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Can't Attend Our Summit? Add Your Voice to the Conversation

declare-530wOn June 10-11, landscape architects from around the world will gather in Philadelphia to present their big ideas and engage in lively debate about realizing landscape architecture’s potential and effecting real world change. Speakers at the Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future will deliver a series of decisive ‘Declarations’ that respond to LAF’s seminal 1966 Declaration of Concern. On the second day, thematic panels will reflect on the ‘Declarations’ and discuss how landscape architecture can make its vital contribution in the 21st century.

We want your voice to be part of the conversation — even if you are not able to attend the Summit. What do you declare?

How can landscape architecture make its vital contribution to help solve the challenges of our time and the next 50 years?

For inspiration, you can check out this month’s Landscape Architecture Magazine where five of the speakers’ essays are printed and posted online at:

Share your thoughts, make your statement of leadership and ideas, challenge, poeticize, incite — we want to hear from you! #LAFSummit

  1. Landscape Architecture FoundationJul 1st, 2016 12:12pm
    Landscape Architecture Foundation said:

    Great comments. Thanks, Lissa!

  2. Lissa ThompsonJun 24th, 2016 7:07pm
    Lissa Thompson said:

    The following are my thoughts following attendance at the 2016 LAF Summit.

    Some things remain the same. The old debate about art versus ecology came as a bit of surprise at the LAF Summit. I thought there was consensus within the profession years ago that dedication to a high aesthetic and care for the environment are non-competing goals. Panelists did make thoughtful comments on the subject. The discussion was surely beneficial for those entering the profession. And, for experienced practitioners, it does not hurt to be reminded of the profession’s commitment to simultaneously planning for beauty and sustainability.

    But was not the purpose of the recent LAF Summit to look at what has changed in the world since 1966? To take note of the concerns at the fore in 2016 and ask,
    How do we use our talents, knowledge, and energy, to address these new concerns?

    The magnitude and impact of global warming, immigration, growth of third-world cities, of which we are now keenly aware, were not foreseen in 1966. Is there anything the landscape architecture profession can do to help? Can landscape architecture have a meaningful or direct impact? If so, what do we need to do to be appropriately informed, prepared, and effective in order to at least help improve conditions in the face of today’s crises, if not to actually solve them.

    If we cannot save the world, should we not do our best and play a role?
    We can contribute in various spheres – the political, the professional, the civic, and the personal. As we continue our business of making artful, meaningful landscapes we must be ever more mindful of the impacts and influence of our words and of our work on projects at all scales.

    And, why not aim high? At the 2016 LAF Summit, somewhat referenced the Manhattan project as a model initiative for addressing a serious situation. I prefer the moon landing as a metaphor. Banding together, committing significant intellectual resources, we can be more powerful, find greater success, and make a real difference.

    Lissa Thompson, ASLA
    June 24, 2016

  3. LianeJun 16th, 2016 4:32am
    Liane said:

    Hello LAF-Team,
    thank you for organising the event - much appreciated! Like Micolee and Vanessa I wasn't able to attend the event but would very much be interested in all the declarations. On-demand-viewing of the speeches or even printed versions would be great! Many thanks

  4. Landscape Architecture FoundationJun 15th, 2016 11:04am
    Landscape Architecture Foundation said:

    Hi, Micolee and Vanessa. We were not able to live stream. (With a staff of just 6 it was too much to try to manage a 700-person Summit and virtual event at the same time.) We do have video recordings of all of the speakers and panels and hope to make these available to watch on-demand soon.

  5. VanessaJun 10th, 2016 1:02pm
    Vanessa said:

    Hello! I really wish I could have attended but the cost and time away from work and my children is too hard to manage. It would have been wonderful if you could have live-streamed it for practitioners around the world to listen to your amazing group of speakers!

  6. Micolee LazaroJun 8th, 2016 10:56pm
    Micolee Lazaro said:

    Will there be a recording of the event to be viewed later on? If so, please let me know. Thank you.

  7. Landscape Architecture FoundationJun 7th, 2016 10:03am
    Landscape Architecture Foundation said:

    Thank you for sharing, Koichi. Indeed landscape architects have a key role to play in both “Responding to Natural Disasters” and designing for resilience.

  8. Koichi KobayashiJun 5th, 2016 7:27am
    Koichi Kobayashi said:

    In supplementing my previous message, please read the following and go to for details.

    I have been exploring ideas for sometime ways to assist recovery and
    development of Tohoku Region of Japan from earthquake and tsunami
    disaster of March 11, 2012 based on our landscape architectural
    professional expertise.
    This has led today to develop ideas in the context of “Glocal: thinking and
    acting globally as well as locally”
    My presentation today is on a framework that I like to develop, validate and
    refine further to connect local activities with global thinking and
    opportunities including world heritage program and others.
    There is no conclusion from my presentation today but it is to share ideas
    with you.

  9. koichi kobayashiJun 3rd, 2016 7:46pm
    koichi kobayashi said:

    I am writing this message in an event that I will not have an opportunity to present or share with attendees for the Landscape Architecture Summit.

    Shortly after an earthquake and tsunami disaster in Tohoku, Japan in 2011, members of the Japanese Institute of landscape architecture published a book “Image of recovery”. It covered many areas of ongoing involvements by the members of Japanese Institute of Landscape and also developed a diverse field of future recovery efforts and aspiration from initial rescue and support to planning and design. I also have started to write and present my own view on the recovery efforts and professional situation as seen from abroad since my basae is in USA. I have been urging Japanese Landscape Architects to develop more active and leading role in disaster recovery efforts through writing and presentations. However I have been observing passive and pessimistic mood felt by a large number of Japanese Institute of landscape architecture members on the subject of future of landscape architecture profession and their effectiveness in planning and design for recovery from present and future disaster. This may be a global phenomena as landscape architecture profession still lacks political, social and academic power base as commented by in the previous blog.
    I would recommend that fifth area of “Responding to Natural Disasters” be added to four plus one legs as described by Richard Weller and Mark Fransis. : the landscape architect as artist (for example, Peter Walker), the landscape architect as regional planner (for example, Ian McHarg), and the landscape architect as urban designer (for example, Charles Waldheim) and the social designer( Randy Hester, Claire Cooper etc.) .

    Koichi Kobayashi, ASLA, JILA
    Kobayashi Global
    Visiting Research Fellow, University of Hyogo

  10. Landscape Architecture FoundationMay 27th, 2016 9:30am
    Landscape Architecture Foundation said:

    Love it -- thanks for sharing!
    "The increasing availability of information, complex models, and analysis of urban ecosystems and urban sites will make possible in the near future a never before seen sophistication in the design of urban landscapes. One way to look at it is as if the palette of the landscape architect is continuously expanding. This palette increasingly includes non-visual elements and abstractions of processes that will have an enormous impact on the quality of human space in future cities."

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