Landscape architects and allied professionals have kicked off World Landscape Architecture Month 2020 and the Life Grows Here campaign with great energy, engaging through social media and virtual interactions to keep this annual international celebration of landscape architecture and designed public and private spaces going strong, despite the current circumstances. All are invited to participate in WLAM2020, from wherever you are, in celebration and recognition of the spaces landscape architects create.
In ASLA’s 2017 Professional Practice Networks (PPNs) member survey, one question asked members to share one key piece of business advice on how to do well in landscape architecture. Among the top responses: cultivating a lifelong love of learning and adaptability. In times of disruption, those two characteristics may be more important than ever. Speculation is rampant, but no one knows how the next few weeks and months will unfold. Now is the time to expand your knowledge base and diversify what’s in your toolkit in order to make yourself more resilient when confronted with extreme uncertainty.
Sharpening existing skills and adding new ones can help make you a more valuable team member and give you the flexibility to best respond to whatever may come your way. Landscape architects are used to dealing with change—it is an integral part of practice. Given the disruptions currently taking place, now is the time to build on that existing versatility and grow your ability to adapt to whatever we may find going forward.
The Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System
Landscape architects and other design professionals can access information on continuing education courses from more than 250 approved providers through the Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System™ (LA CES™).
Check the “Search for Distance Education courses only” box under For Professionals: Find a Course for webinars and other online offerings you can do from home. You can also sign up to receive email alerts about new courses.
As a LA CES education provider, ASLA provides a number of ways to earn LA CES-approved professional development hours (PDH) online: by participating in a live webinar (all of the upcoming April webinars are FREE for ASLA members!), watching a recorded presentation, or reading a peer-reviewed technical paper, you can earn PDH online, wherever you are and whenever you can.
For many, remote work is the new reality for the foreseeable future. For some landscape architects, this is a whole new world; for others, the past few weeks have been a time of rapidly ramping up existing offerings to allow staff to work from home full-time. While staying as safe and healthy as possible takes priority over most more workaday concerns, a host of questions related to the sudden shift to remote work are also top of mind for many:
How to ensure your clients that you can seamlessly communicate with them.
How to maintain lines of communication amongst staff and project teams to continue design and planning work.
How to adjust to the “new normal.”
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and Landscape Architecture Magazine is pulling together tips and resources as we all work together to find our footing in this new terrain. We’ll continue to reach out to our committees, members, and leaders from across the profession to gather additional ideas to share. Stay tuned for updates going forward.
To hear directly from your peers in the profession, join us on March 31 for Out of Office: Tools, Team, and Togetherness for WFH, a webinar with three practitioners in conversation around the new urgency for setting up your team for success while working remotely. [The webinar recording, along with the presentation slides and a summary, are now available on ASLA’s COVID-19 Resources page.]
IT tools to maintain productivity when working remotely
While the IT tools you select and use will vary depending on your needs and setting, ASLA is offering general guidance below. It is ultimately up to our members and landscape architecture and design firms to implement what they are able to do in each case for themselves and their offices to help keep business going in this very challenging situation.
Do you have an idea that will change the field of landscape architecture? Here’s your opportunity to share it at the 2020 ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture in Miami Beach.
We’re seeking presentations for game-changing ideas that can move the profession forward—ideas from different perspectives, voices, and backgrounds. Those big ideas could come from you.
Game Changer sessions are designed to be fast-paced, innovative talks. Presenters will have just 20 slides that advance automatically every 20 seconds to share their game-changing idea. The deadline for presentation proposals is 12:00 p.m. PT on Monday, March 23.
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.
More than 40 education sessions recorded during the 2019 ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture in San Diego are now available through ASLA Online Learning. The recorded sessions’ topics range from climate action and metrics for assessing public space designs to innovative business practices and risk management.
ASLA Online Learning offers both live online presentations throughout the year and more than 200 recordings for Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System™ (LA CES™)-approved professional development hours (PDH). Log in using your ASLA username and password for member discounts and access to free PDH, for ASLA members only.
Free for ASLA Members: The 2019 General Sessions
Gina McCarthy, President and CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council and former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, brought down the house during her 2019 keynote speech when she declared landscape architecture THE profession to solve the climate crisis. ASLA members now have exclusive access to the recording of the opening general session, From Climate Change to Climate Action: Building a Clean, Healthy, Sustainable Future, free-of-charge via ASLA Online Learning (1.0 PDH LA CES/non-HSW).
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is accepting entries for the 2020 Professional and Student Awards. This prestigious juried landscape architecture competition honors the best and most innovative landscape architecture projects from around the globe and gives a glimpse into the future of the profession.
