Make Your Place Even Better: AARP Community Challenge Grants

In Los Angeles’ Westlake/MacArthur Park neighborhood, Golden Age Park shows the power of placemaking. With support from AARP, a property that was vacant for 30 years was transformed by landscape architect Daví de la Cruz into a community garden with a children’s play area and outdoor fitness spaces for adults.

AARP is seeking applications for its annual Community Challenge grant program, which funds projects that improve livability. Now in its fourth year, the grant program has awarded 376 grants to non-profits and governments at all scales in every U.S. state, D.C., Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands.

For 2020, AARP is focused on projects that can: increase civic engagement and create a broader sense of community inclusion and diversity; create vibrant public spaces; and improve transportation and connectivity through walkability, bikeability, wayfinding, and universal access.

The organization, which has some 38 million members, is also looking for projects that can support accessible and affordable housing options. In addition, AARP is interested in projects that can “demonstrate the tangible value of ‘Smart Cities'” through programs that “engage residents in accessing, understanding, and using data, and participating in decision-making to increase quality of life for all.”

According to Danielle Arigoni, director of livable communities at AARP, the grant program is “a great fit for those who care about placemaking. About 60 percent of the 375+ grants made to date have been focused on public space and/or placemaking.”

Applications for Community Challenge grants will be accepted until 11:59 pm ET on May 15, 2020. All applications must be submitted through their website and all projects must be completed by November 9, 2020. AARP states that the program is open to 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), 501(c)(6) nonprofits and government entities. Other types of organizations will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Together with Team Better Block, AARP has just released the Pop Up Placemaking Tool Kit, which outlines the what, why, how of temporary but impactful placemaking demonstrations. Team Better Block has also included a set of pop up placemaking “recipes,” with beginner, intermediate, and advanced options, on their website.

According to the 40-page toolkit available for free to download and print: “when communities of all types (urban, suburban, rural) and sizes experiment and demonstrate solutions, the quicker their methods can be refined and positive change achieved.”

Ideas Competition: Create an Iconic Landmark for Silicon Valley

San Jose Electric Light Tower / Wikipedia

San José, California, a major hub of Silicon Valley, was once home to a 207-foot-tall steel “moonlight tower” that used arcing incandescent lights to illuminate the city’s downtown. The tower was designed by J.J. Owen, the owner of the San Jose Mercury newspaper, who crowd-sourced some $3,500 in 1881 to build it. Some 34 years later, after suffering damage from wind storms, the tower collapsed.

Now, the San Jose Light Tower Corporation has initiated the Urban Confluence Silicon Valley ideas competition to generate concepts for a new technological landmark that can define contemporary Silicon Valley.

The organizers invite teams of landscape architects, artists, architects, urban planners, lighting designers, students, designers, engineers — “anyone with a passion for place-making” — to transform 5 acres of Arena Green, an existing city park in San José, into a true destination for Silicon Valley. Three finalists will receive $150,000 to further flesh out their proposals.

The organizers seek a “transformative design complete with dramatic lighting, a net-zero energy approach, and an impressive physical presence that will become a powerful and enduring symbol of how Silicon Valley operates as a bridge from past to present to future. Urban Confluence Silicon Valley can be a structure, an object, a sculpture, a work of architecture—with an activated landscape enjoyed both day and night.”

The Corporation proposes the 14.3-acre Arena Green at Guadalupe River Park and Gardens as the site for the project because of its central location. The park is across the street from a mixed-use development now in development: the 6-8 million-square foot, transit-oriented Google Downtown West. Arena Green is also two blocks from Diridon Station, which is being re-envisioned as a multi-modal hub for bus, light rail, BART regional transit, Amtrak, and high-speed rail, with an “expected ridership of 140,000 per day by 2040.” The new landmark is expected to help support “the growth of restaurants, bars, retail stores, hotels, service businesses, and residences within the area.”

The Arena Green area is also a true urban confluence: it is set within riparian corridors for the Guadalupe River and Los Gatos Creek, so just 5 acres of the site can be redeveloped — and it must be done in an ecologically-sensitive manner. Project proposals will need to demonstrate an understanding of the site’s river and creek ecosystem, lighting limitations given the proximity to Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport, and existing site-specific public art that can’t be removed.

