With the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) taking place October 31 – November 12, 2021, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) continues to advance climate action.
Earlier this month, ASLA joined with Architecture 2030 to call for all sovereign governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 65 percent by 2030 and achieve zero emissions by 2040, which would accelerate the current timeline to achieve emission reductions outlined in the Paris Climate Accord by a decade. The 1.5°C COP26 Communiqué, which will be issued to world leaders at the UN climate conference.
Cades Cove, Natchez Trace State Park, and Percy Priest Lake are just a couple of Tennessee’s most popular campgrounds, in this state with an abundance of sites for outdoor adventures. But coming soon, on November 20 and 21 only, there’ll be a new gathering spot in Nashville for landscape architects and landscape architecture enthusiasts: ASLA’s Practice Basecamp. Located on the EXPO floor, this will be the place to be, rain or shine, the weekend of the ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture, taking place live and in-person November 19-22, 2021.
Register by this Thursday, October 14, and save $130.
Practice Basecamp will be the EXPO’s hub for a range of practice-focused programming, including:
Engaging campfire sessions organized by ASLA’s Professional Practice Networks (PPNs)
Continue the Conversation with select education session presenters
Fast-paced Game Changer presentations
Presentations from ASLA’s Climate Action Committee and the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS)
Many of these sessions are designed to be opportunities to meet and network with other ASLA members and conference attendees. The Professional Practice Network (PPN)-organized campfire sessions, for instance, will be conversation-focused, allowing for peer-to-peer learning and knowledge-sharing. And perhaps best of all: no has to remember to unmute in order to participate.
Registration for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s 10th annual Campus RainWorks Challenge is open through October 1, 2021.
Campus RainWorks is a green infrastructure design competition for American colleges and universities that seeks to engage with the next generation of environmental professionals and showcase the environmental, economic, and social benefits of green infrastructure practices.
Stormwater pollution is a problem that impacts public health and water quality in communities across the country. The Campus RainWorks Challenge invites students to become part of the solution.
To learn more about career discovery, register now for Dream Big with Design later this month, ASLA’s inaugural virtual showcase of landscape architecture and PreK-12 design learning, with fun sessions and resources for students, as well as for PreK-12 educators, ASLA members, and other design professionals seeking to introduce students to the profession. There’s also a pre-Dream Big webinar happening on Friday, September 17—Hollywood’s Backlot Urbanism: A Cinematographic Pattern Language for Landscape Architecture, presented by Chip Sullivan, FASLA.
From June 28 to August 6, 2021, I had the opportunity to be an instructor in a summer program at elementary schools in Henrico County and Richmond, Virginia. Even though my priority at the time was working on my book, I accepted the challenge as a way to test how lessons on landscape architecture concepts can be integrated when implementing STEM activities.
I used lessons that I created and taught during my career as an educator for over 30 years at New York City public schools, but now with an added STEM approach. Although I knew that I was going to integrate concepts from landscape architecture and 3D design, I decided not to include the phrase “landscape architecture” in the program title because it can sound like complex and intimidating work for elementary school children. For this reason, I selected lessons that would help students develop design skills about the outdoor and built environment using the word “environment” as a more inclusive term, because I wanted to be perceived just as the “STEM teacher.”
But what is STEM? Many people know it as the acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; however, I agree with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)’s description of it as “an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real world lessons as students apply these disciplines in contexts that make connections between school, community, work and the global enterprise enabling students to compete in the new economy.” Therefore, I used this definition as a guide when designing each lesson for this summer program.
Do you have an idea that will change the field of landscape architecture? Here’s your opportunity to share it at the ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture.
We’re seeking presentations for game-changing ideas that can move a profession forward—ideas from different perspectives, voices, and backgrounds. Those big ideas could come from you. You don’t need to present on-the-boards projects—just your big idea!
Game Changer sessions are designed to be fast-paced, innovative talks. Presenters will have just seven minutes to share your game changing idea.
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.
Short description: Pitch this presentation in two sentences. How will your idea change the field?
Video: Submit a short (one-minute), cell phone-quality video describing your Game Changer session. No fancy production required. Most importantly, have fun with it! The video must be under one-minute to be eligible.
Selected Game Changer presenters will receive 30% off a full registration to the 2021 Conference.
Allied professionals are encouraged to both submit and speak, but they are not required to be members of ASLA.
To help you get started, the ASLA Professional Practice Networks leadership teams have created a list of inspirational game changer topics that you might consider exploring.
Campus Planning & Design
What’s one silver lining from COVID that has changed how campus open spaces are used—and is it here to stay? COVID has changed how open spaces are planned and used. What will future open spaces look like?
