13 sketches (with accompanying essays) won ANOVA's 2019 grant to attend the annual ASLA conference in San Diego. In response to the question "Share how contemporary landscape architecture could improve an underperforming space in your community." I drew the above sketch and wrote this:
Contemporary landscape architecture is a broad and collaborative discipline. It blends art, science, and communication. It help communities to design the places that they share. It is savvy about the civic processes that are necessary to reshape the public realm.
Recently, American communities have been re-imagining their public spaces and removing pieces of artwork that do not represent their contemporary values. In several states, however, laws have been enacted to protect historical works of art that their host communities wish to remove. Monuments and memorials that promote the preferred histories of powerful people are protected under the law. Art is used as a tool of intimidation and an unwelcome reminder of painful histories. The public realm suffers.
Contemporary landscape architects have the skills and the expertise to unite artists, community members, and their political representatives to reshape under-performing and intimidating places so that they are useful and welcoming to everyone. They know the laws and the codes that regulate their work. And, if all else fails, they are creative enough to find ways of mitigating unwelcome scenery.