The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), will convene a panel of experts this week to make comprehensive public-policy recommendations for mitigating and adapting to climate change through resilient design.
Composed of 11 experts from across various disciplines, the panel will make recommendations with the aim of saving lives and affordably protecting cities from future natural disasters. ASLA will urge policymakers to look to innovative urban design as they select infrastructure investments to make communities more resilient and better equipped to recover from disruptive climate events such as hurricanes Irma and Harvey.
“ASLA has identified climate change as a key issue for its members, and for society at large,” says Nancy Somerville, ASLA executive vice president and CEO. “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 is an organization for landscape architects. It is not uncommon for landscape architects to
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, says Jalonne White-Newsome, senior program officer with The Kresge Foundation’s environment program and a member of the blue ribbon panel.
“We’ve reached a turning point in our history with regards to climate change, and the effects are undeniable at this stage,” she says. “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 and 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, ASLA President, Chair
• Armando Carbonell, Senior Fellow and Chair, Department of Planning and Urban Form, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
• Mark Dawson, Managing Principal, Sasaki Associates Inc.
• Tim Duggan, Founder, Phronesis
• Ying-yu Hung, Managing Principal, Principal, SWA, Los Angeles Studio
• Dwane Jones, Director of the Center for Sustainable Development + Resilience at the University of the District of Columbia
• Diane Jones Allen, 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
• Nancy Somerville, Executive Vice President and CEO, ASLA
• Laurinda Spear, Principal-in-Charge, ArquitectonicaGeo
• Jalonne L. White-Newsome, Senior Program Officer, Environment, The Kresge Foundation