This past Sunday in Minneapolis, ASLA inducted 48 members into the Council of Fellows at the ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture’s Investiture Dinner.
Fellowship is among the highest honors ASLA bestows on members and recognizes the contributions of these individuals to their profession and society at large based on their works, leadership and management, knowledge, and service.
To be eligible for nomination, an individual must:
Be a current ASLA Full Member or International Member in good standing.
Have achieved at least 10 continuous years of FULL membership at the time of nomination.
Have demonstrated exceptional contributions over an extended period of time.
Have made a significant positive impact on the public and the profession.
Nominations may be made by the executive committee of a chapter, the executive committee of ASLA, or the executive committee of the Council of Fellows in one of four categories:
The local WxLA-MN organization was founded in 2011, with the mission to provide increased transparency, leadership, and representation for womxn (women, women-identifying, and non-binary people) in the profession by providing mentorship and scholarship opportunities. The organization has grown its presence in the Twin Cities landscape architecture community—WxLA-MN has provided over 20 scholarships, hosts regular happy hours, and plans various networking and educational events.
This year’s Women in Landscape Architecture Walk is an ambitious 3.75 mile round trip to the Mississippi River and back. You’re guaranteed to meet or exceed your daily step goals while passing through a broad range of city planning and landscape architecture projects designed by womxn practitioners in our great state and region!
Throughout the year, ASLA Professional Practice Network (PPN) leaders and members share their experiences and expertise as authors here on The Field blog and as presenters for ASLA Online Learning webinars. For one very special weekend each fall, PPNs also organize in-person gatherings at the ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture. If you are heading to Minneapolis later this week (!), PPN meetings are an ideal way to see the PPNs in action and get a sense of what these practice area-focused groups for ASLA members are all about.
If you can’t make it to Minneapolis this year, a number of education sessions will be recorded and shared as Online Learning webinars so you can still learn about the latest in landscape architecture and earn PDH on-demand.
Below, we run through education highlights by PPN practice area:
Urban design is an interdisciplinary field of study and area of practice concerned with the architectural form, the relationship between the buildings and urban landscapes, and the pedestrian realm created within. The field encompasses landscape architecture, architecture, city planning, development, real estate, as well as many others. It is consumed by the creation, design, and management of the built environment in an urban context. Beyond its creative, spatial, and aesthetic roots (Sitte 1965 ), urban design is an evidence-based activity requiring scientific and practical knowledge responding to the evolving nature of human settlements. It is concerned with social, economic, and environmental as well and aesthetic knowledge, ideals, and principles inherent to various project typologies (Ozdil 2008 & 2016, Krieger & Saunders 2009, Carmona 2016, Lang 2017).
Mixed-use developments and centers are considered by a few as one of the “hottest” urban design project typologies that emerged within the past few decades in Sunbelt cities, if not in North America. Their roots can primarily be attributed to the traditional cores of cities, towns, villages, or neighborhoods across the world, and Main Streets and Commercial Business Districts, and perhaps to pedestrian malls (starting with Kalamazoo, Michigan) in the United States. Although they are relatively new and favored project typologies and urban design phenomena that introduce density, diversity, and/or urban living conditions to sprawling metropolitan regions, they have also been under scrutiny for their trendy and market-driven development strategies (Rowley 1996, Hine, 2006, Tesso 2013).
In 2022 the American Society of Landscape Architects published their Climate Action Plan (CAP), which sets a bold vision to be a zero emissions profession by the year 2040. Increasing the percentage of green space, selecting low carbon materials, enhancing biodiversity, and many more ideas are offered within the plan. Developed by a team of leading landscape architects, this plan, and accompanying field guide, provides a framework for landscape architects to achieve this goal.
As one can imagine, it takes a team of collaborators and partners to build such a plan and execute such a vision. Leading the drive to this vision is the ASLA Climate Action Committee and subcommittees. This committee is charged with building road maps, actions, guides, and identifying collaborators to help fulfill the goals of the CAP. One such collaborator group is the Corporate Member Committee and its roster of manufacturers and vendors that support landscape architects and the landscape industry markets. With approximately 75% of landscape architecture project emissions coming from materials, collaboration between these groups is crucial to realize a zero emissions profession. As these committees focus up the value chain in the economies of landscape architecture, there is an excellent opportunity for the ASLA Professional Practice Networks (PPNs) to incorporate the intended goals of the CAP in the day-to-day practice of landscape architecture–especially the Water Conservation PPN.
Segregated communities in various parts of the world have long been subjected to systemic oppression, resulting in enduring cycles of trauma that span generations. Systemic oppression can manifest in the form of racial discrimination, economic disparities, lack of access to quality education, healthcare, and other basic resources, and the perpetuation of social stereotypes. These communities often face a multitude of challenges, including high levels of stress, violence, substance abuse, and mental health issues due to the cumulative effects of historical and contemporary injustices.
Intergenerational trauma refers to the transmission of trauma and its effects across multiple generations within a community. It is a complex phenomenon that has deep-seated roots in historical injustices such as slavery, colonization, and institutional racism. This ongoing trauma hinders the well-being and development of individuals and communities, perpetuating a cycle that is difficult to break.
Trauma-informed design, a concept rooted in trauma-informed care principles, recognizes the need to create environments that are sensitive to the experiences of trauma survivors. While commonly applied in healthcare and social services, the application of trauma-informed design principles in the built environment and community planning is an emerging field. This approach emphasizes safety, empowerment, and the prevention of re-traumatization in physical spaces and social interactions.
Everyone loves fountains. They provide a three-dimensional sensory experience in any urban landscape. However, they are complex architectural elements that generally require a multidisciplinary effort to bring into reality. To achieve the visual and aural benefits they provide to a site, water quantity and quality must be managed for both interactive and non-interactive water features.
We often find that there is reluctance amongst site owners and operators to maintain architectural fountains. Dealing with chemicals, biofilm scrubbing, strainer cleaning, pump control programming, and winterization requires either commitment by on-site staff to be trained and dedicated to these water features or hiring an outside third-party to manage them remotely and provide frequent site visits. Similar to swimming pools, there needs to be a frank conversation with the owner to let them know what they are inheriting for a system. Where allowed by law, often owners will opt for a “pass-through” or “once-through” fountain where municipal domestic water, already chlorinated, passes through the fountain and drains away to a sanitary or storm sewer—saving on the cost of pumping and sanitation of recycling water.
The problem is that pass-through urban architectural fountains and splash decks waste substantial amounts of drinking water. We still see pass-through urban architectural fountains in use in older Northeast cities where no one considered the amount of water waste 50 – 100 years ago.