ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture Focuses on Inclusive Design with Theme "Designing Shared Spaces"


“In an era of mounting climate change crises, racial and social inequities, and emerging variants of COVID-19, landscape architects are increasingly being called upon to help solve society’s critical challenges. This year’s Conference will highlight the profession’s inclusive planning and design solutions for all communities.”
—Torey Carter-Conneen, ASLA CEO

Landscape architecture professionals will feature new approaches to inclusive design at the ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture at the Music City Center in Nashville, TN, Nov. 19-22, 2021—a year in which the profession has seen its role become even more important in helping communities, particularly historically marginalized and underserved communities, use nature-based solutions to become healthier and more resilient.

More than 6,000 landscape architects and students—and 300 exhibitors—are expected to attend the event, the nation’s largest annual gathering of professionals in the field.
“The conference this year is perhaps the most urgently needed event ASLA has ever held,” said Torey Carter-Conneen, CEO of ASLA. “At no time before in history have we faced more critical issues that require the unique planning and design expertise of landscape architects.”
This year, the Conference will feature multi-layered plans and designs from landscape architects that improve community health, increase resilience to climate change, and address long-standing racial and social inequities.

“Landscape architects will show the incredible range of their work—from city- and county-wide plans, to parks and gardens that ensure the long-term health of communities,” said Carter-Conneen.
As communities around the world combat extreme heat and flooding, landscape architects are being called upon more and more to help reduce dangerously high urban temperatures and protect populations through smarter water management.  
The Conference will feature several sessions that address these and other climate-related topics, such as:

  • Equity Through City-wide Heat and Urban Forest Management Planning
  • Design with Carbon: Reconsidering Landscape, from Planning to Soils
  • Collaboration on Nature-Based Solutions is Key to Resilient City Infrastructure

The Conference will also host more than 100 educational sessions and field trips, led by many of today’s leading landscape architects practicing around the world. These will include tracks on the Design and the Creative Process; Design Implementation; Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; Leadership, Career Development, and Business; Planning, Urban Design, and Infrastructure; Resilience and Stewardship; and Technology.

Following is sample of sessions from these tracks:

  • Designing the Green New Deal Initiative: Demystifying Design and Policy
  • Fields of Dreams: How the Pandemic Accelerated Inclusive 21st -Century Sports Districts
  • Design with Disabled People Now: Including Disabled People in the Design Process
  • Streetscapes for Wellness: Navigating the Post-Pandemic Public Realm
  • Learning from Jekyll and Shipman: Women Leaders in Garden Design
  • Debunking “Green Gentrification:” How Public Space Investment Delivers Equity and Justice
  • Green Schoolyards: Nature That Builds Community, Wellness, and Learning

Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in deep-dive sessions with leading landscape architects, including:

  • James Corner, FASLA, founder of James Corner Field Operations in NYC, an urban design and landscape architecture practice with a focus on the design, resiliency, and equity of public space in cities. Corner is the lead landscape architect of the High Line in New York City.
  • Elizabeth Kennedy, ASLA, founder of EKLA, a studio that reflects the apprenticeship traditions of Black-owned firms and upholds design processes rooted in diverse narratives.
  • David Rubin, FASLA, founder of the David Rubin Land Collective, who will share his firm’s success supporting equity and inclusion at Eskenazi Health, Indianapolis, IN.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to take field sessions in and around Nashville, including:

  • Jefferson Street Corridor: Recognizing the History and Influence of Three Esteemed Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • Private Gardens Tour—Design Communication and Construction Implementation
  • Access Auditing: An Immersive and Inclusive Introduction to Testing Site Accessibility

Registration details:

Media interested in attending the Conference can request a press pass at


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