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Industry Leaders Speak

Leaders in the landscape architecture industry,
along with standard economic indicators,
offer optimism for positive construction growth in 2005.

ASLA CEO Roundtable: Discussion of Current Issues

Summarized from the ASLA 2004 meeting and EXPO in Salt Lake City, Utah

Questions in this CEO roundtable were fielded by a panel of leaders from landscape architecture firms across the U.S. The panel of experts included:
Gregory Ochis, ASLA principal, Design Workshop, Inc.; Barbara Faga, FASLA, chair of the board, EDAW; Mark Johnson, FASLA, principal, Civitas, Inc.; Mary Margaret Jones, ASLA, principal, Hargreaves Associates; Debra Mitchell, FASLA, senior vice president, SmithGroup JJR LLC; Kevin Shanley, ASLA, managing principal, The SWA Group, Inc.; William Wenk, FASLA, president, Wenk Associates, Inc.

Firm Strategies

A flattening of the economy means that landscape architects will need to be more proactive in their marketing. Instead of just being responsive to client requests, landscape architects will need to go to their clients and ask what we can do for them.

Developing New Leaders

We need to continue to recruit the top students. In the near future it appears that there is a lack of new graduates and talent. In order to manage the future of our firms--or to manage a multigenerational firm--we will need to transition in new partners.
Growing and developing leaders requires that we let younger landscape architects experience leadership. The only way to lead is by being a leader--which is a learning process. Some firms choose younger leaders and actually let them lead projects--managing everything from fees, to design to execution. A senior person acts as an advisor only.

"Grow or Die"

There is a "grow or die" feeling in some firms. We need to not only seek talent in design but also those with skills in technology and management. Some firms with offices in different regions are learning how to quickly and efficiently transfer resources between regional offices. If the Chicago office is doing well--transfer some people to that office and take advantage of the growth there. These are geographic strategies to address the fluctuating economy.

Find Critical Mass

Finding "critical mass" for your firm is also an effective strategy. This means finding the right amount of employees you need according to the types of projects that your firm wants to pursue, and productively, efficiently and successfully take on.
This means not only looking for top talent for design work, but also recruiting good managers and leaders.


Other topics of discussion included some trepidation over the results of the presidential election (which still had not been announced at the time of the ASLA conference) and how the elected president will affect the regulation and protection of public lands.

Ethical Reporting on Sustainability

In response to a discussion on ethical disclosure on actual sustainability of projects brought up by an audience member, panel members urged landscape architects to "be precise with their words" (a sentiment echoed from Terry Tempest Williams' speech earlier Saturday morning) and communicate the specifics of how a landscape design is sustainable, both as a new landscape and as that landscape ages. Panel members noted that the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) teaches and promotes ethics.

Research Provides an Early Warning for the Public
and the Profession of Landscape Architecture

By Matt Rankin

Several years ago the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB) identified a trend in the industry--that proportionally, the profession is aging at a much faster rate than expected. This trend has been confirmed by the results of the 2003 Landscape Architecture Body of Knowledge (LABOK) study, a research effort conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA), CLARB, the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA), and the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB).

Will There Be Enough Landscape Architects to Serve the Public?

In the five years since the collection of demographic data for the 1998 Task Analysis Study of the Profession of Landscape Architecture conducted by CLARB, the greatest concentration in the age of practitioners has shifted at least ten years. In 1998, the greatest age concentration (43 percent) was in the 35 to 44 age group. The data from the 2003 LABOK study reveals that the greatest age concentration (30 percent) was in the 55 to 64 age group. Young practitioners were not added fast enough to stabilize the collective age of the profession. (A chart showing the change in the distribution of landscape architects' ages from 1998 to 2003 is included here.)

CLARB has additional data, gathered first-hand, that the volume of individuals actively seeking to become licensed members of the profession has been flat for several years. The confluence of these two trends should be cause for concern. If the profession of landscape architecture cannot replace the landscape architects who are expected to retire in the next decade, the impact on the profession and the environment could be severe.

