Updates from ASLA

ASLA 2019 Professional General Design Honor Award. Glenstone, Potomac, Maryland. PWP Landscape Architecture >

ASLA Presidential Candidates Forum Question 3: Emily O’Mahoney, FASLA

As part of my Goals and Direction Statement, I noted that we should simply implement the mission of the Society. ASLA’s efforts and initiatives to focus on the advancement of our profession through advocacy, communication, education and fellowship add value to membership in two overarching ways. I like to think of this as advocacy for the members inside the Society and advocacy for the profession outside the Society. Our next step in addressing the global climate crisis as landscape architects starts with advocacy on the outside of the Society and then moves inside for education support and business opportunities for membership.

The specific response to this climate crisis question should be:education, education, education. There is no profession better suited to coordinate big-picture ideas to combat climate change than the profession of landscape architecture. We just need to educate everyone else and let them know! This effort needs to happen at the local, regional, state, national, and global level.

ASLA is landscape architecture and landscape architecture is ASLA

With this motto, it is not just ASLA leading the charge. We must all lead as individuals, as firms, as educational centers, as government agencies, as chapters,and, last but not least, as a society. The messages to the general public need to advocate for our profession as:
  • the leaders in climate crisis solutions;
  • creators of cutting-edge ideas; and,
  • sustainable solution leaders.
Inside the Society, on a membership level, we need all to be on the same page. With ASLA support tools, members can be educated and stay informed. Advocacy work on the outside improves business opportunities to members on the inside.

Here is what we can do:



  1. Complete and execute the findings of the FrameWorks Communications Project.
  2. Redo and recirculate existing films and videos highlighting our profession.
  3. Increase media efforts – tie into climate change adaptation and sustainability.
  4. Bring the discussion and action solutions into every project we do. Celebrate this!
  5. Promote all relevant award winners – again and again.
  6. Encourage all members to promote sustainability and resilience on their websites;
  7. Promote pro-bono work and community service. Chapters and Sections could give out semi-annual or quarterly awards that are locally or regionally promoted. The national award could be expanded to provide more awards to firms/people.
  8. Become the climate adaptation specialists among allied professions by preparing educational programs to submit and present at related conferences. Landscape architects would lead a diverse panel that might include planners, engineers, geologists, and architects from the public and private sector sending your message to a broader audience.
  9. Be at the table on more climate change discussions.
  10. Encourage and celebrate landscape architecture engagement in community groups, committees, and boards which deal with climate change.
  11. Make a difference – work to change codes in your community to address development and redevelopment, giving (on-site and or off-site) contributions which directly off-set carbon, creatively deal with stormwater, address sea level rise, etc.


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