Monday, May 4, 11:59 p.m. PST: entry fees for the Student Awards are due
Monday, May 11, 11:59 p.m. PST: submissions for the Student Awards are due
This year, a new award category, Urban Design, will recognize projects that activate networks of spaces that mediate between social equity, economic viability, infrastructure, environmental stewardship, and place-making in the public and private realm.
Ever wonder what our urban streets and avenues would be without street trees or other urban forestry components? Have you ever pulled into that shopping center from yesteryear only to find not a tree, planting island, or bit of shade in sight? How did that wall-to-wall paved impervious area make you feel? Can cities and urban infrastructure even exist and provide an ample quality of life without urban forestry?
Urban forestry is essential to our built environment and population centers and is defined by Wikipedia as the “care and management of single trees and tree populations in urban settings for the purpose of improving the urban environment.”
Healthy streetscapes and efforts to employ urban forestry techniques have a number of positive effects cities could likely not live without. Street trees help curb the urban heat island effect and can be effective in carbon sequestering in urban areas where carbon footprints tend to peak. They also provide much needed shade that improves not only the pedestrian experience, but also keeps your car cooler on a 90 degree day and helps businesses reduce energy use through less air conditioning. Street trees often increase property values, aid in stormwater management, and as an added benefit, attract tourism, businesses, and economic investment.
Age Old Cities is a striking exhibit that opened this weekend in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art. It recreates sites in Palmyra and Aleppo in Syria and Mosul in Iraq through extraordinarily detailed documentation of their current state and 3D reconstructions projected on the gallery walls.
While the “magic of technology,” as described in the wall text at the exhibit’s entry, may sound over-dramatic, the large-scale visuals and their immersive presentation are arresting. A blend of archival materials, drone imagery, and photogrammetry capture—the same technology used in the 2019 ASLA Award-winning project Artful Technology Methods for Communicating Non-Standard Construction Materials to digitally scan landscape boulders, and for other applications within the fields of landscape architecture historic preservation—allowed for the creation of profoundly affecting visual restorations that transport the viewer.
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) works with ASLA’s chapters, state and federal legislators, state and administration officials, and regulatory bodies to advance policies critical to the profession. ASLA’s current priorities are:
Climate Change and Resilience
Public Lands and National and Community Parks
Transportation Design and Planning
Water and Stormwater Management
The new year may have only just begun, but ASLA’s Government Affairs team has already put forth a host of statements and updates in recent weeks. Below is a recap of recent announcements, in case you missed them, plus where to find the latest advocacy news.
National Scenic Byways Nominations Process Announced
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has announced that the application packet for nominations for new National Scenic Byways will be available on their website on February 13, 2020. For the first time in 12 years, state and tribal scenic byways around the country will have the opportunity to apply for the important National Scenic Byways status.
We may only be a few weeks into the new year, but the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) already has several deadlines coming up. Help to ensure your voice is heard, that you and your colleagues are recognized for your work and leadership, and that your landscape architecture practice area is represented by taking part in one or more of these open calls—for presentations, nominations, and exemplary projects:
Below, we take a closer look at each of the ASLA Honors, including a new honor to recognize the outstanding and innovative contributions of emerging leaders in the field. These prestigious awards recognize individuals and organizations for their lifetime achievements and notable contributions to the profession of landscape architecture.
ASLA’s Professional Practice Networks (PPNs) provide opportunities for professionals interested in the same areas of practice to exchange information, learn about current practices and research, and network with each other—both online and in person at the ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture.
Throughout the year, PPN leaders and members share their experiences and expertise as authors for The Field blog and as presenters for ASLA’s Online Learning webinars. In 2019, the PPNs published 101 posts for The Field and organized 16 webinars. We would like to thank all of you who contributed to this shared body of knowledge in 2019! These opportunities are open to all ASLA members, and we hope to grow our group of PPN contributors in 2020.
Below, we highlight the top 10 Field posts and best-attended live Online Learning presentations of the year, but be sure to check out the full PPN 2019 in Review for additional information, including highlights from PPN Live at the 2019 ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture in San Diego and how all ASLA members can contribute and participate on a national level through the PPNs.
The ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture is the largest gathering of landscape architects and allied professionals in the world—all coming together to learn, celebrate, build relationships, and strengthen the bonds of our incredibly varied professional community.
We are seeking education proposals that will help to drive change in the field of landscape architecture and solve everyday challenges informed by research and practice. Help us shape the 2020 education program by submitting a proposal through our online system by Thursday, January 23, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. PT.