What CLARB is Doing to Increase the Number of Landscape Architects

Additional research scheduled to begin in 2005 will provide more information about the extent and speed of this problem, however, the profession cannot wait to start finding solutions. CLARB is already working hard to head off a potential shortfall in the supply of qualified landscape architects by getting students on the road to licensure while they are still in school and helping young professionals through the rest of the licensure process.

Currently, less than half of the students graduating from landscape architecture programs are pursuing licensure. CLARB has created a new career resource, a 20-minute multimedia presentation on CD, called "Designing a Successful Career in Landscape Architecture," that provides information and resources to help students prepare for their transition from student to practitioner.

CLARB also helps licensure candidates after graduation during the internship/experience phase of their professional development. First, the council record that a student begins in school acts as a career management tool during those early years after graduation. This way, candidates can determine whether their experience will count toward licensure and thus avoid surprises later when they apply for licensure.

Task Analysis Study of the Profession of Landscape Architecture to Begin in 2005

CLARB will undertake a major research project in 2005 to determine the knowledge, skills and abilities required to practice the profession without endangering the health, safety and welfare of the public. While this study is of great interest and use to CLARB and its member registration boards, when the results of the 2005 CLARB Task Analysis and the 2003 LABOK Study are looked at together, the profession will have, for the first time, a complete picture of the knowledge possessed by the profession of landscape architecture and a timeline for when that knowledge is acquired in a professional's career.

The Impact on the Professional Development of the Landscape Architect

Some of the applications of these results are obvious. For example, the Task Analysis is used to establish the content of the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (L.A.R.E.). Beyond the licensure exam, however, the research has an impact on the development of landscape architects at two other stages-the experience/internship stage before licensure and the professional stage after licensure.

If the profession becomes broader in scope, it is likely that additional education, experience and examination will be required to qualify individuals for highly specialized areas of practice. The data is also likely be used to determine the topics acceptable to boards requiring continuing education as a condition for licensure renewal.

The Profession Needs Your Help, Too

CLARB's efforts in 2005 will help strengthen the profession of landscape architecture and address the problems facing it, but according to CLARB President Sandra Gonzalez, you, as a member of the profession, can help ensure success. First, if you are asked to participate in the upcoming Task Analysis survey, please take the time to do it. Gonzalez explains that without enough qualified responses, the validity of the exam and the profession would come into question. "A Task Analysis is the major source of evidence for the validity of the content of our exam, providing strong support for our position in the event of a legal challenge. Without it, the decisions about who should and should not be registered as a landscape architect would be random and would encourage legal challenges to the profession."

Professionals can help students by visiting landscape architecture programs to discuss professional development and licensure. "You can provide future landscape architects with valuable, 'real life' information that they cannot get from a book or a web site," Gonzalez says.

Beyond these activities, Gonzalez feels that the best way to support licensure efforts is to stay in tune with your state board. "Get to know your legislators and find out who your supporters are in government. Keep tabs on Sunset efforts in your state and other states. As we become more politically savvy, we may find that these relationships are what keeps legislation and licensure laws afloat during difficult budgetary times."

Matt Rankin is the director of communications for the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards.

American Institute
of City Planners and American Planning Association

Among the exciting things that have happened in 2004 is that the American Planning Association (APA) has signed on as the managing editor of a new reference book called Planning and Urban Design Standards, a 750-page volume to be published in 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

"We are excited to be working with Wiley on producing this new work," says APA executive director Paul Farmer. Planning and Urban Design Standards will be similar in scope and depth to Architectural Graphic Standards, currently in its 10th edition, which is also published by Wiley. While that book focuses on structural and functional issues related to buildings, Planning and Urban Design Standards will address elements outside of the building envelope, from individual lots, subdivisions and neighborhoods, to towns, cities and regions.

The APA has assembled an advisory board for this project, which will help to guide the form and content of this publication throughout manuscript development. We will also be seeking contributors to this publication, including both previously published work and new commissions.

