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ASLA:the year in review

Golden Gate National Recreation Area North Portion to Receive 2005 Landmark Award

Compiled by Larry Shield, regional editor

ASLA and the National Trust for Historic Preservation have announced that the North Portion of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) will receive the 2005 Landmark Award during the ASLA Annual Meeting, October 7-10, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The park contains over 600 historic structures including military installations and agricultural buildings. In the northernmost areas, the preservation of the dairy/ranch landscape was part of land management proposals.

GGNRA establishes the western "gateway" to our national park system and serves an urban population of 7 million people, with 17 million visitors every year. San Francisco is easily accessible and provides some of the striking views from the park.

"The GGNRA is a striking example of the landscape architect's contribution on a grand scale," said Nancy C. Somerville, executive vice president/CEO of ASLA. "The landscape professionals at the National Park Service, SWA Group, and their consultants have created an amazing park to serve the people of the Bay Area and beyond, while protecting the underlying natural and cultural resources for generations to come."

The North Portion of the GGNRA preserves 50 miles of coastline, beaches, estuaries, coastal terraces, redwood forests, farms, mountains, stream valleys, earthquake faults, historic structures, over 80 protected species, and a great variety of recreational and educational opportunities.

"The public participation component of the project contributed to establishing a principle of best practice that today remains a hallmark," said Karen L. Jessup, a preservation activist and landscape historian who represented the National Trust for Historic Preservation on the Landmark Award jury. "Despite the significant growth of the region around the recreation area and incursions from transportation corridors established or significantly amended since the recreation area's creation, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, North Portion, continues to possess a high degree of integrity of design, materials, and locational qualities."

"The public participation component of the project contributed to establishing a principle of best practice that today remains a hallmark," said Karen L. Jessup, a preservation activist and landscape historian who represented the National Trust for Historic Preservation on the Landmark Award jury.

Shanley to Receive ASLA Community Service Award

ASLA announced that Kevin Shanley, ASLA, president of The SWA Group, will receive the Society's 2005 Community Service Award. For more than a decade, Shanley has devoted his time, skill, and passion to protecting and restoring Houston's bayous, the 4,000-mile web of rivers, streams, and creeks that permeate the city. He first worked on the 1992 landmark plan for Sims Bayou, and has served as a board member, president, and chairman of the Bayou Preservation Association (BPA), a citizens' advocacy group.

Under Shanley's leadership, the BPA has grown into a visible and effective organization focused on public education and collaborative projects that advance policy and practice. The BPA's website illustrates the myriad programs underway ranging from habitat restoration to water quality monitoring to public policy reform in a city that has sustained nine major floods since 1929 and represents the nation's third highest concentration of flood insurance claims.

"Kevin Shanley's service will benefit the Houston region for generations to come," said Nancy C. Somerville, executive vice president of ASLA. "His efforts to effect change through design and policy reform represent the finest tradition of the landscape architect as land steward and social reformer."

The GGNRA serves an urban population of seven million people, with 17 million visitors every year. The 350,000 volunteer hours contributed to the park in the year 2000 alone and the $14 million in operational support and investments by the Golden Gate National Parks Association in that year can measure the significance of public support.

ASLA Business Indicators Survey Released, Results Indicate Significant Growth in Demand for Landscape Architecture Services.

The latest ASLA Business Indicators Survey reveals that landscape architecture firms are growing in size, billing rates are increasing dramatically, and the client base for the profession continues to expand, most significantly in the public sector.

ASLA commissioned the first business indicators survey in 1997 and repeated it in 1999. This latest survey is based on information gathered in 2004 from more than 1,000 private sector landscape architecture firms. Indicators include market sectors, project types, client types, billing rates, contract types, design competition participation, marketing, spending and construction cost ratios, and profit margins.

"This survey confirms what we've been hearing from our members: that it's a very good time to be a landscape architect" said Nancy C. Somerville, executive vice president of ASLA. "Since it takes three data points to establish a trend line, the latest survey definitively indicates that the profession is growing rapidly in terms of impact and prosperity."

Among the findings in the survey:

o Residential work continues to dominate the landscape architecture market as it did in both 1997 and 1999. In 2004, commercial/industrial development was second and parks/recreation third, keeping pace with the two previous surveys. Landscape architecture firms with 50 or more employees now account for 16.5 percent of landscape architecture businesses, up from only 9 percent in 1999.

o The private sector constitutes 60 percent of the client base for all firms with 49 employees or fewer, although it is notable that in 2004 public sector work outpaced private sector work for large firms (50 or more employees).

o Since 1999, billing rates for firm principals for firms with more than five employees rose 28 percent, a dramatic increase over the 5 percent growth measured between 1997 and 1999. For firms with one to four employees, billing rates increased 14 percent from 1999 to 2004, up from just 5 percent between 1997 and 1999. Private developers continue to be the largest client group for the profession, with cities/municipalities ranking second, followed very closely by architecture firms. For small firms (four employees or fewer), private homeowners continue to make up the largest clientele.