New for 2020
The conference education program will be organized across dynamic conference tracks designed to help you focus on the challenges that are most important to you. Before you submit your proposal, prepare by reviewing the 2020 conference tracks and descriptions. For your submission, select one of 14 tracks that represent topics most relevant to the practice of landscape architecture and cross sector collaborations today.
Please visit the submission site to learn more about criteria, the review process, and key dates. ASLA members are invited to log in to the online system using their unique ASLA ID.
The ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture concluded this past Monday, and now it’s time to review the array of Professional Practice Network (PPN) events that took place in San Diego last weekend. The EXPO’s PPN Live space offered meeting rooms and a central stage; four PPN sessions that took place on the PPN Live stage offered 1.0 PDH (LA CES / HSW) each and covered topics from planning resilient university campuses to the current state of knowledge of environmental justice in landscape architecture practice.
During the PPN meetings, while members were gathered to network and learn, new leadership volunteers were identified for many PPNs, along with members interested in submitting posts for The Field or presenting ASLA Online Learning webinars. All ASLA members are welcome to join their PPN’s leadership team, the core group of member volunteers that guide PPN activities throughout the year. If you would like to learn more about getting involved, check out the ways to engage with the PPNs and sign up to join your PPN leadership team.
Below, we take a look back at PPN Live in San Diego. More photos from all conference events may be found across social media—just search for the hashtag #ASLA2019 on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
The 2019 ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture begins tomorrow, November 15, in San Diego! In addition to the events planned for PPN Live, each Professional Practice Network (PPN) leadership team also reviews the conference education program to highlight sessions relevant to their practice areas. With more than 120 courses, allowing attendees to earn up to 21 professional development hours (PDH), it is an extensive program to explore, and you can do so through the conference website and mobile app by keyword, topic area, speaker, who should attend, and PDH type offered (LA CES/HSW, LA CES/non-HSW, FL, NY, GBCI CE, GBCI SITES, ISA, and more).
Below, we run through the second half of these education highlights (see the sessions picked by ASLA’s 10 other PPNs in our previous post):
The 2019 ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture begins this Friday in San Diego! In addition to the events planned for PPN Live, each Professional Practice Network (PPN) leadership team also reviews the conference education program to highlight sessions relevant to their practice areas. With more than 120 courses, allowing attendees to earn up to 21 professional development hours (PDH), it is an extensive program to explore, and you can do so through the conference website and mobile app by keyword, topic area, speaker, who should attend, and PDH type offered (LA CES/HSW, LA CES/non-HSW, FL, NY, GBCI CE, GBCI SITES, ISA, and more).
If you can’t make it to San Diego this year, several 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 the first half of these education highlights by PPN practice area (stay tuned for sessions picked by ASLA’s 10 other PPNs this Thursday):
Like many places around the globe, San Diego campuses are considering the potential future impacts of climate change and what it means to have resilient campuses in this region. Two perspectives will be explored to illustrate a range of approaches to location-specific considerations for these campus landscapes.
Krista Van Hove, ASLA, Standford University
Katharyn Hurd, ASLA, AICP, Urban Designer and Planner, Page
PPN Live at the ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture in San Diego this month includes an array of events for attendees to network with colleagues and engage with ASLA’s 20 Professional Practice Networks (PPNs) in person, including PPN meetings, education sessions, and practice area-focused guided walks around the EXPO floor.
Want to make the most of your PPN experience at the conference? Set your own PPN agenda! Check out the schedule below and plan to earn professional development hours with a selection of meetings and sessions. Participate in a live session, network with your peers and product exhibitors in a guided walk around the show floor designed for your PPN, and make new connections within your practice area of landscape architecture.
Typically, February 1 to April 1 is the busiest time of year for scholarship application deadlines.
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) are among many organizations that offer a variety of scholarships, awards, competitions, fellowships, and other funding options for students pursuing degrees and careers in landscape architecture.
Take a moment to bookmark the ASLA Scholarships and LAF Scholarships pages, then set aside time to review the full list of available opportunities, many with an application deadline of February 1 or 15.
Tips for getting ready:
Begin your scholarship search now (if you haven’t already)
Make a submission materials checklist for each scholarship
Understand eligibility criteria
Ask for recommendations ASAP
Begin drafting essay responses
Meet BEAT deadlines
Both the ASLA and LAF webpages feature new opportunities specifically designed to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the profession. A few are listed below, but don’t stop there. Ask friends, teachers, and colleagues if they know of funding opportunities offered by firms or other organizations.
Registration for the 8th annual U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Campus RainWorks Challenge is open now through Tuesday, October 15, 2019.
The Campus RainWorks Challenge is a green infrastructure design competition that seeks to engage with the next generation of environmental professionals, foster a dialogue about the need for innovative stormwater management, and showcase the environmental, economic, and social benefits of green infrastructure practices. Current undergraduate and graduate students at American colleges and universities are eligible to participate.