Policy Conference and World Town Planning Day

The 2005 Legislative & Policy Conference will be held May 11 to 13, 2005 at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington D.C. Attendees can go to policy forums with elected officials, legislative training sessions and networking events with professionals in their fields from around the country. Planner's Day on Capitol Hill--offers a chance to bring the planning message to Congress and will be an integral part of the conference.

We invite everyone to celebrate planning on World Town Planning Day, Nov. 8, 2004. Sponsored in the U.S. by the American Planning Association (APA) and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), World Town Planning Day (WTPD) will be celebrated in 30 countries on four continents on Nov. 8, 2004.

The AICP endorses World Town Planning Day as a strategy to promote a broad-based awareness, support and advocacy of community and regional planning among the general public and all levels of government through activities in recognition of American accomplishments.

National Planning Awards and Conference

The APA and AICP National Planning Awards honor excellence in plans, individuals and organizations. Each year's award winners showcase the planning profession's past, present, and future leadership in helping create great communities and offer evidence of the changes others can make when they become partners in the planning process. Award winners will be announced early in 2005.

Our 2005 National Planning Conference will be held March 19 to 23, 2005 in San Francisco. More than 5,200 planners and their colleagues attended the 2004 American Planning Association's National Planning Conference in Washington, D.C. There will be over 200 sessions and 90 mobile workshops offered. There will also be a Community Assistance Program sponsored by AICP addressing the revitalization of the Oakland commercial corridor.

For more information please visit our web site at

Partners for Livable Communities

Founded in 1977, Partners for Livable Communities (PLC) is a non-profit leadership organization working to improve the livability of communities by promoting quality of life, economic development and social equity. In 2004, Partners continued to promote livable communities through technical assistance, leadership training, workshops, charrettes, research and publications. More than 1,200 individuals and groups from local, state, national, international, public, private and media organizations make up Partners' resource network and share innovative ideas on livability and community improvement.


Robert H. McNulty has been president and CEO since the organization's founding 30 years ago. Ruth Kelliher has been with Partners for the last 20 years, and vice president the last 10 years. Penelope Cuff has been with the Partners for the last 15 years and is now senior program officer.


Partners for Livable Communities and the Academy for Educational Development's Center for Youth Development and Policy Research (CYD) plan to hold a future conference (pending funding) to discuss the critical issues affecting young people, the lack of safe spaces for children and youth programs and the empowerment of young people within youth-based projects. In addition, they hope to explore the role local institutions, such as school, libraries, museums, and community-based arts organizations, can play in the delivery of high quality youth programs, thereby dispersing the burden placed on traditional social service providers.

Ford Foundation

In 2004 and 2005, Partners will continue its ongoing partnership with the community development arm of the Ford Foundation to work with some of the most innovative of neighborhood-based arts and cultural institutions that are located in mixed-income, mixed-race communities throughout the United States. The objective of the work is to formulate strategies to deal with changing demographics and market forces that affect long-standing residents and new arrivals alike. Changes often result in tensions between different racial, ethnic and income groups, but they also offer opportunities for social integration and upward mobility for low-to moderate-income residents. Among the assertions being tested is that art and culture have a unique role to play in spurring neighborhood-based social and economic development.

Building Florida

In an effort to redefine Florida's cultural and art climate, the Florida Department of State and the Florida Arts Council hired Partners to help develop collaborations and partnerships between arts and cultural organizations and public and private organizations. This continuing "visioning project" began in November 2003 when the Florida Arts Council recognized the growing need for future alliances in three major areas: strengthening the economy, learning and wellness and design and development.

In July 2003, Partners facilitated three meetings in Jacksonville, Tampa and Miami on the topic issues above. Local Floridians spoke of their success with arts and culture in their communities and three national speakers, Mayor William Johnson of Rochester, NY, former Mayor of Louisville David Armstrong and Carol Coletta, Knight Fellow and President of Coletta and Co., shared their insight on the importance of arts and culture and the positive impacts on a community and state. Businessmen and women, architects, planners, politicians, professors, arts council members and the general public attended the meetings.

