2023 Texas Green Industry Legislative Day
This week a number of dwg. staff members participated in Texas ASLA’s 2023 Green Industry Legislative Day at the Texas State Capitol, where we met with Representatives, Senators, and staffers for some great discussions about our profession. We had the opportunity to educate government officials about the role and value of landscape architecture—from advocating for the professional integrity of licensure, to highlighting the enormous economic impact of our discipline, to discussing solutions for climate and coastal resiliency.
The main focus of Texas ASLA advocacy efforts this legislative cycle was for the protection and promotion of the licensure of landscape architecture in preparation for the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners’ Sunset Advisory Review (undertaken every twelve years to evaluate the need for its continued existence), slated to begin next year. Under guidance provided by Texas ASLA, we promoted the importance of licensure due to our role in health, safety, and welfare for Texas residents, including meeting accessibility standards. Our continuing education requirements for licensure are similar to those required for licensed architects and engineers, and the PLA (professional landscape architect) designation better enables clients and the public to identify licensed practitioners.
In addition to advocating for our professional licensure, we also promoted landscape architecture’s role in the overarching themes of Climate Change, Resilience and Biodiversity as well as Equity and Environmental Justice. Some of those talking points included:
Green Infrastructure: Economic vitality, homeland security, quality of life, and natural ecosystems all rely on ample, clean water. Landscape architects help communities large and small manage their stormwater with innovative green infrastructure solutions, such as green roofs, rain gardens, bioswales, and pervious pavements. ASLA supports strategies that reduce stormwater runoff and improve our nation’s water supply.
Safe, Low-Carbon Transportation for All: Landscape architects help communities by designing multi-use transportation corridors that accommodate all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, people with disabilities, and people who use public transportation. These multi-use transportation systems reduce reliance on a single-use automotive transport, which in turn reduces traffic, improves air quality, and promotes a sustainable way of life.
Parks are Infrastructure: ASLA actively encourages communities to create or improve access to places that enable physical activity, including parks, recreational facilities, bicycle paths, walking trails, and sidewalks. Exhort for more places that are made to make you move for healthier lifestyles.
Healthy Communities: Landscape architects design and plan projects in all areas within the housing realm from single-family homes, to multi-unit buildings, to public housing. Additionally, landscape architects work on large-scale community development plans and creating more livable and walkable neighborhoods. As many areas see massive redevelopment there are opportunities for landscape architects to create sustainable and resilient housing for all.
Many thanks to Texas ASLA for organizing the event, setting up meetings, and providing the above talking points. Please join us in promoting landscape architecture wherever you are by reaching out to your own representative to share, educate, and advocate for what we do.