Firm Profile

Creative problem-solving is applied to managing change in all aspects of city building and re-building including land use, built form and public space, municipal infrastructure, transportation and environment. Assignments range from leading large multi-disciplinary teams encompassing environment, transportation and economics for a broad range of clients - governments, institutions, Universities, and the development industry to strategic supporting roles. Solutions address the full range of issues contributing to the success and vitality of towns and cities from the grouping of buildings on a single parcel of land to the patterns of a city district, from the renewal of the historic core and the adaptive re-use of obsolescent lands and buildings on urban waterfronts to the creation of new communities on the urban periphery.

At the core of this practice is a deep commitment to improving the lives of people at every level of society. This value has shaped a unique methodology body of work in which urban design goes beyond form to create a context for social connection, economic vitality, and environmental sustainability; in which the specific and authentic qualities of the local place focus and ground design strategies; in which public and private interests cooperate across traditional boundaries to create mutual benefit for their cities; and in which the examined interaction of infrastructure, individual parcels and blocks, and the public realm sets a liberating context for great architectural and landscape design.

The conceptual approach on the search for a model for thought and action of particular relevance to the contemporary city applied to these diverse projects and is based on:

  • An understanding and respect for the underlying natural systems and the integration of urban form within them
  • Close Attention to all aspects of sustainability from the scale of major urban systems to that of individual buildings and landscapes
  • An understanding of the historic patterns of change and evolution
  • A careful assessment of the momentum for change, including economic and demographic trends
  • A close examination of the existing setting and larger urban context
  • A respect for the cultural legacy and natural systems and features
  • A careful grounding in market forces
  • An understanding of the relationships which tie the whole place to its meaningful parts - precincts, districts, networks
  • The integration of a great variety of inputs-community aspirations, technical requirements, programmatic and physical needs and opportunities
  • The forging of a consensus vision which can be shared and supported by diverse stakeholders
  • The identification of opportunities for strategic intervention at different scales
  • An understanding of the process of change though time - assigning priorities and realistic phasing of projects
  • A grounding in practical realities and an emphasis on the feasibility of implementation
  • The creation and use of innovative and appropriate regulatory tools which support good urban solutions

Great stress is placed in all assignments on the crafting of strategic frameworks that give clear urban design over time while fostering creativity of a range of participants and allowing for desirable margins of flexibility. Clear accessible graphic and verbal communication is emphasized making creative use of new technologies and techniques for engaging diverse audiences.