The Fifth Shanghai Landscape Forum: Sensation

by Dou Zhang, ASLA, PLA, LEED AP BD+C, SITES AP

Past Shanghai Landscape Forum events
Past Shanghai Landscape Forum events / image: Sasaki

[活动预告与报名] 第五届上海景观论坛——感知

上海景观论坛是由Sasaki, AECOM 和 SWA 三家设计公司于2017年联合发起的主题性景观行业分享盛会。随着SOM, ASPECT Studios, HASSELL, TLS等多家国际性景观公司的加入逐渐壮大。论坛以”开拓新的实践,以催化设计创新、影响政策变革;提升公众对于景观重要贡献的认识;倡导景观行业,使之汇入社会进步的主流推动力“为使命,旨在提升景观行业的影响力,并推进行业的可持续发展。其主题覆盖景观设计行业及相关领域的方方面面。往届论坛已成功吸引设计师们就生态复育在中国的实践和挑战,景观中的文化遗产,景观与基础设施等话题交流与分享。

The Shanghai Landscape Forum is a themed sharing event initiated by Sasaki, AECOM, and SWA in 2017. The forum expanded with participation of SOM, ASPECT Studios, HASSELL, TLS, and many other international landscape companies. It aims to pioneer new practices that result in design innovation and influence policy transformation, raise public awareness of landscape architecture’s vital contributions, bring landscape architecture into the mainstream by advocating for the profession as a driving force for social progress, and build a more sustainable tomorrow. The forum covers all aspects of the landscape design industry. Previous forums have successfully attracted designers to exchange and share topics such as the “practice and challenges of ecological rehabilitation in China,” “landscape cultural heritage,” and “landscape and infrastructure.”

Continue reading

Pontilly Stormwater Management

by Dana Brown, FASLA, PLA, AICP, LEED AP

Streetscape design for stormwater runoff
Street basins receive runoff from along the curbs and gutters and detains the water. These curb extensions have the added benefit of reducing the distance pedestrians must cross street, resulting in traffic calming and improved pedestrian safety. / image: Dana Brown & Associates

The 900-acre Pontilly area of New Orleans is composed of two moderate-income, minority-majority neighborhoods—Pontchartrain Park and Gentilly Woods. For decades, these neighborhoods have repeatedly experienced losses due to flooding and both were severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina with hundreds of homes destroyed.

In response, the neighborhoods collaborated to form the Pontilly Disaster Collaborative (PDC) that seeks solutions to localized flooding issues caused by rainfall events. PDC approached the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA), who had received ownership of many residential properties in Pontilly following Katrina, to utilize vacant lots for managing stormwater. A landscape architect at NORA recognized the value of the community organization’s idea and began seeking funding through the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). Continue reading

Healing Landscapes Design Practice

Master plan for Hengqin Hospital Healing Garden, Zhuhai, China
Master plan for Hengqin Hospital Healing Garden, Zhuhai, China / image: Adam E. Anderson

Healthcare & Therapeutic Garden Design Interview Series: Adam E. Anderson

Adam E. Anderson, ASLA, was one of the speakers for the 2018 Healthcare and Therapeutic Design Professional Practice Network (PPN) Meeting at the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO. He is a registered landscape architect and the Founder/Director of Design Under Sky. He also runs the Landscape Architecture Department at Payette Architects. His projects are incredibly diverse, including but not limited to hospital healing gardens, residential gardens, master planning, campus plazas, rooftop gardens, and urban parks, as well as commissioned public art works.

His work interacts with the ever-changing landscape by ascertaining the unique phenomenological qualities and cultural influences inherent in a site, and then deploying interventions to embrace, reveal, and often embellish these qualities. “Nature” is abstracted in his projects, and he engages technological and ecological aspects of a site to create a celebration of nature and a sense of wonder.

Adam is currently working on projects at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania and the 43-acre site of 5th Xiangya Hospital in China. He recently received a Rhode Island Council of the Arts Project Grant and has been appointed to the Rhode Island Scenic Roadways Board by the Governor of Rhode Island. He has taught at RISD since 2014 and has been a visiting critic at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Ohio State University, Northeastern University, and the Boston Architectural College.

The following interview was conducted by Siyi He, Associate ASLA, Chair of the Healthcare and Therapeutic Design Professional Practice Network (PPN).

Continue reading

High Performance Public Spaces: A Tool for Building More Resilient and Sustainable Communities

by David Barth, PhD, ASLA, RLA, AICP, CPRP

Kissimmee Lakefront Park
Kissimmee Lakefront Park, a High-Performance Public Space / image: Michael Brown, AECOM

Most design firms and communities are embracing the concepts of sustainability and resiliency. However, as with all ambitious initiatives, implementation is the greatest challenge. Three actions landscape architects can take to put theory into practice are to:

  1. plan and design every park and open space project as a High-Performance Public Space (HPPS),
  2. plan and design parks and open spaces as part of an integrated public realm, and
  3. help create a culture that fosters the adoption of innovation in the planning and design of public spaces.

