Towards a Circular Economy

Amsterdam, The Netherlands /, bloodua

The Netherlands is ramping up plans to achieve a fully circular economy by 2050. This means the country will reimagine existing materials, reduce the extraction of raw materials, and generate “as little waste as possible.”

At this year’s Greenbuild conference in Washington, D.C., Sandra Onwijn, acting director for the transition to a circular economy at the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, outlined how the transformation is progressing and what their experience can teach other countries and industries.

“It won’t be easy, but we owe it to future generations. We need to cut carbon and protect biodiversity. We need to improve water and air quality. And we need to protect material supplies,” she said.

The Dutch government is creating policies, incentives, and public-private partnerships to achieve a few key goals:

  • Use less raw materials overall by reducing extraction and increasing sharing and reuse.
  • Ensure materials and products last longer and are more intensively used. “This involves repairing, repurposing, and refurbishing.”
  • Increase recycleability, recycled material content, and the substitution of bio-based materials.

“Worldwide, the building sector accounts for 50 percent of raw material use, 40 percent of energy use, 30 percent of water use, and 40 percent of waste, and more than a third of greenhouse gas emissions,” Onwijn said.

To reduce the impacts of the building sector in the Netherlands, the government has created new building and infrastructure material performance standards, which they continue to make more stringent.

The standards call for “ensuring the long life span of buildings by design.” And using “renewable and recycled materials.”

The Dutch wants every material to have its own “passport,” which can quickly show where the material came from, how it was made, and how it is taken apart and reused.

The reuse journey of materials will be continuously tracked. “This is really important to achieving a circular economy,” Onwijn said.

Other strategies are being implemented to move circularity forward. The government is now procuring circular products.

And they are creating public-private partnerships to encourage circularity in different industries. In 2018, “all players signed a concrete agreement.” Now, the textiles and plastics industries are also coalescing.

The Netherlands has banned the dumping of many types of materials in landfills. Waste regulations are being used to “phase out the linear economy.”

Onwijn reiterated the need to keep circular economy work practical. The Dutch set up the Holland Circular Hotspot program to facilitate problem solving among public authorities and companies.

They are also promoting their CIRCO program, which “invests in designing for circularity and disassembly.”

The U.S. government is much further behind in creating policies that encourage a circular economy. But built environment groups are making progress and laying the foundation for standardized, transparent materials data and reducing embodied carbon emissions. These are emissions produced by the extraction, manufacturing, transportation, and installation of materials.

Another session at Greenbuild explored efforts to reduce embodied carbon in the U.S. Jessica Bristow from the International Living Future Institute (IFLI), Meghan Lewis with the Carbon Leadership Forum, and Stacy Smedley with Building Transparency outlined progress on a new coalition: the Embodied Carbon Harmonization and Optimization (ECHO) Project.

ECHO Project

ASLA, Climate Positive Design, and 13 other organizations are part of this strategic group, which aims to “ensure all embodied carbon reporting at the whole building and whole project scale in the U.S. — including landscapes and infrastructure — follow the same clear definitions and scopes of included impacts.”

“Building industry and policymakers need clear, accurate, and accessible data for making the best decisions and policies to meaningfully reduce our impact on the environment,” they said.

“We do not have the resources or time to waste in our push toward decarbonization. The key to success is cross-disciplinary collaboration– coming together to create a consistent methodology for reporting and measuring emissions.”

It is important to scale up efforts on universal embodied carbon measurements because the state of California recently updated its building regulations to include embodied carbon requirements and other states and cities are expected to follow suit.

The Biden-Harris administration has also become more involved. It recently announced $100 million in grant funding available to develop environmental product declarations (EPDs). This is driven by the need to collect more accurate data on embodied carbon and “expand market access for low-carbon construction materials.”

Elsewhere at Greenbuild, Cody Finke with Brimstone, Mikaela DeRousseau with Building Transparency, and Ignacio Cariaga with Heidelberg Materials explored the complexities of decarbonizing concrete.

Cement, which is the binder in concrete, is the second most used natural resource on Earth after water. Some 4.3 billion tons of cement are extracted each year, resulting in approximately 30 billion tons of concrete. All this concrete accounts for 8 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. “If concrete was a country, it would be the third largest polluter in the world after the U.S. and China,” Finke said.

It’s relatively easy to reduce the embodied carbon of concrete by 10-30 percent using existing strategies, DeRousseau argued. These include mixing in higher percentages of slag or fly ash. “The hard part is getting to 100 percent emission reductions,” she said.

Finke said current concrete production has a “chemistry problem.” About 40 percent of emissions are from the furnaces that heat limestone to make cement. Those can be eliminated by switching to electric furnaces powered by renewable energy. The other 60 percent of emissions come from the chemical reactions involved in transforming carbon-rich limestone into cement.

Brimstone has been developing a novel technology. Their process crushes up silicate rocks and uses magnesium to sequester carbon. “One ton of our cement stores one ton of carbon.” He thinks alternative cements need to be scaled up because the U.S. is running out of the slag and fly ash added to concrete; these are largely waste products from coal and steel production.

Brimstone cement sample / Brimstone

Heidelberg Materials explained their approach to carbon capture at a concrete production facility in Alberta, Canada. “While carbon capture alone won’t get us to net-zero, it’s another tool to fall on,” Cariaga said.

The concrete plant will be powered by renewable energy and its own heat. Greenhouse gas emissions will be captured, liquefied, and pumped 1.8 miles (3 kilometers) below ground, under existing aquifers, where the liquid will eventually turn back into limestone.

To support continuous material and manufacturing innovation, more investment in EPDs is needed, DeRousseau said. Current embodied carbon accounting systems need to be harmonized so that designers and policymakers can more easily compare products and make decisions. Embodied carbon will also soon be a factor in federal and state procurement.

Confronting the Racist Legacy of Urban Highways

Justice and the Interstates: The Racist Truth About Urban Highways / Island Press

By Diane Jones Allen, D.Eng., PLA, FASLA

Highways, in their inanimate state, cannot be racist. However, the forces that located them and the consequences of their placement are inextricably connected to race. Deborah Archer, a law professor and civil rights lawyer, captures the central concept: “Highways were built through and around Black communities to entrench racial inequality and protect white spaces and privilege.”

In the new book, Justice and the Interstates: The Racist Truth About Urban Highways, editors Ryan Reft, Amanda Phillips du Lucas, and Rebecca Retzlaff explore racial injustice and the interstate highway system. They collect essays that address the dislocation caused by interstates. The book came out of a series of articles in Metropole, a publication of the Urban History Association.