From their findings, Partners created a final paper that was presented by Secretary of State Glenda E. Hood in November of 2004 to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies Fall Leadership Institute in Orlando.

Green Roofs are Growing Rapidly

By Steven Peck, executive director, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, North America, Inc.

Rooftops are the last 'urban frontier' covering as much as 35 percent of the total land area in some cities. Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, a non-profit industry association, is hard at work to develop the green roof industry across North America. Our members consist of public and private organizations, non-profit groups and individuals that share a common interest in the development of the green roof industry and the resulting environmental, social and economic benefits green roof infrastructure provides.

Industry Growth

There is definitely growth in the industry--much is happening across the U.S. and Canada in terms of projects, research and policy development. In collaboration with over thirty industry experts, we recently developed a new Green Roof Design 101 Introductory Course that we are rolling out in over 25 cities in over the next year to train those interested in working on green roof projects. The course is designed to help building owners, architects, landscape architects, engineers and others understand the basics of green roof design, how to sell green roof projects and how to develop an approach that will avoid common mistakes and maximize benefits. Design 101 is the first installment of an Accreditation Program for green roof professionals that we are developing. Check our web site for upcoming dates and registration information.

The growth of the industry is also supported through Green Roof Symposiums. These intensive one day workshops are conducted in partnership with local and state governments and other stakeholders. The goal is to highlight local efforts to develop green roofs, identify barriers to widespread adoption and opportunities to overcome these barriers through, for example, research and public policy development. Each community has unique opportunities and challenges regarding the development of a local green roof industry.

In April of 2004, we held a very successful workshop in Minneapolis and the city is now poised to include green roofs as a best management practice for stormwater management and provide financial incentives by reducing the stormwater management fees applied to properties with green roofs. In other cities, such as Chicago and Portland, they have successfully used density bonusing to encourage greater green roof implementation on private buildings. The US Green Building Council's LEED green building rating system is also being used as a standard for building procurement, and green roofs can provide multiple credits. In a few cities, such as Toronto, New York and Portland, researchers are conducting cost benefit analysis on a whole range of public green roof benefits, from the addition to park space and reduction of the urban heat island effect (the overheating of cities relative to the countryside), to stormwater management, air quality improvements and energy savings. The development and application of comprehensive cost benefit analysis will undoubtedly help to generate more support for public investment in the green roof industry.

Excellence Awards

The Green Roof Awards of Excellence was a huge hit at our International Conference, Awards and Trade Show in Portland in June 2004. Awards were presented in Portland to projects demonstrating outstanding integrated design and engineering for maximum benefits. Selected by a judging panel of civic officials, design magazine editors, building and landscape architects, winners in the six categories spanned across the U.S. and Canada. Among the winners was Balmori Associates, Inc. for the Solaire Bulding in Battery Park City in New York, N.Y., the first green residential high-rise in New York; and Jeffrey L. Bruce & Co. in association with Peter Lindsay Schaudt Landscape Architecture Inc. for Soldier Field in Chicago, a 5.5-acre rooftop park on a sloped parking garage roof. Submissions for the 2005 Awards of Excellence will be accepted from December 1, 2004 to February 15, 2005.

Looking Ahead

The future is very promising for the continued development of a green roof industry. We're looking forward to the 2005 conference which will be held May 4th, 5th and 6th in Washington D.C. with the Government of the District of Columbia as co-host. We have a very strong slate of speakers from over 10 countries covering topics ranging from waterproofing design to energy efficiency modeling. In 2005 we are also launching an individual green roof membership category which will provide a range of benefits and help more individuals become involved in the green roof industry. For more information please contact us at Hope to see you in Washington in May.

Irrigation Association Proactive on Water Issues

By Tom Kimmell, IA Executive Director

The landscape segment of the irrigation industry had an exceptional 2004, with strong growth in manufacturing and distribution. Underlying that good year was tension over the one resource the industry can't do without--water.

