Design Concepts’ Principal Robby Layton, FASLA was one of 715 landscape architects from around the world who gathered in Philadelphia in June to ponder the role of our discipline and chart its course for the next 50 years. The 2-day summit, organized by the Landscape Architecture Foundation, included declarations from prominent landscape architects, panel discussions of key issues, and interactive sessions where all participants could weigh in with questions and comments. The outcome will be a New Landscape Declaration, to be presented and vetted at ASLA’s Annual Meeting in New Orleans this September.
The process was productive and one that should be repeated on a regular basis. Key takeaways from the summit are that landscape architecture is a discipline that can contribute greatly towards solutions to global issues in the decades to come, but to do so requires expanding the diversity of the profession and overcoming old notions about who we are and what we offer. Through discussions like the ones in Philadelphia, such progress is achievable.