The concept of a HPPS evolved from my doctoral research at the University of Florida, where I was trying to determine the factors that led to the adoption of innovation in the planning and design of public spaces. More specifically, I wanted to learn why some public agencies and design consultants adopt sustainable design principles in their parks and public space projects, and others don’t. In order to find the answers, I first needed to develop criteria to identify examples of successful projects to study, which I referred to as High Performance Public Spaces.

I defined a HPPS as “any publicly accessible space that generates economic, environmental, and social sustainability benefits for their local community.” A HPPS can be a park, trail, square, green, natural area, plaza, or any other element of the public realm that generates all three types of benefits. Working with a group of over 20 sustainability experts, we developed 25 criteria for a HPPS including economic criteria such as “the space sustains or increases property values;” environmental criteria such as “the space uses energy, water, and material resources efficiently;” and social criteria such as “the space provides places for formal and informal social gathering, art, performances, and community or civic events.” A space had to meet at least 80% of the 25 criteria in order to qualify as a HPPS. The full list of criteria is shown below.

Continue reading

ASLA Professional Practice Library: Library, Archives, and Research Services

by Ian Bucacink, M.A., M.L.I.S.

John Charles Olmsted
John Charles Olmsted / image: Transactions of the American Society of Landscape Architects, 1909-1921

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!

Continue reading

Expanding America’s Diverse History Inside the Sierra Summit Tunnels

by Terry Guen, FASLA, Advisory Council for Historic Preservation, Member & Landscape Architect Expert

Summit Tunnels 5 and 6, near Donner Pass, Tahoe National Forest, CA
Summit Tunnels 5 and 6, near Donner Pass, Tahoe National Forest, CA / image: TK Gong, 1882 Project

Running in near darkness towards the proverbial light, we did not expect this impromptu jog through Summit Tunnel to be life changing. In early November 2018, I joined a two-day historic preservation field trip, organized by the 1882 Project, United States Department of Agriculture, United States Forest Service, the Department of the Interior, and the Bureau of Land Management, to visit Chinese Railroad Worker Sites in California’s Tahoe National Forest. Arriving by luxury bus, it was hard to imagine 152 years prior, over 10,000 Chinese workers lived year-round in encampments, exposed to the elements, and surviving ten-foot-deep snows.

View of Tunnel #6 opening, near Donner Pass, Tahoe National Forest, CA
View of Tunnel #6 opening, near Donner Pass, Tahoe National Forest, CA / image: TK Gong, 1882 Project

Entering the west portal’s graffiti-laden face, we found the third-of-a-mile long tunnels #5 and #6, carved through the hard granite peak. Passing below the vertical tunnel shaft, our footsteps resounded. The tunnel excavation had started from above; granite spoils were hauled out by bucket at a rate of one foot per day until the tunnel floor where we stood was reached. Continuing to blast by hand, workers mined “day and night in three shifts of eight hours each,” from the portals inwards and center shaft outwards (Tunnels of the Pacific Railroad, 1870). After 18 months the Chinese rail workers broke through, accomplishing what many said could not be done. The total of six tunnels constructed within a two-mile stretch breached the Sierra mountains at an elevation of 6,690 feet, laying the 2% railbed, driving eastward to Promontory Summit, Utah, and the connection of the Transcontinental Railroad.

Continue reading

What is Your Favorite Scenic Byway and Scenic Byway Logo?

by Peter Dunleavy, RLA, and Janet Kennedy

Outer Banks Scenic Byway
image: Outer Banks Scenic Byway

On February 6, the House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 831 – Reviving America’s Scenic Byway Act of 2019. The act proposed to grant the Secretary of Transportation 90 days to request nominations for roads to be designated under the National Scenic Byway Program (23 USC §162) and to make designation determinations within one year after making the request for nominations.

In honor of the House of Representatives vote to pass H.R. 831, we are asking you to post a comment below telling us about your favorite Scenic Byway and/or favorite Scenic Byway Logo. Be sure to include links to photos and memorable sites along the route if you can.

Background

The federal National Scenic Byway Program was enacted in 1991 under ISTEA (Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act). Several states followed suit by passing laws to create state scenic byway programs. Currently 48 states and the District of Columbia have legislated scenic byway programs. Roads designated as scenic byways must have at least one of six intrinsic qualities: scenic, historical, archaeological, natural, cultural, or recreational. These intrinsic qualities describe features specific and unique to the roadway. A scenic byway corridor is managed to protect the byway’s intrinsic quality and to encourage economic development through tourism and recreation.

