American Society of Landscape Architects Convenes Blue Ribbon Panel on Climate Change and Resilience
WASHINGTON, DC – The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the professional association for landscape architects in the United States, is convening a blue ribbon panel to make comprehensive public-policy recommendations for mitigating and adapting to climate change through resilient design.
Composed of 11 experts from across various disciplines, including higher education, the panel will make recommendations that will ultimately save lives and affordably protect cities from future natural disasters. ASLA urges responsible policy makers to look to innovative urban design as they make infrastructure investments to make communities more resilient and better equipped to recover from disruptive climate events.
"ASLA has identified climate change as a key issue for its members, and for society at large," says Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA, executive vice president and CEO of ASLA. "The recent devastating and real impacts of natural disasters such as hurricanes Harvey and Irma highlight the need for policy makers, both state and local, to invest in thoughtful and climate-resilient solutions to systemic infrastructure issues."
ASLA has long advocated for sustainable landscape architecture at the intersection of design and smart policy, working with legislators and stakeholders on effective solutions that minimize the effects of climate change. Transportation and land planning that incorporates green infrastructure can provide critical services for communities, protecting them against flooding and excessive heat, and helping to improve air and water quality.
"We've reached a turning point in our history with regards to climate change, and the effects are undeniable at this stage," says Dr. Jalonne White-Newsome, senior program officer with The Kresge Foundation's environment program and a member of the blue ribbon panel. "We must take the appropriate measures and create low-carbon, sustainable and resilient communities. This includes adapting our landscapes to changing climate conditions so we are best positioned to handle the anticipated consequences while ensuring that equity and the concerns of our most vulnerable communities are at the forefront of our planning."
The experts of the ASLA Blue Ribbon Panel will gather for a two-day meeting this week. The panel will publicly present its findings and policy recommendations in the form of a report in January 2018.
The members of the panel include:
- Vaughn Rinner, FASLA, ASLA president, chair
- Dr. Dwane Jones, Ph.D., director of the Center for Sustainable Development + Resilience at the University of the District of Columbia
- Diane Jones Allen, ASLA, Program director for Landscape Architecture, the College of Architecture Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington
- Adam Ortiz, director for the Department of the Environment for Prince George's County, Maryland
- Armando Carbonell, FAICP, FAcSS, Hon. MRTPI, senior fellow and chair, Department of Planning and Urban Form, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
- Laurinda Hope Spear, FAIA, RLA, ASLA, LEED-AP, IIDA, principal-in-charge, ArquitectonicaGeo
- Mark Dawson, FASLA, managing principal, Sasaki Associates Inc.
- Dr. Jalonne L. White-Newsome, senior program officer, Environment, The Kresge Foundation
- Tim Duggan, ASLA, RLA, founder, Phronesis
- Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA, Hon. AIA, SITES AP, executive vice president and CEO, ASLA
- Ying-yu Hung, managing principal, ASLA, principal, SWA, Los Angeles Studio
Founded in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is the professional association for landscape architects in the United States, representing more than 15,000 members. The Society's mission is to advance landscape architecture through advocacy, communication, education and fellowship. Sustainability has been part of ASLA's mission since its founding and is an overarching value that informs all of the Society's programs and operations. ASLA has been a leader in demonstrating the benefits of green infrastructure and resilient development practices through the creation of its own green roof, co-development of the SITES® Rating System and the creation of publicly-accessible sustainable design resources.