Categories & Guidelines

Click on a category below to view information.

General Design Category & Guidelines

To enter the General Design category, the official entrant must be an Associate, Full, or International ASLA member, or eligible to join ASLA in one of those categories.

Recognizes: Site-specific works of landscape architecture. Entries in this category must have been built.

Typical entries include: Single-site public, institutional, or private landscapes of all kinds (except entries qualifying for urban design or residential design categories); projects that include historic preservation, reclamation, or conservation; green roofs, stormwater management, sustainable design; design for transportation or infrastructure; landscape art or installation; interior landscape design; and more.

Criteria: The jury will consider the quality of design and execution; design context; environmental sensitivity and sustainability; hazard mitigation, climate adaptation, and resilience strategies; and design value to the client, community, and to other designers.

Submission: Materials in the submission must not reveal the names of the entrant and/or landscape architects, firms, other designers, or photographer.

Project Title (Name): A submission must have a short, specific presentation title (containing no abbreviations) that indicates the nature of the presentation.

Project Statement: In 175 words or less, describe the project and why it’s award-worthy. This statement may be used in promotional materials if the project is selected for an award. NOTE: failure to submit this statement will lead to disqualification of entry.

Project Narrative: Addressing the criteria for the General Design category, describe in 1300 words or less the project location, scope and size, site and context investigation, design program, design intent, materials and installation methods, environmental impact and concerns, collaboration with the client and other designers, and other significant issues.

Images*: A maximum of 16 images may be submitted with each entry having no less than 5 images uploaded. Images must include at least (1) site plan. Image files should be formatted as: 1900 pixels wide by 927 pixels tall and a minimum of 72 dpi. For examples of acceptable images, see the following link: Click here for image examples

NOTE: failure to submit images will lead to disqualification of an entry.

Winners will be required to submit the original untouched raw image for each photograph or drawing submitted, 300 dpi or higher.

You will be prompted to enter an image title and caption for each uploaded image. Image captions should be no more than 40 words. Photography credit must also be listed for each image, and will be concealed from the jury.

*Entrants are responsible for clearing photographs with photographers for publication and reproduction by ASLA. ASLA will provide proper photography and other project credits when using photos, but will not assume responsibility for any copyrights or photography fees. ASLA retains the right to publish photos submitted in winning entries in Landscape Architecture Magazine, on the ASLA website, in promoting the awards program, and in other products in conjunction with promoting landscape architecture.

Recognition: The Professional Awards Jury may select one Award of Excellence and any number of Honor Awards in this category.


Residential Design Category & Guidelines

To enter the Residential Design category, the official entrant must be an Associate, Full, or International ASLA member, or eligible to join ASLA in one of those categories..

Recognizes: Residential single and multifamily site-specific works of landscape architecture that elevate the design principles of quality, context/place, environmental responsibility, maintenance requirements and durability. Innovative design and construction techniques that help to reduce overall construction and maintenance costs will also be recognized. Entries in this category must have been built.

Typical entries include: Single family homes; high rise, multi-family production and custom home developments (market rate and non-market rate will be considered); transit oriented development (TOD); historic preservation, renovation or conservation projects; senior or assisted living developments; private or small gardens; new urbanism projects with multifamily development; projects located in Opportunity Zones; and more.

Criteria: The jury will consider the quality of design context and execution, materiality, environmental sensitivity, community benefit, sustainability through Low Impact Development (lid) incorporation, green infrastructure or additional site specific techniques that are innovative, site specific and maintainable. Emphasis will be given to projects that have attained or are registered for SITES certification.

Submission: Materials in the submission must not reveal the names of the entrant and/or landscape architects, firms, other designers, photographer.

Project Title (Name): A submission must have a short, specific presentation title (containing no abbreviations) that indicates the nature of the presentation.

Project Statement: In 175 words or less, described the project and why it’s award-worthy. This statement may be used in promotional materials if the project is selected for an award. Failure to submit this statement will lead to disqualification of entry.

Project Narrative: Addressing the criteria for the Residential Design category describe in 1300 words or less the project location, scope and size, site and context investigation, design program, design intent, materials and installation methods, environmental impact and concerns, collaboration with the client and other designers, and other significant issues.

Images*: A maximum of 16 images may be submitted with each entry having no less than 5 images uploaded. Images must include at least (1) site plan. Image files should be formatted as: 1900 pixels wide by 927 pixels tall and a minimum of 72 dpi. For examples of acceptable images, see the following link: Click here for image examples

NOTE: failure to submit images will lead to disqualification of an entry.