Arena Green / Urban Confluence Silicon Valley

A public community panel will review all submissions and pick the top 50, which will be sent to a jury that includes Jon Cicirelli, San José director of parks and recreation; Susan Chin, former head of the Design Trust for Public Space; and landscape architect Jerry van Eyck, International ASLA, founder of !Melk.

There is no fee to enter the competition. The deadline is April 3, 2020. Read the detailed brief and explore resources for submitters.

ASLA 2020 Professional and Student Awards Call for Entries Now Open

ASLA 2019 Professional Analysis and Planning Honor Award. +StL: Growing an Urban Mosaic, TLS Landscape Architecture, Shanghai OBJECT TERRITORIES, and [dhd] derek hoeferlin design | Photo Credit: TLS | OT | dhd

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is accepting submissions for its 2020 Professional and Student Awards Program.

ASLA Awards are the oldest and most prestigious awards program in the profession of landscape architecture. They honor the best and most innovative landscape architecture projects from around the globe and give a glimpse into the future of the profession.

This year, a new award category, Urban Design, will recognize projects that activate networks of spaces that mediate between social equity, economic viability, infrastructure, environmental stewardship, and place-making in the public and private realm.

Award recipients receive featured coverage in Landscape Architecture Magazine and are honored at the awards presentation ceremony during the ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture in Miami Beach, October 2-5, 2020.

Entry fees for the ASLA Professional Awards are due no later than 11:59 PST on Friday, February 28, 2020, and submissions no later than 11:59 PST on Friday, March 6, 2020.

Entry fees for the ASLA Student Awards are due no later than 11:59 PST on Monday, May 4, 2020, and submissions no later than 11:59 PST on Monday, May 11, 2020.

ASLA 2019 Student General Design Honor Award. A Plastic Tide, The University of Hong Kong | Photo Credit: Wiley Chi Wai Ng, Student ASLA

ASLA bestows Professional Awards in General Design, Residential Design, Urban Design, Analysis & Planning, Communications, Research categories. In each of these categories, juries select a number of Honor Awards and may select one Award of Excellence. One Landmark Award is also presented each year.

This year’s Professional Awards Jury includes:

  • Chair: Jose Alminana, FASLA – Andropogon
  • Jane Berger – Writer
  • Ujijji Davis, ASLA – SmithGroup
  • Mark Hough, FASLA – Duke University
  • Mark Johnson, FASLA – Civitas
  • Kathleen John-Alder, FASLA – Rutgers University
  • Mia Lehrer FASLA – Studio-MLA
  • Tanya Olson, ASLA – Tallgrass Landscape Architecture
  • Robert Rogers – Architects+Urban Designers
  • Stephanie A. Rolley, FASLA – Kansas State University
  • Gale Newman, ASLA – Texas A&M University

ASLA bestows Student Awards in General Design, Residential Design, Urban Design, Analysis & Planning, Communications, Research, Student Community Service, and Student Collaboration. In each of these categories, juries select a number of Honor Awards and may select one Award of Excellence. One Landmark Award is also presented each year.

This year’s Student Awards Jury includes:

  • Chair: Kristina Hill – University of California, Berkely
  • Adam Arvidson, FASLA – Landscape Architect, Writer
  • Lucia Athens, ASLA – Office of Sustainability, City of Austin
  • Cermetrius L. Bohannon, ASLA – Virginia Tech
  • Jonathon Geels, ASLA – Troyer Group
  • Rikerrious Geter, Associate ASLA – GGN
  • Luis Gonzalez, ASLA – Lennar
  • Melissa Henao-Robledo, ASLA – Landscape Forms
  • Ernest C. Wong, FASLA – Site Design Group

ASLA 2020 Conference on Landscape Architecture Call for Presentations

Miami Beach soundscape by West 8 / copyright Robin Hill

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is now accepting proposals for the 2020 Conference on Landscape Architecture in Miami, Florida, October 2 – 5, 2020.

The ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture is the largest gathering of landscape architects and allied professionals in the world—all coming together to learn, celebrate, build relationships, and strengthen the bonds of our incredibly varied professional community.

