ASLA Convenes Blue Ribbon Panel on Climate Change

16 September 2017 — The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is convening a blue ribbon panel to make comprehensive public-policy recommendations for mitigating and adapting to climate change through resilient design.

Top Left: ASLA 2016 Professional Analysis and Planning Honor Award. The Big U, New York, NY. BIG and Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners. Top Right: ASLA 2015 Professional General Design Honor Award. Perez Art Museum Miami: Resiliency by Design, Miami, Florida. ArquitectonicaGEO / copyright Robin Hill. Bottom Left: ASLA 2016 Professional Communications Honor Award. Sea Change: Boston, Boston, MA. Sasaki Associates. Bottom Right: Living Breakwaters, Staten Island, NY. SCAPE Landscape Architecture.

Composed of 11 experts from across various disciplines, 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.”

The ASLA Blue Ribbon Panel will gather for a two-day meeting starting on Thursday, September 21 through Friday, September 22, 2017. The panel will publicly present its findings and policy recommendations in the form of a report in January 2018.

For more information and a list of the panel members, visit www.asla.org/climatepolicies.aspx.