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Climate Action Now: A New Guide for ASLA Members

ASLA 2021 Professional Analysis and Planning Honor Award. Mosswood Park Master Plan and Community Engagement, Oakland, California. Einwiller Kuehl Inc., LMS Architecture, Art is Luv / Project team

ASLA and the ASLA Climate Action Committee (CAC) have released Climate Action Now: A Landscape Architect’s Guide to Climate Advocacy.

Landscape architects can advance climate action on multiple fronts at once. The CAC in partnership with ASLA has provided a guide on how to expand our collective advocacy efforts to shape the future of local communities now. Local climate advocacy, rooted in local climate issues, can plant the seeds for broader change.

The purpose of this guide is to help landscape architecture professionals become better climate advocates individually, as well as through firms, public institutions, non-profit organizations and community groups, and ASLA’s chapters and the national organization.

Climate action starts with making an individual commitment. You‚ as a landscape architect, designer, researcher, and educator, have a large sphere of influence. You can take action through your workplace, at your children’s school, at your local town hall or city council meeting, with non-profit organizations, and at the state and federal levels.

Climate Action

ASLA 2020 Professional Research Design Honor Award. Climate Positive Design. Pamela Conrad, ASLA

The guide is organized around four major goals.

1) Drawdown Greenhouse Gases and Build in Resilience Faster

Demonstrate your climate leadership by accelerating greenhouse- gas emission drawdown and increasing the resilience of communities to existing and expected climate impacts. Landscape architects can hold each other accountable to take steps more rapidly and keep global warming under the critical 1.5 °C limit.

2) Advance Climate Justice

Environmental and climate justice are extensions of civil rights. Far too often, policy decisions about land use, zoning, transportation, and others result in negative health, safety, and economic impacts on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. You have the education and training to reverse these trends and instead lead the development of equitable outcomes that rely on fair, just, and inclusive processes.

3) Persuade and Amplify

Leveraging your design and communication skills, engage communities with relatable, impactful plans and designs that help build greater support for investing in community-based climate solutions.

4) Shape Local, State, and Federal Policies

Your education and training makes you uniquely qualified to be an effective advocate for climate-positive policies, while also advancing environmental justice and economic development. There are many ways for landscape architects to lead policy changes that create more sustainable and resilient communities.

Each goal offers action items and supporting web-based resources. The goals and actions included in the guide, while not exhaustive, provide a menu of approaches that landscape architects are encouraged to take to increase our positive impact on the climate.

A team of members from the ASLA Climate Action Committee authored and contributed to the guide.

Authors:
Sarah Fitzgerald, Associate ASLA
Madeline Kirschner, Student ASLA
Chingwen Cheng, ASLA
Pamela Conrad, ASLA

Contributors:
David Evans, Student ASLA
Elyna Grapstein, Student ASLA
Alexa Bush, ASLA
April Philips, FASLA

Learn more about ASLA’s Climate Action Committee and explore all of ASLA’s Climate Action resources.

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