We seek education proposals that will help to drive change in the field of landscape architecture and solve everyday challenges informed by research and practice.

Help us shape the 2020 education program by submitting a proposal through our online system by Thursday, January 23, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. PT.

More than 100 education sessions and field sessions will provide attendees with the opportunity to earn professional development hours under the Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System™ (LA CES™). Many of the sessions will also qualify for continuing education credit with the Green Building Certification Institute (toward SITES AP and LEED AP credential maintenance), the American Institute of Architects, the American Institute of Certified Planners, and other allied professional organizations and state registration boards.

Education session speakers selected from this process will receive a full complimentary registration to the 2020 Conference on Landscape Architecture.

To coordinate proposals and network with potential speakers, we encourage you to use the Call for Presentations Google group.

Please visit the submission site to learn more about criteria, the review process, and key dates.

Submit your session proposal today.

This post is by Katie Riddle, ASLA, director of professional practice at ASLA.

Landscape Architecture in the News Highlights (October 1 – 15)

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ASLA 2019 Honor Award in General Design, The High Line, Section 2, James Corner Field Operations / Iwan Baan

Hidden Esplanade Garden of Landscape Architect Rene Fransen Is Lush in Shades of GreenThe Times-Picayune, 10/2/19
“Most French Quarter gardens are hidden from public view, secreted behind masonry walls, glimpsed only through an open gate. Removed from the scrutiny of passersby, they provide their owners with a respite from the busy goings-on of the Vieux Carre.”

Landscape Prize Honors Cornelia Hahn OberlanderThe New York Times, 10/3/19
“Cornelia Hahn Oberlander is widely regarded as the grande dame of landscape architecture. Now she is the inspiration for a new biennial $100,000 international landscape prize established by the Cultural Landscape Foundation. The prize is named in honor of the 98-year-old Ms. Oberlander.”

Amid the Smoke of a Burning Amazon Rises the Specter of the Artist Roberto Burle MarxThe Washington Post, 10/3/19
“He was a landscape architect, a painter, a ceramist, a textile artist and more. But it was his other and lesser-known incarnations, as a plant explorer and conservationist, that came sharply into focus as the exhibition played out in the botanical garden’s grounds, conservatories and galleries in the Bronx. The reason: The Amazon is on fire.”

8 Notable NYC Projects Designed by Latino ArchitectsCurbed NY, 10/4/19
“A principal at James Corner Field Operations, Puerto Rican landscape architect Isabel Castilla worked as the lead designer and project manager for the High Line at the Rail Yards, which opened in 2014.”

Student, Landscape Architects Create 1967 Fire MemorialCornell Chronicle, 10/8/19
“A new memorial in the center of campus, created this summer and designed by a landscape architect student, serves as a contemplative reminder of eight students and a professor who died in a tragic fire in 1967 at the off-campus Cornell Heights Residential Club.”

AN Rounds Up the Best Landscape Architecture Lectures Nationwide The Architect’s Newspaper, 10/10/19
“America’s top architecture and design schools are filling out their lecture series line-ups with leading thought leaders in landscape architecture and design. Coast-to-coast, AN has selected six of these can’t-miss lectures that delve into issues such as climate change, urban beautification, the ecology of memory, and more.”

Six Scholarships for Emerging Women Leaders to Attend the 2019 ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture

San Diego Waterfront Park by Hargreaves Associates / iStockPhoto

A group of landscape architects raised $10,000 for scholarships that will cover the travel and hotel costs for six emerging women landscape architects to attend the 2019 ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture in San Diego, which will be held November 15-18. The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has covered the cost of registration for the six scholars, contributing nearly $5,000.

Thanks to the efforts of WxLA — which is led by landscape architects Cinda Gilliland, ASLA, Jamie Maslyn Larson, ASLA, Steven Spears, FASLA, Rebecca Leonard, ASLA, and Gina Ford, FASLA — and all its gracious donors, the cost of the conference for the six who win the scholarship will be completely covered.

According to the group, the purpose of the scholarship is “to aid in the professional development and success of young and emerging leaders in our profession.” Furthermore, the scholarship “intends to promote gender justice and help level the playing field for women in the profession. As such, preference will be given to female candidates, including non-binary and transgendered female candidates.”