ASLA invites PreK-12 students and educators across the country to kick off the 2021-2022 school year with DREAM BIG with Design, a two-day virtual event showcasing landscape architecture through hands-on PreK-12 learning sessions for students, with a dynamic forum for the exchange of ideas among PreK-12 educators, ASLA members, and design professionals on the future of the profession. We invite ASLA members, Prek-12 teachers, school counselors, and design professionals to sign up for more information, including access to free resources and professional development opportunities throughout the summer.
DREAM BIG with Design will be held virtually on Thursday, September 23 and Friday, September 24, 2021. The event has been designed to blend easily into PreK-12 STEM lesson plans as well as professional development plans for educators, including teachers and school counselors.
Thanks to ASLA’s dedicated members and proud sponsors, DREAM BIG with Design will be free to attend.
Among the many draws of the ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture—from education sessions and seven exciting new tracks to exploring the EXPO and the city of Nashville—the conference’s 14 field sessions are a chance to go beyond the classroom to experience landscapes that will generate new ideas and connections to fellow landscape architects and designers who are passionate about moving the profession forward. Below, we highlight a few of these exciting outings, all of which take place on Friday, November 19.
To take advantage of your membership and early bird discount, use your ASLA member login and password when you register. Registration rates and field session ticket prices increase after August 18, so don’t miss that early bird deadline!
Envision Cayce is a redevelopment plan and strategy for one of Nashville’s oldest public housing properties that blends a mixed-use, mixed-income sustainable community with adjacent urban historic neighborhoods near downtown. Enjoy a walking tour of the initial phases and experience the Five Points area of East Nashville.
ASLA is excited to host SKILL | ED, a virtual practice management event geared towards our emerging and mid-career professional members. Each day will focus on a different learning studio: business development, proposals, and contracts.
ASLA SKILL | ED June 22-24, 2021 Introducing a New Virtual Learning Opportunity to Build Your Business Skills and Enhance Your Earning Power
Register now for three afternoons of intensive, effective learning during ASLA’s new virtual SKILL | ED program. This first-of-its-kind practice management event is designed to designed to empower landscape architecture professionals as their job responsibilities grow. Join us to build your business skill base and power up your career growth. You’ll learn about business development, proposal writing, and professional contracts—the business skills landscape architects use in their practice every day.
This innovative learning experience will provide the tools you need to add value to your firm and develop time-tested business development skills which can be used throughout your career.
To take advantage of ASLA membership discounts, use your member log in and password when you register.
Earlier this year, 10 new projects were added to ASLA’s Smart Policies for a Changing Climate online exhibition, bringing the total to 30 projects featured as case studies that demonstrate how landscape architects are designing smart solutions to climate impacts, such as flooding, extreme heat, drought, and sea level rise.
Now, there are two ways to earn Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System™ (LA CES™)-approved professional development through these case studies:
Read all 30 case studies and then complete a short quiz to earn 2.0 PDH (LA CES/HSW).
In this COVID era, new challenges require new solutions. There are many questions that cannot be answered yet but new design issues will arise on how human activities and gatherings will be affected because of the pandemic. In schools, we used to think that the ideal spaces for instruction were the classrooms, where sometimes there is no cross-ventilation and the air quality can jeopardize the health and safety of the users. However, in the same way restaurants that used to have only dine-ins are now offering drive-thrus, schools might be forced to use their outdoor spaces as outdoor classrooms. This will present a real design issue for architects and landscape architects and will bring us an opportunity for the community to see and appreciate the work we do.
So, if the future trend will be to use outdoor spaces as a classroom, let me share an example of an outdoor classroom designed and done by students.
While working with a non-profit organization that used architecture and the built environment to implement K-12 learning experiences, I had the opportunity to serve as an Architect-Educator in an elementary school in Staten Island, New York. As a former New York City art teacher, I immediately connected with the art teacher of the school. While working together and sharing that I also had a degree in landscape architecture, she asked me if I was able to help her restore the schoolyard that really had not been cared for. After I finished working with the groups to which I had been assigned, I volunteered my time to help her restore the school garden.
Webinar Recording and Additional Resources Now Available
Last week, ASLA hosted a webinar on the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), presented by Chris Chan, Founder and CEO of 3C Strategies, and moderated by Joy Kuebler, ASLA, President of Joy Kuebler Landscape Architect, PC. The presentation is now available as a recording for free and for ASLA members only.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan is a low-interest loan that can be turned into a grant and is accessible to all qualified small businesses. The April 12 session covered business qualifications and required documents when preparing to file the application. The current deadline for PPP loan applications is May 31, 2021, so be sure to watch this timely webinar to expedite your application process!
