Vote for Your Favorite Game-Changing Idea

At the start of August, ASLA put out a call for ideas that will change how the field approaches climate action, asking for submissions focusing on an ASLA Climate Action Plan goal. The Climate Action Plan seeks to transform the practice of landscape architecture by 2040 through actions taken by ASLA and its members focused on climate mitigation and adaptation, ecological restoration, biodiversity, equity, and economic development.

Now, it’s time to check out the one-minute video submissions and like your favorite game-changing idea to help decide who will present at this year’s ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture in Minneapolis! Voting runs for two days only: August 29 – August 30, 2023.

Interdisciplinary Ways of Seeing: How Designers Support Community Visioning & Ultimately Resilience
Cristina Bejarano, ASLA, AICP

Adaptation planning is messy and takes many hands and expertise working together to share knowledge and collaborate with communities to design an equitable vision of the future. I’ll share some fun examples of graphics, maps, resources used to guide adaptation planning and how we translate those to inspire ideation across communities.

How to Excel in Biodiversity with the Plant Ecology Worksheet
Byron Brink, ASLA

We can dramatically increase the use of native plants in new development! A worksheet crafted for the plan review process can help get us there.

Design Tactics for Climate-Based Migration in Biodiversity Corridors
Marybeth Campeau, Associate ASLA, SITES AP

This multi-scalar project addresses biodiversity conservation through corridor design, exploring how strategic application of design tactics can facilitate climate-related movement as species track their ecological niche.

This project will change the field because it demonstrates how landscape architects must provide planning and design services capable of bridging scales from bioregion and watersheds to site-specific interventions that operationalize climate research, re-situating the profession as a leading voice for planetary change as we collectively confront our biodiversity crisis.

Identity, Innovation, Impact: Landscape Architects Shaping Climate Solutions
Robert Curtis, Affiliate ASLA

To position ourselves at the forefront of climate-sensitive design, it is imperative to reshape the perception of our knowledge base and skills among fellow professionals and the general public. By embracing the multi-faceted dimensions of our profession, harnessing the diversity of backgrounds that converge within our practice, and broadcasting our capabilities to influential decision-makers, we can establish new project standards that redefine our role in the climate crisis.

Thermoscape Toolkit: Visualizing Thermal Disparities
Keenan Gibbons, ASLA, LEED Green Associate, and Salvador Lindquist, ASLA

Extreme heat is the leading cause of disaster-related deaths, and the field of landscape architecture needs think critically about its role in design. But, design isn’t everything and we need to work outside of our discipline to advocate for better heat governance and policies that influence the ways decision makers plan for extreme heat.

Interconnected Landscapes: Land Use and Sacred Landscapes
Rose Gilson, Associate ASLA

The emotional and spiritual aspects of land are often forgotten, yet play a vital role in human development. As sacred landscapes are reduced to resources in the name of progress, how can landscape architects advocate for climate justice and equity in land use and development to work towards an interconnected landscape?

Heal Our Divisions, Heal Our Planet
Eric Higbee, ASLA

We will never find enduring solutions to climate change as long as we remain a divided nation. Solving climate change starts by cross-pollinating landscape architecture with social psychology to unleash its potential to bridge identity groups and cultivate social cohesion.

Water as Currency – Will Nature Reserve Regain Monetary Value?
Yue Hu, LEED Green Associate

Have you ever paused to consider the subtle connections embedded within the words we use daily? “Cash flow,” “groundwater banking,” and even “stock” seem to hint at links between water and money.

Curiously, economists have borrowed the essence of water to depict the movement of funds. Back in 1948, Paul Samuelson’s circular flow diagram first used water flow to demonstrate cash flow. Shortly thereafter, in 1949, Bill Phillips crafted the Monetary National Income Analog Computer, a pioneering effort to simulate the economic trajectory of the United Kingdom.

Nature itself also provided us with an indication of the monetary value of water, a revelation dating back to as early as 1930. The era of the Dust Bowl, characterized by an intense drought and relentless dust storms, not only disrupted agricultural yields but also exacerbated the monumental crisis that was the Great Depression. Evidently intertwined, the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression shared an intricate bond as they posed concurrent ecological and economic challenges.