The editors explain the mechanisms used in concert with the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, including federal, state, and local housing legislation, that limited housing and economic opportunities for Latinos and Blacks. They outline how racial zoning maps adopted by municipalities across the U.S. in the early twentieth century established legal boundaries of segregated neighborhoods, making it easier to target these neighborhoods for disinvestment, demolition, and highway location.

The first part of the book brings together three chapters that explore the myths constructed by politicians, transportation planners, builders, and engineers to support building the interstate highway system despite the high costs to communities. One significant myth — the marginalization and destruction of Black and Latino communities were unpredictable consequences of highway development.

Case studies in the book show that the interstate highway system’s negative impacts on urban neighborhoods were known. And any legislation enacted to lessen the adverse effects provided little help to Black and Brown communities but often privileged the interests of their white counterparts.

Sarah Jo Peterson states that the common perception was highways were a system for interstate travel. Unintended impacts on cities were caused by their misuse for travel within cities. And everything terrible that happened in cities due to the development of interstates was the fault of city leaders and urban renewal.

Peterson offers a firm counter argument: racial injustices and the process of transforming urban transportation into highways are connected. Furthermore, these forces still influence American transportation policy and practice today. So it is imperative to articulate what occurred in the past to examine how the past still impacts current transportation development.

There has been a historical accounting of transportation in the U.S. — Edward Weiner’s Urban Transportation Planning in the United States: A Historical Overview, written in 1997. But Peterson points out that this history ignores the impacts of transportation planning and urban expressway construction on Black communities, offering little social analysis. Weiner’s book attributes the clearing of communities and the negative impacts of highway development to federal programs that had unintended consequences.

But contrary to previous historical accountings, impacts of highway development were anticipated by urban leaders. Highways weren’t developed for urban commuter travel demand; they were more suited for rural to urban commutes, especially as car ownership increased. Urban residents moved to the expanding bedroom communities of the suburbs. Urban communities were in the way. The massive acts of eminent domain required for urban expressways were barely acknowledged.

Peterson reveals a significant point: the Federal Highway Administration and highway industry knew. They anticipated the problems for urban transportation, including the dismantling of neighborhoods and the relocation that came with highway expansion, and claimed that these issues were outside of the highway planning process.

Additional citizen participation, which could have provided communities a voice in solving these problems, was mainly used to support highway projects, especially in the 1960s during the height of highway development.

In another chapter, Retzlaff and Jocelyn Zanzot, an assistant professor of landscape architecture at Auburn University, look to Alabama to explore the complexities of highway removal in the face of their racist legacy.

They view interstate highways as monuments to the American racist past, similar to the confederate statues being removed. However, unlike this public statuary, highways cannot quickly be taken down because they underpin the automobile-oriented American transportation system.

How could highways been built without awareness or concern for negative impacts? Impacts include: higher asthma rates, heart disease, mental health risks, noise pollution; increased risk of premature death, neighborhood instability, and community trauma.

Highways were placed to create convenience for some groups at the expense of others. Through the political process, highways were planned in direct alignment with urban areas, near downtowns, and through low-income and minority neighborhoods. State and local highway directors and engineers had significant input into these decisions as they were familiar with local communities, land use, and social and economic conditions.

These local decision-makers found it politically beneficial to avoid white neighborhoods when possible and route highways through neighborhoods lacking political power, which were most often those of color. Using the excuse of removing urban blight, this dark destruction was allowed as it coincided with other tools of oppression, such as redlining and urban renewal.

Alabama provides Retzlaff and Zanot the opportunity to explore a case where the legacy of interstate planning is reckoned with, resulting in reconciliation, transportation access, and community health equity.

Under Sam Englehardt, who was director of highways in Alabama in the late 1950 and early 1960s, race was a critical factor in highway planning. The Montgomery, Alabama, interstate system designed by Englehardt and the Alabama highway department offered no off-ramps from I-65, disconnecting thirteen streets of the neighborhood from the rest of the city. In 1972, African American business people on the west side of Montgomery requested that their community be declared a federal economic disaster zone due to urban renewal projects and interstate construction.

The construction of Interstate I-65 and I-85 in Montgomery displaced 1,596 families and dismantled 74 small businesses. The highway system also impacted African Americans in rural areas of Alabama as they were excluded from gaining access to the services and economic development that freeways connect to.

Retzlaff and Zanot lay out a way forward in repairing the harm caused by interstates.

Transportation and urban planning professionals who design and route interstates need to be on the side of reparative justice for neighborhoods that continue to be harmed by destructive planning and engineering of highways. Planners must actively seek policy and funding opportunities provided by government agencies that address infrastructure investment, holistic revitalization, capacity building, historic preservation, affordable housing, and economic opportunity.

An example of reconciliation: in 2021, West Jeff Davis Avenue in West Montgomery, named after the president of the Confederacy, was renamed Fred D. Gray Avenue in honor of the African American Civil rights attorney who fought against and overturned Montgomery’s segregated public bus system.

Mayor of Montgomery Steven Reed stated at the dedication that the renaming of the street was symbolic. However, concrete reconciliation would be reinvestment in the community, resulting in community health, economic opportunity, and joy.

The book then delves into how the tools engineers, planners, and civic officials used to construct the interstate highway system led directly to racial impacts.

Politicians’ planners and engineers knew the political targets of highway routing; they were communities of color. They created methods that ensured targeting and the predicted consequences.

These methods included leaving democratic and meaningful public engagement out of the highway planning process, segregating highway planning from local land use planning processes, and connecting slum clearance with highway planning and development.

As described by Ruben L. Anthony Jr. and Joseph Rodriguez, communities also used tools to fight freeway expansion. Today, freeway opponents in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, are strategically using history to oppose freeway expansion.

The history of freeways in this city is long and devastating. Between 1960 and 1971, urban renewal and highway development destroyed 20,000 homes in Milwaukee. Much of this displacement happened before the federal government instituted programs to assist communities with housing raised by highway expansion. These communities also lost jobs that went to the suburbs.

Suburbanization affected working-class Black residents who needed public transportation to access to suburban employment and other services. Those who remained in the community saw their property devalued. And the health of those remained were also affected. Many suffered lead poisoning and respiratory conditions from the building of freeways near their homes.

Gilbert Estrada and Jerry Gonzalez describe the displacement of thousands of ethnic Mexicans from their homes. The authors tell a history of forced relocation, neighborhood loss, and disregard for communities by civic officials in greater Eastside neighborhoods throughout Southern California. As with impacts on other communities, consequences were due to cold, technocratic planning.

