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President Biden Addresses the Nation: Moving From Crisis to Opportunity

President Joe Biden addresses the joint session of Congress / Melina Mara, The Washington Post via AP, Pool

Last week in his Presidential Address before a Joint Session of Congress, President Biden laid out the framework for his plan for rebuilding the nation.

The mantra for Biden’s address was moving from “crisis to opportunity.” He recounted previous failures to adequately address the COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying economic calamity and explained how his proposal will lift the country from this predicament and forward to prosperity.  From vaccinating nearly 200 million people to providing “rescue checks” to families and assistance to businesses, Biden touted the benefits of his rescue plan as a first step to resurrecting the nation.  

The second prong of the President’s strategy includes his American Jobs Plan, which recommends significant investments to upgrade the nation’s failing infrastructure, including roads, bridges, highways, water infrastructure, broadband, and others. Biden also highlighted his blueprint for addressing the climate crisis and touted his efforts to date, including rejoining the Paris Agreement and convening the Leaders’ Summit on Climate.  

ASLA is pleased that the administration is taking action to fix our nation’s infrastructure and tackle the climate crisis. In both of Biden’s plans, nature-based solutions and green infrastructure are called out a critical tool for achieving a net-zero-emission economy. Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland stated during the recent Leaders’ Summit on Climate that “achieving net zero by 2050 is not possible without natural solutions.”

In its policy recommendations to the Biden administration, Landscape Architects Design Vibrant, Resilient, and Just Communities for All, ASLA, too, urges deploying green infrastructure and nature-based solutions to address critical infrastructure needs and climate change.  The recommendations also provide other specific actionable policies to help landscape architects take their rightful place as leaders in transforming community infrastructure, including planning and designing multimodal transportation networks; fixing our nation’s water management systems; and recognizing public lands, parks, and open space as critical infrastructure. The recommendations, along with ASLA’s Landscape Architects Design Multimodal Transportation Networks for All, also provide a blueprint for using landscape architecture and design and engagement techniques for ensuring environmental and social justice.  

As a community of engaged landscape architects, ASLA looks forward to working with the administration on final plans for the nation that include the critical and much-needed services of landscape architects.

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