Availability of water was a big issue, particularly in the West in 2004, and water usage issues will grow in 2005, eventually becoming a front-burner issue relevant to every geographical location.

The irrigation industry will survive, and even thrive, as battles over water grow, but only with an increasing awareness and proactive stance when it comes to water. The industry must show not only that it can do the same job with less water, but that it is committed to developing, finding and using the most effective and efficient irrigation techniques.

In 2004, the industry took charge with initiatives like smart water application technology (SWAT), turf/landscape irrigation best management practices and promoting state legislation requiring soil moisture sensors for landscape irrigation systems and certification for irrigation contractors.

The IA has taken a role advising the Environmental Protection Agency on the outdoor portion of its water-efficient labeling program modeled after the agency's Energy Star program. Because of the groundwork laid by SWAT, an industry consortium working to identify effective water-saving technology, smart controllers are likely to be among the first products in the EPA program.

In the coming year, SWAT will begin testing soil moisture sensors. The Irrigation Association will spread the word about irrigation Best Management Practices, incorporating them in more state legislation. Additional states will adopt legislation requiring moisture sensors and certification for irrigation contractors.

Annual Show

Since 1949, the Irrigation Association has worked toward a shared vision--water conservation through efficient irrigation. As we go to press, the 25th Annual International Irrigation Show in Tampa, Florida, Nov. 14 to 16, 2004 (Education and Events: Nov. 11 to 17) is still on the horizon. The 2005 International Irrigation Show will be in Phoenix, Ariz., Nov. 6 to 8.

Legislation Prepared for 2005 Legislative Session

List servers were established to enhance internal communications for common interest groups and committees. Tom Kimmell spoke at the California Agricultural Irrigation Association. The Education Foundation hosts the second annual Irrigation Faculty Academy in Phoenix.

International Dark-Sky Association

By David L. Crawford, executive director, International Dark-Sky Association

The International Dark-Sky Association's (IDA) was founded to preserve dark skies for astronomy and the public, but it has expanded its mission to include all aspects of the nighttime environment, to the benefit of all. Dark skies at night enrich the human cultural experience and enhance the Earth's natural environment. Good night lighting also conserves energy, improves safety and security, and enhances all other aspects of a quality nighttime environment for humans and for the natural world.

A lot has been accomplished in the years since the IDA was founded in 1988. Many allies have been enlisted, both organizational and individual. Standards for outdoor lighting have changed for the better, and many outdoor lighting control ordinances have been enacted. There are many more quality outdoor lighting fixtures now available, with more coming. The 2004 edition of the IDA Model Lighting Ordinance (MLO) is now available via the IDA Web site. The IDA has launched a Dark Sky Fixture Seal of Approval for qualifying luminaires. Positive media coverage continues to grow. The concept of Lighting Zones is becoming a reality, and much, much more. The IDA has been making a significant difference.

The IDA is in a pivotal phase of its existence. The current momentum can and must be leveraged into additional significant progress in developing awareness of these important environmental issues.

The IDA must solidify its present base, and its existing alliances. Educational programs must be enhanced, and important research programs must be undertaken. The resources available to members and others must be expanded significantly, in breadth and depth. Sections and working groups must grow in number and in effectiveness. The IDA must become involved in urban planning to ensure good lighting systems are a part of community plans at the outset.

There is a lot to do, but we are optimistic that we can accomplish these things!

International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) marked its 20th consecutive year of membership growth in 2004. The ISA Certification department launched three new certifications through the 2003 to 2004 year. Tree worker certification was introduced in 2003 then took its permanent position in 2004. Municipal Specialist Certification and Board Certified Master Arborist (BCMA) were launched during the summer of this year. The BCMA is the highest level of certification that an arborist will be able to obtain through ISA and represents the pinnacle of the arboricultural profession.

Online Job bank

In response to member requests, the ISA recently launched an online Job Bank that lists arboricultural resumes and job opportunities that are accessible by anyone including the general public. Only ISA members can post a resume, but contact the ISA office to find out how to list job opportunities or how to become a member. The first installment in a series of arborist training programs on CD ROM launched and the ISA is developing nine more titles that will be available in English and Spanish. Extensive public relations efforts include working closely with their Florida chapter to provide valuable consumer information regarding tree damage caused by the recent band of hurricanes.

