Spotlight on ASLA Diversity Initiative During National Hispanic Heritage Month


The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) celebrates diversity during National Hispanic Heritage Month and throughout the year. National Hispanic Heritage Month, which began on September 15 and will end on October 15, is a fitting time to reflect on ASLA’s efforts to raise awareness of landscape architecture careers to the widest audiences, including in underserved communities. 

Landscape architects are making the world a better place through the design of outdoor spaces, including parks, town squares, playgrounds and residential landscapes. They are part of a profession that needs a new, diverse generation of practitioners—African Americans and Latinx together account for 17 percent of graduating landscape architecture students, according to the ASLA 2017 graduating student survey. New perspective is needed to ensure that landscape architecture reflects the communities it serves. 

In 2013, ASLA convened its first Diversity Summit with the goal of developing a deeper understanding of why landscape architecture is failing to attract a more diverse profile. Each summit has brought together a group of established and emerging landscape architects who identify as African American or Latinx to develop strategies that address diversity issues in the field. 

In June 2017, ASLA convened a Diversity SuperSummit, which brought together the largest group of attendees to date. Participants evaluated goals from previous summits, developed focus areas for four key diversity initiatives to guide ASLA’s work plan in the coming year, and discussed the future of the Diversity Summit. Focus items and initiatives will continue to be established and evaluated as ASLA plans future Summits. 

Planning is underway for the 2018 Diversity Summit, and ASLA will launch a Call for Letters of Interest in early 2018 for potential participants. 

We invite you to explore the following resources on ASLA’s website: 

  • A new Diversity Summit webpage  includes links to resources, articles in both English and Spanish, and a history of Summit reports. 

About ASLA

Founded in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is the professional association for landscape architects in the United States, representing more than 15,000 members. The Society’s mission is to advance landscape architecture through advocacy, communication, education and fellowship. Sustainability has been part of ASLA’s mission since its founding and is an overarching value that informs all of the Society’s programs and operations. ASLA has been a leader in demonstrating the benefits of green infrastructure and resilient development practices through the creation of its own green roof, co-development of the SITES® Rating System and the creation of publicly accessible sustainable design resources.


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