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Presentations from Part 1 of the 2021 LAF Innovation + Leadership Symposium

On June 15 and 17, 2021, the 2020-2021 cohort from the year-long LAF Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership presented their projects at our virtual symposium. This unique fellowship program provides a $25,000 award that supports working professionals as they develop and test new ideas to bring about impactful change to the environment and humanity and increase the visibility and leadership role of landscape architecture.

If you view the full recording of Part 1 of the symposium or watch all three presentations below, you can earn 1.5 PDH (LA CES/HSW) following successful completion of a short quiz. More on earning CEUs.


Fellow Presentations

El Río está vivo… y nadie lo sabe!: Re-envisioning Flood Control in the Río Piedras Watershed

Edmundo Colón Izquierdo, Principal, ECo, San Juan, Puerto Rico

The Rio Piedras, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is undergoing major transformation, changing from a natural soft bottom biodiverse river to a concrete lined channel, a single purpose piece of infrastructure. With enough funding from federal sources, can this project by the US Army Corps of Engineers become a model for next-generation multi-benefit flood management infrastructure? Will landscape architects lead the way?

Additional Information and Resources:
LAF Fellowship Spotlight: Beyond Flood Control


Redistributing Power: Energy Justice Beyond Kilowatt Hours

Andrea Johnson, Visiting Assistant Professor, Rhode Island School of Design (formerly with Terreform Center for Advanced Urban Research and The City College of New York)
2015 National Olmsted Scholar Finalist (Graduate)

Confronted with the uncertainty of climate change and rising inequality, Andrea’s project explores the role of landscape architecture in emerging renewable energy networks. Using NYC as a springboard, Andrea has produced a set of design scenarios that seek to reinforce environmental justice movements and reimagine distributed energy production and storage at the neighborhood scale. 

Additional Information and Resources:
LAF Fellowship Spotlight: Bringing Environmental Justice to the Energy Grid


Redrawing Infrastructure: 2500 Years of Water Management

Diego Bermúdez, Principal and Partner, Bermúdez Arquitectos, Bogotá, Colombia

The pre-Hispanic Muisca settlers of Funza engineered and inhabited the flood plains along the Bogotá River in Colombia. Colonial interventions understood land as separated from water, overlooking local traditions and ecologies. In the 1920s, a water management system was built to dry out the land. Diego presents a re-imagined water network that encourages biodiversity and preserves adjacent structures that reflect elements of local cultural, social, economic, and political history.

Additional Information and Resources:
LAF Fellowship Spotlight: Reimagining Water in the Bogotá Savanna


Continuing Education Credits

Logo of the Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES)

Part 1 of the symposium is approved for 1.5 Professional Development Hour (PDH) through the Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES) and meets the health, safety and welfare requirements (HSW).

Learning Objectives

  • Explore the broader roles that landscape architects can play and opportunities for action on issues such as energy justice and re-imagining water management.
  • Learn about the process and personal growth that landscape architects experienced over the course of their fellowship year as they pursued their projects and built leadership capacity.
  • Gain inspiration to work toward transformative change in your own pursuits.

To earn 1.5 PDH (LA CES/HSW):

  1. View the three recordings above or watch the full symposium Part 1 recording.
  2. Complete the short quiz by following the link below. (You must score 75% or higher.)
  3. Wait ~2 weeks to receive your confirmation email once the quizzes are graded and results submitted to LA CES.

Quiz for CEUs

By completing this quiz, you are also signing up to receive newsletters and program announcements from LAF. You can edit your subscription preferences or unsubscribe at any time.



The 2021 LAF Innovation + Leadership Symposium can be viewed in its entirety. Part 1 includes the presentations above along with opening remarks, a panel discussion, and moderated audience Q&A.


Host a Follow-up discussion

If your design firm, organization, class, or student group is interested in viewing the symposium or its component presentations, we've created a discussion guide to help prompt follow-up conversations around themes of climate change adaptation, environmental justice, and inclusive design.

LAF is grateful to the many individuals and organizations that provide financial support towards fulfilling our mission to support the preservation, improvement, and enhancement of the environment.

Much of what LAF is able to accomplish would not be possible without the thought leadership and financial investment of our major supporters, including ASLA, which provides over $125,000 of in-kind support annually.