The 2019 ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture offers more than 120 education sessions, which enables attendees to fulfill their professional development requirements, while networking with colleagues from all over the world.

The call for applications is now closed. Please contact Gina Ford to find out how to make a donation for the 2019 scholars.

WxLA requires scholarship winners to assist in the creation of a convening of women leaders across the profession, which will be done “in concert with and with the guidance of the WxLA team.”

Learn more at WxLA’s Instagram account about their Women’s Landscape Equity (re)Solution. And check out WxLA’s partner, the Vela Project, created by Samantha Solano, Associate ASLA, and TJ Marston, ASLA. They have produced a series of great infographics about gender equity in the field of landscape architecture.

ASLA leadership data / The Vela Project
ASLA Professional Awards and Honors data / The Vela Project

ASLA will acknowledge the scholarship winners at the 2019 ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture in San Diego.

Now Landscape Architects Have Their Own Major International Prize

Portland open space sequence / Jeremy Bittermann

Since 1979, architects have been able to win the Pritzker Prize, known as the Nobel for architecture, receiving $100,000. And since 1989, architects can also win the Praemium Imperiale prize, which is awarded by the Imperial family of Japan on behalf of the Japan Art Association, receiving some $140,000.

Now, practicing landscape architects have their own grand international prize, which will be conferred biennially by The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF), based out of Washington, D.C. The prize will offer a $100,000 award and will involve two years of public engagement to honor the prize winner’s “creative, courageous, and visionary work.” The inaugural prize will be awarded in 2021.

According to Charles A. Birnbaum, FASLA, TCLF’s founder, president, and CEO, landscape architecture is worthy of its own high-profile international prize because it “is one of the most complex and, arguably, the least understood art forms. It challenges practitioners to be design innovators often while spanning the arts and sciences in addressing many of the most pressing social, environmental, and cultural issues in contemporary society.”

Interestingly, landscape architects aren’t the only ones eligible to win the prize. Landscape designers, artists, architects, planners, urban designers, and others who have “designed a significant body of landscape-architectural projects” will also be considered. This is in contrast to the only other international landscape architecture prize — the Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award, bestowed by the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA), which is only open to landscape architects.

TCLF board co-chair Joan Shafran and her husband Rob Haimes underwrote the prize with a gift of $1 million, which was then matched by the rest of the board and other donors. A $4.5 million campaign to endow the prize in perpetuity is now underway.

In other awards news: Elizabeth Meyer, FASLA, the Merrill D. Peterson professor of landscape architecture at the University of Virginia School of Architecture, is the winner of this year’s Vincent Scully Prize, which is bestowed by the National Building Museum (NBM). Meyer is only the second landscape architect to win; Laurie Olin, FASLA, won in 2017.

New urbanist planner and architect Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, who was chair of the awards jury, said “Meyer has produced an influential body of theory, interpretation, and criticism on landscape topics related to aesthetics, sustainability, culture, and social impact.”

On October 30, NBM will host a public event in Washington, D.C. — a conversation between Meyer and Thaïsa Way, program director of garden & landscape studies, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collections.

Landscape Architecture in the News Highlights (August 1 – 15)

Elizabeth Meyer, FASLA, the 19th recipient of the National Building Museum’s Vincent Scully Prize / Landscape Architecture Magazine

To Combat Climate Change, Cities Need to Tackle SprawlCurbed, 8/8/19
“A new IPCC report offers a stark reminder that land use policy needs to be radically changed.”

Italian Architect Stefano Boeri Unveils Plans for Africa’s First “Vertical Forest”CNN, 8/6/19
“Home to the ancient pyramids, Egypt is no stranger to architectural innovation. So it is no surprise that it is set to become the first African nation to host a “vertical forest.”

The Cultural Landscape Foundation Launches Major international Design PrizeThe Architect’s Newspaper, 8/12/19
“Landscape architects, artists, and architects, as well as urban planners and designers, are encouraged to apply for the inaugural prize, set to be chosen in 2021.”

