Save the Date: In-State Advocacy Day March 29, 2017
“Environmental stewardship is essential to maintain a healthy environment and a quality of life for the earth.”
– ASLA Code of Environmental Ethics
What is landscape architecture?
Landscape architecture combines art and science. It is the profession that designs, plans and manages our land. Landscape architecture has strong roots in the U.S., and early examples, such as Monticello, are still much admired.
The actual term landscape architecture became common after 1863 when Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux designed New York’s Central Park. Today, landscape architects deal with the increasingly complex relationships between the built and natural environments.
Meeting human needs by making wise use of our environmental resources is work that is in demand today and will continue to be needed in the future.
What do landscape architects do?
- Landscape architects are stewards of the earth and its environment. They plan and design traditional places such as parks, residential developments, campuses, gardens, cemeteries, commercial centers, resorts, transportation facilities, corporate and institutional centers and waterfront developments. They also design and plan the restoration of natural places disturbed by humans such as wetlands, stream corridors, mined areas and forested land. Their appreciation for historic landscapes and cultural resources enables landscape architects to undertake preservation planning projects for national, regional and local historic sites and areas.
- They protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public and prevent irreparable harm to the environment. Working with architects, city planners, civil engineers and other professionals, landscape architects play an important role in environmental protection by designing and implementing projects that respect both the needs of people and of our environment.
What do we advocate for?
- For the earth. global warming, climate change, pollution, consumption of resources.
- For health, safety and welfare. When candidates are tested to become licensed landscape architects, they are being graded on their ability to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public. The ‘public’ includes future demographics, our environment, and culturally significant places. Landscape architects often facilitate decisions between conflicting publics…a valuable service!
- For our licensure. The American Society of Landscape Architects supports licensure of the practice of landscape architecture within the United States and its territories as the only effective regulatory measure, by which to protect the public health, safety and welfare and to maximize practitioners’ ability to compete within regulated markets of the design professions.
Why is advocacy important?
All 50 states have recognized that regulation of landscape architecture is necessary to protect the public health, safety, and welfare. The practice of landscape architecture should keep the public safe from hazards, protect and maximize the use of natural systems and resources, and prevent damage to public or private property from changes in the built environment. The education, experience, and examination required to earn a license ensures that licensed landscape architects can effectively protect the public and our communities from harm.
Economic vitality, homeland security, quality of life, and natural ecosystems all rely on ample, clean water. Landscape architects help communities large and small manage their stormwater with innovative green infrastructure solutions, such as green roofs, rain gardens, bioswales, and pervious pavements.
Landscape architects help communities by designing multi-use transportation corridors that accommodate all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, people with disabilities, and people who use public transportation. These multi-use transportation systems reduce reliance on a single-use automotive transport, which in turn reduces traffic, improves air quality, and promotes a sustainable way of life.
LAND CONSERVATION AND PRESERVATION
The American Society of Landscape Architects believes preservation and protection of nationally, regionally and locally significant historic properties, buildings, structures, districts, cultural landscapes, archaeological remains and objects, both designed and vernacular, are critical to maintaining the continuum of land use and history across generations. Protection of these cultural resources offers inspirational values and an appreciation of past ingenuity, accomplishments, hardships and hopes, as well as insight into future land use and design solutions. The interpretation and public use of the historic properties and cultural landscapes should be viewed as an integral part of their preservation.