Perhaps the solution to galvanize a realization of the environment’s worth in the face of ongoing climate change is to illuminate the monetary value of nature reserves. By appraising these reserves, we might inspire a collective awakening to the significance of our surroundings.

Notably, water has already silently exchanged hands as “virtual water” — that is, the water embodied in the production of the commodities. Indeed, water is an invisible thread woven throughout the tapestry of our existence.

Will the water be the new rule of the next generation? As humanity grapples with evolving challenges, water’s underlying currency might emerge as a fundamental rule shaping the times ahead.

Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Our Obligations to Truth and Healing
José de Jesús Leal, ASLA

Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge are foundational systems with which most Indigenous Populations function with and that directly relate to the practice of traditional cultural activities, all which are grounded by human interaction to each other and to the land. Our obligations as Landscape Architects should be one of actively working with Indigenous People towards restoration of their ancestral territories, facilitating access to and protection of cultural places and spaces and ultimately helping to return control to these lands to Indigenous People.

From Landfill to Landscape
Valeria Quintanilla, ASLA, SITES AP

Transform the standard construction practices to eco-conscious material, reutilization and recycle of material will revolutionize the future of the industry, leading to reduced carbon emissions, minimized resource depletion, and enhanced energy efficiency. Embracing sustainability will pave the way for a greener, more resilient built environment that prioritizes environmental preservation and societal well-being.

Biochar for Practical Carbon Drawdown: The Crucial Role of Landscape Architects
Justin Roberts, Associate ASLA

The use of biochar represents a shovel-ready and quantifiable means of carbon sequestration for landscape architects that also benefits water quality and overall soil and plant health in a wide range of conditions depending on how it is used. Biochar is having its moment in the federal policy landscape and landscape architects could ride a wave of interest and increased availability to develop best practices using biochar that could catalyze large-scale carbon drawdown at the global level while also supporting climate adaptation at the site-scale.

The Echoes of Sky River: Forging a Techno-Cultural Alliance for Tomorrow
Liwei Shen, Associate ASLA, LEED AP

Landscape architecture has the potential to extend the hydrology scope into the sky. This project documents indigenous weather-related landscapes and envisions a modern landscape form that echoes precipitation changes and evokes cultural empathy.

Climate Action in the Largest Superfund Complex in the United States
Megan Terry, ASLA, SITES AP

Nestled in the heart of rural Rocky Mountains, Butte stands as a unique canvas for viewing climate action, owing to its rugged identity as an active open-pit mine and largest complex of superfund sites in the US. Butte provides invaluable insights into tackling climate challenges with a resilient spirit with ongoing metal extractions that will propel renewable technologies such as solar and implications of remediation on a massive scale.

The Mountain We Face Starts With a Breath
Peter Trio, ASLA

Many in our industry are overwhelmed with burnout and feelings of despair around climate change and social injustice. I plan to relax and empower individuals through a few simple grounding exercises that will lay the foundation for a new paradigm in leadership.

Urban Forestry: What Cities Need Now!
Gaylan Williams, ASLA, LEED AP

Landscape architects, the designers of urban forests, often select trees based on aesthetics and provenance. Seldom do they think of the urban forest as an extensive utility system, nor do they consider their species-specific benefits. This must change. To effectively combat climate change and ensure a resilient future, landscape architects must calculate the immediate and anticipated benefits of their trees and design spaces suitable for these trees to live and thrive.

Like your favorite game-changing idea to help decide who will present at this year’s ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture! Voting closes Wednesday, August 30.

The top submissions will be invited to present their game changing idea at the ASLA 2023 Conference. Game Changer presentations are designed to be fast-paced, innovative talks. Presenters will have just seven minutes to share their game-changing idea. The winning Game Changer (selected by jury) will receive $500 toward professional development opportunities.

Sponsored by Tournesol

Not registered to join us in Minneapolis yet? September 12 is the advance rate registration deadline!

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