In the case of Mexican communities, highway development displaced them from their segregated neighborhoods. It pushed them into a local suburbanized housing market, expanding the geography of Latinos in Los Angeles. The authors posit that this phenomenon resulted in delayed redress for displacement.

This demographic shift — or submerged migration, as author Michael Eric Dyson termed it — resulted in more Spanish-surnamed residents in the suburbs surrounding East Los Angeles than in East Los Angeles by 1970. A significant migration of Latinos from Mexico and Central America also contributed to this demographic shift.

Although Latinos live across Los Angeles, they have been most linked to the Eastside. During freeway construction in East Los Angeles in the 1950s and 60s, approximately 2,844 dwelling units were removed, displacing 10,966 residents. The freeways have also increased travel time for residents and restricted movement of Eastside pedestrians through 35 new barriers to local streets.

Eastside Los Angeles Interchange / formulanone, CC BY-SA 2.0

Why did such targeted destruction occur in Eastside? Estrada and Gonzalez cite a lack of financial resources, little-to-know political representation, gerrymandering, and voter suppression.

One byproduct of the new freeways was the diversification of suburban Los Angeles, like the way many urban communities were before segregation and devaluation methods were employed. Another product was the adoption of Eastside highways as their own canvas for expressing their identities, similar to how New Orleans Tremé and Seventh Ward communities have adopted the space beneath the I-10 freeway in New Orleans.

The editors of Justice and the Interstates describe community-led efforts to restore torn communities and address the harm and injustices of freeway building. Amy Stelly eloquently describes the beauty of the Tremé neighborhood and the devastation and racial injustice that it endured with the building of the Claiborne Avenue Expressway.

Stelly describes her efforts to have the freeway removed and stop the Claiborne Corridor Innovation District, a plan to stabilize the uses that community members currently undertake beneath the freeway. She provides valuable techniques in this chapter for community action, including:

  • Galvanizing like-minded allies to coalesce around a shared mission
  • Publishing position papers
  • Connecting to other organizations with needed expertise
  • Working with political representatives
  • Using effective lobbying
  • And, most importantly, communicating with impacted residents through public awareness campaigns.

The District is in its first phase of construction. It doesn’t run counter to Stelly’s goal of removing the freeway and restoring Claiborne Avenue. It activates the space beneath the freeway, claiming and defying this structure in preparation for the time when the freeway comes down. It also forces planners of a post-freeway future to recognize this land as the community’s own.

Claiborne Corridor Innovation District / Diane Jones Allen, FASLA

Justice and the Interstates challenges readers to grapple with the problematic history of interstate development in America. It calls upon citizens, scholars, planners, lawmakers, and all concerned about urban infrastructure, mobility, health, and the equity of our cities to look at the unjust past so as not to repeat it.

The book exposes the intentional methods to remove citizens from their homes and level neighborhoods in the name of progress. Importantly, this text also reveals methods for reconciliation, healing urban scars — literally and figuratively — and planning a path forward. In this effort, landscape architects can play a major role.

Landscape architects dwell well in the space of community healing. We can lead and contribute to environmental and social-cultural reclamation and the renewal of places once devastated by highway infrastructure. Biden-Harris administration funding of highway removal signals that federal and state agencies are now working with local governments. There is a need to remove highways and increase climate mitigation and resilience. Landscape architects can use their unique skills and expertise.

Diane Jones Allen, FASLA, is director and professor of landscape architecture, University of Texas at Arlington College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs, and principal landscape architect at DesignJones, LLC. She is author of Lost in the Transit Desert: Race, Transit Access, and Suburban Form (Routledge, 2017).

ECHO Project Tackles Embodied Carbon in the Built Environment

Trees and plants sequester carbon and provide multiple co-benefits. ASLA 2023 Professional General Design Honor Award. The University of Texas at El Paso Transformation. El Paso, Texas. Ten Eyck Landscape Architects, Inc / Adam Barbe

A group of built environment industry groups and movement leaders has shared a new collaborative project to rapidly reduce embodied carbon in the built environment. The goal of the project is to ensure all embodied carbon reporting at the whole building and whole project scale in the U.S. — including landscapes and infrastructure — follow the same clear definitions and scopes of included impacts.

This coalition was convened jointly by five leading non-profit organizations:

It is comprised of representatives from:

This coalition is now referred to as the Embodied Carbon Harmonization and Optimization (ECHO) Project.

The coalition has reached a key milestone in its alignment work on embodied carbon reporting. It has agreed to a first draft of basic minimum requirements of a common framework for embodied carbon reporting, entitled the North American Minimum Project Embodied Carbon Reporting Framework V1.0. The document is now being shared with partners. We expect to publish resources in early 2024.

“Approximately 75 percent of landscape architecture project emissions are from embodied carbon — these are emissions generated from the extraction, transportation, and installation of materials. Climate Positive Design and ASLA are proud to support the ECHO Project. Reducing embodied carbon emissions and aligning how they are tracked with the built environment industry are key to improving our overall impact together,” said Pamela Conrad, ASLA, founder of Climate Positive Design and Chair, ASLA Climate Action Plan Task Force.

The ECHO project is also completing a data reporting schema to ensure that all organizations — standards-setting organizations, professional commitment organizations, and others — use the same data schema for databases and digital tools. This can ensure organizations gather and share whole building and whole project embodied carbon data in the same way.

Reporting of embodied carbon emissions from built environment construction has increased rapidly across North America. But variations in Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment boundary definitions have resulted in inconsistent reporting that does not easily allow for comparison, benchmarking, or setting reduction targets.

Standardized reporting is critical to advancing the industry’s understanding of embodied carbon emissions and its ability to measure meaningful reductions, as well as providing a mechanism to reliably compare emissions reporting between projects.

ECHO Project

The initial scope of reporting requirements is narrow in focus, as it represents the minimum areas where consensus is already reached across ECHO. This framework will evolve and expand over time.

The organizations involved are encouraged by this step towards clarity, alignment, and collaborative action to advance the rapid transformation of the built environment towards a decarbonized future.

The ECHO Project intends to continue meeting to further define scopes and accounting practices for embodied carbon in the built environment. We will discuss future projects, including the potential for joint participation in a central data repository of whole project embodied carbon data points for building and infrastructure projects to assist in policy making and standards setting efforts.

At Greenbuild, Learn How to Improve Your Carbon Drawdown

The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design. Atlanta, Georgia. Andropogon / Willett Photography

How can architects, developers, and planners better partner with landscape architects to achieve shared goals on greenhouse gas emission reductions and carbon drawdown? How can residential, commercial, and public landscapes be designed to advance long-term climate resilience?