Pollution associated with urban stormwater runoff is a problem that is growing in magnitude. The Campus RainWorks Challenge invites the current generation of scholars to lend their creativity and knowledge to the green infrastructure design process and become part of the solution to stormwater pollution by designing an innovative green infrastructure project for their campus that effectively manages stormwater pollution while benefitting the campus community and the environment.
ASLA is a proud supporter of the EPA Campus RainWorks Challenge. ASLA members participate as jurors during the review process. If you are interested in volunteering as a juror, please contact email@example.com.
We have all seen that new project or development get constructed, and have initial community impact and luster, only to see it become dilapidated and run-down over time. The truth is a project’s success is not determined by only the initial product or outcome—on-going maintenance and upkeep needs to be adequately addressed by designers and owners alike to ensure a project remains a success into the future.
Proper time and planning is needed to ensure operations and maintenance (O&M) manuals aren’t an afterthought or get thrown together on minimal time at the end of the project. Controlling future maintenance costs, knowing what to replace and when, troubleshooting technical products, and understanding maintenance intervals are a few aspects project owners need to be well-versed in and where O&M manuals are essential. Without adequate O&M manuals and requirements to produce them, project owners are likely set up for failure and not given the tools to make their project a continued success. A tight package of project specifications is often vital to a project’s initial success, and including complete O&M requirements is crucial for understanding perpetual maintenance and the continued success of a given project.
First things first, what is an O&M manual? An O&M (operations and maintenance) manual is generally a series of documents produced by the contractor to help the owner in perpetuity properly maintain, understand, and address key maintenance milestones and other project aspects. It is key for the design professional(s) to ensure steadfast contractor requirements in producing complete and informative O&M manuals for project hand-off.
Over the past few years we’ve been developing a series of high-definition thematic films covering a range of subjects of critical importance to landscape architects. The primary goal of the project is to aid in articulating many of landscape architecture’s collective concerns for friends and family, allied professionals, new and prospective students, policy makers, land developers, and the general public. The films are not directed at experts (or the few), but instead the general public (the many).
The series, titled ‘Constructing Landscape,’ is now available for viewing on our website. The individual five-minute shorts are edited interviews with 18 landscape architects. The films are titled “Material and Perspective” to help distinguish the world-view and concerns of landscape architects, “Designing with Time” to address the very unique temporal issues associated with landscape materiality, “Ecological Infrastructures” to address natural systems and the concerns of scale, “Site as Security” to address the deployment of security features within our public landscapes, and finally “Preservation and Design Evolution” to address both the process of landscape evaluation and the re-purposing of sites.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Action: Supporting Emerging Professionals – Inspiring the Next Generation of Landscape Architects – Connecting Design to Real-World Solutions
In 2013, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) convened its first Diversity Summit with the goal of developing a deeper understanding of why landscape architecture as a profession doesn’t attract a more diverse profile. Each summit brings together a group of experienced and emerging landscape architects who identify as African American or Latinx to develop strategies that address diversity issues in the field. These strategies are compiled into Diversity Summit summaries and reports, which are implemented throughout the year and reexamined at the following year’s summit.
This year, seventeen landscape architects from across the country participated, representing a wide array of sectors including residential design, education, horticulture, and urban planning. They were chosen to help address challenges in diversifying the profession and build upon recommendations for a path forward. Interested parties apply to participate in the summit, and are chosen by a panel of experts each year.
Today, ASLA released the 2019 Diversity Summit Report, the product of the summit held this spring. The report examines issues that African American, Latinx, Native American, and other underrepresented groups face in the landscape architecture profession.
Dumbarton Oaks has announced the Mellon Colloquium Award, a travel grant for students wishing to attend the annual colloquium or symposium in Garden and Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks, in Washington, D.C. The awards offer reimbursement up to $600 for the cost of travel, local accommodation, and other approved expenses related to symposium or colloquium attendance. Registration fees are waived for holders of the awards.
Applicants (and recipients) must be currently-enrolled graduate students or undergraduate juniors or seniors.
Candidates should prepare an application consisting of:
A cover letter that provides a brief summary of the candidate’s research interests, plans for future research, and an explanation of why conference attendance is important to the candidate’s intellectual and professional development.
A letter of support from the applicant’s thesis advisor or department chair.
School bells are ringing and classrooms are buzzing with learning adventures of all kinds. Whether you’re a parent of a child in grades K–12, an active ASLA member, or a retired landscape architect with a passion for the profession, there are many opportunities for you to introduce landscape architecture to young audiences in a school setting. Let us help you get started with ASLA’s Back to School Toolkit!
