Member Profiles 2010: Urban Design PPN (Part 1)
This article is the 16th in a series profiling members of ASLA’s Professional Practice Networks (PPNs), based on responses to the 2010 Annual PPN Survey. Members of this PPN are involved in a wide variety of positions from local government urban designers and planners to development managers in large firms. Among the most frequently mentioned areas of work are streetscapes and urban parks, transportation and transit issues, and green urban design.
Following is more detailed information about particular members of this PPN.
William T. Eubanks, FASLA, is studio director at Urban Edge Studio in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. He has seen significant interest outside the profession in form-based codes. He has spoken about form-based codes to several groups including planning commissions, the Urban Land Institute, the American Institute of Architects, the American Planning Association, and universities. He would like to see ASLA and this PPN take a more active role in this area.
Eubanks would also like to see the charrette process used more, with ASLA and this PPN providing leadership in teaching landscape architects how to conduct charrettes. He has received training at the National Charrette Institute and has spoken about it at conferences and universities.
Allison Platt, ASLA, is a principal at Allison Platt & Associates in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Her practice is almost entirely in urban design. She finds the “Main Street” programs to be the best source of information and clients, and recently received two awards from the Main Street program in North Carolina. She has been asked to be on the advisory board for East Carolina University’s planning program. She hopes that the North Carolina ASLA Chapter will include topics on urban planning in its required continuing education courses, in addition to the stormwater management practice courses that it already offers.
She is concerned that ASLA does not appreciate urban design as much as it should, especially in small- to medium-size cities or in the work of smaller practitioners. Of all the disciplines, she believes that landscape architects are the best suited to be engaged in true urban design.
Claire Latané, ASLA, is the sustainable design manager at EPTDESIGN in Pasadena, California. She is also the newsletter editor for the Urban Design PPN. Latané strives to stay up to date on the innovative green urban design strategies and policies. She shares this information with members of her firm so they can offer their clients the most informed and healthy design solutions available.
Biff Sturgess, ASLA, is a senior associate at the Office of James Burnett (OJB) in Houston. He developed an interest in urban design while completing his master’s of landscape architecture at the University of Texas at Arlington, and this interest ranges from straightforward streetscape to complex development planning. He is currently involved in “Project 180” in Oklahoma City, a large revitalization streetscape, traffic re-engineering, and infrastructure project for the downtown central business district.
His other work with OJB includes the recently completed CityCenter project in Las Vegas. While these two projects differ in program and design aesthetic, they present the same challenge of appealing to a diverse constituency on a large scale. Both are forms of urban design that rely heavily on landscape architecture as the evident cohesive fabric. These types of complex projects present the challenges that draw Sturgess to urban design.
Gary Fankhauser, ASLA, is a principal designer at N-Focus Design Inc. in Kannapolis, Indiana. The firm’s primary work is on urban design projects of various scales, and it now focuses exclusively on public sector planning, urban design, and public administration.
Brad Williams, ASLA, is the development manager at Landmark Properties Inc. in Indianapolis. In this role, he needs to be aware of recent trends and advancements in urban design-related projects/concepts/techniques to keep on track with or ahead of competition in this tight market.
Paul Salvatore Mercurio, ASLA, is a transportation planner for the city of Syracuse, New York. He is interested in creating an urban fabric that responds to the needs of the environment, the neighborhood, and all modes of transportation. In a previous position, he worked for the Syracuse regional metropolitan planning organization.
Jennifer Kiusalaas, ASLA, works for MacLeod Reckord in Seattle. Her current projects involve streetscape design and urban renewal/revitalization of downtown areas.
Daren Crabill, ASLA, is a landscape architect and urban designer for BCRA in Seattle. Current projects include a Sustainable Sites Initiative pilot project as well as site design and planning projects in public, private, and government realms. He is a member of the ASLA Emerging Professionals Committee and the Urban Land Institute’s Young Leaders Group, and he is interested in the confluence between transportation, real estate development, and the practice of landscape architecture and urban design.
Julie Murphy, Associate ASLA, is a recent graduate of North Carolina State University whose final project related directly to urban design. She is intrigued with design that elevates pedestrians over automobiles, as well as issues related to sustainability in urban design. She is also very interested in recent trends in urban design. Her current work at the Natural Learning Initiative at the NC State University College of Design is focused primarily on the design of natural children's environments. In particular, she is interested in designing both for the well-being of children and for their families in urban areas.
Visit the Urban Design PPN for more information about this group. To learn more about ASLA's other PPNs, go to the PPN home page or contact Rachel Shaw, ASLA's Manager of Professional Practice, at firstname.lastname@example.org.