ASLA members also have exclusive access to additional resources from the webinar: the slides from the presentation, additional speaker comments, and audience Q&A.
Last November, reVISION ASLA 2020 shined a spotlight on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion—examining not only the profession itself, but also issues of racial justice and equitable access in practice and society.
Discussions reflected on the past of landscape architecture, examining issues of systemic racial inequity in the profession, lack of access to open space for Black communities and other communities of color, and the current state of practice. They also looked toward the future, focusing on not only the importance of recognizing and correcting the bad practices of the past, but also ways in which we can move the profession and the world to a more diverse and equitable future.
24 education sessions from reVISION ASLA 2020 are now available through ASLA Online Learning for Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System™ (LA CES™)-approved professional development hours (PDH). These may be purchased as individual recordings or as packages, organized by track. Log in using your ASLA username and password for member discounts. ASLA Online Learning content, except for a few of the LARE Prep webinars, is free for Student ASLA members!
By popular demand, all three keynote discussions from reVISION ASLA 2020 have also been made available for free on Vimeo:
An Expression of Hope Panel, which features diverse practitioners sharing their collective acknowledgement of what it is like to navigate the profession as people of color and their expressions of hope for change and growth.
A Call to Action, highlighting commitments by practitioners and educators taking meaningful action towards centering equity and calling our community to expand actions towards a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive profession.
Since the start of the new year, ASLA’s Government Affairs team has been abuzz, welcoming the Biden-Harris administration with a petition to have the United States rejoin the Paris Agreement, a comprehensive set of policy recommendations, and many other actions to ensure ASLA members are heard loud and clear. But you may wonder how ASLA sets advocacy priorities and focus areas in the first place. The answer: by listening to all of you, our ASLA members.
Through a nearly year-long process, ASLA’s Government Affairs team determines the Society’s federal priorities for the next two years. In April 2020, they surveyed the entire ASLA membership on federal and state issues ASLA members believed the Society should include in its upcoming agendas. ASLA received 2,372 responses to the survey, the largest number since the survey began and more than double the previous survey in 2018.
The Government Affairs team and the Government Affairs Advisory Committee (GAAC) then review, vet, and analyze the results to formulate a set of recommended legislative issues for the upcoming legislative session. The recommendations are presented to ASLA’s Executive Committee. Based on input from the Executive Committee and the GAAC, the Government Affairs team then presents this set of federal priorities for discussion with the Board of Trustees, before moving to the Executive Committee for the final review process.
ASLA’s Executive Committee endorsed the final Federal Priorities Agenda for the 117th Congress during their December 2020 meeting. With a new theme of Climate Change and Resilience and a focus on Equity and Environmental Justice, the following four issues underlie federal legislative priority areas:
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) periodically publishes reports and guides focused on key aspects of professional practice, many of which are free for ASLA members to access or available to members at a discounted rate. These include new resources added to ASLA’s Business Toolkit and more technical and in-depth Research Reports.
Below, we highlight a few of the more recent publications, from ASLA and ASLA partnerships, that you may have missed.
Digital Guide for Plant Appraisal
The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), on behalf of the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers (CTLA), has released the Digital Guide for Plant Appraisal, 10th Edition, Revised, available for purchase via ISA’s webstore.
The CTLA member organizations are: AmericanHort, the American Society of Consulting Arborists, the American Society of Landscape Architects, the National Association of Landscape Professionals, the Association of Consulting Foresters of America, the International Society of Arboriculture, and the Tree Care Industry Association.
In preparing the tenth edition of the Guide, the overarching goal of the seven CTLA organizations was to provide the appraiser with a systematic process for defining the appraisal problem, identifying appraisal approach(es), and developing a credible conclusion.
We may be only one month in to 2021, 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 the ASLA Honors, including the honor introduced most recently 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.
The properties currently proposed for the U.S. World Heritage Tentative List include: Serpent Mound in Ohio, Central Park in New York, and Civil Rights Movement Sites in Alabama among the cultural sites, and Big Bend National Park in Texas, multiple sites in Central California, and White Sands National Monument in New Mexico among the natural sites.
Below, we highlight a sampling of the business opportunities, design competitions, and events listed currently. And, anyone looking to share an opportunity with landscape architects may do so at any time through the online submission form.
The Call for Presentations for the 2021 ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture in Nashville is now open. We are looking for education proposals that will help drive change in landscape architecture and provide solutions to everyday challenges that are informed by practice and research.
