Washington, D.C., September 21, 2009 — Speaking at the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Annual Meeting today in Chicago, Lisa Heinzerling, associate administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Policy, Economics and Innovation, addressed the complimentary missions of landscape architecture and the EPA while highlighting current and new initiatives to create a more sustainable country.
“Your industry is well-positioned to help other professions that are not as far along in their stewardship efforts. Your history of environmental stewardship means you have much to offer builders, developers, architects, engineers and others who are eager to compete in a growing green market,” said Heinzerling. “In short, you are in a great position to help lead our nation’s transformation to a more sustainable society.”
A central theme in Heinzerling’s talk surrounded the creation of sustainable communities using smart growth, green infrastructure and green building to tackle two of the EPA’s largest priorities: protecting rivers and streams from water runoff and addressing climate change.
“If we are smarter about how we grow,” said Heinzerling, “we can make America’s big cities, small towns and rural communities more resilient to the economic and environmental challenges facing us.”
She also highlighted the Sustainable Sites Initiative – a partnership between ASLA, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the U.S. Botanic Garden to create the first national rating system for sustainable landscapes.
“I applaud ASLA’s leadership in helping to create this comprehensive, pioneering system for recognizing sustainable buildings and site designs. It marks a real advance towards the development of sustainable communities,” said Heinzerling.
The Office of Policy, Economics and Innovation acts as the primary policy arm for the EPA. Prior to her current position, Heinzerling was a member of President Obama’s Transition Team for the EPA and has served as the senior climate policy counsel since his inauguration.