Fighting Climate Change Using Nature-based Solutions

by Gary Lai | On Demand

CEUs/PDHs: (* CEU's Pending) Credits: LACES 1,ISA 1,APLD 1,NALP 1,QWEL 1


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Webinar Description:
The green building community’s reliance on Net Zero Carbon building solutions alone will not be enough for the world to meet its climate change goals. We must also sequester carbon. Barring a breakthrough technology, nature and Nature-based Design and Solutions are the only ways to sequester atmospheric carbon. This means that we will not only need more open space in our urban environments but open spaces that will actively fight climate change, promote human health and counteract centuries of inequity and systemic racism. Nature-Based Solutions are actually not new at all. Previously called green infrastructure, regenerative design, or site sustainability, site professionals have been using nature to solve problems which have previously only been solved using strictly hard-edged engineering solutions for decades. However, as the timetable to mitigate climate change shortens, landscape professionals, through our designs, will need to embrace and integrate natural solutions for issues like water management, ecosystem restoration, air pollution, excessive heat, sea level rise, equity and environmental inequity. Using the LA River and South LA as examples, this presentation will emphasize how open spaces provide ecosystem services that cannot be replicated any other way and how these services are key to the mitigation of Climate Change and maintaining human health.

Learning Objectives:
1. Learn the ways landscape professionals can help mitigate climate change.
2. Define the term Nature-based solutions and understand how it relates to the landscape industry.
3. Understand how open space can promote equity and environmental justice.


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Gary Lai

Gary Lai is an accomplished landscape architect and thought leader in sustainability, resiliency and conservation. Gary leverages three decades of design and planning experience to steer large, complex projects to successful completion. His interest in drawing and environmentalism led him to a field that he describes as the ‘architecture of living things’ with an immense potential to impact quality of life for future generations. He has extensive expertise in sustainable design, resiliency and water conservation issues that enable him to focus and maximize the creative energies of project collaborators toward innovative solutions. Gary is committed to local environmental advocacy and education. He is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors for the United States Green Building Council, Los Angeles (USGBC-LA) and a Co-Chair for the Urban Landscape Committee at USGBC- LA. He is a founder of the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) collaborative, Living Future Los Angeles and is a founding member of the new urbanist think tank, New American Dream. Professionally, Gary is a Lecturer at CalPoly Pomona Landscape Architecture Department and has his own firm, Quixotic Nature-based Solutions.