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Best of the Blog: 2017

In 2017, we explored what it means to design for the future of place—how to create buildings, parks, plazas, campuses, downtowns, boulevards, waterfronts, and whole regions, that inspire people to enjoy them and make them their own.

This year-end roundup of thought leadership highlights the transformative power of place and the process of designing and planning responsibly and creatively for the next generation. The innate draw of people to the waterfront, the impact local food sourcing can have at scales big and small, the ways campus planning can help build the foundation for entirely new pedagogical models, and inventive approaches to better visualizing and understanding homelessness—these are the types of issues (and more) that we examined in the past year and will continue to address in 2018.

Read on for a top-ten roundup of thought leadership pieces we published over the past year as we explored the themes of Campus for All, Urban Experience, New Pedagogies, The Ideas Economy, Connecting Communities, and Resilient Systems.

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Capturing That Waterfront Draw

What is it that makes waterfronts so valuable to the experience of cities around the world? Read our thoughts on what draws people to waterfronts, and a series of deep-dives into designs that are revitalizing industrial waterfronts in Zidell Yards in Portland, Las Salinas in Viña del Mar, Chile, and Suzhou Creek in Shanghai.

Innovations in Addressing Homelessness

Parks and public spaces face the daily question of how best to support people experiencing homelessness. Read more about innovative approaches to visualizing and understanding this complex issue.

A New Library Signals Change at the Tec

Monterrey Tec, a leading 29-campus Mexican university, celebrated the grand opening of their new library and pavilion—the first built expressions of the Framework Plan and Tec 21 Educational Model. Read more on the team’s design vision and how these new buildings support the revolution of pedagogy on campus.

Aligning the Campus on the Hill with 21st Century Ambitions

Read about how the Syracuse Framework Plan is launching a campus transformation, anchored by a network of civic spaces like the Einhorn Family Walk, creating opportunities for diverse, inclusive, and forward-thinking student life to flourish.

Our Commitment to Environmental Advocacy

Managing principal and planner James Miner, AICP, responded to President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord in June with a letter in The Architect’s Newspaper.


Rain Gardens in Xuhui Runway Park

While construction of Xuhui Runway Park is underway, our project team shared stories behind its key design feature–the rain gardens. The piece is written by co-director Dou Zhang, ASLA, and associate Yu Zhu in our Shanghai office.

Zidell Yards: Expanding Portland’s Public Waterfront

In the first installment of our Waterfronts series, we highlight Portland, Oregon’s Zidell Yards—a shipyard site currently being reimagined as a mixed-use development that will further enable Portlanders to work, live, eat, shop, and relax just steps from the Willamette River.

SCUP Journal Feature: Inventing the 21st Century Campus

Read a piece published in SCUP’s Planning for Higher Education journal written by principal Dennis Pieprz and senior associate Romil Sheth that explores how campus planning facilitates innovative developments in teaching and learning.

The Ideal Innovation Hub: Wuhan, China

The most influential companies and hubs of industry often compete for the same workers and residents. One such talent-magnet is Wuhan, among China’s largest cities and a fast-growing hotbed for tech, education, and innovation. Read more about Wuhan’s potential for growth, here.

Local Food as a Driver of Place

Follow associate Chris Freda as he travels the US helping municipalities invest in local foods, placemaking, and community rebuilding through the EPA’s Local Foods, Local Places grant program—read on for a three-part series.

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