UTA’s Diane Jones Allen Named to Resilient Design Panel

The national panel will look at what urban design policies can help cities better withstand natural disasters.

Diane Jones Allen

University of Texas at Arlington’s Diane Jones Allen has been selected to a national panel looking at what urban design policies can help cities better withstand natural disasters.

The American Society of Landscape Architects panel includes experts across disciplines, according to an ASLA release.

Allen is the program director for landscape architecture at UTA’s College of Architecture Planning and Public Affairs.

This year, she received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Environmental Design at University of California at Berkeley. She also has worked on planning and design efforts to rebuild New Orleans, Louisiana through her full-service landscape architectural firm, DesignJones.

“The recent devastating and real impacts of natural disasters such as hurricanes Harvey and Irma highlight the need for policy makers, both state and local, to invest in thoughtful and climate-resilient solutions to systemic infrastructure issues,” said Nancy Somerville, executive vice president and CEO of ASLA, in an ASLA  release.

As part of the panel, Allen will help make policy recommendations on how cities can build infrastructure to be more resilient enabling communities to recover faster in the wake of natural disasters. 

“There are certain steps our industry can take to enable these communities that are subjected to natural disasters to withstand and recover from these calamities,” Allen said. “Landscape architecture plays a vital role in meeting some of these goals.”

The committee met last week in Washington D.C. and discussed the following, according to UTA:

  • Establishing green stormwater infrastructure instead of hardscape
  • Preserving and enhancing tree canopies
  • Creating and maintaining open space and parkland preservation
  • Using native and adapted vegetation and pollinator-friendly vegetation
  • Using greenways and biocorridors, plant and animal relocation
  • Incorporating smart growth or more compact development
  • Establishing active and non-motorized transportation
  • Maintaining conservation or expanding natural system buffers like wetlands
  • Embracing sustainable land development or zoning
  • Adopting sustainable agriculture practices
  • Incorporating clean energy alternatives

The panel is expected to release a report about their recommendations in January 2018, according to ASLA. 

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