To answer these questions, ASLA has organized a dynamic session — Improve Your Carbon Drawdown: Leverage Landscape Architecture Strategies to Increase Sequestration and Resilience — at the upcoming 2023 Greenbuild Conference in Washington, D.C. The live session will be on September 29 at 8.30 AM EST.

The session features landscape architecture climate leaders:

Landscape architects who led the creation of the ASLA Climate Action Plan and its implementation through the ASLA Climate Action Committee will outline how landscape architecture strategies, including nature-based solutions, provide significant carbon benefits and a range of economic, equity, biodiversity, public health co-benefits. They will explain the latest landscape architecture approaches that can be used to conceptualize, plan, and design projects, including Sasaki’s updated Carbon Conscience tool.

“We can only achieve carbon drawdown through the creation of diverse living systems. To protect, sustain, and regenerate complex ecological networks in harsh environments, we need to use an integrative design process. This is crucial to ensure that every design decision — regardless of which discipline made the decision — supports that goal,” Almiñana said.

“When we integrate landscape into whole-project life cycle assessments, we can take advantage of potential carbon sinks in the landscape through ecosystem preservation and restoration. We can also realize the often overlooked externalities of site infrastructure and hardscape spaces. Partnering with landscape architects early in the process can inform teams how to best leverage sites, mitigate the potential impacts of site design, and achieve greenhouse gas emission reduction goals,” Hardy said.

Ellinikon Metropolitan Park, Athens, Greece / Sasaki

Danielle Pieranunzi, SITES Director at GBCI, will explain how certifications and guidelines, such as the SITES v2 Rating System — specifically the Pilot Credit 3: Assess and Improve Carbon Performance — and other open-source tools can lower the carbon footprint of projects.

SITES-Certified Project. ASLA 2012 Professional General Design Honor Award. Orange Mall Green Infrastructure. Tempe, Arizona. COLWELL SHELOR LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE / Marion Brenner

“The carbon footprint of the built environment is often understood in terms of construction, building energy use, and transportation. However, landscapes and outdoor spaces have the unique capacity to sequester carbon to help mitigate climate change. It is essential to include those with expertise in ecology and landscape architecture early — prior to design and throughout the development process — in order to achieve shared goals on greenhouse gas emission reductions and carbon drawdown. Using SITES and LEED certification ensures that such goals can be prioritized and not value engineered out,” Pieranunzi said.

Our community — the architecture, engineering, and construction industry — must transform standard practice by taking responsibility for the climate impacts of our projects — from the regional, city, to neighborhood and site scales.

The climate emergency requires both organizational and individual action to reduce emissions in all planning and design stages and prioritizing nature-based solutions in a meaningful way.

Register for Greenbuild to attend the session.

Landscape Architects Advance Sustainable Conference Strategies to Achieve Climate Action Goals

Minneapolis, Minnesota skyline /, lavin photography

ASLA forms partnership with Green Minneapolis to offset greenhouse gas emissions from its 2023 Conference in Minneapolis and support tree planting in underserved communities

ASLA has released its first Sustainable Event Impact Assessment, a comprehensive gap analysis of its 2022 Conference on Landscape Architecture, which brought more than 6,000 attendees to the LEED Platinum Moscone Center in San Francisco, November 11-14, 2022.

The assessment provides a baseline accounting of energy used and greenhouse gas emissions and waste generated, which ASLA will use to measure and improve its environmental and social impacts on an annual basis. The assessment also outlines the many positive actions ASLA has taken to make access to the conference more equitable, donate EXPO products, reuse waste materials, and support the communities that host the conference.

Based on these findings, ASLA has committed to event sustainability strategies that will improve the outcomes of its 2023 Conference, which will be held October 27-30 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“With our Strategic Plan, released in 2021, we committed to reducing the emissions from our conference and headquarters operations by 20 percent by 2024. And through our ambitious ASLA Climate Action Plan, released in November 2022, we made the additional commitment to achieve zero emissions in our conference and operations by 2040. We are now moving forward to achieve our goals,” said ASLA CEO Torey Carter-Coneen.

“Landscape architects are climate leaders, and we are committed to identifying and reducing our negative impacts on the climate and increasing the benefits for our host communities. We think it’s important to be transparent about both the positive and negative impacts of our annual convening and where we are in our learning journey. We are sharing lessons learned from our journey with our members and partners, so we can move faster together,” said ASLA President Emily O’Mahoney, FASLA.

2022 Conference Baseline

The assessment, which was developed in partnership with Honeycomb Strategies, a sustainability consulting company, includes key findings.

Over four days and per attendee, the conference:

Due to procurement decisions made by ASLA and sustainability measures adopted by the organization:

  • The ASLA 2022 Conference was hosted at the Moscone Center conference facility, which is 100% powered by renewable hydropower and rooftop solar.
  • 49,500 tons of EXPO materials were donated to Habitat for Humanity.
  • More than 900 students attended the conference for free in return for volunteering.
  • $7,000 in carbon offset contributions were collected from ASLA members

Explore key findings

To reduce adverse climate and environmental impacts and leave a positive legacy in Minneapolis, ASLA is committing to implementing these strategies at its 2023 Conference:

  • Creating climate change and biodiversity educational tracks at its Conference
  • Implementing a range of measures related to food, energy, water, and waste to reduce impacts
  • Offsetting 1,500 tons of its carbon dioxide emissions
  • Launching a new sustainability commitment for EXPO exhibitors
  • Providing free registrations for invited Twin Cities-based climate equity and justice leaders to attend the conference
  • Providing free registrations for invited Twin Cities-based climate youth leaders (high school students) to attend the conference
  • Developing a strategy to reduce transportation emissions for attendees and exhibitors traveling to and from the conference and while traveling in the host city.

Greenhouse Gas Emission Offsets

While it pursues its near-term goal of reducing emissions 20 percent by 2024, ASLA has committed to purchasing 1,500 tons of carbon dioxide emission offsets in 2023. For the past two years, ASLA has collected offset contributions from its members. In 2022, ASLA contributed those funds to Trees for Oakland and Clear.Eco.

For the ASLA 2023 Conference on Landscape Architecture, ASLA announced a new partnership with Green Minneapolis, an innovator in urban tree carbon offsets, to scale up those efforts. The lead sponsor of ASLA 2023 Conference carbon offsets is Bartlett Tree Experts.

