Washington, DC, March 2, 2004—The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has declared April 2004 as National Landscape Architecture Month.
The theme will be
Design for Active Living
, highlighting ways community design affects residents’ daily activity levels and, in turn, their overall health. Studies show that access to resources such as parks, recreational facilities, bicycle paths, walking trails, and sidewalks can increase physical activity among residents, lowering obesity and improving health.
"Years ago, we all walked to school, to the store, to the park, or to a friend’s house. Today, we are often unable to walk or bike anywhere safely, because our communities are designed mainly for car travel.” said Susan L. B. Jacobson, FASLA, president of ASLA. “The change from a pedestrian to a commuter lifestyle has fueled an epidemic of obesity in the U.S., particularly among children. We want to encourage everyone to look at their communities during April and become advocates for an environment that is more exercise-friendly. As landscape architects, we can design active living components back into our communities."
During April, many ASLA chapters will work with students from local schools to assess safe walking and biking routes between their school and home. Local landscape architects will use the National Center for Bicycling & Walking’s checklists to help children issue walkability and bikeability “report cards” on their communities. The results will be released in May.
April was selected as National Landscape Architecture Month because it encompasses Earth Day (April 22) and the birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted (April 26), the founder of the American landscape architecture profession.
Founded in 1899, ASLA is the national professional association for landscape architects representing 14,200 members. Landscape architecture is a comprehensive discipline of land analysis, planning, design, management, preservation, and rehabilitation. ASLA promotes the landscape architecture profession and advances the practice through advocacy, education, communication, and fellowship.