Continue reading

Designing for Public Space Inclusive of Unhoused People

by Katie Kingery-Page, PLA, ASLA, and Skylar Brown, Student ASLA

Persons living unhoused in the former Pershing Square, Los Angeles, 2013
Persons living unhoused in the former Pershing Square, Los Angeles, 2013 / image: Levi Clancy via Wikimedia Commons

Use of public space, such as plazas, streetscapes and parks, by people living unhoused (a.k.a homeless) is persistently viewed as a social problem. Many cities in the United States have attempted to use legal ordinance to place strictures on where unhoused people may congregate or receive services. Several homeless advocacy organizations track such ordinances and they have been detailed in the mainstream press.

According to a recent report by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, “Homelessness is caused by a severe shortage of affordable housing. Over 12.8% of the nation’s supply of low income housing has been permanently lost since 2001.” Homeless advocates widely agree that criminalization of being homeless in public does not help the conditions of homeless people or result in better access to services.

An equity worldview requires cities to plan public spaces for all people. Landscape architects have a strong role to play in promoting inclusion of services and amenities for unhoused people in urban parks. This post begins by asserting why fear of the homeless in public parks is unfounded, then takes a look at recent examples of inclusive parks, built and unbuilt.

Misconceptions of Homelessness

Referring to people living unhoused as “the homeless” implies that their condition is permanent and even of their own choosing. While there may be some cases in which this is true, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, many people find themselves suddenly without housing after a job loss, rent increase, or home foreclosure. According to the same report, “Family homelessness has been on the rise since the inception of the foreclosure crisis in 2007.” In an attempt to respect the varied circumstances and dignity of these persons, we use the phrase “persons living unhoused” throughout this blog post. But because “homeless” is a widely used term, we don’t exclude it from our writing.

Continue reading

Towne Square at Suitland Federal Center

by Dennis Carmichael, FASLA, LEED AP, and Kelly Fleming, ASLA, SITES AP

Rendering of Towne Square at Suitland Federal Center's Central Park
Rendering of Towne Square at Suitland Federal Center’s Central Park / image: Dennis Carmichael

Towne Square at Suitland Federal Center is a 25-acre neighborhood proposed on the site of a former public housing project that was demolished in recent years, as it had become a den of crime. The site adjoins Suitland Federal Center, which houses the U.S. Census Bureau, NOAA, and other federal agencies. The Suitland Metrorail station is south of the federal center and within walking distance of Towne Square. As such, the project is a worthy model of Smart Growth: urban infill within areas of existing infrastructure, multiple modes of transportation, and employment opportunities. The program for the site is residential, retail, and a cultural arts building. The master plan was prepared by an architecture firm, Lessard Design Group. The client is the Prince George’s County Redevelopment Authority and their goal is to transform the site into a community with affordable housing that will serve as a model of sustainability. As part of that strategy, they included SITES® certification as a part of the scope for the landscape architecture to ensure the project meets a high standard for sustainability and that everyone on the project team is accountable.

The landscape architecture scope included the design of the public realm: parks, open spaces, and streetscapes which knit the neighborhood together as a walkable community. Parker Rodriguez was selected as the landscape architect, along with the Low Impact Development Center, for the SITES certification work. SITES certification includes 18 prerequisites and 48 credits for measuring site sustainability. The Redevelopment Authority is requiring that the project achieve Sustainable SITES Initiative Silver Certification, which means that the project must earn between 85 and 99 points out of a possible 200 points.

Prerequisites and credits in the SITES v2 Rating System are organized into 10 sections that follow typical design and construction phases. These sections demonstrate that achieving a sustainable site begins even before the design is initiated and continues through effective and appropriate operations and maintenance. Our goal as landscape architects was to use the SITES tool as the foundation for all of our design decisions so that the entire community is infused with landscape elements that improve air and water quality, reduce heat island effect, create or conserve energy, reduce waste, and reuse materials. We wanted a community where all of these ecological services were visible and understandable to the residents, to engender a sense of pride in place, but also to make this ethic intrinsic.

Continue reading

ASLA Celebrates Black History Month

Howard University campus, Washington, D.C.
Howard University’s Washington. D.C. campus, designed by landscape architect David Williston / image: © Nikolaus Fogle, courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation

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:

Continue reading

Swings: All Ages and All Fun

by Amy Wagenfeld, Affil. ASLA, PhD, OTR/L, SCEM, FAOTA

Swings for all ages
Swings for all ages / images: a collage from our contributors

I have been thinking about swings lately, weighing the risk factors now associated with their installation in playspaces with the benefits they provide to motor and sensory development. I have also been wondering what others think about them. As a Professional Practice Network (PPN), we reached out to readers via ASLA, the Therapeutic Landscapes Network, the American Occupational Therapy Association’s social media sites, and to friends to gather some insights.

