How Would You Change the Field of Landscape Architecture?

The Call for Game Changers for the ASLA 2022 Conference on Landscape Architecture is open through August 22. / image: istockphoto.com, Diane Bentley Raymond

Do you have an idea that will change the field of landscape architecture? Here’s your opportunity to share it at the ASLA 2022 Conference on Landscape Architecture. We’re seeking presentations for game-changing ideas that can move our profession forward—ideas from different perspectives, voices, and backgrounds. Those big ideas could come from you!

Game Changer presentations are designed to be fast-paced, innovative talks. Presenters will have just seven minutes to share their game-changing idea. The deadline for presentation proposals is noon PT, August 22, 2022.

No matter your speaking experience, this is a great opportunity to share ideas and concepts under development that will drive innovation. Submissions from first-time presenters, students, emerging professionals, and allied professionals are strongly encouraged.

What you need to enter:

  • Your information: Tell us about yourself.
  • Game Changer Written Description: Pitch this talk to attendees with a short answer describing how your idea will change the field (up to 500 characters).
  • Video: Submit a short video (up to one minute; 9:16 aspect ratio) describing your game-changing idea. No fancy production required. Have fun with it! The video must be under one minute to be eligible.

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Transforming Landscapes with Solar Smart Benches

by Malcolm Kay, Affiliate ASLA

Steora Cyclo solar powered bench / image: Archasol

In just a few short years, bench seating has evolved from simply offering a place to sit and relax to high tech community hubs. Benches can now be recharging stations for phones, laptops, e-bikes, and e-scooters; centers for monitoring and recording data on local environment conditions; music centers with Bluetooth speakers; Wi-Fi hotspots; and workstations with 120V power and overhead lighting—all within a compact, self-contained structure, free from any external power.

It was only seven years ago that the first solar powered smart bench with fully integrated solar panels was developed in Europe. The earliest models took the view that this new type of bench should look revolutionary in all respects, so side panels were square steel plate, painted a brilliant white with the seat basically being a flat panel housing PV cells, protected with a thick sheet of glass or polycarbonate.

Since that time, the design of solar powered benches has evolved considerably, with some benches now incorporating PV cells concealed so successfully that they resemble wood slats. Even the backrest of the seats can be used to house PV cells, increasing the power generating capacity without increasing the width or length of the seat.

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RFQs and Opportunities Roundup

Photo of the audience at a WxLA event in San Diego
ASLA 2021 Professional Communications Honor Award. WxLA – Champions for Equality in Landscape Architecture. / image: Jeri Hetrick

With summer swiftly rolling on, now is the time to peruse ASLA’s RFQs and Opportunities page. Rather than go on a hiatus while temperatures are high (often shockingly so), this resource is full of new additions, both from ASLA—the Call for Game Changers, anyone?—and allied organizations and others.

Anyone looking to share an opportunity with landscape architects may do so through the online submission form.

Below, we highlight a sampling of the calls for submissions and competitions listed currently.

Requests for Proposals and Qualifications

Haughville Riverfront Parks Master Plan in Indianapolis, IN
Deadline: August 26, 2022

Multi-Use Pathway Design in Cambridge, MA
Deadline: August 26, 2022

Planning Services for Urban Bike Facilities in Shaker Heights, OH
Deadline: September 1, 2022

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Urban Heat Island: A Non-Transferable Problem Within Cities, Part 2

by Veronica Westendorff, PLA, ASLA, SITES AP

Even narrow spaces can accommodate trees, if the right species are selected. / image: photo by V. Westendorff

Part 2: A Review of Policies and Programs Addressing UHI Across the US

To learn more about the impacts of climate change on our growing cities, I began to research some of the challenges that urban areas are experiencing as they grow. In addition to housing, offices, and shops for consumer goods and services, roads and other infrastructure are needed to support these communities. This brings more heat, and more consumption of energy, goods, and services in a way that is not sustainable. Last week, I took a look at urban trees as a means of reducing the urban heat island effect (UHI) within cities. Here, I’ll be exploring the question: what policies or programs are in place across the United States to reduce UHI in cities using trees?

Resilient Cities

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) created a list of cities in the United States with ordinances that address urban heat island and enhance cities’ energy efficiency, which is an integral part of reducing UHI. I reviewed the 50 cities below, looking at their programs and policies to see which were designed specifically to use trees to mitigate UHI.

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