ASLA Survey: Continued Increase in Demand for Nature-Based Solutions to Climate Change

Clients are looking to landscape architects to increase resilience to climate impacts faster -- and address biodiversity loss

ExpoASLA 2023 Landmark Award. Vista Hermosa Natural Park. Los Angeles. Studio-MLA / Hunter Kerhart

ASLA has released the results of its second national survey on client demand for landscape architecture solutions to climate change. Over 500 landscape architects, designers, and landscape architecture educators in the U.S. responded to the survey in March 2024. The survey asked many of the same questions as in the first national survey issued in 2021.

Nationwide, demand for nature-based solutions to climate change has increased over the past year.

  • 70 percent of landscape architects and designers who responded to the survey experienced at least a 10 percent increase in client demand for these solutions over the prior year.
  • And 52 percent saw more than a 25 percent increase in demand.

“The survey shows that the impacts of the climate and biodiversity crisis only continue to worsen. But amid the growing damages, it is heartening that more communities are looking to smart, nature-based solutions that increase resilience, improve health and well-being, and provide economic benefits,” said Torey Carter-Conneen, ASLA CEO.

More key findings:

  • City and local governments are the top drivers of demand for climate solutions, the same as in 2021.    
  • Client concerns about climate impacts have increased since 2021. The top three concerns are:  
    • Increased intensity of storms
    • Increased duration and intensity of heat waves
    • Loss of pollinators, such as bees and bats
  • More clients are seeking to increase resilience to climate impacts faster, in comparison with 2021.
  • Two-thirds of landscape architects and designers surveyed are recommending the integration of climate solutions to “all or most” of their clients, approximately the same as in 2021.
  • Nature-based solutions to a range of climate impacts are in demand. Public, non-profit, community, and private clients are looking to landscape architects to plan and design solutions to impacts such as wildfires, sea level rise, flooding, drought, extreme heat, and biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation.
  • Stormwater management is the top community-wide solution demanded.
  • Since 2021, these specific solutions have seen significant increases in demand:
    • Street trees as a heat solution (6% increase)
    • Bioswales as a flooding solution (10% increase)
    • Rain gardens as a flooding solution (9% increase)
    • Native, drought tolerant plants as a drought solution (12% increase)
    • Biodiversity loss solutions (5-10% increase)
  • Landscape architecture solutions to climate impacts provide significant economic benefits:
    • 44 percent of landscape architects and designers surveyed said the top economic benefit of their climate projects is they “avoided expected long-term climate damages.”
    • 42 percent estimate their climate projects have a construction value of more than $1 million; and 29 percent say the value of this work is more than $10 million.
    • 75 percent estimated their climate projects created local planning, design, construction, management, or maintenance jobs in the past year.
    • 27 percent said their projects catalyzed more than $1 million in additional residential or commercial development; 11 percent said the development impact was more than $25 million.

Read a comprehensive analysis of the results and explore all survey results.


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