Front yard tire swing
The not-so-oft-found front yard tire swing. / image: Amy Wagenfeld

What about swings? They can provide therapeutic benefit for some children (and adults). The sensory systems most activated when swinging, gliding, or rocking include the vestibular, proprioceptive, and to a lesser extent the tactile. Here is how they contribute to overall sensory enrichment:

Vestibular: refers to the balance system. Located in the middle ear, the vestibular system responds to the position of the head in relation to gravity and movement and helps keep us from becoming dizzy. Our vestibular systems get a work out with the varied planes of movement a swing make take- front and back, side to side, circular, or up and down.

Proprioception/Kinesthesia: located in the muscles and joints, the proprioceptive system provides awareness of where our bodies are in space. When swinging, proprioception and kinesthesia help us understand the relationship of our bodies to the seat, sides, and back of the swing, and to know where to sit or lay on the swing without falling off.

Tactile: refers to the sense of touch. We make contact with and touch swings by potentially using all body parts, depending on whether sitting or lying down.

Continue reading

Nature, Healing, and Creativity

by Siyi He, Associate ASLA

The 2018 ASLA Healthcare and Therapeutic Design PPN Meeting
The 2018 ASLA Healthcare and Therapeutic Design PPN Meeting / image: Siyi He

Therapeutic Landscape Design Practice in the United States and Overseas: A Recap of the 2018 ASLA Annual Meeting’s Healthcare and Therapeutic Design PPN Meeting

Landscape architects and designers know that nature has powerful potential to heal people’s bodies, minds, and spirits. Therapeutic garden design in healthcare facilities is creating functional spaces where people can access the healing power of nature in hospitals. The 2018 ASLA Annual Meeting’s Healthcare and Therapeutic Design Professional Practice Network (PPN) Meeting was held in Philadelphia on October 20 to discuss the topic of nature, healing, and creativity in healing garden design. The meeting was hosted by PPN Co-Chair Siyi He, Associate ASLA, and began with a description of PPN’s mission and the introduction of two invited landscape architect speakers, Geoff Anderson, ASLA, and Adam E. Anderson, ASLA. PPN Officer and Past Co-Chair Melody Tapia, Student ASLA, made the closing statement for the meeting. Melody and Siyi enthusiastically introduced the PPN leadership team and encouraged attendees to join our PPN. (Four of the attendees signed up for the leadership team right there! All ASLA members are welcome to get involved.)

The panelists, along with 40 attendees, discussed landscape design and features in healing gardens and the different restrictions for therapeutic design in the United States and overseas.

Our panelists were:

Continue reading

Building a Low-Allergen Plant Palette

by Michele Richmond, PLA, ASLA, SITES® AP, LEED® Green Associate

Scanning electron microscope image of pollen grains
Pollen from a variety of common allergenic plans including morning glory, sunflower, lily, and castor bean (a 10 on the Ogren Plant Allergy Scale (OPALS)). The image is magnified around x500. / image: Dartmouth College Electron Microscope Facility

Can you plant a site with species that cause little to no allergies in patients? That was the specific request from our client for a site comprised of a community healthcare clinic and workforce and affordable housing. Many of our client’s patients are traumatized children with asthma and allergies. The goal of the building and landscape design was to create a safe place allowing for positive experiences for children coming to the clinic. In this context, a single allergy attack removes children from this safe space and can set back their recovery. So, what to plant?

Allergies and Asthma in America

Today, more than 50 million people in the US have allergies and asthma [i], including hay fever and respiratory, food, and skin allergies that can come from plants in our landscape. Allergies can be a onetime event or a constant reaction to pollen. Currently, allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the US, resulting in 200,000 emergency visits a year [ii] and costing more than $18 billion annually [iii]. In Washington State, asthma is the most common chronic illness for low-income children. Asthma cases have doubled in the population at large and quadrupled among low income families in the last thirty years [iv].

While allergies largely cannot be prevented, we can lessen allergic reactions. As children, we learn to identify poison ivy and oak to avoid contact. As adults, we learn to check pollen counts [v] daily to determine if we need to take allergy medicine. We learn to identify and keep a healthy distance from plants that are the worst offenders to offset symptoms.

Continue reading

Campus Resiliency: What Does the Future of Campus Design Look Like?

by Mikyoung Kim, FASLA, and Ian Downing, ASLA

UChicago LAB School: Gordon Parks Arts Hall / image: Dave Burk

Indifference towards people and the reality in which they live is actually the one and only cardinal sin in design.
Dieter Rams

resilience: a capability to anticipate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from significant multi-hazard threats with minimum damage to social well-being, the economy, and the environment.
U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit

As recent hurricane seasons remind us, new global weather patterns continue to wreak havoc at an alarming pace on our neighborhoods and the environment. For thousands of Americans, these storm patterns have caused large scale damage and humanitarian disasters that have had long lasting impacts on communities large and small.