Minneapolis, Minnesota /, Haizhan Zheng

Green Minneapolis collaborated with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to complete the first urban tree carbon offset project in Minnesota. The project is part of the Twin Cities Climate Resiliency Initiative, a public private partnership that will significantly expand the urban tree canopy across Minneapolis and the seven county Twin Cities metropolitan area.

Through City Forest Credits, a national nonprofit carbon registry, the urban tree carbon offset project has achieved third-party verification for its carbon credits. The project includes 23,755 city trees planted by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board from 2019 to 2021. Over its 25-year duration, the project is estimated to store 48,865 metric tons of carbon and will provide quantified co-benefits related to rainfall interception, air quality, and energy savings.

According to Green Minneapolis offset funds collected by ASLA and its members will “support a 20-year vision to increase the metro area’s tree canopy through planting and maintaining five million trees on public and private lands, with a focus on addressing environmental inequities in the most disadvantaged communities.”

Attendees and exhibitors: Please offset your attendance at the ASLA 2023 Conference during the registration process or via this contribution form.

Next steps

In the fall of 2023, ASLA will release a sustainability impact assessment of its ASLA Center on Landscape Architecture, the association’s LEED Platinum and WELL Gold-certified headquarters in Washington, D.C; student-led LABash Conference; and Landscape Architecture Magazine.

ASLA will use its own headquarters assessment to educate its members and partners on how to reduce their own office operational impacts and meet the goals of the ASLA Climate Action Plan.

ASLA is also working with partners to develop a more complete picture of the transportation emissions from shipping freight for EXPO booth materials from points of origin. This upcoming initiative will provide new opportunities for ASLA and its corporate members to achieve a lower-impact EXPO together.

By the end of 2023, ASLA plans to have a fuller understanding of its climate, environmental, and social impacts across the conference, EXPO, and headquarters operations. As it pursues impact reductions, ASLA aims to offset 100 percent of its emissions in coming years.

Climate Week NYC: The Hudson River Is Rising. Communities Are Adapting–with Nature

Waterfront Knoll and Living Shoreline, Hudson, NY / Assemblage Landscape Architecture

As part of Climate Week NYC, one of the world’s largest climate events, ASLA has organized a virtual event: The Hudson River Is Rising. Communities Are Adapting–with Nature.

This free discussion on September 21 at 2 PM EST features Wendy Andringa, ASLA, Founder and Principal, Assemblage Landscape Architecture; Joshua Cerra, ASLA, Department Chair, Associate Professor, Landscape Architecture, Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; and Taewook Cha, ASLA, Founder and Principal, Supermass Studio. Adrian Smith, FASLA, Team Leader, Staten Island Capital Projects, NYC Parks, is moderating the discussion.

The Hudson River is connected to the ocean. Over the coming decades, river water levels are projected to substantially increase because of sea level rise. Many Hudson River communities face growing flood and inundation risks due to sea level rise and other climate impacts.

Like many small cities, Kingston and Hudson in the Hudson River Valley of New York have limited budgets and resources to address these challenges. But they are seeking to adapt to a rising river through smart waterfront planning and resilient infrastructure.

Through a community-driven approach, landscape architects at Supermass Studio and Assemblage Landscape Architecture designed nature-based climate-adaptive solutions to river rise.

Communities were aided by earlier work with the Climate-Adaptive Design Studio, a unique partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

The program links Cornell University landscape architecture students with at-risk communities to envision more resilient waterfront communities. These communities in turn became eligible partners for DEC grants to work with landscape architects at Supermass Studio and Assemblage and develop real-life adaptation projects in their cities.

Climate-Adaptive Design Studio, Ossining, NY / Zikun Zhang, Cornell MLA’22

Supermass Studio partnered with the City of Kingston to develop a climate adaptive framework plan for Kingston Point beach and wetlands. The plan will mitigate the threat of sea level rise and provide accessible recreational lands while protecting valuable natural resources.

Intertidal wetland at reinforced Kingston Point Beach / Supermass Studio

With the City of Hudson, Assemblage adapted an existing waterfront park to flooding and sea level rise. At the same time, they enhanced ecological habitat and recreational amenities that support the city’s waterfront vitality.

This approach demonstrates the benefits of academic-public and public-private relationships in designing urban climate adaptation strategies with multiple benefits.

Register today

For landscape architects, this free event offers 1 hour of PDH (LACES / HSW).

Landscape Architects Grow Program to Address Systemic Inequities

2023-2025 class of the ASLA Women of Color Licensure Advancement Program / ASLA

ASLA announces the new class of its Women of Color Licensure Advancement Program

The ASLA Fund announced today the second class of the Women of Color Licensure Advancement Program.

The program, which launched in February 2022, is designed to support women of color in their pursuit of landscape architecture licensure and provide mentorship opportunities that position women for success. The program aims to increase racial and gender diversity within the profession and was inspired by ASLA’s Racial Equity Plan of Action, which was released in 2020.

The new class of the program includes 10 women who identify as Black, Latine, Indigenous, South Asian, and East Asian – groups that are the most statistically underrepresented among licensed landscape architects.

The class includes women based in Florida, Washington, California, Texas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Colorado, and Washington, D.C. who are involved in private practice and landscape architectural education.

  • Patricia Matamoros Araujo, ASLA, Senior Associate, Savino & Miller Design Studio, Miami, Florida
  • Shaunta Butler, Adjunct Instructor, Boston Architectural College; Lecturer, University of Washington; Designer and Partner, 6B Workshop, Seattle, WA
  • Elizabeth Luc Clowes, ASLA, Principal, Luc Clowes Landscape Design, Boston, MA
  • Patricia Fonseca Flores, ASLA, Owner and Founder, San Francisco, CA
  • Kendra Hyson, ASLA, Associate Urban Designer and Planner, SmithGroup, Washington D.C.
  • Clementine Jang, Co-founder, SOFT STUDIO, Oakland, CA
  • Miloni Mody, ASLA, Job Captain, Gates + Associates, Fremont, CA
  • Kontessa Roebuck, Landscape Designer, Rodgers Consulting, Baltimore, MD
  • Fatema Ali Tushi, ASLA, Civil Designer, Civilitude Engineers & Planners, San Antonio, TX
  • Allyssa Williams, ASLA, Designer, DHM Design, Durango, CO

“ASLA is committed to growing a more diverse profession – and that means improving access to licensure. With this new class, we continue to build on the successes of the inaugural class and elevate women of color in our landscape architecture community,” said ASLA President Emily O’Mahoney, FASLA. “These 10 amazing women contribute to their communities, have overcome obstacles, and are committed to the profession of landscape architecture.”

