Wetlands, Stormwater Infiltration, Sustainable Amenities among Water Management Topics Explored at ASLA Annual Meeting & EXPO in Phoenix


The theme for the 2012 ASLA Annual Meeting & EXPO is Beyond Boundaries—Design, Leadership & Community. More than 5,000 landscape architecture professionals from across the country and around the world will gather in Phoenix, September 28 – October 1, to enjoy the fellowship of others from the profession and to reconnect with the fundamental elements of design. Key issues such as practice management, sustainability and stormwater management will be addressed by some of the country’s foremost experts in the field.

Leading the water management programming will be a special general session, “The New Age of Water: Reimagining How We Use Water and How We Think About It.” Award-winning investigative journalist Charles Fishman will deliver a fascinating and urgent primer on the history and future of water. From a factory in Vermont with water so clean it is considered poisonous to villages in India that have no water service at all, Fishman will uncover how the world of water is changing and what the enormous implications are for every person, no matter where they live. Sept. 29, 8 - 9 a.m.

Here is a sample of water management programs open for coverage with an authorized press pass:

Friday, Sept. 28

“Vertical-Flow Constructed Wetlands for Water Quality Improvement” – Dramatic improvements in stormwater and wastewater quality are possible in a small area using vertical-flow constructed wetland designs developed over the last 20 years. This presentation reviews research, construction specifications and details, planting design and case studies to illustrate municipal green infrastructure possibilities. 8:30 - 10 a.m.

“Landscape as Sponge: Re-Engineering a Historic Campus to Absorb the Rain” - Princeton University has a 10-year plan to expand the campus, reinforce landscape character and manage stormwater and the regional ecology. Based on a series of their earlier landscape-based stormwater collaborations, the session’s presenters will show how they are addressing the university’s ambitious initiatives. 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

“Irrigation Design: Calculated for Rainwater Harvesting” – Cities are challenged to provide potable water to growing populations. Urban landscapes are being compromised because funding is being cut for operations and maintenance of public spaces. This session will cover how landscape architects can address both problems through rainwater harvesting and integrated irrigation design. 3:30 - 5 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 29

“Water Works: The Keys to Designing State of the Art, Award-Winning Water Features” - High design and new technology are best achieved through an early collaboration among landscape architect, engineer and pool contractor. Explore the principles of designing, sourcing and constructing sustainable, beautiful water features, pools and spas. Industry leaders will share experiences and explain their collaborative process. 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

 “Up a Creek: Holistic Water Management from Plan to Construction” – Three built projects along a 3,200-acre transect will demonstrate innovate water management techniques from tap to tributary. Linked together, they are one essential infrastructure and a community cornerstone. 1:30 - 3 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 30

“Bioretention Rainwater Treatment: Technical Design Issues” – Panelists will provide technical solutions to system design from hydrology and soil to sizing, layout and plant performance. The session will present research and standards for a well-designed system. 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 1

“Smart Water” - Fountains have made enormous strides in sustainability, performance, and life safety and continue to be a staple of experience-of-place. Join Jim Garland, Hearst Headquarters, Roppongi Hills, and Dan Euser, National September 11 Memorial, Mississauga Civic Square as they present the latest thinking in fountain design. 10 – 11:30 a.m.

“Stormwater Management Integrated into Creative Landscape Design” – The current regulatory environment has increased site-planning challenges by requiring specific, prescriptive stormwater controls, but aesthetic landscape architecture and stormwater management are often polar opposites. This session will integrate the two with basic hydrologic principles that meet the prescriptive requirements and enhance creative freedom. 10 - 11:30 a.m.

“Bold Concepts in Stormwater Infiltration and Principles That Drive Success” – Learn bold stormwater concepts from three of the nation’s most innovative stormwater designers. Few landscape architects, even engineers, currently understand the principles of subsurface water movement and storage in soils. With these techniques, attendees can restore large-scale urban landscapes and watersheds to master the future. 1:30 - 3 p.m.

Working journalists attending the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO for editorial coverage are eligible to receive complimentary media credentials. The media credentials provide access to the EXPO floor, general sessions, education sessions and the working press room with computers, internet access and refreshments.

Media interested in attending should contact Karen Trimbath at with their name, address, email, phone number, title and media organization. Due to limited space, journalists are strongly encouraged to register well in advance. All requests are approved upon a case-by-case basis, and ASLA may require additional documentation for credentials. For any questions, contact Karen Trimbath.

About ASLA

Founded in 1899, ASLA is the national professional association for landscape architects, representing nearly 16,000 members in 48 professional chapters and 76 student chapters. The Society's mission is to lead, to educate and to participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning and artful design of our cultural and natural environments. Members of the Society use their “ASLA” suffix after their names to denote membership and their commitment to the highest ethical standards of the profession. Learn more about landscape architecture online at


Kevin Fry
Director, PR and Communications 
tel: 1-202-216-2356