As landscape architects, these issues of resiliency and stormwater management are at the forefront of our thinking. We must rethink new, innovative ways of designing for these large scale, pressing ecological and climatological issues that our planet faces. Our landscapes are in crisis—much of which has been accelerated by human activity. In considering the future of campus design, these issues of resiliency are at the forefront of university campus planning and design. Consider the possibility that this educational typology of landscape design could become a forum for learning and engagement while restoring the environment and creating engaging and unique places just to hang out.

A Holistic Approach to Designing for Resiliency

We must craft resilient designs that will not only enrich the living and working experiences for campus communities, but also prepare colleges and universities to anticipate and respond to an uncertain climate future. Our firm is focused on understanding the science of resiliency and utilizing that as the foundation of the tapestry that is landscape architecture. This integration of science with the social and cultural art of landscape architecture is our challenge—to partner with universities to create learning environments that will thrive for decades to come.

Continue reading

Help Us Improve ASLA.org

The American Society of Landscape Architects has started the journey of creating a totally new ASLA.org! To ensure the new website meets your needs, please take 5 minutes to complete our survey.

Please tell us how difficult or easy it is to find the information, news, and resources you need on our current site.

Two lucky respondents will win $100 Amazon.com gift cards!

Please complete the survey today.

PPN Interview: Central Park Conservancy

by Jonathan Ceci, ASLA

Historic Preservation PPN Officer Jonathan Ceci, ASLA, facilitates an interview and Q&A with Christopher Nolan, FASLA, Chief Operating Officer & Chief Landscape Architect, Central Park Conservancy, and Lane Addonizio, Affil. ASLA, AICP, Vice President for Planning, Central Park Conservancy. / image: Alexandra Hay

At the ASLA 2018 Annual Meeting and EXPO, members of the Historic Preservation Professional Practice Network (PPN) were treated to an interview with Lane Addonizio, Affil. ASLA, and Chris Nolan, FASLA, of the Central Park Conservancy. The two shared experiences from their decades-long stewardship of America’s First Park, a calling that often involves negotiating a delicate balance between preservation and change.

Two days prior, I had attended their session on the challenges and rewards of improving accessibility in Central Park, Thinking Inclusive: Strategies and Perspectives on Accessibility from Central Park’s Experience. I found it one of the more inspiring sessions of the conference because Chris and Lane tied the matter of access back to the Park founders’ democratic vision. Lane shared this quote from The Third Annual Report of the Board of Commissioners of the Central Park (January 1860):

The primary purpose of the Park is to provide the best practicable means of healthful recreation, for the inhabitants of the city, of all classes. It should have an aspect of spaciousness and tranquility, with variety and intricacy of arrangement, thereby affording the most agreeable contrast to the confinement, bustle, and monotonous street-division of the city…The Park is intended to furnish healthful recreation for the poor and the rich, the young and the old, the vicious and the virtuous, so far as each can partake therein without infringing upon the rights of others, and no further.

In their interview during the PPN meeting, Chris and Lane referred back to this founding mission and explained that restrained adaptation has always been essential to fulfilling the Park’s historic mission of remaining broadly accessible to the public.

Continue reading

ASLA 2018 Education Session Recordings Now Available

The ASLA 2018 Annual Meeting and EXPO / image: EPNAC

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:

AI: Augmented Intelligence – Landscape Architects’ Design Sense Capitalizes on Big Data – 1.5 PDH (LA CES/non-HSW)

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.

BIM for the Small Landscape Architecture Office – 1.5 PDH (LA CES/non-HSW)

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.

Speakers: Meghen Quinn, ASLA, Hargreaves Associates; Bradford McKee, Landscape Architecture Magazine

Continue reading

Areas in Landscape Design Impacted by Water Conservation

by Michael Igo, PE, LEED AP, Affiliate ASLA

Irrigation
image: Aqueous Consultants, LLC

Water conservation is an important topic in landscape architecture, as its professionals are stewards of the built and natural environment for society. Without a balanced water supply, drinking water, sanitation, ecological balance, and safety cannot be secured for our existence. Thus, when we speak of water conservation, what we really mean is freshwater or domestic water conservation.

Furthermore, some of the areas of water conservation discussed below are not only about water quantity conservation, but also water quality conservation in our natural surroundings. The adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is true in water conservation in the sense that not only does saving and using less water in landscapes reduce the quantity of water consumed, but it also prevents poor quality water for reuse or filtering site water from being reintroduced into the environment and conserves existing precious clean freshwater for domestic uses and for habitats.

Below are some of the major areas of concern that the ASLA Water Conservation Professional Practice Network (PPN) and ASLA members should keep in mind in their practice.