Winners will be required to submit the original untouched raw image for each photograph or drawing submitted, 300 dpi or higher.

You will be prompted to enter an image title and caption for each uploaded image. Image captions should be no more than 40 words. Photography credit must also be listed for each image, and will be concealed from the jury.

*Entrants are responsible for clearing photographs with photographers for publication and reproduction by ASLA. ASLA will provide proper photography and other project credits when using photos, but will not assume responsibility for any copyrights or photography fees. ASLA retains the right to publish photos submitted in winning entries in Landscape Architecture Magazine, on the ASLA website, in promoting the awards program, and in other products in conjunction with promoting landscape architecture.

Recognition: The Professional Awards Jury may select one Award of Excellence and any number of Honor Awards in this category.


Urban Design Category & Guidelines

To enter the Urban Design category, the official entrant must be an Associate, Full, or International ASLA member, or eligible to join ASLA in one of those categories.

Recognizes: projects built or currently under construction that activate networks of spaces that mediate between social equity, economic viability, infrastructure, environmental stewardship, and beautiful place-making in the public and private realm.

Typical entries include: constructed or partially constructed urban projects spatially greater than one block in the realm of public, institutional, or private landscapes; streetscapes, waterfronts, mixed-use developments, neighborhoods, districts, cities, placemaking interventions and civic improvements that may include elements of reclamation, stormwater management, transportation or infrastructure studies, art, and more.

Criteria: The jury will consider the quality of design and execution; urban design context; planning context; contribution of project to a broader urban landscape; environmental sensitivity and sustainability; and attention to social justice, equity, and inclusion.

Submission: Materials in the submission must not reveal the names of the entrant and/or landscape architects, firms, other designers, or photographer.

Project Title (Name): A submission must have a short, specific presentation title (containing no abbreviations) that indicates the nature of the presentation.

Project Statement: In 175 words or less, describe the project and why it’s award-worthy. This statement may be used in promotional materials if the project is selected for an award. NOTE: failure to submit this statement will lead to disqualification of entry.

Project Narrative: Addressing the criteria for the Urban Design category, describe in 1300 words or less the project location, scope and size, site and context investigation, design program, social equity, economic viability, place-making, environmental stewardship, design intent, environmental impact and concerns, and collaboration with the client and other designers.

Images*: A maximum of 16 images may be submitted with each entry having no less than 5 images uploaded. Images must include at least (1) site plan. Image files should be formatted as: 1900 pixels wide by 927 pixels tall and a minimum of 72 dpi. For examples of acceptable images, see the following link: Click here for image examples

NOTE: failure to submit images will lead to disqualification of an entry.

Winners will be required to submit the original untouched raw image for each photograph or drawing submitted, 300 dpi or higher.

You will be prompted to enter an image title and caption for each uploaded image. Image captions should be no more than 40 words. Photography credit must also be listed for each image, and will be concealed from the jury.

*Entrants are responsible for clearing photographs with photographers for publication and reproduction by ASLA. ASLA will provide proper photography and other project credits when using photos, but will not assume responsibility for any copyrights or photography fees. ASLA retains the right to publish photos submitted in winning entries in Landscape Architecture Magazine, on the ASLA website, in promoting the awards program, and in other products in conjunction with promoting landscape architecture.

Recognition: The Professional Awards Jury may select one Award of Excellence and any number of Honor Awards in this category.


Analysis and Planning Category & Guidelines

To enter the Analysis and Planning category, the official entrant must be an Associate, Full, or International ASLA member, or eligible to join ASLA in one of those categories.

Recognizes: the wide variety of professional activities that lead to, guide, and evaluate landscape architecture design. Urban Design entries Entries in this category are not required to be built or implemented.

Typical entries include: urban, suburban, rural, or regional planning efforts; development guidelines; transportation, town, or campus planning; plans for reclamation of brownfield sites; environmental planning in relation to legislative or policy initiatives or regulatory controls; cultural resource reports; natural resources protection; historic preservation planning; and more.

Criteria: The jury will consider the quality of the analysis and planning effort; context; environmental sensitivity and sustainability; likelihood of successful implementation; and value to the client, the public, and other designers.

Submission: Materials in the submission must not reveal the names of the entrant and/or landscape architects, firms, other designers, or photographer.

Project Title (Name): A submission must have a short, specific presentation title (containing no abbreviations) that indicates the nature of the presentation.

