ASLA announces inaugural national competitive research grant awardees

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization, has announced $25,000 in national competitive grants.

The grant awardees will produce research that outlines evidence of the benefits of landscape architecture solutions to the climate and biodiversity crises. The research will be published on and openly accessible in spring 2024.

The grant awardees are:

Landscape Architecture Solutions to Extreme Heat

Dr. Daniella Hirschfeld, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, Utah State University

Dr. Hirshfeld will explore landscape architecture- and nature-based solutions that are effective at reducing temperatures. Dr. Hirshfeld will identify design strategies that have demonstrated temperature reduction benefits while also sequestering carbon, protecting and increasing biodiversity, and reducing climate risks.

Landscape Architecture Solutions to Biodiversity Loss

Dr. Sohyun Park, ASLA, PhD, SITES AP, Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, University of Connecticut.

Dr. Park will explore landscape architecture- and nature-based solutions that address the biodiversity crisis. Dr. Park will identify design strategies that offer proven biodiversity and ecological gains while also sequestering carbon, improving water quality and management, and reducing climate risks.

“While we were developing our Climate Action Plan, landscape architects told us what they needed most was authoritative evidence that demonstrates all the great benefits of their work. We are thrilled to work with Sohyun and Daniella on moving this critically important research forward,” said ASLA CEO Torey Carter-Conneen.

“This research will help all of us in the landscape architecture community make the strongest case possible with policymakers, community groups, allied professionals, and the public,” said ASLA President Emily O’Mahoney, FASLA. “We’ll have the best science and performance data on hand.”

The goals of the research reviews are to:

  • Understand and summarize the current state of knowledge.
  • Synthesize the research literature and provide insights, leveraging key data- and science-based evidence.
  • Create accessible executive summaries for policymakers, community advocates, and practicing landscape architects.