ASLA Fund Announces Development of New Guides on the Economic Benefits of Landscape Architecture and Nature-Based Solutions

The guides will be released at COP29 in Baku, Azerbaijan

ExpoASLA 2023 Professional Urban Design Honor Award. St Pete Pier: Revitalization of Waterfront and Historic Pier Site. St. Petersburg, Florida. KEN SMITH WORKSHOP / Rich Montalbano, RiMO

The ASLA Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization, has announced a new grant to the University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center (EFC) in the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation to create two new resource guides on the economic benefits of landscape architecture and nature-based solutions. The lead developer of the guides is Dr. Jennifer Egan, PhD, program manager, EFC.

Landscape architects maximize the benefits of nature-based solutions through design. Their work on nature-based solutions creates economic benefits in five key areas:

  • Improved Human Health and Livability
  • Expanded Investment and Sustainable Jobs
  • Increased Biodiversity
  • Going Beyond Net-Zero
  • Strengthened Resilience

Dr. Egan will develop guides that outline the economic benefits of landscape architecture and nature-based solutions across these areas:

  • One guide will make the economic case for nature-based solutions and the added value of landscape architects’ planning and design work to broad public audiences.
  • Another guide will introduce the tools landscape architects can use to make the economic case for their climate and biodiversity projects to clients.

ASLA’s Climate Action Plan identified the need for these guides, which will be published on in advance of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP29 in Baku, Azerbaijan. ASLA is an official observer of the COP process and its representatives will attend COP29. Last year at COP28, five delegates represented the landscape architecture community.

“Landscape architects bring nature-based solutions to where people live – to their streets, parks, plazas, and recreational areas. With Dr. Egan’s research, we will be able to show the economic benefits of this important work to policymakers and the public,” said Torey Carter-Conneen, ASLA CEO.

“We know that landscape architects design nature-based solutions to the climate and biodiversity crises. But how they do that is key: they design them to be even more effective and inclusive and to provide even greater benefits.”

Dr. Egan has completed project reports for the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Department of Agriculture, with the University of Washington and American Planning Association; Pew Charitable Trust and National Coastal Resilience Fund; and the Trust for Public Land.

Her doctorate is in water science and policy from the University of Delaware Department of Applied Economics and Statistics in the College of Agricultural and Natural Resources. Her doctoral research involved a legal and economic analysis of policy interventions for nutrient pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.

She also teaches sustainable development and agricultural and natural resource economics at the University of Delaware Department of Applied Economics and Statistics.


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