CSLA's Climate Change Working Group

In May, 2014, the CSLA Congress, held in Ottawa, focused on climates, adaptations and landscapes. The Congress delegates explored how landscape architects could be leaders in climate-conscious planning and design.

The ultimate objective of the Congress was to encourage landscape architects to integrate options to mitigate and/or to adapt to climate change within short and long-term planning recommendations, to encourage climate sensitive design and to initiate proactive leadership on climate change amongst the related planning and design professions of Canada. David Philips (inset photo by J. Landry), spoke to CSLA members about about how landscape architecture is poised to lead the climate change issue at the 2014 Congress. 

Since that time, the CSLA formed the Climate Change Working Group to:

  • bring national and local perspectives on our changing environment,
  • promote improved understanding of new science, and
  • facilitate the dissemination of emerging tools and lessons learned from shared experience.  

Members of the Working Group

Colleen Mercer Clarke, Chair (APALA)
Bev Windjack (BCSLA)
Miriam Mutton (OALA)
Hope Parnham (APALA) 
Jim Thomas (MALA)


The Messages

  • The CSLA recognizes that climate change is causing fundamental impacts in ecosystems and communities.
  • Landscape architects are in a unique position of adapting our society and ecosystems to prepare for short and long term environmental change associated with changing weather and changing climates. 
  • Governments and businesses rely heavily on the advice of landscape architects on a wide range of environmental, resource management and land use planning decisions. It is therefore critical that the professionals who are making key decisions about our ecosystems and the evolution of our communities are fully informed on the most current climate science, increasing their ability to make accurate and timely recommendations to government and industry.
  • The CSLA recognizes that climate change imposes new and challenging responsibilities; however, the Society will take steps to enable and encourage their members to incorporate the best available climate-science into their professional decisions.