Leadership Positions

Mike Neal of Phoenix, Ariz. is serving his second year as ISA president. President-elect for 2005 is Robert Tate of Cohasset, Calif. In March 2004, Jim Skiera was appointed the new executive director.

Short-Term Energy Outlook October 2004

Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy

Crude Oil and Petroleum Products

U.S. spot prices for crude oil (West Texas Intermediate (WTI) continue to fluctuate well above the $45 per-barrel range. The projected average WTI price for the fourth quarter of 2004 is $46.40 per barrel, about $5 per barrel higher than in the previous Outlook.

Prices continue to remain high even though Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) crude oil production reached its highest levels in September since OPEC quotas were established in 1982. OPEC crude oil production in September reached 30 million barrels per day, 400,000 barrels per day higher than the August level, largely because of increased Iraqi production. OPEC production capacity remains about 0.5 to1.0 million barrels per day above current OPEC crude oil production levels.

Overall oil inventories in the United States and the rest of the industrialized world remain below normal, largely because almost 500,000 barrels per day of production were lost during the September hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico region. Industry officials estimate that resumption of normal operations could take between 45 and 90 days. Below-normal oil inventories across the industrialized countries have contributed to concerns about the adequacy of supply to meet rapidly expanding global oil demand. As a result, average monthly WTI prices are not likely to fall below $40 per barrel until the end of 2005.

World petroleum demand growth for 2004 has been revised upwards to 2.6 million barrels per day, reflecting 3.3 percent growth over 2003, an increase of 200,000 barrels per day from the last Outlook. However, in 2005, global oil demand is expected to slow to 2.6 percent as high world oil prices begin to slow the pace of world economic growth.

U.S. petroleum demand in 2004 is projected to average 20.4 million barrels per day, up 1.9 percent from last year. However, in 2005, U.S. demand is projected to slow to 1.2 percent, in response to the combined effects of somewhat slower economic growth and high crude oil and product prices. Motor gasoline growth is expected to average 1.6 percent in 2004 and 1.5 percent in 2005. Responding to high crude oil prices, demand for residual fuel oil is projected to decline this year and to remain about flat in 2005.

Since the third week of June, the U.S. monthly average pump price for regular gasoline has varied from the upper $1.80s to the low $1.90s per gallon. High current and projected crude oil costs suggest that large reductions in average gasoline prices are unlikely anytime soon. Motor gasoline prices are expected to average $1.89 per gallon in the fourth quarter of this year compared to $1.78 per gallon projected in the previous Outlook.

Natural Gas

Natural gas prices weakened in August as cooling demand levels and peak power demand remained well below normal. However, current and futures prices increased in the latter half of September in response to natural gas production losses in the Gulf of Mexico caused by Hurricane Ivan. The average spot price for natural gas at the Henry Hub for the month of September was $5.15 per thousand cubic feet (mcf). Henry Hub prices are expected to average $6.10 per mcf in 2004 and $6.18 per mcf in 2005.

With continuing high rates of drilling for natural gas in North America, 2005 domestic production is projected to grow by 1.4 percent.

Electricity and Coal Outlook

Electricity demand is expected to increase by 1.7 percent this year and by another 2.7 percent in 2005. Projected electricity demand in the fourth quarter of 2004 is 3.2 percent above the prior-year level, when heating-related demand was depressed by comparatively mild weather conditions.

Coal demand in the electric power sector is expected to show steady gains of 1.0 percent this year and 2.5 percent next year. Despite higher spot prices for coal, power sector demand for reflecting the impact of growing demand, coal continues to increase as oil and gas prices remain high and hydroelectric power availability remains low in 2004. U.S. coal production is expected to grow by 3.4 percent in 2004 and by another 3.5 percent in 2005.

For more information from the U.S. Department of Energy, go to

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