Spotlight on Landscape Architecture, Sustainable Design in Phoenix


  Spotlight on Landscape Architecture, Sustainable Design in Phoenix 

  Phoenix to host 2012 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO

Washington, D.C., September 20, 2012 – Phoenix, Ariz., will serve as the host location of the 2012 American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) 2012 Annual Meeting and EXPO held at the Phoenix Convention Center September 28 to October 1. It is also is home to award-winning landscape architects and sustainable design projects and activities. Here are some examples:

  • The ASLA Arizona Chapter will team up with the local affiliate of the ACE Mentor Program for a legacy project—upgrading the horticulture program greenhouse and building a courtyard garden and outdoor kitchen for students at Metro Tech High School in Phoenix. The chapter members will work with ACE mentor students and Metro Tech students and faculty to upgrade the facilities for the horticulture and culinary arts programs. Metro Tech and ACE students will participate in the Annual Meeting’s opening general session held at 8 a.m., Saturday, September 29. Afterwards, they will be taken to the EXPO tradeshow to meet the many vendors who donated materials to the project. 
  • Phoenix-based landscape architect Steve Martino, FASLA, has earned an international reputation for his pioneering design work with native plant material and his development of a desert derived aesthetic and style.  One of his firm’s projects, New Century Garden, will receive a 2012 Honor Award during the Annual Meeting. Martino, who also received ASLA’s Design Medal in 2006, will be a featured speaker at the Annual Meeting. 
  • Phoenix-based landscape architect Christine Ten Eyck, FASLA, will be a featured speaker at the Annual Meeting. Her firm, Ten Eyck Landscape Architects—based in Phoenix and Austin, Texas—will receive a 2012 Honor Award during the Annual Meeting for designing the Polytechnic Academic Campus at Arizona State University. 
  • The Arizona Department of Transportation and Tempe-based Logan Simpson Design will receive a 2012 Honor Award for studies that looked at the survivability of transplanted saguaros and tested a technique for improving survival rates of salvaged ironwood trees. The award will be presented at the Annual Meeting.
  • Angela Dye, FASLA, and Past President of ASLA (2009), has ongoing projects in Arizona. She once lived and worked in Phoenix, starting in 1987, and later moved to Colorado. Her Telluride, Colo.-based firm, A Dye Design, Inc., served as the coordinating landscape architects for the Central Phoenix/East Valley Light Rail as well as designed the majority of the rail stations, all traction power substations, signal facilities, transit centers and a park and ride. Dye will be a featured speaker at the Annual Meeting and a guide during a walking and light-rail tour of Phoenix.
  • Phoenix-based Kristina Floor, FASLA, is a vice president at SmithGroupJJR, known for providing innovative sustainable design solutions for many projects across the nation. Her 30-year career aims specifically towards large mixed use projects primarily within the Phoenix area, many of which have incorporated street level roof gardens, raised terraces & green roof design. Her firm, formerly named Floor Associates, received the ASLA 2008 General Design Honor Award for its design of the Lost Dog Wash Trailhead, Scottsdale. Floor will be a featured speaker at the Annual Meeting and a guide during a tour of five healing gardens in Phoenix. 
  • Phoenix-based landscape architect Christopher Brown, ASLA, and vice president at SmithGroupJJR, has been elevated to the ASLA Council of Fellows for 2012. He will be recognized during a special dinner held Sunday, September 30 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown. Brown’s portfolio shows his love and respect for nature, native materials and vernacular design. In the mid-1980s, he established the Native Plant Protection Ordinance and Hillside Overlay Method to protect the areas around Scottsdale and Phoenix from rampant development. Those guidelines are still in use today.
  • Heather Kinkade-Levario, ASLA, is a Phoenix-based landscape architect who won a 2006 Communications Honor Award for her book, Forgotten Rain: Rediscovering Rainwater Harvesting (Granite Canyon Publications).
  • Charles Anderson, FASLA, is a landscape architect who works in both Phoenix and Seattle and is a visiting professor of landscape architecture at Arizona State University. In 2006 his firm, Charles Anderson Landscape Architecture, received the ASLA General Design Honor Award for the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, Coldwater/Johnston Recreation Complex, Castle Rock, Wash., and the Residential Design Honor Award for designing the Tables of Water at the Lake Washington Art House, Lake Washington, Wash. 
  • The Green Phoenix plan is intended to transform Phoenix into the most sustainable city in America. 
  • Phoenix recently won a green infrastructure grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO attracts an estimated 5,000 attendees and is the world’s largest annual gathering of landscape architecture professionals and students. With the theme “Beyond Boundaries: Design, Leadership and Community,” the 2012 event features more than 130 education sessions, workshops, and field sessions, and provides attendees with up to 21 Professional Development Hours. The exposition will include the latest products and services from nearly 400 exhibitors.

