I am most honoured to be invited to put forward my candidacy for President-elect for the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects. After a lifelong career in landscape architecture of over 40 years, I believe that my experience, having been a part of a growing maturity of professionals, brings a rich and dedicated voice to a nation-wide body of experts in design, environment and community. I look forward to reconnecting with many friends and society members across Canada, and meeting new colleagues, to discuss professional issues of the day and actions to fulfill the strategic role of the CSLA.
Times are changing rapidly in our professional and family lives. Current design and environmental issues related to climate change, water management, urban renewal and reconciliation are expanding into urgent concerns about personal and community health, and uncertain economic challenges. The landscapes of our communities are lands of respite and social connection, beauty and working infrastructure. Our professional contributions to the health of neighbourhoods and landmark successes continue to grow as does the need for our solid voice in all levels of community building and rejuvenation.
My career has bridged private consulting, academic teaching and service in the public sector. As a landscape architect and planner, I worked with my partners of Hough Stansbury Woodland (and later HWNDL- Hough Woodland Naylor Dance Leinster) to build Canada’s well known firm implementing a view of “design with nature” applied to our cities (1977-2002). My work has maintained a broad base of practice in development feasibility, urban design, parks and open space planning, heritage planning and environmental planning/site design since my graduation from the University of Toronto. Most recently, I have served as the Senior Director, Planning, Greenspace and Communications for TRCA, the Toronto & Region Conservation Authority, overseeing the environmental planning and development functions within 18 municipalities of Canada’s largest city region (2002-2019).
With a strong background in inter-disciplinary design, I was privileged to serve as the first female Chair of the Design, Planning and Asset Management Committee of the National Capital Commission (1998-2003). I spent many years adjunct teaching in the landscape architecture/architecture program at University of Toronto, and have lectured with many institutions across the nation on the integration of design and ecological science together for community solutions within the public realm.
My years, working in Ottawa and within the Toronto region where growth is rapidly entrenched, has reinforced my commitment to the importance of a political voice for landscape architects and the need for continuing our advocacy with our professional partners.
I have worked with the OALA on the Examining Board, setting the original standards for membership, and most recently as Chair of the Senior Oral Exam Panel. I have been a Fellow of the CSLA since 1993, and have served on several CSLA award panels and academic accreditation teams.
The new Strategic Plan for the CSLA requires an energetic leader to enhance the dialogue for the future of our profession, and to facilitate the outstanding talent base within our Board of Directors, our committees and membership to reach its full realization. I am passionate about creating a vibrant and healthy public realm as a landscape architect and know that a strong professional body that upholds the advocacy of the day is imperative.
- Carolyn Woodland OALA, FCSLA, MCIP, RPP