Project Statement: In 175 words or less, described the project and why it’s award-worthy. This statement may be used in promotional materials if the project is selected for an award. NOTE: failure to submit this statement will lead to disqualification of entry.

Project Narrative: Addressing the criteria for the Analysis and Planning category, describe in 1300 words or less the project’s goals and objectives, what kinds of environmental and social data were collected and analyzed, methods of analysis, how options were considered, how interested parties were involved in the project, how design was used in the process, how the project was or would be implemented, and how project is or will be administered and/or monitored, and other significant issues.

Images*: A maximum of 16 images may be submitted with each entry having no less than 5 images uploaded. Images must include at least (1) site plan. Image files should be formatted as: 1900 pixels wide by 927 pixels tall and a minimum of 72 dpi. For examples of acceptable images, see the following link: Click here for image examples

NOTE: failure to submit images will lead to disqualification of an entry.

Winners will be required to submit the original untouched raw image for each photograph or drawing submitted, 300 dpi or higher.

You will be prompted to enter an image title and caption for each uploaded image. Image captions should be no more than 40 words. Photography credit must also be listed for each image, and will be concealed from the jury.

*Entrants are responsible for clearing photographs with photographers for publication and reproduction by ASLA. ASLA will provide proper photography and other project credits when using photos, but will not assume responsibility for any copyrights or photography fees. ASLA retains the right to publish photos submitted in winning entries in Landscape Architecture Magazine, on the ASLA website, in promoting the awards program, and in other products in conjunction with promoting landscape architecture.

Recognition: The Professional Awards Jury may select one Award of Excellence and any number of Honor Awards in this category.


Communications Category & Guidelines

An official entrant in the Professional Awards Communications category is not required to be a landscape architecture professional.

Recognizes: achievements in communicating landscape architecture works, techniques, technologies, history, or theory, and the lesson value to an intended audience.

Typical entries include: online communications - interactive & multimedia; print media, film, video, audio i.e. podcasts; interpretive design; exhibition design; public awareness campaigns; and more. If your media resides online, please provide an ad free direct link in your submission. You may also provide a link directly to YouTube or Vimeo, if your media is hosted there.

Criteria: The jury will consider the effectiveness of message presentation, the innovation in approach or delivery, and the value to the intended audience.

Submission: Entries in this category are not blind and submitting supplemental materials when available are required. Mail materials to: ASLA Awards Program, Professional Awards, 636 I (Eye) Street NW, Washington, DC 20001. Label each item with the project’s title and entry number.

Project Title (Name): A submission must have a short, specific presentation title (containing no abbreviations) that indicates the nature of the presentation.

Project Statement: In 175 words or less, described the project and why it’s award-worthy. This statement may be used in promotional materials if the project is selected for an award. NOTE: failure to submit this statement will lead to disqualification of entry.

Project Narrative: Addressing the criteria for the Communications category, describe in 1300 words or less the intended purpose, audience, message(s), impact and effectiveness, distribution method (commercial bookstores, Internet, etc.), circulation/distribution (number), and other issues as appropriate.

Images*: A maximum of 16 images may be submitted with each entry having no less than 5 images uploaded. A site plan is excluded from the Communications category. Image files should be formatted as: 1900 pixels wide by 927 pixels tall and a minimum of 72 dpi. For examples of acceptable images, see the following link: Click here for image examples

NOTE: failure to submit images will lead to disqualification of an entry.

Winners will be required to submit the original untouched raw image for each photograph or drawing submitted, 300 dpi or higher.

You will be prompted to enter an image title and caption for each uploaded image. Image captions should be no more than 40 words. Photography credit must also be listed for each image, and will be concealed from the jury.

*Entrants are responsible for clearing photographs with photographers for publication and reproduction by ASLA. ASLA will provide proper photography and other project credits when using photos, but will not assume responsibility for any copyrights or photography fees. ASLA retains the right to publish photos submitted in winning entries in Landscape Architecture Magazine, on the ASLA website, in promoting the awards program, and in other products in conjunction with promoting landscape architecture.

Recognition: The Professional Awards Jury may select one Award of Excellence and any number of Honor Awards in this category.


Research Category & Guidelines

An official entrant in the Professional Awards Research category is not required to be a landscape architecture professional.

In partnership with:

LAF Logo
CELA Logo

Recognizes: research that identifies and investigates challenges posed in landscape architecture, providing results that advance the body of knowledge for the profession.

Typical entries include: investigations into methods, techniques, or materials related to landscape architecture practice; studies of relationships of landscape architecture to law, education, public health and safety, or public policy; and more.

