Top Left: ASLA 2016 Professional Analysis and Planning Honor Award. The Big U, New York, NY. BIG and Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners. Top Right: ASLA 2015 Professional General Design Honor Award. Perez Art Museum Miami: Resiliency by Design, Miami, Florida. ArquitectonicaGEO / copyright Robin Hill. Bottom Left: ASLA 2016 Professional Communications Honor Award. Sea Change: Boston, Boston, MA. Sasaki Associates. Bottom Right: Living Breakwaters, Staten Island, NY. SCAPE Landscape Architecture.

Multidisciplinary panel to make policy recommendations around climate change mitigation and adaptation
9/13/2017 – The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the professional association for landscape architects in the United States, is convening a blue ribbon panel to make comprehensive public-policy recommendations for mitigating and adapting to climate change through resilient design.
Composed of 11 experts from across various disciplines, the panel will make recommendations that will ultimately save lives and affordably protect cities from future natural disasters. ASLA urges responsible policy makers to look to innovative urban design as they make infrastructure investments to make communities more resilient and better equipped to recover from disruptive climate events.
“ASLA has identified climate change as a key issue for its members, and for society at large,” said Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA, executive vice president and CEO of ASLA. “The recent devastating and real impacts of natural disasters such as hurricanes Harvey and Irma highlight the need for policy makers, both state and local, to invest in thoughtful and climate-resilient solutions to systemic infrastructure issues.” 
ASLA has long advocated for sustainable landscape architecture at the intersection of design and smart policy, working with legislators and stakeholders on effective solutions that minimize the effects of climate change. Transportation and land planning that incorporates green infrastructure can provide critical services for communities, protecting them against flooding and excessive heat, and helping to improve air and water quality.
“We’ve reached a turning point in our history with regards to climate change, and the effects are undeniable at this stage,” said Dr. Jalonne White-Newsome, senior program officer with The Kresge Foundation’s environment program and a member of the blue ribbon panel. “We must take the appropriate measures and create low-carbon, sustainable and resilient communities.  This includes adapting our landscapes to changing climate conditions so we are best positioned to handle the anticipated consequences while ensuring that equity and the concerns of our most vulnerable communities are at the forefront of our planning.” 
The experts of the ASLA Blue Ribbon Panel will gather for a two-day meeting starting on Thursday, September 21 through Friday, September 22, 2017. The panel will publicly present its findings and policy recommendations in the form of a report in January 2018.
The members of the panel include:
  • Vaughn Rinner, FASLA, ASLA President, Chair
  • Armando Carbonell, FAICP, FAcSS, Hon MRTPI, Senior Fellow and Chair, Department of Planning and Urban Form, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
  • Mark Dawson, FASLA, Managing Principal, Sasaki Associates Inc.
  • Tim Duggan, ASLA, RLA, Founder, Phronesis
  • Ying-yu Hung, ASLA, Managing Principal, Principal, SWA, Los Angeles Studio
  • Dr. Dwane Jones, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Sustainable Development + Resilience at the University of the District of Columbia
  • Diane Jones Allen, ASLA, Program Director for Landscape Architecture, the College of Architecture Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington
  • Adam Ortiz, Director for the Department of the Environment for Prince George’s County, Maryland
  • Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA, Hon. AIA, SITES AP, Executive Vice President and CEO, ASLA
  • Laurinda Spear, FAIA, RLA, ASLA, LEED AP, IIDA, Principal-in-Charge, ArquitectonicaGeo
  • Dr. Jalonne L. White-Newsome, Senior Program Officer, Environment, The Kresge Foundation


For more info go to:



State of New York | Executive Chamber
Andrew M. Cuomo | Governor
For Immediate Release: January 10, 2014


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the appointment of former New York City Councilman James F. Gennaro as Deputy Commissioner for New York City Sustainability and Resiliency at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

“This year, the State is reimagining New York for a new climate reality, building back better and more resilient after the major storms from the last few years,” Governor Cuomo said. “I am pleased to have Mr. Gennaro join our team at DEC where he will bring his many years of environmental experience to help protect and prepare New York City for extreme weather. Superstorm Sandy, which heavily impacted New York City, made clear that we have much to do to fortify the community for the future. Mr. Gennaro will be a valuable leader in those efforts, and I look forward to working with him.”

“Jim’s demonstrated passion for improving the environment and his leading role in shaping environmental policies to protect New Yorkers make him a natural fit for DEC,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. “Jim’s breadth of experience will be put to good use as he works to ensure New York City is equipped to face future storm events. He will work directly with DEC’s partners at the newly created NYS Resiliency Institute for Storms and Emergencies toward that goal.”

In his new role, Mr. Gennaro will further DEC’s efforts to prepare and make New York City more resilient to meet the challenges associated with climate change and to rebuild after recent storm events. Mr. Gennaro also will serve as DEC’s liaison to the New York State Resiliency Institute for Storms & Emergencies (NYS RISE). Governor Cuomo announced the creation of NYS RISE in November to provide scientific information to policymakers and stakeholders to use in developing comprehensive plans to better protect communities from extreme weather and natural disasters.

Mr. Gennaro served as a New York City Councilman from 2002 to 2013, representing portions of the Borough of Queens. He chaired the Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection and authored environmental laws on such issues as reducing New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030, reducing water and air pollution, creating climate change adaptation strategies, improving the City’s resiliency to major storms, restoring Jamaica Bay, increasing clean and reliable energy, and increasing brownfields cleanup. In addition, Mr. Gennaro served on New York City’s Sustainability Advisory Board. Before representing the 24th district, Mr. Gennaro acted as an environmental policy analyst for the New York City Council for eleven years.

Mr. Gennaro has received numerous accolades and awards for his environmental leadership, including the 2013 Environmental Quality Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Mr. Gennaro earned his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.



Additional news available at
New York State | Executive Chamber | [email protected] | 518.474.8418

Rebuild by Design – Request for Comments


Rebuild by Design

10 teams of international design and resiliency experts released their ideas for ways to make the region more resilient to future storms and other climate eventsnow we need your feedback.

The Rebuild by Design Teams—selected from more than 140 applicants from around the world—have conducted extensive research and public outreach to develop their resiliency concepts. On Monday, they were unveiled at public events in New York and New Jersey.

Now, one idea from each Design Team will move forward in the next phase, where they will be further developed into formal designs and may be eligible for federal Sandy funding.

What do you think about the ideas?

Visit the Rebuild by Design website, where you will find images and descriptions of all 41 design opportunities proposed by the 10 Design Teams and leave your feedback. If you missed it, you can view each program here:

Morning Reception at New York University

Evening Reception at New Jersey Institute of Technology

Your views will be taken into consideration, and the final 10 ideas will be announced soon.


The Rebuild by Design Team


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