ASLA has assembled a set of fun and informative back-to-school resources, and the start of a new school year is an excellent opportunity for members and educators to explore ASLA’s new toolkit, which includes a growing collection of downloadable PDFs packed with articles, videos, exciting topics, and other free ASLA resources to help introduce landscape architecture as a fun and engaging profession.
Check out these helpful resources to get students interested in landscape architecture:
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has published a new guide to universal design, the latest in a series of guides that include hundreds of freely-available case studies, research studies, articles, and resources from non-profit organizations around the world.
Everyone navigates the built environment differently, with abilities changing across a person’s lifespan. Universal design means that everyone, regardless of ability or age, can access and participate in public life.
ASLA’s guide provides a comprehensive view of which communities are underserved by the built environment. It also offers a set of new universal design principles that address the needs of deaf or hard of hearing, blind or low vision, autistic, neurodevelopmentally and/or intellectually disabled, and mobility-disabled adults and children, as well as concerns for older adults.
The new design principles identified ensure that public spaces are:
Walkable / Traversable
Universal design projects and solutions in the guide are organized around different types of public space that landscape architects and planners design:
starting new discussions, or contributing to existing ones, through your PPN’s LinkedIn group,
attending an in-person PPN meeting during the ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture,
or joining your PPN’s leadership team!
In addition to a chair or co-chairs, many PPNs have larger leadership teams that include PPN officers and past chairs. Most teams hold monthly calls to keep track of progress on PPN activities, and all PPN members are welcome to join their PPN’s leadership team.
If you are passionate about your practice area within landscape architecture and want to increase your participation and expand your professional network, volunteering for PPN leadership is a great place to start. The commitment would be a short monthly call with like-minded professionals and volunteering to support one of the PPN’s resources.
Landscape architecture is an ideal educational foundation for a wide range of creative career opportunities. Increasingly, landscape architects are discovering and pursuing alternative career paths outside of traditional studio professional roles. The ASLA Public Practice Advisory Committee wants to hear about your professional practice needs and interests. This information helps us create valuable resources for public practitioners and those members interested in alternative practice areas.
Your responses will assist with:
Outreach efforts spotlighting the important roles landscape architects play in public policy and design of public space.
Sharing successes and challenges of pursuing alternative career options for landscape architects.
Developing tools necessary to pursue work effectively in government and non-profit roles.
Increasing the public’s knowledge of public sector landscape architects.
Providing students and emerging professionals with pertinent career development information.
The survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete. Thank you very much for your time and feedback:
The official start of summer and the mid-year point of 2019 are just about here—if you need PDH, ASLA has you covered!
Professional license expiring soon? Need professional development hours (PDH) right away? Check out our on-demand education offerings: over 200 Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System™ (LA CES™)-approved online learning presentations and reports, making it easy to meet your continuing education requirements for state licensure.
The third week in June is National Pollinator Week, established in 2006 by the U.S. Senate and the Pollinator Partnership to spotlight the manifold benefits pollinators provide and the urgent need to preserve and create more pollinator-friendly landscapes. Landscape architects play an integral role in designing spaces that foster healthy pollinator habitats, using their ingenuity to create vibrant, well-designed landscapes that support the pollinator population.
To celebrate Pollinator Week, ASLA’s Government Affairs team is co-hosting a congressional reception with the Pollinator Partnership at the ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture later this month. There will also be an ASLA Online Learning presentation on June 18, hosted by the Ecology and Restoration Professional Practice Network (PPN) and presented by Anthony Fettes, ASLA, PLA, SITES AP, Senior Associate at Sasaki Associates, Inc.:
Tuesday, June 18, 2:00-3:00 p.m. (Eastern)
1.0 PDH (LA CES/HSW)
Pollinators are an imperative part of biodiversity and also vital to our well-being, contributing to one-third of global food production, and yet their populations and habitats are sharply declining. This presentation explores how pollinators can be supported at multiple scales by the collective effort between conservation ecologists and landscape architects. Join us to learn about the importance of understanding your ecoregion, ways to identify research opportunities, and how to develop a design strategy that includes foraging resources, safe locations, and materials for shelter and nesting sites (or host plants for butterflies and moths).
Every year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hosts the Campus RainWorks Challenge, a green infrastructure design competition for American colleges and universities that “seeks to engage with the next generation of environmental professionals, foster a dialogue about effective stormwater management, and showcase the environmental, economic, and social benefits of green infrastructure practices.”
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) partners with the EPA to provide assistance with judging and outreach. This year’s judges included the following ASLA Professional Practice Network (PPN) leaders and members: