World Landscape Architecture Month: Social Media Showcase

ASLA 2021 Professional General Design Honor Award. Atlanta Dairies. Atlanta, Georgia. Perkins&Will / image: Sahar Coston-Hardy, Affil. ASLA

All throughout April, landscape architects around the world have been responding to ASLA’s World Landscape Architecture Month (WLAM) prompt to post to social media their response to the questions: What is landscape architecture? What does landscape architecture mean to you? This past week, ASLA National combed through the 1,000+ submissions to identify the top five #WLAM2022 Instagram posts, based on combined number of likes and comments, to repost on the National ASLA Instagram account.

In case any Field readers are taking a break from social media, or if you missed these amidst some overzealous scrolling, here are the top three posts, highlighting meandering meadow plantings, native plant communities, and the design process from concept to buildable plan.

Marcus Barnett Studio
London and Overton, United Kingdom

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Digital Landscape Architecture Conference Coming to Harvard GSD

by Stephen M. Ervin

DLA2022’s keynote speakers are Mirka Beneš of the University of Texas at Austin, Anya Domlesky, ASLA, Director of Research at SWA Group, and Mitchell Joachim of Terreform ONE / NYU. / image: DLA Conference

Digital Landscape Architecture (DLA) Conference
June 9-10, 2022
Online and in-person at the Graduate School of Design (GSD), Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Just three years ago, I attended the Digital Landscape Architecture Conference for the first time, when it was held in Dessau, Germany, home of the Bauhaus. At that time, I was invited to speak about BIM in landscape architecture and was amazed by the diverse audience present to listen, see, and engage. With eyes wide open, I too learned a great deal from faculty, students, practitioners, and various technology leaders. Soon after this experience, our Digital Technology PPN was asked to help spread the word about the following conference, to take place in the US, at Harvard GSD. Though COVID changed the dynamic for a couple of years, the conference retooled and continued virtually. As this year’s conference theme “Hybrid” describes the split nature of learning and disseminating presented information, it also translates to how our practice, research, and connectedness has quickly adapted and evolved to stay ahead of the new directions of the industry. I invite you to consider the announcement below by fellow DLA colleague, Stephen Ervin, and sincerely consider joining the conference either virtually or in-person to learn where digital technology in landscape architecture is heading next.
–Eric Gilbey, PLA, ASLA, Digital Technology Professional Practice Network (PPN) Immediate Past Chair

In 2020, the 21st international meeting of the Digital Landscape Architecture (DLA) Conference was scheduled to come to the US for the first time ever, to Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD)—after having been in Europe, mostly at the Hochschule Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, near Berlin, Germany, for the previous two decades.

Of course, the 2020 conference, planned for June of that year, was dramatically disrupted by the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, when Harvard along with much of the US was locked down, and the conference was held from my home office, entirely on Zoom, then a still-new experience for many of us.

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New Environmental Justice Case Study: Officer Daniel Webster Children’s Park

Officer Daniel Webster Children’s Park, Albuquerque, New Mexico / image: MRWM Landscape Architects

One of the most frequently requested resources amongst landscape architects working on environmental justice is a database of precedent projects to reference. Since 2019, the ASLA Environmental Justice Professional Practice Network (EJ PPN) has been collecting case studies in order to build a robust set of examples of how to promote environmental justice into our field of practice. A new project featuring a new park in a low-income area with limited access to open spaces was recently added to this PPN resource:

Officer Daniel Webster Children’s Park
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Owner: City of Albuquerque
Designer: MRWM Landscape Architects
Contractor: Lee Landscapes

This park is in Albuquerque’s International District, a neighborhood that has limited parks and other public open spaces. In the early planning phases, the neighborhood strongly advocated for a park instead of developing the vacant site as a municipal bus facility. Three phases of the park have been constructed and include a large shaded play structure, group gathering areas, and a turf area with rolling hills and dense trees. Future phases will include a turf recreation field, nature-play spaces, and additional group activity areas. This park is a valued community space, providing a critical green space in a low-income neighborhood.

Read the full case study >

Case study submitted by:
Gregory Miller, PLA, FASLA
Principal Landscape Architect, MRWM Landscape Architects

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TRB Standing Committee on Landscape and Environmental Design Mid-Year Workshop

by Willson S. McBurney, ASLA

image: Mick Haupt on Unsplash

The Transportation Research Board’s Standing Committee on Landscape and Environmental Design (AKD40) will hold our mid-year meeting June 26-29, 2022, at the Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park in Winter Harbor, Maine. Registration is now open!

All Committee members and friends are encouraged to attend the AKD40 2022 Mid-Year Workshop. The Schoodic Institute is about 1.25 hours from Bangor, 3.5 hours from Portland, and 5.5 hours from Boston.

