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Sustaining Nature and Natural Processes in Ultra-Urban Environments

On April 16 the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) and DeepRoot co-hosted a conversation and charrette at the SvR offices in Seattle. The theme was “Cities need nature, and nature needs cities: How and where do you struggle to bring nature to the built environment?” The goal was to better understand the opportunities and challenges to integrating nature into cities at every stage in the process, from conception and design to construction and maintenance.

The 20 attendees were a diverse cross section of landscape architects, engineers, arborists, and academics. The rich discussion delved into places that are problematic for ‘normal nature’, such as streetscapes, on structure, plazas, and transit. By examining what it takes to sustain natural processes in these highly-urbanized environments, the conversation went beyond the concerns of any one discipline and into the broader realm of what makes for the most successful public spaces.

charrette02

DeepRoot is working to put together several videos and blog posts based on the day’s discussion. The first one on the history of the word “parking” will be available soon.  Stay tuned for more over the coming weeks!

[6/1 UPDATE] The first products are now available:

 

LAF Events at the ASLA Annual Meeting

If you’ll be in Denver for the 2014 ASLA Annual Meeting & EXPO, we hope you’ll join us for one or more of the following events to raise awareness and support LAF programs. We’ll celebrate over $1 million awarded to students since 1986, honor our 2014 Olmsted Scholars, and launch the all-new LandscapePerformance.org, the next-generation of our award-winning Landscape Performance Series.

newheightsNew Heights, LAF’s 29th Annual Benefit
Fri, Nov 21, 7:00-10:30pm
The Studio Loft

Join top designers and leaders from practice, academia, and industry for a lively evening in the heart of Denver’s Theatre District. Enjoy cocktails, fine food, and amazing company, all while raising money to support LAF’s research and scholarship programs.

LAF Booth in ASLA Expo Hall (#1556)
Sat-Sun, Nov 22-23, 9:00am-5:00pm
Colorado Convention Center
Visit our booth to learn more about LAF, register for the Sustainable Destination Sweepstakes, and see the brand-new LandscapePerformance.org.mackerel-beach

Sustainable Destination Sweepstakes
Sun, Nov 23, 4:30pm
Colorado Convention Center
Join us at our booth in the ASLA Expo Hall as we draw the winner of our one-of-a-kind trip for two to Mackerel Beach, Sydney, Australia. You can make a donation to register to win right up until the drawing. Entrants need not be present to win. All sweepstakes proceeds support LAF’s research and scholarship programs.

Stormwater BMP Performance:
What Every Landscape Architect Should Know
Sat, Nov 22, 2:30-4pm
Colorado Convention Center
Don’t miss this Education Session moderated by LAF’s Heather Whitlow and featuring Bill Wenk of Wenk Associates, Jonathan Jones of Wright Water Engineers, and Jason Berner of the US EPA. This session will describe current initiatives to document performance, protocols for measuring performance, ways to design more effective systems, and the challenges the profession could face when levels of performance aren’t realized.

Join LAF at the LA Expo Leaders' Reception

The 2014 LA Expo, a two-day trade show and educational conference in Long Beach, California, will feature a special Leaders’ Reception with all proceeds supporting Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) research and scholarships.

parkers-lighthouseParker's Lighthouse overlooking the harbor

Join LAF on Thursday, February 13 at Parker’s Lighthouse, known for its spectacular views of Long Beach Harbor. The event starts at 6pm, and the $75 ticket includes food, live music, and a hosted bar for the first hour. The evening will include a panel discussion with leaders in landscape architecture Mia Lehrer, FASLA, Susan Goltsman, FASLA and Stephanie Landregan, FASLA. Event sponsors include: ValleyCrest Landscape Companies, IRONSMITH, Landscape Architect and Specifier News, Scofield, SWG Trees, Old Town Fiberglass, Rainbird, and USA Shade & Fabric Structures, Inc. Many thanks to the LA Expo for this opportunity.

Purchase tickets here.
View sponsorship opportunities here.

The LA Expo also features a “Complimentary Learning Lab” with LAF Executive Director Barbara Deutsch, FASLA on Friday, Feb 8 from 10-11am. Barbara will present the Landscape Performance Series, an online set of resources to quantify benefits, show value, and make the case for sustainable landscape solutions.

The LA Expo is the largest western trade show and educational conference for landscape architects, specifers, and design/build professionals. The LA Expo is produced by Landscape Communications, Inc and provides a regional venue where over 1,200 design and development professionals can exchange ideas, explore new products and technologies, and establish business relationships.

What's Next for Landscape Architecture?

whatsnext-700w

What’s Next for Landscape Architecture? LAF asked this question to attendees at the ASLA Annual Meeting EXPO in Boston. From the serious to the silly to the provocative, we got a great mix of responses from the leading practitioners, faculty, students, and others in the field. See the full range of answers on LAF’s Flickr Photostream.

We hope that your 2014 is off to a wonderful start, whatever the future holds!

Olmsted Scholar Events in Boston

From Nov 14-16, LAF held a series of events in Boston to honor the 2013 Olmsted Scholars, landscape architecture students who were nominated by their faculty for demonstrating exceptional leadership potential. Thirty-seven of this year’s 67 Olmsted Scholars traveled from across the U.S. and Canada to participate. Perhaps National Olmsted Scholar Leann Andrews best summarized the energy and camaraderie felt by all with, “This past week was nothing short of amazing.” 

osp-group

The culmination was the LAF Annual Benefit at the Boston Harbor Hotel’s Wharf Room, where the 2013 Olmsted Scholars were recognized during a special certificate ceremony in front of the nearly 400 guests. “It was truly an honor to recognize this impressive group of individuals,” said outgoing LAF Board President Bill Main. “These incredibly bright, talented, and engaged young people will lead the profession in addressing future landscape issues.”

The Olmsted Scholars Luncheon gave the scholars the opportunity to meet each other, the LAF Board of Directors, staff, and program sponsors. Short presentations from the two National Olmsted Scholars provided insights into the amazing people and projects that the program supports. Leann Andrews, winner of the $25,000 graduate prize, discussed how she is melding her background in dance, landscape architecture, and global health. With the Olmsted funding she has been able to carry out her capstone project working with an informal ‘slum’ community in Lima, Peru to envision, design, construct, and sustain personalized home gardens. McKenzie Wilhelm, winner of the $15,000 undergraduate prize, presented her research on Alaska’s Pebble Mine and design interventions that could minimize the threatening effects of mining processes on fragile salmon habitat. 2009 National Olmsted Scholar Emily Vogler gave an update on her research on sustainable regionalism.

Following the luncheon, the scholars participated in a brainstorming session, sharing their thoughts on leadership and how to further build the community of Olmsted Scholars, who now number 243 as the program enters its seventh year. The scholars also participated in organzied tours of Sasaki’s Watertown office and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates’ Cambridge office, as well as informal dinners and other gatherings.

Thank you to the generous Olmsted Scholars Program sponsors whose support makes the financial awards and events like these possible. Photos from the Annual Benefit (now posted) and other Olmsted Scholar events (coming soon) can be found on LAF’s Flickr Photostream.