC
image: EPNAC

Sustainable Design & Development PPN EXPO Tour
Sunday, October 21, 1:00-2:00 pm

This tour of the EXPO floor will include the exhibitors: Coldspring, GreenBlue Urban, Rooflite, and Unilock.

This course highlights how the dimension stone sustainability standard (ANSI/NSC 373) can assist projects with sustainability goals. The standard examines and verifies through a third party, numerous areas of stone production such as: water usage, custody and transportation, site and plant management, land reclamation, corporate governance, energy, waste, chemicals, worker health and safety, and innovation credits. It also includes a companion Chain of Custody (COC) program, which ensures traceability of certified stone from the quarry to processing and throughout the supply chain and ultimately to their journeys end.

GreenBlue Urban
Using urban trees as green infrastructure for our cities is arguably the most sustainable stormwater management solution available. The possibilities that exist to turn stormwater runoff from a hindrance to an opportunity are limitless. Learn from GreenBlue Urban’s 26 years of field experience, in conjunction with world-renowned researchers, such as the University of Abertay Dundee and E2 Design Labs, to examine the opportunities available for integrating street tree planting with stormwater management systems for truly sustainable urban landscapes.

Participants will learn about green roof soil systems and opportunities for simplifying those systems.

The advancements in paving stone manufacturing technology allow for unique and interesting surface finishes that are more durable and long lasting than traditional thru-mix pavers. Explore how this affects traditional and permeable paver design.

Access to EXPO education offerings are included in your meeting registration, and PPN membership is not required to attend that PPN’s meeting or EXPO tours—all are welcome! Already a member of one PPN, but curious about another? Or not sure which PPN to choose (all ASLA members receive one PPN membership for free)? You are welcome to attend as many PPN events as you like!

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