Evidence for Landscape Architecture Solutions to the Climate and Biodiversity Crises

National Competitive Research Grants from The ASLA Fund

The ASLA Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization, has announced the awardees of the inaugural national competitive research grants. The grant awardees will produce research that outlines evidence of the benefits of landscape architecture solutions to the climate and biodiversity crises. The research will be published on and openly accessible in spring 2024.

The grant awardees are:

Landscape Architecture Solutions to Extreme Heat

Dr. Daniella Hirschfeld, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, Utah State University

Dr. Hirshfeld will explore landscape architecture- and nature-based solutions that are effective at reducing temperatures. Dr. Hirshfeld will identify design strategies that have demonstrated temperature reduction benefits while also sequestering carbon, protecting and increasing biodiversity, and reducing climate risks.

Landscape Architecture Solutions to Biodiversity Loss

Dr. Sohyun Park, ASLA, PhD, SITES AP, Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, University of Connecticut

Dr. Park will explore landscape architecture- and nature-based solutions that address the biodiversity crisis. Dr. Park will identify design strategies that offer proven biodiversity and ecological gains while also sequestering carbon, improving water quality and management, and reducing climate risks.

The research reviews will be publicly accessible via the ASLA website in spring 2024. The reviews will aggregate the most relevant and credible peer-reviewed evidence for landscape architecture and nature-based solutions that:

  • increase the resilience of communities and natural systems to climate impacts
  • reduce or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration
  • conserve and restore ecosystems and increase biodiversity
  • improve water quality and management 

Dr. Hirshfeld and Dr. Park will examine research from a range of relevant disciplines, including scientific disciplines, and third-party verified data from projects led by academic and professional practitioners in landscape architecture or that involved significant contributions by them.

The goals of the research reviews are to:

  • Understand and summarize the current state of knowledge.
  • Synthesize the research literature and provide  insights, leveraging key data- and science-based evidence.
  • Create an accessible executive summary in plain language for policymakers, community advocates, and practicing landscape architects.

The research reviews will be used to advance research, advocacy, and communications goals with a range of audiences:

  • Federal, state, and local policy-makers and regulators
  • Allied professionals (planners, architects, engineers, ecologists)
  • Community leaders, advocates, and activists
  • Landscape architects
  • Academics and scientists in other disciplines, potential research partners
  • Potential donors
  • Landscape architecture clients
  • Landscape architecture students 


Over the next few years, research grants will be issued to explore solutions to a range of issues, but the first two grants in 2023 will focus on:


Research findings should be consolidated into a written report and include the following two sets of deliverables: 


The ASLA Fund announced the grant program at the 2023 Council for Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA) conference and also via its website. The grant research period will run from June to mid-December 2023.

Proposals and all deliverables will be reviewed by: 

Knowledge Sharing



Mission of ASLA and The ASLA Fund

ASLA: Empowering our members to design a sustainable and equitable world through landscape architecture.

The ASLA Fund: Investing in global, social, and environmental change through the art and science of landscape architecture.

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