On June 21, 2016, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson introduced the “Regulation of Landscape Architecture and Professional Design Firms Act of 2016.” Among other provisions, the bill requires landscape architects working in Washington, D.C., to be licensed in the District and firms located in D.C. to be registered as professional design firms. The legislation was developed through a three-year collaboration between the ASLA Potomac Chapter, the D.C. Board of Architects and Interior Designers, and ASLA National. Potomac Chapter and ASLA National advocacy efforts to date include reviewing and commenting on the draft language, conducting outreach to allied professional organizations, engaging a local lobbyist, and leading multiple informational meetings with D.C. councilmembers and their staffs.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has recently launched TODresources.org, a hub for information and ideas that will help transportation planners like landscape architects develop outstanding transit-oriented development (TOD) projects. The new site includes a dynamic database of leading research on TOD, information about funding and financing options for TOD projects, and opportunities for TOD professionals to connect with one another. Anyone interested in TOD can join the project’s mailing list to get news about new resources and opportunities.
The website is part of FTA’s new TOD technical assistance initiative to help communities across the country grow their economies, achieve their social equity goals, and improve quality of life. The initiative is designed to help elected officials, municipal staff, advocates, developers, transportation professionals, landscape architects, urban planners, and others discover new ideas, connect with one another and, ultimately, build great projects.
Habitat III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, will take place in Quito, Ecuador, October 17 – 20, 2016. In Resolution 66/207 and in line with the bi-decennial cycle (1976, 1996 and 2016), the United Nations General Assembly decided to convene the Habitat III Conference to reinvigorate the global commitment to sustainable urbanization, to focus on the implementation of a New Urban Agenda, and to build on the Habitat Agenda of Istanbul in 1996.
ASLA is partnering with the American Planning Association (APA) on education sessions, exhibits, and activities that will take place at Habitat III. The APA and ASLA partnership in this event represents a valuable opportunity to contribute ideas, best practices, and concerns to the New Urban Agenda. As part of the event planning process, the United Nations has created an open forum titled Urban Dialogue and is encouraging any and all individuals to comment on and contribute constructive research to the New Urban Agenda. This online dialogue will take place in three phases and is now in phase two. ASLA is encouraging its members to review the New Urban Agenda and provide comments and other contributions before the deadline on July 8, 2016.
Habitat III is described as a gathering of minds seeking to provide solutions to the complexity of urbanization in the modern world and aims to produce a New Urban Agenda for the 21st century, in which more than half of the world’s population lives in cities, with 70 percent expected by 2050. The conference is expected to bring together United Nations member states, multilateral organizations, local governments, non-profit organizations, and the private sector, all of whom will help guide the future of urbanization and sustainable development.
For more information on Habitat III, the Communitas Coalition has created a Frequently Asked Questions document, and you can also contact Jeff Soule at email@example.com.
Getting the landscape architect’s perspective is critical to the supporting pollinator health, and this perspective was eloquently shared during a congressional briefing and evening reception held June 23 to celebrate National Pollinator Week (June 20-26).
ASLA’s Government Affairs team hosted the briefing and reception in cooperation with the Pollinator Partnership.
The briefing, “Highways to Habitats: Enhancing Pollinator Forage Areas,”attracted nearly 100 attendees and featured status updates from federal, state, and local stakeholders on pollinator health and pollinator conservation actions. It was broadcast live on Facebook.
The esteemed panel included the principal landscape architect Keith Robinson, ASLA, from California Department of Transportation; Eric Silva from the American Honey Producers Association; Katina Hanson from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency; and Dr. Barry Thompson, a Maryland beekeeper. Pollinator Partnership Executive Director Laurie Davies Adams moderated the briefing, while ASLA Government Affairs Manager Mark Cason moderated the Q&A session and provided closing remarks.
Later that evening, ASLA hosted the Pollinator Week 2016 congressional rooftop reception at ASLA temporary headquarters. The event brought over 100 stakeholders from Capitol Hill, federal agencies (U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Land Management), along with an array of coalition stakeholders engrossed in pollinator health issues. The reception also provided an opportunity for attendees to network, connect, and celebrate the progress made over the last year (passages of the Highways BEE Act and White House Pollinator Partnership Action Plan) towards pollinator health and awareness.
Don’t forget to view the ASLA Pollinator Week congressional briefing and reception photo gallery.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is inviting regional and national urban designers, architects, landscape architects, engineers, and planners to participate as technical experts in the Every Place Counts Design Challenge!
The Every Place Counts Design Challenge aims to raise awareness and identify innovative community design solutions that bridge the infrastructure divide and reconnect people to opportunity. USDOT will host four community visioning sessions in July.
July 7-8 | Spokane, WA
July 14-15 | Philadelphia, PA
July 11-12 | Nashville, TN
July 18-19 | Minneapolis, MN
The Challenge represents the department’s latest effort to transform our transportation network into a system that reflects and incorporates the input of the people and communities they impact.
National and regional practitioners are invited to offer their knowledge and expertise to help the selected communities create forward-thinking, cutting edge solutions to infrastructure problems caused by past decisions that limited access and isolated communities from opportunity.
Volunteers will provide guidance to Every Place Counts Design Challenge session participants and technical expertise to derive best practices, identify innovative solutions and practical alternatives to addressing local infrastructure challenges.
Interested Volunteers can Register Here or Email ReconnectCommunities@dot.gov. Volunteers are responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses to participate in a community vision design session. https://www.transportation.gov/opportunity/challenge/volunteer-registration.