Stormwater

When a site is altered from its natural or previously disturbed state, the patterns of rainfall runoff and infiltration are also altered. Natural areas that were once reliant on ample infiltration can be deprived of recharge from paved and developed sites by sealing off underground soils from the atmosphere or just by increasing the velocity of water movement across a site such that runoff does not have time to infiltrate. High velocity, unmitigated stormwater flow can cause erosion of valuable land areas, transport sediment that could fill in and cause eutrophication of natural water bodies, cause damage to sites and structures downstream, and serve as a massive heat exchanging liquid as rain falls on, passes across, and carries away the latent heat trapped in urban pavement—polluting otherwise ecologically-balanced freshwater supplies and habitats.

Continue reading

Architecture and Design Pop-Up Play

by Chad Kennedy, ASLA

Children used left-over paper tubes, rope, and other materials to design chairs, cabins, and other cool things during the Modesto Architecture Festival
Children used left-over paper tubes, rope, and other materials to design chairs, cabins, and other cool things during Modesto Architecture & Design Week. / image: Chad Kennedy

Most autumn Saturday mornings at the downtown library in Modesto, California are decorated with shoppers and families enjoying artisan organic foods and searching for hidden gems and trinkets at a seasonal farmer’s market along a closed-off section of 17th Street. There is always plenty of music, food, and social dialogue, and everyone enjoys themselves. Once a year, however, this same location is overtaken with laughter, giggles, and smiles as hundreds of families and children swarm the area, overshadowing the events of the farmer’s market, to participate in an annual pop-up play event meant to raise awareness within the community about the design industries.

This pop-up play family event was developed by members of the local ASLA and the AIA chapters as a way to involve children and families in the wildly popular Modesto Architecture Festival, a week-long festival celebrating local architecture and design (now branded as MAD Week). The hope was that over time, more of the community would become familiar with the design professions and enjoy what they have to offer. The pop-up play family event is consistently held on the third Saturday of September each year, and this past year was the eighth consecutive year it was held. For months prior to the event, a team of landscape architects, engineers, library staff, architects, and volunteers coordinate and determine how to bring their skills and passions together to best showcase how fun design can be. Those same professionals donate their time and resources as they gather on the day of the event to mentor, guide, and help families learn, play, and enjoy their time together.

Continue reading

Examining Green Roofs at Kansas State University

by Lee R. Skabelund, ASLA

Green roof across the seasons
The Seaton Hall Upper Green Roof at Kansas State University / images: K-State

The Kansas State University Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional & Community Planning hosted a colloquium this past fall on Examining Green Roofs at Kansas State University with the Aim of Improving Design, Implementation & Management.

Associate Professor Lee Skabelund’s Mary K. Jarvis Chair research in Manhattan, Kansas has focused on understanding the performance and dynamics of five living roofs on the K-State campus. These efforts have been supported by the excellent work of three graduate students (Allyssa Decker, Priyasha Shrestha, Student ASLA, and Pam Blackmore), undergraduate student Marcos Aleman, Student Affiliate ASLA, faculty, staff, and students from several other colleges and entities at K-State, visiting scholar Jialin Liu, and other green roof researchers.

This research provides essential baseline knowledge for long-term green roof research and monitoring of the K-State Memorial Stadium Green Roofs (implemented in 2015 and 2016), and the K-State APDesign Experimental Green Roof (constructed in 2017). These efforts complement Professor Skabelund’s ongoing long-term observations, data collection, and hands-on management of a number of green infrastructure systems within local communities.

Continue reading

Register Now for LARE Prep Week

Exam prep workshop presenters and participants
images: EPNAC

ASLA LARE Prep Week: February 4-8, 2019, 3:00 p.m. (Eastern)

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
  • Non-members: $100

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:

Demystifying the LARE – What to Expect and How to Study
Monday, February 4, 3:00 p.m. (Eastern)
Speakers: Eric Gilbey, ASLA, and Madeline Steigerwald, ASLA

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

Continue reading

Time to Grow Up: The Landscape Architect-Nursery Grower Relationship

by Michael Keenan, ASLA

Maple trees at the University of Chicago
The timeline for growing the Redpointe® Maple (Acer rubrum ‘Frank Jr.’) trees in the Crerar Science Quad at the University of Chicago is approximately 15 years from propagation by J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co. Their young trees were grown to maturity by Kaneville Tree Farms, Inc., of Illinois, and selected for the project by Terry Ryan, FASLA. / image: Jacobs/Ryan Associates Landscape Architects

While plants are a primary color in the landscape architect’s palette, we often fail to grasp the complex challenges, laborious processes, and good luck it requires to bring healthy nursery stock to the market and ultimately to our projects. At the 2018 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Philly, the Planting Design Professional Practice Network (PPN) met to discuss the ever-important relationship between the landscape architect and the nursery grower. We heard from four nursery professionals to learn about the realities of nursery production, incoming production shortages, and how to foster a better relationship with your grower.

We were joined by:

Nancy led off with an insightful presentation of the tree growing process. We all know that trees are an investment in time, but we may not fully appreciate the dedicated efforts that go into growing the trees we specify.

