2020 Annual WASLA Conference

Seattle Airport Marriott, March 27, 2020

Landscape Architecture and the Green New Deal: Connecting people to a vision of a livable planet


As a new decade dawns, humanity, and thus landscape architecture, is at a critical point. We face unprecedented ecological predicaments, including most immediately the accelerating climate crisis. To address, and hopefully end, the dreadful impacts of our patterns, leaders have begun formulating plans under a 'Green New Deal' banner. Broadly, the U.S. Green New Deal calls for rapid and sweeping measures to decarbonize the economy through the elimination of burning fossil fuels. If successful, it will set the framework for the built and natural environment for the next century. Obviously, such comprehensive interventions will have profound implications for landscape architecture. However, there has been little examination of how landscape architecture fits within such a far-reaching vision. This needs to change. Landscape architects have a proven track record in building the broad coalitions and demonstrating the creative, intellectual, and leadership abilities needed to envision and administer projects that could emerge from a Green New Deal. This session will explore the climate realities we face and the challenges and opportunities of a GND for landscape architecture.

Speaker Bios:

Steve Austin, JD/ASLA Clinical Assistant Professor Washington State University

Steve Austin teaches landscape architecture, urban planning, and construction law at Washington State University. He has over 30 years experience as a land and urban designer and planner, land use attorney, and community organizer.

Learning Objectives

  • Climate crisis update
  • Learn about the particular elements of a Green New Deal
  • Discover opportunities and challenges for landscape architecture