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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:
The Professional Practice Library at ASLA houses more than 2,000 volumes on landscape architecture and related fields, and receives more than 130 journals and newsletters. In addition, it has archival copies of ASLA publications, including Landscape Architecture Magazine, membership directories, and annual meeting publications. Most of the library and research materials were packed away in off-site storage during the construction of the ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture, and ongoing building issues have prevented the return of the library shelving and reading areas. However, we hope to restore full access to researchers in 2019!
With the conclusion of Black History Month, ASLA would like to highlight ways to stay engaged year round with our efforts to continue fostering diversity, equity and inclusion within our profession, membership, and leadership; mirror the communities we serve; welcome and serve all people and communities; and treat them fairly and equitably.
ASLA Diversity Summit
Since 2013 ASLA has convened an annual diversity summit to strengthen its focus on the recruitment underrepresented populations into academic programs and development of emerging professionals as practitioners. Visit ASLA’s Diversity Summit webpage to learn about this popular event, access resources, and view a summary of action items identified in 2018 to help achieve five-year goals established at the 2017 Super Summit. The 2019 Diversity Summit is scheduled for May 17-19, 2019 at ASLA headquarters.
Career Discovery and Diversity
Exposure and access are key to motivating the career aspirations of all students, and ASLA is boosting its commitment to provide more career discovery resources that promote landscape architecture. Below are a few highlights of ASLA rich collection of career discovery resources available to educators, families and students:
Thirty-five education sessions that took place during the ASLA 2018 Annual Meeting and EXPO in Philadelphia are now available on the ASLA Online Learning website, learn.asla.org. The recorded sessions’ topics range from climate adaptation and design solutions for dealing with fires and landslides to starting your own landscape architectural firm and storytelling for designers.
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). ASLA member prices are discounted at least 75% below non-member prices—log in using your ASLA username and password to get the member discount.
The 2018 education sessions that have been added to the ASLA Online Learning library are:
Augmented intelligence (AI) is disrupting the complexity where designers thrive. A new era of collaboration enables shift from data overload toward data sensibility. How will capitalizing on augmented intelligence affect your practice? Your productivity? Geodesign, a unique AI, provides distinctive opportunities—learn from practitioners successfully navigating this shift.
Speakers: Kelleann Foster, ASLA, The Pennsylvania State University; James Sipes, ASLA, Sand County Studios; Jesse D. Suders, McCormick Taylor, Inc.
Landscape architects face pressure on projects to use building information modeling, or BIM, software for their designs. Risks are numerous, but advantages can be significant. Learn how one landscape architect made BIM work for her as a sole proprietor and hear answers to common questions about firing up BIM.
Planning to start taking the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE)? Already started, but need some extra help? Join us for LARE Prep Week 2019, a week of webinars that will share information on the licensure and LARE exam process. The webinars will explore study strategies and test-taking tips that apply to each section of the exam. Register now and bring your questions for the seasoned and newly-licensed landscape architects after the presentations.
Registration cost per webinar:
Student ASLA Member: $20
Associate ASLA Member: $30
Full ASLA Member: $40
Once on the registration page, sign in with your ASLA member ID and password to receive the member discount.
ASLA wants to help guide you through the exam process and ultimately succeed in becoming a licensed landscape architect. In addition to the many resources we provide, ASLA is excited to offer a series of webinars to cover overall aspects of the exam, and the strategies to assist you with passing all four parts:
Looking to start taking the LARE? This webinar will share information on the licensure and LARE exam processes. It will also explore study strategies and test-taking tips that apply to all four sections of the exam.
Section 1 Review Tuesday, February 5, 3:00 p.m. (Eastern)
Speakers: Emily O’Mahoney, FASLA, Robert Hewitt, ASLA, and Thomas Nieman, FASLA
With several important deadlines in the next few weeks, here is a roundup of American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) opportunities closing soon. Help to ensure your voice is heard, that you and your colleagues are recognized for your work and leadership, and that your practice area is represented by taking part in one or more of these open calls—for participants, nominations, presentations, and exemplary projects.
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.
In 2018, the PPNs published 103 posts for The Field and organized 14 live Online Learning presentations. Thank you to those who shared experiences on The Field and shared their expertise as Online Learning presenters! These opportunities are open to all ASLA members, and we hope to grow our group of PPN contributors in 2019.
Below, we highlight the top five Field posts and best-attended live Online Learning presentations of the year, but be sure to check out the full PPN 2018 IN REVIEW for additional information, including recaps of:
PPN Live at the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Philadelphia,
the ASLA Online Learning Student & Emerging Professional SPOTLIGHT mini-series, and
how all ASLA members can contribute and participate on a national level through ASLA’s PPNs.
The American Society of Landscape Architects publishes the Landscape Architecture Technical Information Series (LATIS) to encourage professionals to share specialized expertise relating to landscape architecture. ASLA considers LATIS papers to be important contributions to a necessary and ongoing dialogue within a large and diverse community of landscape architecture researchers and practitioners. ASLA oversees a rigorous peer review process for all LATIS papers to ensure accuracy of content. Each author offers a unique perspective on the practice area covered, reflecting his or her portfolio of professional experiences
ASLA published the latest LATIS, A Landscape Performance + Metrics Primer for Landscape Architects: Measuring Landscape Performance on the Ground, authored by Emily McCoy, PLA, ASLA, SITES AP with contributions by Marin Braco, ASLA, and Lauren Mandel, PLA, ASLA.
ABSTRACT Landscape architecture is at a pivotal moment in its history as a discipline, where design practice is becoming more reflective, adaptive, and scholarly. As the need for sustainable design grows, it has become imperative that professionals put their work under analytical review and set higher standards for their work to perform environmentally, socially, and economically. The field looks more to the integration of research and scholarly inquiry in design as a solution to this growing need for high-performance landscapes.
While the concept of landscape performance assessment is gaining attention within the field, the availability of time, resources, and technical expertise remains an obstacle for many designers in evaluating built work. More in-depth research investigations are best left to academics and scientists, but methods exist that every landscape architect can use to assess the performance of their own work for use throughout the planning, design, construction, and post-occupancy phases. This paper aims to provide an introduction to these metrics and methods that can be applied in the field.
These peer-reviewed papers are a key vehicle for members to share their expertise. Each LATIS paper enables landscape architects to earn PDH needed to meet state licensure requirements by completing and passing a self-study exam.
ASLA members can download A Landscape Performance + Metrics Primer for Landscape Architects: Measuring Landscape Performance on the Ground for FREE and can purchase and pass a self-study exam to earn 3.0 PDH (LA CES/HSW) / 3.0 SITES-specific GBCI CE hours (GBCI course ID 0920018252).