Chicago, September 20, 2009 — Though landscape architecture firm leaders remain concerned about the economy, many plan to diversify their services and expand into new markets, according to a new survey of firm principals by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Kermit Baker, chief economist of the American Institute of Architects, presented the findings today at the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Chicago.
The survey of 147 landscape architecture firm principals asked about emerging business issues and concerns, with the weak economy (81.6 percent) and identifying new projects/clients (80.3 percent) leading the resulting list. Four in ten expect significantly smaller revenue the next year.
In response, more firms plan to expand into new geographic regions or service markets (33.6 percent) or offer broadened landscape design and/or construction services (37.8 percent) compared to firms limiting their offerings (10.5 percent). More than one third (34.9 percent) of principals say their firms currently pursue or plan to pursue international work, with 15.1 percent currently or recently involved in international projects.
“Though the economy appears to be stabilizing, firms may emerge fundamentally different in their business approach as they expand into new markets and services,” said Nancy Somerville, executive vice president and CEO of ASLA. “While these changes will continue to increase competition in the short term, successful firms will be positioned for strong growth over the next decade.”
Baker presented his outlook for the landscape architecture profession in context of the overall status of the design and construction market and the broader perspective of demographic trends and their expected short- and long-term impact. View his full presentation online.