As Nancy says,  “Growing trees is an exercise in patience and faith in the future. It takes a long time and many skilled hands to grow beautiful, resilient, durable trees that will cast shade for future generations. Bringing new and improved trees to the marketplace is a collaborative, multi-generational effort that takes even longer.”

Continue reading

Don’t Miss These Fast-Approaching ASLA Deadlines

The ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture will take place November 15-18, 2019, in San Diego.

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.

Call for Presentations for the ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture
Deadline: Wednesday, January 23, 2019, 11:59 p.m. PST

Diversity Summit Call for Letters of Interest
Deadline: Friday, January 25, 2019

Council of Fellows Nominations
Deadline: Thursday, January 31, 2019, 11:59 p.m. PST

Honors Nominations
Deadline: Friday, February 1, 2019

Professional Awards Call for Entries
Deadline for entry fees: Friday, February 15, 2019
Deadline for submissions: Friday, March 1, 2019, 11:59 p.m. PST

Student Awards Call for Entries
Deadline for entry fees: Friday, May 10, 2019
Deadline for submissions: Friday, May 17, 2019, 11:59 p.m. PST

Click the links above or keep reading for more information on each of these opportunities.

Continue reading

Inclusivity and the Design Process in the American College Town

by Jessica Fernandez, Ph.D, PLA, ASLA, LEED AP ND

Town and Gown Collaboration
Town and Gown Collaboration / illustration: Brett Ryder, modified

“The clear evidence is that…we can organize our institutions to serve both local and national needs in a more coherent effective way. We can and must do better.”
Kellogg Commission on the Future of State and Land-Grant Universities, 1999

The physical edge between a higher education campus and its neighboring community often serves as a place for tradition, celebration, and the joining of town and gown. However, this is not always the case. Edges can also create a wedge between these two entities through issues such as traffic and parking changes, unsightly views, and changes in the socio-economic structure of the campus surrounds. In recent years American colleges and universities have seen rising student enrollments, exacerbating these issues as the campus built environment rapidly changes and even expands. In response to these forces there has been a proliferated call for collaboration between campus and community, particularly related to the built environment design and planning process.

One obvious place for campus and municipal designers to join efforts is at the campus-community edge, where changes often significantly influence both sides. However, researchers describe that when town and gown work together, there are often dichotomous collaborative efforts where the university is in control. This is especially the case in American college towns, where the physical, economic, and social structure is by nature heavily influenced by the institution. A recent study out of Clemson University explores how collaborative efforts in the built environment design process might serve to make a more even playing field.

Continue reading

The 2019 Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) Challenge

by Chris Stevens, ASLA

Left to right: HABS LA-1319-26; HABS GA,123-AUG,56–1; HABS ARIZ,10-TUCSO,30–1; and HALS MD-1-19 / image: National Park Service 2019 HALS Challenge Banner

For the tenth annual HALS Challenge, the Historic American Landscapes Survey invites you to document historic streetscapes. Many cities have come to appreciate the cultural and commercial value of their historic streets. Disneyland and Walt Disney World have welcomed arriving visitors with an idealized, nostalgic representation of Main Street U.S.A. since their inception. Main Street programs across the nation have encouraged the revitalization of commercial historic districts, and now the Complete Streets movement is sweeping the design world.

What makes your favorite historic street(s) unique? Does your local Historic Preservation Commission protect the streetscape characteristics and features of historic districts along with the contributing buildings? You may increase historic landscape awareness with your local governments and preservation commissions by documenting historic streetscapes for HALS and illuminating these significant pieces of America’s circulatory system.

Please choose an individual street or a contiguous network or grid of streets to document and pay particular attention to the landscape features, including: benches, bollards, bus stops, circles, context, crosswalks, curbing, drainage, facades, fencing, festivals, fountains, gutters, islands, lampposts, medians, meters, monuments, paving, pedestrian malls, parades, parking, planters, plazas, porches, public art, ramps, setbacks, sidewalks, signage, significance, squares, steps, stoops, street trees, traffic lights, trolley tracks, and utilities.

Continue reading

Stormwater Management Park in Your Future?

by George R. Frantz, AICP, ASLA

Houtan Park Shanghai, June 2017. / Image: George Frantz

Stormwater management approaches in the US are evolving dramatically.  For most of the past three decades, the standard approach was to store water and control its rate of runoff into the environment.  In the past decade, the treatment of stormwater for urban runoff pollutants has gained traction as the impact of such pollutants has become apparent.  Throughout the country, developing green infrastructure to treat stormwater pollution is moving from the fringe of the practice to mainstream acceptance.