“ASLA has steadfastly supported and defended licensure across the country, and the Woman of Color Licensure Advancement Program is a natural extension of this commitment,” said Torey Carter-Conneen, ASLA CEO. “The program not only reaffirms the profession’s role in protecting the public’s health and safety, but also advances the economic benefits of licensure to more people. As The Alliance for Responsible Licensing concluded in its 2021 report, among technical fields like landscape architecture, a license narrows the gender-driven wage gap by about a third and the race-driven gap by about half.”

The program will provide each of the women with a personalized experience that provides more than $3,500 to cover the cost of sections of the Landscape Architectural Registration Exam (LARE), along with exam preparation courses, resources, and mentorship from a licensed landscape architect.

The new class was selected by a committee of women of color:

  • Valerie Aymer, ASLA, Associate Professor of Practice, Landscape Architecture, Department of Landscape Architecture, Cornell University
  • Aida Curtis, ASLA, Principal, Curtis + Rogers Design, Inc.
  • Alexandra Mei, ASLA, Director of Landscape Architecture, Christner Architect

The ASLA Women of Color Licensure Advancement Program was initiated with a generous $100,000 donation by former ASLA President Wendy Miller, FASLA, and James Barefoot; Marq Truscott, FASLA; Rachel Ragatz Truscott; and Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB).

ASLA Announces 2023 Student Awards

ASLA 2023 Student General Design Award of Excellence. Reviving Yanomami Rights: Plant Matrix for Mercury Management. Zimeng Chen, Student Int’l ASLA; Yingjie Hu, Student Int’l ASLA; Yuxin Jiang; Yunshan Wan, Student Int’l ASLA; Gui Wei, Student Int’l ASLA; Zhengfei Yan, Student Int’l ASLA; Shiqian Yang; Faculty Advisor: Cundong Li; Shanghai Jiao Tong University;Sichuan University;Southeast University;China Architecture Design & Research Group

Thirty Student Award winners represent a bright future for the landscape architecture profession

By Lisa Hardaway

ASLA announced its 2023 Student Awards. Winners showcase innovation and represent the highest level of achievement among the future of the profession. All winners and their schools are listed below.

Jury panels representing a broad cross-section of the profession, from the public and private sectors, and academia, select winners each year and are listed below. The 30 winners were chosen out of 372 entries.

“I’m always excited to see the winners of the student awards because of the range of creativity, especially in the area of community engagement which is the future of our profession,” said ASLA President Emily O’Mahoney, FASLA. “This year’s winners are dedicated to making landscapes more accessible to more people and helping communities grapple with the climate and biodiversity crises.”

“These award winners are the brightest stars in landscape architecture programs around the country and internationally,” said ASLA CEO Torey Carter-Conneen. “When I visit campuses, I’m so impressed and energized by the way our students are committed to helping communities solve some of the biggest challenges. The projects represented in these awards speak to that commitment.”

Award recipients will be honored in person at the awards presentation ceremony during the ASLA 2023 Conference on Landscape Architecture in Minneapolis, MN., October 27-30.

Award Categories

General Design

Award of Excellence
Reviving Yanomami Rights: Plant Matrix for Mercury Management
Shanghai Jiao Tong University; Sichuan University; Southeast University; China Architecture Design & Research Group

Honor Award
A Self-Help Plan Based on Productive Green Space Systems
Huazhong Agricultural University

Honor Award
Re(de)fining Decomposition
University of Virginia

Honor Award
The Oasis of Baer’s Pochard : Humanity in Harmony with Wetlands
Wuhan University/ Huazhong Agricultural University

Residential Design

Honor Award
Gentrification Vaccine: a pioneering housing paradigm for Long Beach
Sichuan Agricultural University

Honor Award
From Shelter to Home
University of Oregon

Urban Design

Honor Award
Harvest the Wind: Reshaping Urban Heat Island Through Urban Farming
Soochow University & Louisiana State University

Honor Award
The Gift of Volcanoes
Chongqing University; Milan Polytechnic University; University College London

Analysis & Planning

Honor Award
Hydrological Enclave: Adaptive Management of Non-water Supply Reservoir
University of Hong Kong

Honor Award
Retrieve the Lost Treasure: Forest Rehabilitation in Madagascar
Southeast University

Honor Award
Confrontation or Symbiosis
Northeast Forestry University, Tongji University

Honor Award
Designing Healthy Places in the American South: Montezuma, Georgia
University of Georgia

Honor Award
Design Tactics for Climate-Based Migration in Biodiversity Corridors
North Carolina State University

Student Collaboration

ASLA 2023 Student Collaboration Award of Excellence. On the Edge: A Climate Adaptive Park for the Battleship NC Memorial, Wilmington, NC. Marguerite Kroening, Student ASLA and Stella Wang, Student ASLA / Marguerite Kroening

Award of Excellence
On the Edge: a Climate Adaptive Park for the Battleship NC Memorial
North Carolina State University

Honor Award
Dynamic Roots
North Carolina State University

Honor Award
Caretakers + Placemakers of New Orleans
Louisiana State University


Honor Award
Art (that) Worlds: Design Guidelines for Equitable Public Art
Kansas State University

Honor Award
Walk to Learn: Exploratory Children’s Field Journal for Epping Way
Mississippi State University

Honor Award
Point of Confluence: Re-thinking Large Landscape Infrastructure Design
University of Southern California

Honor Award
Children’s Book and Learning Games on Indiana Native Plants & Habitats
Purdue University

Honor Award
The UC Davis Sheepmowers Project
University of California, Davis


ASLA 2023 Student Research Award of Excellence. The Play Value of Plants, Lubbock, TX. Nazia Afrin Trina, Student ASLA

Award of Excellence
The Play Value of Plants
Texas Tech University

Honor Award
Advancing Trauma-Informed Landscape Architecture
North Carolina State University

Honor Award
Designing Spectrums
Cornell University

Honor Award
Equity in Landscape Architecture: Black Students’ Perspectives
Kansas State University

Honor Award
Built on Thawing Ice: Socio-Ecological Design in a Warming Arctic City
University of Virginia

Honor Award
Toward Dynamic Optimization: Combining AI and EBHDL for the Elderly
South China Agricultural University

Honor Award
Unearthing Water Efficiency: Clay Pot Irrigation Design & Fabrication
University of Oregon

Student Community Service

Award of Excellence
Rooted in Resiliency
Iowa State University

Honor Award
Collaboration & Sharing: Promoting Healthy Life in a Low-Income Community
Anhui University

The 2023 Student Awards Jury includes:

Jury 1 – General Design, Residential Design, Urban Design & Student Collaboration

Chair: Michael Grove, FASLA, Sasaki

Haley Blakeman, FASLA, LSU
David Jung, FASLA, AECOM
Adriana Hernández Aguirre, ASLA, Coleman & Associates
Christina Hite, ASLA, Dix-Hite
Ellen Stewart, ASLA, City of St Paul
Mark Yoes, FAIA, W X Y architecture + urban design

Jury 2–Analysis & Planning, Communications, Research & Student Community Service

Chair: Kofi Boone, FASLA, NC State University

Keven Graham, FASLA, Terra Engineering
Dalton LaVoie, ASLA, Stantec
Stephanie Onwenu, ASLA, Detroit Collaborative Design
Naomi Sachs, ASLA, University Maryland / Therapeutic Landscape Network
Andrew Sargeant, ASLA, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress

ASLA Announces 2023 Professional Awards

ASLA 2023 Professional General Design Honor Award. The Meadow at the Old Chicago Post Office, Chicago, IL. Hoerr Schaudt / Dave Burk

Thirty-four Professional Award winners represent the highest level of achievement in the landscape architecture profession

By Lisa Hardaway

ASLA announced its 2023 Professional Awards. Thirty-four Professional Award winners showcase innovation and represent the highest level of achievement in the landscape architecture profession. All winners and their locations are listed below.

Jury panels representing a broad cross-section of the profession, from the public and private sectors, and academia, select winners each year and are listed below. The 34 winners were chosen out of 435 entries.

New this year, the ASLA / International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) Global Impact Award is presented to a project in the Analysis and Planning category. The award is given to a work of landscape architecture that demonstrates excellence in addressing climate impacts through transformative action and scalable solutions, and adherence to ASLA’s and IFLA’s climate action commitments. The inaugural award goes to the Caño Martín Peña Comprehensive Infrastructure Master Plan by OLIN for Corporación del Proyecto ENLACE del Caño Martín Peña. Led by a coalition of residents in the Caño Martín Peña District, the plan will increase access to safe drinking water, flood protection, economic opportunities, and safe housing and open space.

The Professional Awards jury also selects a Landmark Award each year; this year’s Landmark Award celebrates Vista Hermosa Natural Park by Studio-MLA. Previously an oil field located in an urban area without much green space, the park provides residents of a dense, primarily working-class Latine neighborhood with “a window to the Mountains,” opportunities for recreation, access to nature, and quiet reprieve.

“The ASLA Professional Awards are the highest achievement in our profession,” said ASLA President Emily O’Mahoney, FASLA. “This year’s winners are preeminent leaders and have set a high bar for standards of excellence. We congratulate the winners and their clients and thank them for their contributions to the health and well-being of their communities.”

“These award-winning projects showcase how landscape architecture transforms the daily experiences of local communities,” said ASLA CEO Torey Carter-Conneen. “Cutting-edge design solutions help address increasing climate impacts, capture more carbon, and contribute to the health and well-being of neighborhoods. Congratulations to the winners—thank you for your leadership.”

Award recipients and their clients will be honored in person at the awards presentation ceremony during the ASLA 2023 Conference on Landscape Architecture in Minneapolis, Minn., October 27-30.

Award Categories

General Design

Honor Award
Qianhai’s Guiwan Park
New York, New York
Field Operations

Honor Award
Grand Junction Park and Plaza
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
David Rubin Land Collective

Honor Award
Hood Bike Park: Pollution Purging Plants
Charleston, Massachusetts
Offshoots, Inc.

Honor Award
Remaking a 1970’s Downtown Park into a New Public Realm
Houston, Texas
OJB Landscape Architecture

Honor Award
Peavey Plaza: Preserving History, Expanding Access
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Honor Award
The Meadow at the Old Chicago Post Office
Chicago, Illinois
Hoerr Schaudt

Honor Award
University of Arizona Environment + Natural Resource II
Phoenix, Arizona
Coldwell Shelor Landscape Architecture

Honor Award
Cloud Song: SCC Business School + Indigenous Cultural Center
Phoenix, Arizona
Colwell Shelor Landscape Architecture

Honor Award
The University of Texas at El Paso Transformation
Austin, Texas
Ten Eyck Landscape Architects, Inc.

Urban Design

ASLA 2023 Professional Urban Design Award of Excellence. Heart of the City: Art and Equity in Process and Place, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Coen+Partners / Sahar Coston-Hardy

Award of Excellence
Heart of the City: Art and Equity in Process and Place
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Honor Award
St Pete Pier, Revitalization of Waterfront and Historic Pier Site
New York, New York
Ken Smith Workshop

Honor Award
Town Branch Commons: An Urban Transformation in Lexington, Kentucky
New York, New York
SCAPE and Gresham Smith

Honor Award
PopCourts! – A Small Plaza That Turned into a Movement
Chicago, Illinois
The Lamar Johnson Collaborative

Residential Design

ASLA 2023 Residential Design Award of Excellence. The Rain Gardens at 900 Block, Lexington, KY. Gresham Smith

Award of Excellence
The Rain Gardens at 900 Block
Nashville, Tennessee
Gresham Smith

Honor Award
Andesite Ridge
Aspen, Colorado
Design Workshop, Inc.

Honor Award
Dry Garden Poetry
San Francisco, California
Arterra Landscape Architects

Honor Award
Collected Works, Restored Land: Northeast Ohio Residence
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Reed Hilderbrand LLC Landscape Architecture

Honor Award
Black Fox Ranch: Extending the Legacy of the West to a New Generation
Aspen, Colorado
Design Workshop, Inc.

Honor Award
Sister Lillian Murphy Community
San Francisco, California
GLS Landscape | Architecture

Analysis & Planning

ASLA 2023 Professional Analysis and Planning Award of Excellence. Re-investing in a Legacy Landscape: The Franklin Park Action Plan, Boston, MA. Reed Hilderbrand LLC Landscape Architecture / Reed Hilderbrand with Agency Landscape and Planning and MASS Design

Award of Excellence
Re-investing in a Legacy Landscape: The Franklin Park Action Plan
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Reed Hilderbrand with Agency Landscape and Planning and MASS Design

Honor Award
The New Orleans Reforestation Plan: Equity in the Urban Forest
New Orleans, Louisiana
Spackman Mossop Michaels

Honor Award
Reimagine Middle Branch Plan
New York, New York
Field Operations

Honor Award
Iona Beach / xwəyeyət Regional Park and WWTP
Richmond, British Columbia, Canada
space2place design inc.

