As landscape architects, we know diversity is essential for healthy ecological systems. Diversity is also vital for landscape architecture practices, and to achieve it requires active intervention. Whether you’re male, female or non-binary, are just starting your career or are firm leader, join the founders of WxLA and Jennifer Reut, Interim Editor of Landscape Architecture Magazine, for a discussion and interactive dialogue about tangible ways to advance gender equity and equality in your landscape architecture practice.
WxLA emerged from a panel at the ASLA national convention in the fall of 2018 as a gender justice advocacy initiative in landscape architecture. WxLA is raising awareness of the challenges that prevent women from reaching their potential and providing inspired ideas and new models. Learn more about WxLA at www.wxlandscape.org
Jamie Maslyn Larson, PLA, ASLA is a landscape architect and Director of Landscape Architecture at the New York office of BIG- Bjarke Ingels Group. Jamie’s career focuses on creating built works that demonstrate the power of landscape architecture in shaping of cities. At BIG, Jamie works across disciplines with the 200+ designers in master planning, infrastructure, ecological, resiliency and landscape architecture projects. Jamie is also co-founder of WxLA, an advocacy initiative created in 2018 to encourage and lead efforts toward equality in our profession. Before joining BIG, Jamie was a Partner in the New York office of West 8, where she was Principal in Charge of the firm’s entire United States portfolio including the firm’s most emblematic projects: Governors Island, Soundscape, and Longwood Gardens.
Gina Ford, FASLA is a landscape architect, co-founder and principal of Agency Landscape + Planning. Underpinning her two decades of practice are a commitment to the design and planning of public places and the perpetuation of the value of landscape architecture via thought leadership, teaching, writing and lecturing. Her work has received awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects, the American Planning Association and the American Institute of Architects, among others. Her service includes roles on the board of directors for the Cultural Landscape Foundation and the City Parks Alliance. Gina is the recipient of the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Charles Eliot Traveling Fellowship and Wellesley College’s Shaw Fellowship. Gina is an avid advocate for diversity and inclusion with emphasis on gender justice and equality. Her work in this realm includes the formation and leadership of WxLA – an advocacy initiative manifest in the first-ever Women’s Landscape Equality (re)Solution and the 2019 WxLA Scholarship.
Cinda Gilliland, LEED AP, is co-founder of ReedGilliland Landscape Architecture. Through her more than two decades in practice she has led teams designing award-winning international projects including campuses, mixed-use projects, community parks, and urban plazas. She has served her in-house community as principal at SWA by creating initiatives for women’s forum, the Culture Club, and the firm-wide Social Impact Design Initiative. Her outside community service includes roles on the board of directors of the Petaluma Arts Center where she is currently president. Over the years her practice has coelsced around a belief in the power of nature, design, and the infectious energy of human creativity to catalyze social change and community cohesiveness.
Rebecca Leonard, FAICP, PLA, LEED AP, CNU-A, the founder of Lionheart Places LLC, has over 20 years of experience in landscape architecture, community planning, urban design, stakeholder engagement, and facilitation. She has designed significant projects in the realm of parks and plazas such as the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center and the Lafitte Greenway in New Orleans. She has led redevelopment and mixed use projects such as Destination Bell Boulevard in Cedar Park Texas and Broadmoor in Austin Texas. She has master planned and designed large master planned communities, corporate campuses and resorts. A national leader in performance-based design, Rebecca’s desire to balance the environmental, community, and economic benefits in every project creates successful results. She works closely with her clients to ensure that the plans she helps create are implemented. It is her awareness of the challenges bridging from visioning into implementation that drove her to open Lionheart, a firm committed to seeing clients realize their visions!
Steven Spears, FASLA, PLA, AICP, is a Principal with GroundWork Development and a Senior Landscape Architect with Lionheart Places. Spears holds a BLA degree with honors from Ball State University and an MFA in Design from The University of Texas at Austin. Through leadership, design, development, and research, Spears methodically integrates the local values of economy, sustainability, culture, and human sensory. Spears’ private and public-sector planning, design and development efforts have been recognized at the state and national level. Spears is a member of ASLA, ULI, and APA. He was inducted into the ASLA Council of Fellows in 2015.
Jennifer Reut, Acting Editor, Landscape Architecture Magazine
Jennifer was the magazine’s Senior Editor for seven years before becoming the Acting Editor in 2020. In addition to editing the print magazine, she has managed the digitization of LAM’s archive, now available on JSTOR, and is working with ASLA staff on the magazine’s digital transformation. She writes frequently for LAM, including the features “Big Bend in the Road,” on change in Far West Texas; “The River Beneath the River,” on the cleanup of the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C.; and “Out of Time,” on Sara Zewde’s memorial at the Valongo Wharf slave port in Rio de Janeiro. She has a master’s and a doctorate in architectural history from the University of Virginia, where she studied landscape history and theory under Elizabeth K. Meyer, FASLA.
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