The 2021 ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture is scheduled to take place in November in Nashville, Tennessee. Of course, we don’t know what will happen with the COVID-19 pandemic by then—and ASLA will be monitoring the situation carefully as we plan a conference that is safe for everyone. But there’s one thing we do know—whatever form our conference takes this year, we will not compromise our standards for delivering the high-quality, well-rounded educational experience that everyone has come to expect. Your submissions make that possible.
All education session proposals are reviewed by the Annual Conference Education Advisory Committee. Sessions will be organized into topics most relevant to the practice of landscape architecture and cross-sector collaborations. Please visit the submission site to learn more about the 2021 education tracks, submission criteria, review process, and key dates.
With the conclusion of this year of tumult now tantalizingly within reach, The Field is rounding up a few end-of-year, landscape architecture-centric recaps, in case you’ve already finished reading up on the Professional Practice Networks (PPNs)’ Year in Review. We hope you enjoy perusing them, and best wishes for a brighter and healthy new year!
The Times’ Climate Desk shares some of their best reporting from 2020, on wildfires in Australia, California, and beyond, this year’s relentless hurricane season, the inequality of climate change impacts, and more.
This year-end summary from The Cultural Landscape Foundation includes Landslide 2020: Women Take the Lead and the Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize. You can also learn more about “Race and Space,” the unifying theme for TCLF’s 2021 programming.
Even during this wild rollercoaster ride of a year, ASLA’s Professional Practice Network (PPN) leaders and members continued to share their experiences and expertise as authors for The Field blog and as presenters for ASLA’s Online Learning webinars.
We would like to thank all of you who contributed to this shared body of knowledge in 2020. We hope that you have found new ways to stay connected, learned to adapt to rapid changes in practice, and felt inspired by your peers in landscape architecture.
Check out the PPNs’ 2020 in Review to see what the PPNs have accomplished this year. Below, we highlight the top 10 Field posts of the year, PPN-hosted Online Learning presentations, and the PPN leaders who took part in reVISION ASLA 2020.
President-elect Joe Biden announced this week his pick for head of the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy: Gina McCarthy, former EPA chief, current president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, and 2019 ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture keynote speaker.
ASLA members can watch the keynote, From Climate Change to Climate Action: Building a Clean, Healthy, Sustainable Future – 1.0 PDH (LA CES/non-HSW), through the ASLA Online Learning website. This recording is available exclusively to ASLA members; please log in with your existing ASLA username and password.
And, earlier this week, the 20th ICOMOS General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency while this past weekend marked the fifth anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement, a global accord bringing nations together to fight the consequences of climate change, lower emissions and greenhouse gases, and to create a more sustainable and resilient world. Despite the United States’ absence from the agreement, ASLA and more than 4,000 state and local governments, business leaders, university heads, cultural institutions, and many others signed the “We Are Still In” declaration.
Landscape architects, as the leading designers of green infrastructure, possess the knowledge and expertise to create a more sustainable future. Through resilient and sustainable design, landscape architects are helping slow the ravages of climate change while creating a better planet for all.
New Directions in the American Landscape (NDAL) has presented programs throughout the United States focusing on innovative theory, practical applications, and an expansive vision of “Natural Design.” Programs draw from a variety of disciplines, including agriculture, anthropology, history, and fine art.
Over the first quarter of 2021, NDAL is offering a series of virtual programs, with events in two tracks: one for professional practitioners and one for home gardeners and educators.
Topics for professionals range from native design and management, to roof gardens, to planning for the recruitment of spontaneous vegetation.
Home gardeners can explore methods for wildflower meadow creation and navigating race and inclusivity in community gardens, and school administrators and educators can learn about how to incorporate native gardening into their curriculum and campuses.
The realm of public practice, including non-profit and governmental work, offers unique opportunities and challenges to practitioners.
The ASLA Public Practice Advisory Committee aspires to encourage more landscape architects, including students in landscape-architecture programs and emerging professionals, to pursue careers in the public sector. Less than ten percent of ASLA’s membership identify as public practitioners, working for local, state, and federal government agencies, universities and colleges, or parks and arboreta. Many of these ASLA members have found their way to public practice after years in private practice, looking to shape public policy and have an impact on public spaces for the common good.
In an ongoing series for ASLA’s LAND newsletter, members of the Public Practice Advisory Committee and other landscape architects share insights on their public practice careers. Check out what’s already appeared, recapped below, and stay tuned for new articles in the future!
