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Coming Soon: New Landscape Declaration Book

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This fall, the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) and Rare Bird Books will release The New Landscape Declaration: A Call to Action for the Twenty-First Century. This landmark book features the 32 “Declarations” written for LAF’s 2016 Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future, along with excerpts from panel discussions and an opening essay by Richard Weller of the University of Pennsylvania School of Design (PennDesign).

On the eve of its 50th anniversary, LAF asked a diverse group of preeminent landscape architects to reflect on the last half-century and present bold ideas for what the discipline should achieve in the future. Well beyond the public conception of the profession as “gardener” or “park designer,” these landscape architects discussed their role in addressing weighty issues like climate change, urbanization, management of vital resources like water, and global inequities. Their ideas were used to craft the New Landscape Declaration, a manifesto for landscape architecture in the 21st twenty-first century.

The book features original essays from James Corner, Gina Ford, Randy Hester, Kate Orff, Mario Schjetnan, Martha Schwartz, Carl Steinitz, Kongjian Yu, and other thought leaders.

“The 32 declarations collected here are good to think with. Each has some wisdom that will help you form your own answers to the challenges the New Landscape Declaration presents.”
                                                       — Richard Weller, PennDesign

The book will be launched at the 2017 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Los Angeles October 20-23, with limited quantities available at the official bookstore. In early November, the book will be fully-available through online retailers.

Preorder your copy today on Powell’s, IndieBound, Barnes & Noble, Amazon!
240-page hardcover, $29.95
ISBN: 9781945572692

LAF Olmsted Scholars: Ready to Act on the New Landscape Declaration, Part 2

Inspired by LAF’s 2016 Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future and the New Landscape Declaration, a group of ten Olmsted Scholars developed their own response focused on moving forward with deliberate actions to meet the ambitions set forth in the Declaration’s four calls to action.

Through a series of blog posts, we are showcasing their action plans. Earlier this month we introduced Action 1 and this week we present Action 2:

We will work to cultivate a bold culture of inclusive leadership, advocacy and activism in our ranks.

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ACT NOW

  • Join local and global advocacy boards, governmental committees, and allied professional organizations.
  • Encourage students and emerging professionals to seek out alternative career paths in government, non-profit, advocacy, activism, research, health industries, technology, agribusiness, etc.
  • Pursue work or build relationships with clients who focus attention on marginalized communities, endangered ecosystems, and neglected places. 

PLAN NOW

  • Seek funding sources and structures for design activism and advocacy projects.
  • Make community engagement and public service a requirement for ASLA membership and/or CEUs for licensure.           
  • Expand local and state advocacy programs to encourage ecological development and reuse opportunities in urban areas while also protecting vital ecosystems and supporting underserved rural landscapes
  • Support local and national policies and programs that strengthen landscape architecture’s professional value.

You can download a PDF copy of the full The Olmsted Scholar Agenda: from Declaration to Action, which includes all four action plans and corresponding precedents for reference and inspiration. The document is a framework for a more detailed action strategy that can be used to inspire, direct, and hold us all accountable. It is not intended to be comprehensive, but rather to be the beginning of a larger dialogue to address the concerns and hopes stated in the New Landscape Declaration.

Stay tuned next week for a post on Action 3: “We will work to raise awareness of landscape architecture’s vital contribution.”

LAF Olmsted Scholars: Ready to Act on the New Landscape Declaration

After the close of LAF’s 2016 Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future, a group of Olmsted Scholars in attendance gathered over beer and pizza to rehash an intense 2 days of presentations and panel discussions on the demands and ambitions of the profession for the next 50 years.

Inspired by the Summit and the New Landscape Declaration, 10 of these Olmsted Scholars continued to converse through conference calls and Google documents to produce their own response focused on moving forward with deliberate actions to meet the ambitions set forth in the Declaration’s four calls to action.

Through a series of blog posts over the next few weeks, we will showcase their action plans. We begin with Action1:

We will work to strengthen and diversify our global capacity as a profession.
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ACT NOW

  • Join or volunteer with professional organizations that nourish diversity.
  • Financially sponsor and volunteer for landscape architecture student career discovery programs for K-12.
  • Financially sponsor and volunteer for projects in communities in-need.
  • Seek short-term and alternative projects for their ability to catalyze public conversation, stimulate new ideas and teach the profession how to fail forward.

PLAN NOW

  • Champion diverse leadership and client-bases within workplaces.

  • Support entrepreneurial career paths within the profession and encourage transdisciplinary collaboration beyond the design professions to break into new markets and push innovation.
  • Seek funding sources for interdisciplinary, global reach and alternative project types.
  • Evaluate existing project delivery methods and test new platforms.

You can download a PDF copy of the full The Olmsted Scholar Agenda: from Declaration to Action, which includes all four action plans and corresponding precedents for reference and inspiration. The document is a framework for a more detailed action strategy that can be used to inspire, direct, and hold us all accountable. It is not intended to be comprehensive, but rather to be the beginning of a larger dialogue to address the concerns and hopes stated in the New Landscape Declaration.

