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Statement from Torey Carter-Conneen, CEO, ASLA Regarding the Removal of the Capitol Fencing

ASLA commends the decision by the U.S. Capitol Police Board to remove the fencing that had been erected around the U.S. Capitol building since the events of January 6.

2021-07-13
As the nation's largest organization representing the landscape architecture profession, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has been advocating for removing the fencing and instead utilizing landscape architecture solutions to address the site security issues at the U.S. Capitol. For decades, landscape architects have led the design of many government buildings and sites to be secure yet accessible, including U.S. embassies abroad, federal courthouses and office buildings, post offices, state and local government buildings, and countless parks and civic spaces, such as the 2008 redevelopment of the Capitol’s East Front and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in West Potomac Park.
 
As ASLA has noted in the past few months: there are solutions employed by landscape architects today which are proven to provide the necessary security while at the same time maintain the natural beauty of the grounds. More specifically, in her statement presented to District of Columbia Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton's Roundtable on June 1, Faye Harwell, FASLA, described such solutions to include: "strategic changes in terrain, use of plantings to conceal barriers, and electronic technology." According to Harwell, “Throughout history, rioters frequently view fencing as a challenge to overcome.”

We hope that the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol will examine the many security advantages of landscape architecture when it considers future protective measures for the Capitol Grounds. As Harwell stated: "the Capitol Grounds represent a haven of respite and a beacon of our democracy."

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Landscape Architecture Magazine
Jennifer Reut 
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jreut@asla.org

The Dirt
Jared Green
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The Field
Ali Hay 
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