New York strongly encourages the adoption of green infrastructure approaches to stormwater management to reduce urban runoff pollutants. The New York State Stormwater Management Design Manual released in 2015 sets as design objectives (1) the capture and treatment the full water quality volume of runoff; ( 2) the capacity to remove 80 percent of total suspended solids (TSS) and 40 percent of total phosphorous (TP); (3) mechanisms for the pre-treatment of stormwater; and (4) an acceptable operational lifespan for stormwater systems.

One issue that New York and other states and municipalities fail to address, however, are regulations that dictate a hodge-podge of small, privately owned and maintained (or not) stormwater management systems.  General regulatory practice is that stormwater must be managed and treated on the parcel that generates it.  This has resulted in a landscape of single-function detention or retention “craters” in developed areas, with little aesthetic appeal or function beyond stormwater management.

Continue reading

Conservation Finance: Follow Up to the 2018 ASLA Ecology & Restoration PPN Meeting

By Daniel Martin, Associate ASLA

The Ecology & Restoration PPN Meeting featured presentations by Michael Sprague, President and Founder of Trout Headwaters, Inc., and Damian Holynskyj, M.C.P., Director of the Eastern Region for Great Ecology, hosted by Daniel Martin, Associate ASLA, PPN Co-Chair (2016-2018). / Image: EPNAC
ECOLOGY & RESTORATION PPN MEETING IN PHILADELPHIA

For the annual Ecology & Restoration PPN meeting in October 2018, we were joined by Michael Sprague, President and Founder of Trout Headwaters, Inc., and founding Board Member of the National Environmental Banking Association, as well as Damian Holynskyj, M.C.P., Director of the Eastern Region for Great Ecology. Our discussion covered the big picture of what conservation finance is, how it is situated within the larger economy, and the role landscape architecture fills within the industry.

The conversation that was had between Mr. Sprague, Mr. Holynskyj, and Ecology & Restoration PPN leadership and members is summarized in this document, to serve as a reference for those who were not able to attend, and a jumping-off point for those landscape architects who would like to pursue this topic further.

WHAT IS CONSERVATION FINANCE?

Conservation finance takes many forms, but in the simplest sense it is a way to create economic incentives for conservation and restoration projects. When an economic incentive exists, it opens the door for many different people and organizations to become involved with environmental projects who otherwise might not be. This increases the amount of work that can be done and leverages the specialties of a broad range of professions towards shared goals.

Shared goals; it has become so common to view economy and ecology as two separate entities, related in a fashion which necessitates the degradation of one for the benefit of the other. This is an unfortunate misconception, which Mr. Sprague discussed at length. Looking at the root meanings of ecology and economy, a truer relationship begins to show. Ecology means study of the house and economy means management of the house, so in that sense it can be understood that what is truly good for one ought to be good for the other. In other words, you can’t understand what you don’t study, and you can’t manage what you don’t understand.

Continue reading

2018 in Review: Professional Practice Networks Highlights

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.

Continue reading

Lessons in Children’s Garden Accessibility

by Jeannie Fernsworth

Aerial view of the children's garden
An aerial view of the veggie labyrinth and surrounding garden treasures. / image: PAPPHOTO

Over a year ago, I heard that one of the 2017 ASLA Florida annual meeting tours was to the Delray Beach Children’s Garden. While I was unable to attend the tour, I did have the good fortune of running into Jeannie Fernsworth at the 2018 American Horticultural Society National Children & Youth Garden Symposium. Jeannie Fernsworth, Co-Founder and Horticulturalist at the Delray Beach Children’s Garden, was kind enough to invite me to the garden and to share some thoughts about this magical place. Thank you, Jeannie!
– Amy Wagenfeld, Affil. ASLA, Children’s Outdoor Environments Professional Practice Network Co-Communications Director

Keeping nature and children wild is a challenge in the midst of urbanity. Parental instincts are to tame wild children and urban sprawl is about beating back wildness so that a townhouse can live there. For the sake of our health and wellness, the look and feel of nature needs to be maintained. This involves careful observation of what nature looks like and also encompasses deep understanding of the needs of people and children of varying ages, abilities, and preferences in a wildscape. The Delray Beach (Florida) Children’s Garden (DBCG)‘s mission is to promote eco-consciousness in all children through nature education and play experiences. Located just south of the downtown area, being immersed in the garden feels like you are miles away from the bustle of this South Florida beach town. The DBCG boasts innovative features, many involving repurposing materials otherwise destined for the scrap heap or recycling bin.

Continue reading

Newly Published LATIS on Landscape Performance

A Landscape Performance + Metrics Primer for Landscape Architects: Measuring Landscape Performance on the Ground

Students measure the infiltration rate of a rain garden soil on NC State University’s campus. / Image: Emily McCoy

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.

Design—Research—Observe Feedback Loop / Image: Andropogon Associates

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.

DOWNLOAD NOW

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).

Visit the website for the full catalog of LATIS papers.

 

 

The Landscape Architecture Technical Information Series (LATIS) is a program of the ASLA Fund.