Celebrating World Landscape Architecture Month!

GAI’s Community Solutions Group and its Landscape Architecture team joins the American Society of Landscape Architects (asla.org) in celebrating April as a month to recognize the achievements of our professional peers.

The Landscape Architecture profession is deeply rooted in the design and stewardship of our urban, rural, and natural environments. This ‘Architecture of the Landscape’ is a profession that integrates aspects of land planning and urban form, arrangement and character of buildings, transportation and circulation, civil engineering, environmental systems, and the fine arts.

Landscape Architecture Origins and Vision

The physical legacy of Landscape Architects in the U.S. spans the many City Plans of John Nolen (who founded the American City Planning Institute and inspired the Congress for the New Urbanism); the great Civic Parks Systems and Campus Plans of Frederick Law Olmsted (which includes Central Park and Stanford University); as well as the efforts of conservationists such as John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt (resulting in the creation of the National Park Service and Sierra Club to manage our distinctive natural ecosystems from the Yosemite Valley to the Everglades).

The impact and responsibility of the profession relates to many topics of critical concern today. Landscape Architecture compositions inform matters of community character, health and wellness, social equity, housing and neighborhood stability, economic development, recreation, cultural engagement, urban ecology, resource sustainability, climate change, and resiliency. Landscape Architects incorporate elements from regional concepts to the details of human interaction in their work.

GAI’s Community-Centric Landscape Architecture Approach

GAI Landscape Architecture professionals integrate the skills of peer disciplines with input from local stakeholders to create unique places that address many aspects of these critical community needs. Recent public sector work includes the Lake Eola Master Plan, Victory Pointe Park, Riverplace Boulevard Complete Street, Downtown Maitland, Rolling Hills Park, and the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center. These are just a small sample of our broad practice of design for new communities, healthcare environments, campus settings, and redevelopment areas. In all our work, we strive to make authentic places that will build social, cultural, and environmental value over time.

Our commitment to these values also means looking forward to helping plan for continued economic growth and the associated demands on our natural resources and social fabric. A significant regional example in Central Florida is the Winter Haven One Water Plan. Winter Haven (the ‘Chain of Lakes City’) sits at the headwaters of the Peace Creek Watershed (above the Floridan Aquifer), which extends nearly 100 miles to the Gulf of Mexico and is one of the fastest growing regions in the U.S. GAI’s Landscape Architects are collaborating with engineers, scientists, analysts, and policy officials to shape a 50-year vision for resource efficiency in land patterns, the built environment, and a planned Sapphire Necklace conservation system. The goal is to redefine the relationship between ‘grey infrastructure’ and ‘green infrastructure,’ preparing for a sustainable, thriving ‘water-centric’ community (see video below).

Through all our work, we hope to facilitate long-term success, places for people, and enhanced quality of life—while expanding our skills and knowledge as stewards of an increasingly complex world.

Pete SechlerContact GAI’s Community Solutions Group leader Pete Sechler, PLA, AICP, MBA, 312.319.3126, for more information about GAI’s range of landscape architecture and community and parks planning services—message GAI online and start the conversation about how our multidisciplinary professionals can meet your unique project needs. 

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