We will conduct Committee business and will learn of the region’s rich transportation history and current best practices from the area’s transportation leaders. Tuesday’s learning sessions will focus on Coastal Maine’s transportation infrastructure needs and the resulting multimodal solutions that are satisfying the needs of Acadia National Park and the Bold Coast. Tours of the new transportation system at Acadia National Park, the Schoodic Byway, and local complete streets projects are anticipated.

The Committee will complete current TRB assignments and work products to prepare for the January 2023 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

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Students Exploring Enriching Design: Hammock Hollow at Bok Tower Gardens

by Kaylin Slaughter, Student ASLA, and Kenneth Hurst, ASLA

A sketch of my friend basking under the palms, taking in the exquisite site. / image: Kaylin Slaughter

The mission of this study trip to Orlando, Florida, was to have the second year landscape architecture students at Texas A&M University engage with a question about popular play spaces: what elements of design make these spaces work? Students were given pencils and a journal, and were invited to tap into the knowledge we had acquired thus far in our education and record our uniquely formed observations. Through this journaling process we developed unexpected and meaningful relationships with the sites we visited.

In built environments, an individual’s experience of any given site may often feel as programmed as the paths of travel. However, designers have the capacity to see a site for its full potential. As a student of design, I see the world through two lenses. One is the rose-colored glass that shows me the designed world the way the landscape architect intended it to be seen. The other lens offers a designer’s X-ray vision that allows me to see past beauty to purpose. As a design student I am caught between these perspectives—I can uncover a space with childlike wonder, and yet I have the vocabulary to articulate the design’s successes while doing so on a journey deeper into a site’s purpose than most user groups could. This realization came to me as my classmates and I were observing a children’s play space.

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It’s Time to Show the World What Landscape Architecture is All About

ASLA 2021 Professional General Design Honor Award. Atlanta Dairies. Atlanta, Georgia. Perkins&Will / image: Perkins&Will and Sahar Coston-Hardy, Affil. ASLA

We’re nearly halfway through World Landscape Architecture Month (WLAM), so today we are running through a few reminders for upcoming events, special calls to action, and more ways to take part in this global celebration of landscape architecture and the work of landscape architects.

Designing for Pollinators

On Thursday, April 14, ASLA will host a screening of the PBS Nature film My Garden of a Thousand Bees, followed by a post-film discussion with Patricia Algara, PLA, ASLA, founding principal of BASE Landscape Architecture, and Clay Bolt, World Wildlife Federation expert. Learn more and register and register to watch the film and join the post-discussion.

Celebrate Frederick Law Olmsted

Olmsted Proclamation Introduced in Congress 

A bipartisan measure, H. Res. 1013, has been introduced to recognize and celebrate Olmsted’s legacy. Contact your legislator today to urge them to cosponsor this special legislation that celebrates Olmsted and the profession of landscape architecture.

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The Pennsylvania Avenue Initiative: Vision and Concepts

image: Adam Szuscik on Unsplash

ASLA’s RFQs, Opportunities, and Events page provides information on everything from calls for papers to competitions. Below, we highlight a recently submitted series of public meetings. Anyone who would like to share an opportunity may submit information online.

The stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., between the White House and the U.S. Capitol is one of the most recognizable streetscapes. Tourists, runners, festivalgoers, protesters, skateboarders, and D.C. residents alike all know this iconic location well, and given the very many uses and user groups for this iconic urban space, reimagining it for the future is no simple task.

The Pennsylvania Avenue Initiative kicked off in 2015, and just last month, a public comment period opened for three concepts—Urban Capital, Linear Green, and Civic Stage—with different approaches to achieving the initiative’s vision: “to transform Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and the U.S. Capitol into America’s stage and a street that prioritizes people over cars with inviting and inclusive public spaces.”

Starting next week, the National Capital Planning Commission is hosting three virtual public meetings for people to learn more and ask questions.

Public Meetings: Pennsylvania Avenue Vision and Concepts

  • Wednesday, April 13, 12:00-1:30 p.m. (Eastern)
  • Tuesday, April 26, 7:00-8:30 p.m. (Eastern)
  • Saturday, May 21, 10:00-11:30 a.m. (Eastern)

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Be Part of the SITES for Existing Landscapes Certification Pilot

by Danielle Pieranunzi

SITES-certified Washington Canal Park in Washington, DC / image: Sustainable SITES Initiative

Do you want to better understand how your completed project is performing and demonstrate its success? Do you have an existing park, campus, government facility, or other outdoor space that you would like to earn SITES certification for sustainable and resilient land development? Are you interested in informing and influencing the next SITES certification tool?

If any of this sounds of interest, the Sustainable SITES Initiative wants to hear from you.

SITES certification offers a path for landscape projects to enhance their sustainability, implement green infrastructure strategies, and improve resilience through nature-based solutions. As you may know, the current SITES v2 rating system is directed at new construction and major renovation projects. While this work is vital, there are many more landscapes that have already been built that seek these same goals.

To address this gap, SITES is currently developing a framework that expands into ongoing sustainable site management practices and the monitoring and reporting of their social, economic, and environmental benefits.

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