Honor Award
Joe Louis Greenway Framework Plan
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Honor Award
The Chattahoochee RiverLands
Metro Atlanta Region, Georgia

Honor Award
Nature, Culture + Justice: The Greenwood Park Master Plan
Watertown, Massachusetts

Honor Award
Nicks Creek Longleaf Reserve Conservation & Management Plan
Raleigh, North Carolina
North Carolina State University Coastal Dynamics Design Lab


Honor Award
Sakura Orihon
Newport, Rhode Island
Ron Henderson / LIRIO Landscape Architecture

Honor Award
The Historic Bruce Street School: A Community-Centered Design Approach
Atlanta, Georgia
Martin Rickles Studio

Honor Award
Landslide: Race and Space
Washington, D.C.
The Cultural Landscape Foundation

Honor Award
Los Angeles River Master Plan Update
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Honor Award
The Cobble Bell: Research through Geology-Inspired Coastal Management
Charlottesville, Virgina
Proof Projects, LLC

The 2023 Professional Awards Jury includes:

Jury 1 – General Design, Residential Design, & Urban Design

Chair: Kimberly Garza, ASLA, ATLAS Lab Inc.

Michel Borg, AIA, Page Think
Shuyi Chang, ASLA, SWA
Chingwen Cheng, PhD, ASLA, Arizona State University
Claude Cormier, FASLA, Claude Cormier & Associates
Jamie Maslyn Larson, FASLA, Tohono Chul
Garry Meus, National Capital Commission
Jennifer Nitzky, FASLA, Studio HIP

Jury 2 – Analysis & Planning ASLA / IFLA Global Impact Award, Research & Communications

Chair: Maura Rockcastle, ASLA, Ten x Ten

Camille Applewhite, ASLA, Site Design Group
Stephanie Grigsby, ASLA, Design Workshop, Inc
Mitchell Silver, Hon. ASLA, McAdams
Michael Stanley, FASLA, Dream Design International, Inc.
Michael Todoran, The Landscape Architecture Podcast
Yujia Wang, ASLA, University of Nebraska

Joining the professional awards jury for the selection of the Analysis & Planning – ASLA / IFLA Global Impact Award category will be a representative on behalf of the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA).

Monica Pallares, IFLA Americas

Also, joining the professional jury for the selection of the Research Category will be representatives on behalf of the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) and the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA).

Jenn Engelke, ASLA, University of Washington, LAF Representative
Sohyun Park, ASLA, University of Connecticut, CELA Representative

Vista Hermosa Natural Park in Los Angeles Wins Landmark Award from ASLA

ASLA 2023 Landmark Award. Vista Hermosa Natural Park, Los Angeles, California. Studio-MLA / Tom Lamb

The 15-year-old park has become a cornerstone of the neighborhood

By Lisa Hardaway

ASLA announced that Vista Hermosa Natural Park in Los Angeles, designed by the landscape architecture firm Studio-MLA, has won the ASLA 2023 Landmark Award.

The Landmark Award is bestowed upon a distinguished landscape architecture project completed between 15 and 50 years ago that retains its original design integrity and contributes many benefits to the surrounding community.

Completed in 2008, Vista Hermosa was the first public park built in downtown Los Angeles in over 100 years. Previously an oil field located in an urban area without much green space, the park provides residents of a dense, primarily working-class Latine neighborhood with “a window to the Mountains,” opportunities for recreation, access to nature, and quiet reprieve. The project was a partnership between Studio-MLA and their clients Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, and the Los Angeles Unified School District.

“Mia Lehrer and Studio-MLA have always been on the leading edge of landscape architecture,” said ASLA President Emily O’Mahoney, FASLA. “Fifteen years ago, Vista Hermosa Natural Park was ahead of its time in both community social benefits and environmental benefits. Those contributions continue today.”

“Vista Hermosa Natural Park is a perfect example of the impact landscape architects can have for a community—transforming a toxic brownfield to a beautiful community asset.” said ASLA CEO Torey Carter-Conneen. “This park is indeed a landmark of significance.”

“From an environmental perspective, the park is far ahead of its time and full of firsts for Los Angeles. We have a water collection system under the meadow, a cistern beneath a permeable pavement parking lot, green roofs on the restrooms and offices, a synthetic turf soccer field, and drought-tolerant native species throughout the site, organized into three specific habitat areas,” said Mia Lehrer, FASLA, founder of Studio-MLA. “There is a sense of place here, ‘a window to the mountains’ for community and families, quinceañeras, yoga classes, weddings, and a vista of downtown that’s really beloved and featured in films and photos. It was a forgotten oil field in a park-deficient neighborhood, and it has been reimagined into a thriving 10-acre wonderland. In every way, Vista Hermosa is a landmark that has changed the city and the experiences of people who live here.”

The Landmark Award was announced as part of the ASLA 2023 Professional Awards. Thirty-four winners in multiple categories showcase innovation and represent the highest level of achievement in the landscape architecture profession.

Award recipients and their clients will be honored in person at the awards presentation ceremony during the ASLA 2023 Conference on Landscape Architecture in Minneapolis, MN., October 27-30.

The 2023 Professional Awards Jury includes:

Jury 1- General Design, Residential Design, & Urban Design

Chair: Kimberly Garza, ASLA, ATLAS Lab Inc.

Michel Borg, AIA, Page Think
Shuyi Chang, ASLA, SWA
Chingwen Cheng, PhD, ASLA, Arizona State University
Jamie Maslyn Larson, FASLA, Tohono Chul
Garry Meus, National Capital Commission
Jennifer Nitzky, FASLA, Studio HIP

Jury 2 – Analysis & Planning ASLA / IFLA Global Impact Award, Research & Communications

Chair: Maura Rockcastle, ASLA, Ten x Ten

Camille Applewhite, ASLA, Site Design Group
Stephanie Grigsby, ASLA, Design Workshop, Inc
Mitchell Silver, Hon. ASLA, McAdams
Michael Stanley, FASLA, Dream Design International, Inc.
Michael Todoran, The Landscape Architecture Podcast
Yujia Wang, ASLA, University of Nebraska

Joining the professional awards jury for the selection of the Analysis & Planning – ASLA / IFLA Global Impact Award category will be a representative on behalf of the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA).

Monica Pallares, IFLA Americas

Also, joining the professional jury for the selection of the Research Category will be representatives on behalf of the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) and the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA).

Sohyun Park, ASLA, University of Connecticut, CELA Representative
Jenn Engelke, ASLA, University of Washington, LAF Representative