Criteria: The jury will consider clarity and importance of research question, hypotheses, or goals; significance of historical data, where relevant, and links to current knowledge; appropriate research design and use of rigorous methods of inquiry; the clarity of presentation of outcome; potential applications to practice; and the value to the field at large.

Submission: Materials in the submission must not reveal the names of the entrant and/or landscape architects, firms, other designers, or photographer.

Project Title (Name): A submission must have a short, specific presentation title (containing no abbreviations) that indicates the nature of the presentation.

Project Statement: In 175 words or less, described the project and why it’s award-worthy. This statement may be used in promotional materials if the project is selected for an award. NOTE: failure to submit this statement will lead to disqualification of entry.

Project Narrative: Addressing the criteria for the Research category, describe in 1300 words or less the problem researched, relationships investigated, method of inquiry used, results of research (which may refer to statistical or other analysis that can be included under “Images”), conclusions concerning the significance of the results, comparisons with past research, applicability to landscape architecture practice, the need for new or further research, and other significant issues.

Images*: A maximum of 16 images may be submitted with each entry having no less than 5 images uploaded. A site plan is excluded from the Research category. Image files should be formatted as: 1900 pixels wide by 927 pixels tall and a minimum of 72 dpi. For examples of acceptable images, see the following link: Click here for image examples

NOTE: failure to submit images will lead to disqualification of an entry.

Winners will be required to submit the original untouched raw image for each photograph or drawing submitted, 300 dpi or higher.

You will be prompted to enter an image title and caption for each uploaded image. Image captions should be no more than 40 words. Photography credit must also be listed for each image, and will be concealed from the jury.

*Entrants are responsible for clearing photographs with photographers for publication and reproduction by ASLA. ASLA will provide proper photography and other project credits when using photos, but will not assume responsibility for any copyrights or photography fees. ASLA retains the right to publish photos submitted in winning entries in Landscape Architecture Magazine, on the ASLA website, in promoting the awards program, and in other products in conjunction with promoting landscape architecture.

Recognition: The Professional Awards Jury may select one Award of Excellence and any number of Honor Awards in this category.


The Landmark Award & Guidelines

An official entrant in this category does not need to be an ASLA member in order to enter. Local organizations, public officials, and other interested individuals are welcome to enter a qualified project in this category.

Recognizes: a distinguished landscape architecture project completed between 15 and 50 years ago that retains its original design integrity and contributes significantly to the public realm of the community in which it is located.

Typical entries include: parks, plazas, sculpture gardens, botanical gardens, river walks, and more. Public officials and agencies, civic and historic preservation organizations, and interested individuals and entities are encouraged to submit projects in this category.

Criteria: The jury will consider the project's sustained value to the community it serves and the continued relevance of the project's design expression.

Submission: Materials in the submission must not reveal the names of the entrant and/or landscape architects, firms, other designers, or photographer.

Project Title (Name): A submission must have a short, specific presentation title (containing no abbreviations) that indicates the nature of the presentation.

Project Statement: In 175 words or less, described the project and why it’s award-worthy. This statement may be used in promotional materials if the project is selected for an award. NOTE: failure to submit this statement will lead to disqualification of entry.

Project Narrative: Addressing the criteria for The Landmark Award, describe in 1300 words or less the project’s original intent, design challenges, original surrounding environment (and how it may have changed), social concerns, history of use, community context, and impact on the public realm, the profession, and practice.

Images*: A maximum of 16 images may be submitted with each entry having no less than 5 images uploaded. Images must include at least (1) site plan. Image files should be formatted as: 1900 pixels wide by 927 pixels tall and a minimum of 72 dpi. For examples of acceptable images, see the following link: Click here for image examples

NOTE: failure to submit images will lead to disqualification of an entry.

Winners will be required to submit the original untouched raw image for each photograph or drawing submitted, 300 dpi or higher.

You will be prompted to enter an image title and caption for each uploaded image. Image captions should be no more than 40 words. Photography credit must also be listed for each image, and will be concealed from the jury.

*Entrants are responsible for clearing photographs with photographers for publication and reproduction by ASLA. ASLA will provide proper photography and other project credits when using photos, but will not assume responsibility for any copyrights or photography fees. ASLA retains the right to publish photos submitted in winning entries in Landscape Architecture Magazine, on the ASLA website, in promoting the awards program, and in other products in conjunction with promoting landscape architecture.

Recognition: The Professional Awards Jury may select one Landmark Award recipient.