ASLA'S 2005 ANNUAL MEETING BREAKS ATTENDANCE RECORDS
Fort Lauderdale Venue Draws
Record Crowd, Impressive Speakers
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, October 10, 2005–
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) kicked
off their 2005 annual meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. with
more than 5,000 attendees -- a record attendance. Charleston,
S.C., Mayor, Joseph P. Riley Jr., Honorary ASLA, was the keynote
speaker at Saturday's opening session.
Riley has been the mayor of Charleston for over 30 years
and is considered one of the most visionary and highly effective
governmental leaders in America. He has an impressive record
of innovation in public safety, housing, arts and culture,
children's issues, the creation of park and other public spaces,
and economic revitalization and development. Riley spoke Saturday
on urban design and livability issues, specifically addressing
his efforts to restore the "heart" of the city of
Charleston, including the dramatic rebirth of King Street,
Charleston's main retail area.
Riley said, "There's no excuse to build anything that
doesn't add to the beauty of a city. Humans and cities need
memories." Riley's words ring true for his city, as Charleston
has become one of the most vibrant and productive downtowns
Other notable speakers include Laurie Olin, FASLA, who spoke
of the social aspects of design in landscape architecture,
including the important role landscape architects play in
security design. Olin was instrumental in the redesign of
the landscape architecture surrounding key areas in our nation's
capital, including the Washington Monument and the White House.
Olin stated that since 9/11 our country's landscape needs
have changed, but that hopefully in the next 20 to 30 years
this is a need that will become less prevalent.
ASLA annual meeting attendees have also been discussing possible
responses to the recent disasters along the Gulf Coast. Members,
including chapter leadership from Louisiana, Mississippi,
and Texas, met to discuss potential community recovery plans.
Louisiana Trustee Chad Danos, ASLA, suggested that rebuilding
efforts need to focus not only on the areas hardest hit by
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, but also on dealing with the
population shifts to cities such as his native Baton Rouge
where the population almost doubled in the weeks following
the hurricanes. Members made a number of suggestions for assisting
communities in need, including the idea that schools and firms
could "adopt" communities to assist in their reconstruction.
ASLA plans to use these discussions as a starting point for
developing a long-term rebuilding and preparedness plan.
Remaining events at the meeting include the closing session,
featuring keynote speaker Nora Lee who will share her knowledge
of the "Experience Economy" with attendees. Lee
is the author of the recently published The Mom Factor: What
Really Drives Where We Shop, Eat, and Play. ASLA will also
present its annual awards in the professional and student
categories on Monday, the final day of the meeting.
Media registration for the annual meeting is free. For more
information contact Ashley Owens at 301-466-4495.
Founded in 1899, ASLA is the national professional association
for landscape architects, representing more than 16,000 members.
Landscape architecture is a comprehensive discipline of land
analysis, planning, design, management, preservation, and
rehabilitation. ASLA promotes the landscape architecture profession
and advances the practice through advocacy, education, communication,
and fellowship. Learn more about landscape architecture online
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