by Kimball Erdman, ASLA, and John Zvonar
Alliance for Historic Landscape Preservation 43rd Annual Meeting
Richmond, Virginia | May 24-27, 2023
Call for Papers and Posters Extended
Deadline: February 20, 2023
The Alliance for Historic Landscape Preservation (AHLP) is pleased to announce its 2023 annual meeting theme of Richmond on the James: Stories of Landscape Transformation to be held in Richmond, VA. We envision the Richmond meeting as a landscape dialogue/exploration that addresses, analyzes, and critiques contemporary issues of the urban cultural landscape. Homelands of the Powhattans and later a major city of the American South, Richmond is situated at the fall line of the historic James River. Richmond is Virginia’s third capital city after Jamestown and Williamsburg and, for most of the U.S. Civil War, the capital of the Southern Confederacy. It is a vibrant and revitalizing modern city notable for industry, visual arts education, and medicine, but also significant for Virginia’s Capitol Square, the Richmond National Battlefield Park, historic parks, significant cemeteries, and urban streetscapes. The summer of 2020 focused attention on Richmond’s most controversial landscape of memorial monumentality glorifying the Southern Lost Cause Narrative, as well as its legacy of slavery. Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom, listed as one of the Eleven Most Endangered Sites in 2014 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was the second largest enslaved persons’ auction site in North America. As part of Richmond’s efforts to acknowledge and repair its complicated past, the city, developers, and the preservation community are exploring ways to embrace the 21st century through densifying and preserving historic neighborhoods; involving institutions of education and government; dismantling and recreating monumental landscapes; focusing attention on memorializing and redeveloping portions of its notorious Shockoe Bottom enslaved auction site; grappling with desecrated and previously ignored Black cemeteries; and celebrating the recreational and scenic opportunities of its James River location.
National publications rate Richmond as one of the best places to live, work, and visit. At the same time, Richmond is reconsidering the places of its often-painful past—many that are landscape-related. Our meeting program and explorations of Richmond will focus on these issues, with hopes that attendees will share how other places’ dilemmas and successes resonate with Richmond and national, regional, and worldwide issues.