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10-08-20 | Feature

ASLA Advocacy

Collection of the Legislation ASLA is Currently Advocating

ASLA's director of federal government affairs, Roxanne Blackwell, Hon. ASLA, speaking at ASLA Advocacy Day 2019. Photo by EPNAC
During ASLA Advocacy Day 2019, nearly 200 ASLA members visited Capitol Hill to discuss the role landscape architects have in their communities to build resilient, sustainable, and safe outdoor spaces, and to promote public health and well-being. Photo by EPNAC
Members of the ASLA Oregon chapter executive committee meeting with Oregon Senator, Jeff Merkley. Photo by EPNAC
ASLA President Wendy Miller speaking at the 2019 ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture. Photo by EPNAC
Arkansas Senator John Boozman being introduced to individuals from the ASLA Arkansas chapter executive committee. Photo by EPNAC
Leaders of the ASLA Wisconsin chapter meeting Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin Senator. Photo by EPNAC

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is dedicated to advocating for legislation for the improvement of the landscaping industry and landscape architects throughout the country. The following list is a collection of the legislation ASLA is currently advocating. Each bill is accompanied by a description (provided by ASLA and edited for space) of the specific component they are invested in.

Note: The Great American Outdoors Act was among the legislation ASLA was supporting, but it has since been signed into law.

AMERICA TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE ACT
Advances active transportation while taking into account the safety of all users, use of natural infrastructure, and protection of the natural and built environments from the effects of climate change through resiliency. This legislation would increase highway spending levels by 27 percent to $287 billion over five years.

Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP)
It would include a 40% increase in the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBGP).

PROTECT Grants
PRTOECT would provide grants for resilience improvements through funds distributed to states and through competitive planning grants.

Complete Streets
This section would require 2.5 percent of state and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) planning funds be used for adopting Complete Streets standards or policies, or developing Complete Streets prioritization plans, active transportation plans, transit access plans, transit-oriented development plans, or regional intercity rail plans.
National Park Service (NPS) Infrastructure Funding
Through the Federal Lands Transportation Program, ATIA would increase NPS funding to $310 million over five years.

Highway Safety Improvement Program Increases
ATIA would create a new safety program authorizing $2.5 billion over five years for states and urban areas to create plans and benchmarks for reducing pedestrian and cyclist injuries and fatalities.

Climate Title and Carbon Reduction
This section would authorize $10 billion over five years for programs and policies that would reduce vehicle emissions, make roads and bridges more resilient, and support the installation of alternative fueling and electric vehicle charging stations.

GREEN NEW DEAL FOR PUBLIC HOUSING

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The American Society of Landscape Architects believes that people should have adequate and affordable housing choices in livable communities. Housing should be sited and designed to optimize natural light, fresh air, and energy efficiency, and foster a sense of belonging.

Resolutions to the GRN laid the groundwork for eventual legislation which addresses providing energy efficient, livable housing for people living in public housing.

This legislation would help make public housing communities more sustainable and resilient by enacting forward-thinking policies and making grants available to upgrade and rehabilitate these aging facilities.

Grants for deep energy retrofits would help ensure that public housing facilities would lessen their carbon footprints and strive towards a carbon zero future.

Resiliency and sustainability grants would help give public housing facilities a great sense of home and community while also reconnecting them to their surrounding neighborhoods. Lastly, a provision to add or increase bicycle infrastructure including the creation of bike lanes and bike parking while also allowing funds to be spent on bulk bicycle purchases to help residents afford a bike is included in the measure.

PROFESSIONAL LICENSURE
The licensure of the practice of landscape architecture in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories is essential to protect the public health, safety, and welfare. Licensure is the appropriate statutory process by which an individual meets the legal requirements of education, experience, and examination to demonstrate minimum professional competency. Licensure offers the consumer assurance that the licensed landscape architect has met a minimum set of professional standards and is qualified to provide services within the profession's regulated scope of practice.

DEFINITION OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURAL PRACTICE
The practice of landscape architecture, for purposes of the licensing statute, should be defined as any service where landscape architectural education, training, experience and the application of mathematical, physical, social, and natural science principles are applied. Practice includes consultation, evaluation, planning, design and administration of contracts pertaining to projects principally directed at the safe functional and aesthetic use.

PREREQUISITES FOR LICENSURE
The American Society of Landscape Architects believes in a three-part basis for qualification of candidates for licensure: education, experience, and examination. These three elements are complementary and represent a continuum of development of professional skills necessary to establish minimum professional competency and practice in the protection of public health, safety, and welfare.

RECIPROCITY
Requirements for reciprocal licensure should be reasonable and flexible and should facilitate the interstate practice of professional landscape architecture. ASLA supports the use of uniform criteria for licensure as a means of facilitating reciprocity.

ENFORCEMENT
ASLA advocates vigorous enforcement of professional landscape architectural licensing laws by the states and U.S. territories to protect the public's health, safety, and welfare. ASLA recommends that penalties be assessed for unlicensed practice, for unlicensed use of the title of landscape architect, and for incompetent or improper practice by licensees.

UNIVERSAL DESIGNATION
The American Society of Landscape Architects encourages all licensed landscape architects to use the post nominal letters "PLA" after their names to denote licensure, an abbreviation of the title "professional landscape architect." The use of this common designation to signify licensure will better enable potential clients and the general public to identify licensed practitioners.

REVIVING AMERICAN SCENIC BYWAYS ACT
The National Scenic Byways Program is a medium that can be used to recognize, protect, and promote selected roads throughout the United States. Landscape architects, as stewards and designers of the natural and built environment, have identified the program as critical to the profession.

TRANSPORTATION ALTERNATIVES ENHANCEMENT ACT
Advances active transportation, including bicycle and pedestrian projects, and supports the enhancement of the Federal Highway Administration's Transportation Alternatives program.

WATER INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENT ACT
This bill will increase resources for and strengthen green infrastructure projects related to water projects such as dams, levees, and stormwater systems.

WATER QUALITY PROTECTION AND JOB CREATION ACT
ASLA supports legislation that increases authorized funding for federal clean water programs, including the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to be authorized through 2024 and increase the allowable funding amounts.

OUTDOORS FOR ALL ACT
Provides additional funding to Land and Water Conservation Fund programs that help create outdoor recreation opportunities in urban environments.

THE LIVING SHORELINES ACT
Protects coastal communities from risks to human health and safety, including damage to property, infrastructure, and ecosystems associated with climate change.

THE RESIDENTIAL ENERGY AND ECONOMIC SAVINGS (TREES) ACT
Encourages energy efficiency and carbon sequestration through the careful and coordinated planting of trees.

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE ACT
This legislation requires federal agencies to provide affected communities with information regarding human health and the environment, as well as allowing the communities input and participation in the decision-making processes.

SAFEGUARDING AMERICA'S FUTURE AND ENVIRONMENT (SAFE) ACT
ASLA recognizes that global climate change presents a serious threat to humans and our environment, and thusly, supports legislation that to protects wildlife and natural resources from climate change. The SAFE Act would require federal natural resource agencies to form an interagency working group to plan and implement a long-term national climate change adaptation strategy.

As seen in LASN magazine, September 2020.

Filed Under: ADVOCACY, LEGISLATION, ASLA, LASN
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