ASLA to Install Green Roof on Washington, DC Headquarters

ASLA is replacing the roof on its downtown Washington, DC, headquarters building with a green roof. Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc., will lead the design process, collaborating with Conservation Design Forum to develop the design and specifications for the approximately 3,300 square foot roof surface. Gensler will provide architectural services relating to the roof access.

"Landscape architects are leading many green roof projects across the US and abroad, so it's only fitting that ASLA provide a demonstration project on this sustainable technology that can cure so many urban ills," said Nancy Somerville, executive vice president of the ASLA. "We hope to provide a catalyst for more green roof development in Washington and beyond."

The green roof on top of ASLA's Chicago Headquarters. Illinois has one of the larger chapters, with nearly 500 members, led by president Brian Hopkins.

A green roof is a roof substantially covered with vegetation. Since the 1970's, green roofs have increasingly become part of the European landscape, where there are over 100 million square feet of planted roofs today. Faced with soaring and unpredictable energy costs and the desire for higher performance buildings, more U.S. building owners are opting for green roof technology.

Studies show that green roofs provide incredible economic, environmental, and aesthetic benefits.

ASLA Names Eight New Honorary Members: Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy, Bette Midler Among the Honorees

The ASLA Board of Trustees has selected eight individuals to receive honorary membership. Honorary membership is one of the highest honors ASLA may bestow upon non-landscape architects, and since its founding in 1899, the Society has conferred honorary membership upon only 90 individuals. The 2005 honorees received their certificates on May 13 at a dinner in their honor in Washington, D.C.

Randall Arendt, Honorary ASLA, of Amherst, Mass., is a town planner by training and serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Massachusetts. He has worked for more than three decades as an author, educator, and site designer, defining and illustrating a more creative, environmentally responsible approach to land planning.

Charles Eliot Beveridge, PhD, Honorary ASLA, of Washington, D.C., is the leading authority on the work of Frederick Law Olmsted, the founder of the landscape architecture profession. Since 1986, he has been the series editor of the Olmsted Papers Project at American University, a 12-volume series published by Johns Hopkins Press.

Edward A. Feiner, FAIA, Honorary ASLA, of Washington, D.C., is the former chief architect of the General Services Administration, provided national leadership for our nation's design and construction activities for many years. His legacy will ensure that the dignity of our nation is reflected in its public buildings. Recognizing that security design should also incorporate good design, Feiner joined ASLA in planning, sponsoring, and participating in two symposia on the subject. He is now the director of the Washington Center for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

Barbara A. King, Honorary ASLA, of Delano, Minn., is the president of Landscape Structures Inc., has referred to landscape architects as "the salt of the earth and unsung heroes (who) literally change the way we look at the world." Founded in 1971, Landscape Structures is one of the leading play equipment manufacturers in the world and among ASLA's
strongest supporters.

William C. Main, Honorary ASLA, of Kalamazoo, Mich., is president of Landscape Forms, has been an active and generous supporter of student landscape architecture programs, the Michigan ASLA chapter, national ASLA programs, and the Landscape Architecture Foundation for many years. Main's company, Landscape Forms, Inc., is one of the premier designers and manufacturers of outdoor commercial furnishings in the world and actively seeks input from the landscape architecture profession in designing products that respond to the needs of the practice.

Ed McMahon, Honorary ASLA, of Washington, D.C., is an attorney by training and is a nationally renowned author and speaker on land conservation and urban design. McMahon was recently named the Urban Land Institute's Charles Fraser Senior Fellow for Sustainable Development. He is also the co-founder and former president of Scenic America, a national nonprofit organization devoted to protecting America's scenic landscapes.

Bette Midler

Bette Midler, Honorary ASLA, of New York City, is best known as a singer and actress, but in the past decade she has also become a tireless crusader for good stewardship of public spaces. In 1995, she created the New York Restoration Project to reverse the decay of New York City's parks, roadways, and open spaces and remains personally committed to restoring hundreds of acres of the city's public realm back to a healthy and attractive condition.

Pittsburgh mayor Tom Murphy

The Honorable Tom Murphy, Honorary ASLA, Mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has transformed the physical environment of the city of Pittsburgh in his three terms as mayor. The fruits of his labor can be seen in the redevelopment of the riverfront, in the expansion of the city's recreational facilities and trails, in the newly upgraded and much safer city playgrounds, in the economic development of the city's industrial brownfield sites, and in the master planning for the city's four large regional parks.

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June 27, 2019, 2:07 am PDT

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