Here’s a collection of programs covering key areas of interest to the Phoenix region:

Friday, Sept. 28

“Mitigating Urban Heat Islands by Predicting Impacts of Urban Parks/Open Space” – Mitigating extreme heat is critical to the quality of life in cities vulnerable to the heat-island effect. This presentation is based on studies that have modeled vegetation-based urban design and applies this current urban climatology research to landscape architecture practice. 8:30 - 10 a.m.

“Successful Green Roof Design in Arid Regions” – Arid regions pose challenges for any open-space design, especially in an urban environment. Heat, shade and water are critical factors. Further, any over-structure installation poses potential long-term problems. This session will present successful landscape design solutions for green roofs in arid regions. 1:30 -3 p.m.

“Serving Native American Populations” - Arizona is home to 250,000 Native Americans in 21 federally recognized tribes, and they occupy over a quarter of the state' lands. While Native Americans regard their reservation lands as a key to the survival of Native American culture, most reservations are still underdeveloped. This session will examine how landscape architects are advancing the development of Native American communities economically, socially and politically, with the transformative tools of their profession. 1:30 p.m.  - 3 p.m.

“Irrigation Design: Calculating 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 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 29

“Are Natives Overrated?” - Greater environmental awareness has designated native plant species as intrinsically superior choices to non-natives. Increasing disagreement among practitioners and scientists begs for a timely debate on the facts and opinions. This session offers a careful, no-nonsense and open re-evaluation of this contentious issue. 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

“In-between Spaces: Reclaiming Public Space in the Metropolis” – Dense urban communities seem to lack open space, even while alleys and medians sit idle. Urban designers can creatively incorporate these in-between spaces. This session will highlight ways to transform underused public spaces by layering innovative design with dynamic, social places for people. 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

“Retrofitting Villages, Towns and Cities for Greater Pedestrian and Bicyclist Mobility” – The last half century of development in most cities, towns and villages has not been kind to walkers and bicyclists. This session will introduce pedestrian- and bicyclist-friendly retrofitting concepts for rural, suburban and urban applications to make bicycling and walking more enjoyable. 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 1

“Cool Designs for Hot Cities: Site Strategies to Mitigate the Urban Heat Island” – Urban heat and poor air quality are already a major cause of asthma and mortality in dense urban areas. Neighborhoods with less vegetation suffer from higher nighttime temperatures as well. This session will introduce the latest research on how design can cool urban hot spots. 8 -9:30 a.m.

“The Evolution of Native Plant Palette and Aesthetic: From Discovery to Design” During the past two decades there has been a complete transformation in the plant palette and design aesthetic for Southwestern landscapes. Learn how plant explorers, growers, educators and landscape architects have partnered to accomplish a widespread shift toward sustainable and regionally sensitive landscapes. 3:30 - 5 p.m.

“Greening America’s Capitals: Landscape Architects Take Charge!” - Landscape architects are providing state capitals with a sustainable vision through the EPA's Greening America's Capitals program. The EPA hires landscape architects to provide design assistance to five state capitals a year to enhance streets and public spaces and inspire state leaders to expand this work. 3:30 - 5 p.m.

“Papago Park Regional Master Plan: Planning the Future for a Great American Park” - This presentation is a case study on how Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale joined forces with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community to undertake a regional master plan for a tremendous public asset that had not completed a park-wide master plan in its 50-year history. 3:30 - 5 p.m.

“Journey of an All America Road: SR 179 Through Sedona's Red Rock Country” - With the widening of scenic State Route 179 through Arizona's Red Rock Country, the story became: What happens when a polarized community rejects plans for widening a nine-mile roadway because of environmental and community concerns? Needs-based implementation planning achieved the successful community collaboration. 3:30 - 5 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


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