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September 15, 2005 

ASLA Annual Meeting Puts Focus on Urban Landscapes

Urban design and planning issues are high on the list of priorities for many landscape architects, particularly among larger firms. According to the American Society of Landscape Architects’ most recent business indicators survey, public sector work is outpacing private sector work for firms with more than 50 employees. In addition, cities and municipalities are the second largest client base for ASLA members, after developers. To address these issues, the 2005 ASLA Annual Meeting and Expo will host several sessions catering to landscape architects concerned with the urban landscape. Here is a review of the highlights:

Opening General Session. This session will feature Charleston, South Carolina, Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Hon. ASLA, recipient of the 2004 Olmsted Medal and past president of U.S. Conference of Mayors. Charleston's renaissance over the past 25 years is strongly tied to improvements in planning, landscape, and the public realm, literally making the city a landscape architecture laboratory. Riley also founded the Mayor's Institute on City Design, about which noted New Urbanist author and National Endowment of the Arts Design Director Jeff Speck will speak briefly before Mayor Riley is introduced. In addition, Steve Livingston, ASLA, Charleston’s director of the department of parks, will receive the 2005 LaGasse Medal for his many years of leadership in the city’s revitalization.

Second General Session. Laurie Olin, FASLA, recipient of the 2005 ASLA Design Medal, will speak at this session. Olin has been a leader in urban design for many years, winning awards for his ongoing work on Battery Park City in New York, among many other projects. His security design project for the Washington Monument was recently unveiled to rave reviews.

ASLA itself is taking part in the green roof movement in the U.S. This rendering shows the design of the ASLA green roof, which is set to be finished in early 2006 and dedicated on Earth Day. Image courtesy of Michael Van Valkenburgh and Associates.

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, Design 101. With the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED system playing an increased role in procurement standards for government buildings—and tax incentives becoming increasingly popular for commercial LEED buildings, green roofs have become an integral part of achieving USGBC standards. This intensive course will teach participants how to determine the major functions and components of a green roof, identify the factors that influence costs, and use an integrated design process in a project for maximum benefit.

Miami Beach: Redevelopment and the Public Realm. While Miami Beach is internationally known as one of the world’s top cities for fashion, beauty, and entertainment, the city’s success is deeply rooted in its public spaces.

Historically, the redevelopment of public spaces has contributed to the continued development of a city’s neighborhoods, its residents, and its visitors. This Field Session will study the redevelopment of three very successful public spaces in Miami Beach: Ocean Drive, Espanola Way, and Lincoln Road Mall.

Urban Redevelopment and Infill in South Florida. The cities of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach are experiencing an influx of new residents as well as inner-city gentrification. With this development and the geographic limitations posed by impending build-out between the Atlantic Ocean and the Everglades, these cities are undergoing sweeping changes. This tour will examine how successful the redevelopment of South Florida has been to date.

In addition, there will be several continuing education sessions during the Annual Meeting that will focus on urban issues. For information on ASLA continuing education, visit the organization’s Web site at

This article originally ran in LandOnline, ASLA’s Landscape Architecture News Digest.

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Back to News/Press Releases >> Source: Lawn and Landscape Mag
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