Preparing, Updating an Impactful Landscape Architecture PortfolioTotal Landscape Care, 8/13/19
“Whether you’re new on the landscape architecture scene or have been working in the field for many years, having an impressive and updated portfolio is important.”

How Landscape Architecture Hoped to Save the City Metropolis, 8/13/19
“An exhibition at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum explores the intersection of landscape architecture and social reform at the turn of the 20th century.”

National Building Museum Awards 19th Vincent Scully Prize to Elizabeth Meyer – Architect, 8/13/19
“Today, the National Building Museum (NBM) announced landscape architect Elizabeth K. Meyer as the 19th recipient of the Vincent Scully Prize.”

EPA Offers $14 Million in Grants for Great Lakes Restoration

Great Lakes region / Wikipedia. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The Great Lakes, the largest fresh bodies of water in the world, face dire environmental problems. Nitrogen and phosphorous run-off from farms has led to destructive algae blooms that kill off lake life. Stormwater runoff from nearby communities has polluted the lakes with the chemicals that slick streets. And invasive species, like the Asian carp and zebra mussels, have wrecked havoc on native Great Lakes ecosystems. The governors of the states that border the lakes called for greater federal action, particularly in highly-contaminated “areas of concern.” The result has been the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which brings together some 16 federal agencies and has spent $2.4 billion on 4,700 projects designed to restore the lakes to environmental health.

As part of this effort, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting applications for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grants until July 12. EPA anticipates awarding approximately $14 million for about 30 projects addressing excess nutrients and stormwater runoff.

Some $12.5 million is available for projects in these categories:

• Riparian restoration to reduce runoff to the Maumee River
• Green infrastructure to reduce stormwater runoff
• Manure management to reduce nutrient runoff from farms
• Accelerating adoption of nutrient management through farmer-led outreach and education

EPA Region 5 Administrator/Great Lakes National Program Manager Cathy Stepp said: “Reducing stormwater and nutrient runoff is a critical part of restoring the Great Lakes.”

And the EPA has made some $1.5 million available for four innovative water quality trading projects that promote “cost-effective and market-based approaches” to reduce excess nutrients and stormwater runoff hitting the lakes.

According to the EPA, “non-federal governmental entities, including state agencies; interstate agencies; federally recognized Indian tribes and tribal organizations, local governments, institutions of higher learning (i.e., colleges and universities); and non-profit organizations” can apply. Learn more.

ASLA 2019 Communications Internship

ASLA 2018 Professional Research Honor Award. Urban Aquatic Health: Integrating New Technologies and Resilience into Floating Wetlands. Ayers Saint Gross

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) seeks a full-time summer communications intern. The intern will research and update ASLA’s sustainable design resource guides, create case studies on resilient design, and write weekly posts on landscape architecture and related topics for The Dirt blog.

Responsibilities:

• The internship is full-time Monday through Friday for 10 weeks, from June through August.
• The intern will research and update sustainable design resource guides.
• The intern will provide communications support for the Smart Policies for a Changing Climate project, including creating case studies on resilient landscape design.
• The intern will create original weekly content for The Dirt, covering projects, events, and new publications.
• The intern will also have the opportunity to attend educational and networking events at the National Building Museum, Harvard University’s Dumbarton Oaks, and other museums and think tanks in Washington, D.C.
• Other communications projects may come up as well.

Requirements:

• Current enrollment in a Master’s program in landscape architecture.
• Excellent writing skills. The intern must be able to write clearly for a general audience.
• Excellent photographic composition and editing skills.
• Proven research skills and ability to quickly evaluate the quality and relevance of resources.
• Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to interact graciously with busy staff members and outside experts.
• Working knowledge of Photoshop, WordPress, and Microsoft Office suite.

How to Apply:

Please send cover letter, CV, two writing samples (no more than 2 pages each) to jgreen@asla.org by end of day, Friday, March 29.

Phone interviews will be conducted with finalists the week of April 1 and selection will be made the following week.

The 10-week internship offers a $4,500 stipend. ASLA can also work with the interns to attain academic credit for the internship.

The internship is in-house located at the ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture, the national headquarters, which is conveniently located in downtown Washington, D.C., one block north of the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro Station on the Red, Yellow, and Green Lines.