Stay tuned next week for a post on Action 2: “We will work to cultivate a bold culture of inclusive leadership, advocacy and activism in our ranks.”

We are the next generation and are ready to act.

The Olmsted Scholars who contributed to this effort are: Leann Andrews (2013 National Olmsted Scholar), Andrew Bailey (2014 Olmsted Scholar), Zach Barker (2013 Olmsted Scholar Finalist), Marin Braco (2012 Olmsted Scholar Finalist), Nina Chase (2009 Olmsted Scholar), Kim Dietzel (2015 Olmsted Scholar), Karl Krause (2008 Olmsted Scholar), Tim Mollette-Parks (2009 Olmsted Scholar), Andrew Sargeant (2016 Olmsted Scholar), and Nate Wooten (2016 Olmsted Scholar).

LAF’s Olmsted Scholars Program recognizes and supports landscape architecture students with exceptional leadership potential who are using ideas, influence, communication, service, and leadership to advance sustainable design and foster human and societal benefits.

Engaging Students with the New Landscape Declaration

LAF’s New Landscape Declaration is a new vision and 21st century call to action for landscape architecture to make its vital contribution in solving the defining issues of our time. The Declaration, along with the Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future that gave rise to it, serve to guide, challenge, and inspire — aims befitting to an academic environment.

To help university faculty and landscape architecture departments engage with this initiative, we’ve complied a list of resources and ideas to incorporate the themes into their programs and coursework:

  • Post the New Landscape Declaration in a prominent place in your department or website. (PDF versions in English and 17 other languages are available.)
  • Screen the 20-minute Summit documentary for a class or event and facilitate a post-film discussion. (The film is closed-captioned to support less-than-ideal sound systems and non-native English speakers.)
  • Assign students to explore the Summit declarations (in videos or essay form) and report out on their favorites or write their own declaration.
  • Use the New Landscape Declaration as a tool to communicate the value and values of the landscape architecture to allied disciplines and administrators in your university.
  • Respond to the Declaration by sharing your thoughts and ideas for action with LAF, within your department, or as an editorial. We encourage and look forward to continued discourse on the future of the profession and what needs to be done.

M. Elen Deming (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign), Richard Hawks (SUNY-ESF), and Ken Yocum (University of Washington) have graciously shared the materials and assignments that they developed to include the Declaration in courses taught during the 2016-2017 academic year. We hope that these sample teaching materials spur other educators to take advantage of this powerful set of resources to provoke and inspire the next generation of landscape architects.

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5/24 UPDATE: You can see the video product of Professor Elen Deming’s “Declaration of Values in Landscape Architecture” project here.

Time to Get Active: Resources for Advocacy and Engagement

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Climate change, infrastructure investment, public health, social equity, the EPA — whatever issues you are passionate about, it’s time to use your voice! LAF’s New Landscape Declaration asserts the vital role of landscape architecture and calls upon landscape architects to commit and act upon their ideals. One of the key calls to action is:

“We will work to cultivate a bold culture of inclusive leadership, advocacy and activism in our ranks.”

To help cultivate this culture, LAF is spreading the word about current issues and resources to help you make your voice heard. While landscape architects are uniquely positioned as designers, there is also much we can do to ensure that our leaders, policies, and institutions are working to address the defining issues of our time: climate change, species extinction, rapid urbanization, and inequity.

Follow us on Twitter (@lafoundation) to get updates on upcoming legislation, hearings, and tools for civic engagement. Here are a few of our favorite resources:

General Resources

Curated Sets of Action Items

  • 5 Calls
    https://5calls.org/
    Select the federal issues that are important to you, and based on your location, the site provides phone contact information for your representatives and an example script.
  • Natural Resources Defense Council - Take Action
    www.nrdc.org/actions
    This website makes it really easy to send messages to the appropriate decision-maker on a wide range of environmental and public health issues.
  • 350.org - Campaigns
    https://350.org/campaigns/
    This climate change and climate justice-focused group offers petitions, mobilizations, and other ways to get involved.
  • National Parks Conservation Association - Take Action
    www.npca.org/advocacy
    This website makes it really easy to send messages to the appropriate decision-maker on federal, state, and local issues affecting our national parks.
  • Alt National Park Service - Legislation Tracker
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1mOJ-zjAcSNeI7b7HGKzE8U26c8LTQczJk3vLUEjdYW0/edit#gid=1028168339
    Rougue National Park Service employees compile and update this summary of bills that impact public lands and wilderness.
  • ASLA iAdvocate Network
    http://advocate.asla.org/app/register?1&m=15471
    Sign up to get email alerts with information and tools you need to quickly and effectively communicate with your policymakers about issues important to the profession

What resources are you using to follow and weigh in on issues of concern to landscape architects? Please share using the comments section below.