At the 2009 ASLA Annual Meeting a range of U.S. and international speakers presented both concepts and projects that relate to the conference theme "Beyond Sustainability: Regenerating People and Places."
There were more than 100 presentations from government officials, leading designers, firms, and academia. Topics included sustainable urban design, advanced green roof design, the regenerative power of water, vertical farming, and the expanding market for sustainable products and services.
ASLA's The Dirt blog covered a number of presentations:
Chicago's Mayor Daley: "Nature Can Coexist with a Large City"
Chicago Mayor Daley believes smart green buildings and open spaces such as Millennium Park create a livable city. Furthermore, livable cities own the future.“The future belongs to cities. People want to live in metropolitan areas. They also want open spaces — parks, bike paths, beaches.” Chicago’s economic competitiveness and ability to attract new talent are intimately tied to the quality of its environment.
Cities in the Era of Climate Change
Alexandros Washburn, Affiliate ASLA, Urban Design Chief, City of New York government, argues that major cities must mitigate greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions and adapt to climate change while engaging in “resource creation.” Smart cities can adapt to climate change and create new value in the form of renewable energy and open spaces at the same time.
Kermit Baker, Harvard / AIA Economist, on Market Outlook
On sustainable design, Kermit Baker said, “There has been demand for sustainable design since the 1970’s, since the first Earth Day, but it’s really just taken off in the last few years.” While sustainable building practices will continue to be a growing market and new energy-efficient buildings will continue to be added to the housing stock replacing outdated, less energy-efficient buildings, Baker thought a key market would be retrofitting older buildings. He told designers to “look beyond obvious projects.”
Can London's Olympic Games Regenerate a Troubled Community?
London’s Development Agency and EDAW AECOM presented the London 2012 Olympics master plan, and asked whether the new Olympic games site can really help regenerate an environmentally damaged and economically depressed urban community?
Vancouver's Green Streets
Sandra James, City of Vancouver, Chani Joseph, University of British Columbia, and Nancy MacLean, Corporation of Delta, discussed Vancouver’s green streets program, an initiative started in 1995 to retrofit urban streets with more sustainable water management technologies, a comprehensive set of bike lanes, and better infrastructure for pedestrians. Vancouver’s green street program is a key part of its broader plan to further incorporate green infrastructure.