ASLA chapters are organizing in-person and virtual events to advance the goals of the ASLA Climate Action Plan. Landscape architects are seeking to build stronger climate action partnerships with allied professionals, academia, government, community leaders, and members of the public, so all are welcome and encouraged to participate.
In Los Angeles, the ASLA Southern California Chapter will host a day-long Climate Symposium on Earth Day, April 22, in Earvin “Magic” Johnson Park. The first phase of the climate-smart, equity-driven redesign of the 126-acre park was completed by landscape architects at MIG in 2021 — and it will be a focus of discussion at the symposium.
Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts will share insights from the Studio-MLA-designed SoFi Stadium landscape. ASLA CEO Torey Carter-Conneen will give an overview of ASLA initiatives.
And twenty landscape architects, educators, civic leaders, and allied professionals will share their climate action work:
- Lauren Berfenholtz, ASLA, CMG Landscape Architecture
- Benjamin Boisclair, ASLA, Sasaki
- Pam Brief, ASLA, Pamela Studios, and President, ASLA Southern California Chapter
- Wendy Chan, ASLA, MIG
- Eden Ferry, ASLA, Studio-MLA
- Adriana Garcia, ASLA
- Alison B. Hirsch, PhD, Associate Professor at University of Southern California
- Jeremy Klemic, Associate Principal, SWA Los Angeles
- Gary Lai, ASLA, Kimley-Horn
- Mia Lehrer, FASLA, President, Studio-MLA, and ASLA Climate Action Plan Advisory Group Member
- Kate Lenahan, ASLA, CMG Landscape Architecture
- Robin Mark, Program Director, Trust for Public Land
- Daniel Martin, Landscape Architect, Esri
- Evan Mather, FASLA, Principal and Director of Landscape Architecture, MIG
- Kush Parekh, ASLA, Studio-MLA
- Marcella (Marci) Raney, PhD, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
- Marta Segura, Chief Heat Officer and Climate Emergency Mobilization Director, City of Los Angeles
- Ana Tabuena-Ruddy, Assistant Director/Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Los Angeles’ Streets LA
- Tamar Warburg, AIA, Sasaki
- Jennifer Zell, ASLA, MIG
Presentations will cover a range of topics:
- how to reduce emissions and increase sequestration
- how to adapt to sea level rise and rising urban temperatures
- how to increase biodiversity
- how to maximize green schoolyard, transportation, and healthy communities initiatives
“As a region on the front line of climate impacts, Southern California has an incredible opportunity to lead the way. Our chapter is passionate about equipping landscape architects with practical tools and empowering the next generation of students to create a better, more sustainable future. Together, we can make a real difference in the fight against climate change,” said Evan Mather, FASLA, principal and director of landscape architecture, MIG, and ASLA Southern California Past President and Climate Action Committee Chair.
And in Boston, Massachusetts, the Boston Society of Landscape Architects (BSLA) has organized a free webinar on April 11 at noon EST with Scott Bishop, ASLA, founder of Bishop Land Design, Immediate Past Chair of the Climate Action Committee, and ASLA Climate Action Plan Advisory Group Member.
The webinar will be the first in a series of discussions and presentations as the chapter delves into climate action planning. “Whether you’re a sole practitioner or part of a large firm, private practice or public sector, every scale matters. Let’s figure this out together,” BSLA writes.
“For all of us who live in Boston, Superstorm Sandy in 2012 was a wake-up call. Since then, we have collectively worked to understand the vulnerabilities of the city, particularly related to sea level rise. We also now have a greater understanding of other climate impacts, such as urban heat islands,” said Jason Hellendrung, ASLA, with Tetra Tech and BSLA Climate Action Committee Chair.
“As we’ve shared our story with colleagues throughout New England, we’ve learned they share some of the same concerns — how heat will impact rural areas in western and northern New England; how climate change will affect forestry and the economy, including tourism and skiing. As landscape architects, we are each working towards solutions in different ways at multiple scales. We recognize that we have lots to do and lots to learn from each other.”
Bishop will provide an overview of the Climate Action Plan and highlight some of his firm’s projects that exemplify the plan’s goals. For example, the Point, a coastal project south of Boston, envisions a park and ferry terminal built behind a living coastal bluff. The project is “designed to protect the neighboring community and unique habitats of the park from sea level rise and increased storm intensity,” Bishop said.
“The Point project checks several boxes of the Climate Action Plan by looking at public transportation options, including electric ferries; using living systems as infrastructure; protecting and enhancing biodiversity; and sequestering carbon dioxide with trees and wetlands.”