Linda Komes, ASLA
Landscape architect and project manager in the Park Development Division of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
Interview conducted by Julie Higgins, PLA, ASLA, Principal, Hord Coplan Macht
Nick Aceto Landscape architect and urban designer at Aceto Landscape Architects
Interview conducted by Jennifer Shagin, ASLA, Redevelopment Support Specialist at City of Fort Collins, CO and land planner at Todd Hodges Design, LLC
K-12 Educational Programs in Landscape Architecture: How to Create Clients and Professionals of the Future
As an ASLA member, you have no doubt heard the phrase “K‐12 educational programs.” Why does this phrase keep resurfacing as an issue in landscape architecture? In this article, I will bring to light why this topic is important and worthy of further development.
First, let’s ask ourselves the following:
Do people understand what a landscape architect does?
Are there many positions in government for the recent graduate that recognize and differentiate the role of landscape architect?
What is the most effective way to promote our profession? Spending unlimited money in advertisement and public relations? Or is there a more effective and economical way to promote our profession?
Are we creating clients of the future? Are we creating landscape professionals of the future?
Are college programs in landscape architecture overwhelmed with applicants, or are some in jeopardy?
What are we doing as a profession to broaden our marketability and diversify our profession in non‐traditional roles?
How can we work together with other fields or professions to achieve common goals?
How can we expect government agencies to offer more positions in landscape architecture? How can we expect homeowners to hire landscape architects in these times of “do it yourself” TV shows? What can we do to be more effective in the outreach and understanding of the profession?
Even if you can’t attend live, all education sessions will be available on-demand. Register by November 18 and you’ll have access to reVISION ASLA 2020 content from November 23, 2020 through January 31, 2021.
The reVISION ASLA 2020 program includes education sessions in five tracks, allowing registrants to earn up to 25 Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System™ (LA CES™)-approved professional development hours (PDH) by watching sessions live or on-demand.
Individuals can earn PDH by passing an exam after each session, and then download course certificates from the event platform.
For a taste of the experience, a number of reVISION ASLA events are available to watch (for free!) right now. Check them out, and then register by November 18 for full access to the education session recordings and to earn up to 25 PDH!
For over 20 years, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and the National Park Service (NPS) have joined forces to help communities across the nation plan, design, and manage their natural, cultural, and recreation resources through the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program.
Volunteers from ASLA chapters across the country provide pro-bono assistance to communities the National Park Service supports. The partnership between NPS and ASLA provides communities with access to expert planners and designers that can turn their ideas into actions, supporting healthy communities and extending the missions of the National Park Service and ASLA to all Americans.
Learn More about the RTCA Program at reVISION ASLA 2020
Next week during reVISION ASLA 2020, attendees will have an opportunity to meet chapter leaders and agency members and consider how we might collaborate over the next 20 years:
When a landscape architect faces a change in conditions for their project, they have to revise the plans—just as ASLA had to do with the conference when faced with the COVID-19 crisis. reVISION ASLA 2020 is a reimagined, virtual experience for an evolving profession where you will get the opportunity to learn, connect, and celebrate landscape architecture—all from the safety of your own home. Let’s make 2020 a year to remember for all the right reasons: join us at reVISION ASLA 2020, from November 16-18, and make your mark on the future of our profession.
The education program includes an opening keynote and 24 education sessions in five tracks for Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System™ (LA CES™)-approved professional development hours (PDH). Education sessions will be available to all registrants after the event for on-demand access through January 31, 2021.
Below, we take a look at what each ASLA Professional Practice Network (PPN) with a virtual networking session (or multiple sessions!) has planned for later this month. These 30-minute video chat rooms will be limited in capacity to create a virtual space where everyone can participate in the discussion. Explore the topics below, and register now to join the conversation!
Taking place November 16-18, reVISION ASLA 2020 is a virtual program that will embody the intersection of ASLA’s mission with some of the most urgent issues facing our society. Over three days, panelists and participants will address issues of equity as they manifest in our profession and institutions today, tools and methods for innovative design and successful implementation, transformative mitigation and adaptive resilience strategies for climate change, and much more.
The reVISION ASLA 2020 education program includes 24 education sessions in five tracks:
The “Not So Inconvenient” Truth of Carbon and Landscape Architecture
Fill for Habitat? Design Processes for an Adapting Regulatory Environment
Contractors in Conversation – Strategies for Better Projects from Design Through Construction
Do You Really Know Your Soil? Avoiding Critical Soil Design Mistakes
The Exquisite Detail: How Big Ideas Get Expressed in Tangible Craft
Your Vision to Implementation – What a Contractor Needs to Know
Metro Atlanta’s Hidden River: 100 Miles of Access, Equity, and Ecology Along the Chattahoochee
Reconnecting Landscapes: Resilient Planting Design in Ecologically Deficient Zones