Each year, the Illinois Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ILASLA) recognizes individuals or organizations that have significantly enhanced the Illinois landscape or promoted the profession of landscape architecture in the State of Illinois. Three projects designed by SOM's City Design Practice were honored in the 2017 ILASLA Awards.
In the Burnham Awards for Planning and Analysis category, the Detroit East Riverfront Framework Plan—a plan for the revitalization of 2.2 miles of Detroit's historic but long-neglected East Riverfront District—won an Honor Award. Building on a 10-year initiative of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, SOM partnered with the City of Detroit and the community to create a broad framework that will preserve land for public use, provide greater river access, and support mixed-use development while maximizing adaptive reuse. Along with the City of Detroit and the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, the project team included urban economic development specialists HR&A Advisors, landscape architects Michel Desvigne and Inessa Hansch, and local firms McIntosh Poris, Giffels Webster, Kraemer Design Group, AKT Peerless, Rich & Associates, and E. Austell Associates. The awards jury recognized the project as "a standard bearer for communities examining their post-industry redevelopment."
Vision for Robbins (Robbins Park) was also recognized in the Burnham Awards for Planning and Analysis category. The project—a strategic plan for the Village of Robbins, Illinois—received a Merit Award for its innovative solutions for stormwater flooding. In designing the project, SOM also collaborated with numerous partners to develop a transit-oriented development district and a clean energy district that will avoid causing any displacement for residents. The project stands as a possible prototype for resiliency in the region.
In the General Design - Constructed Projects category, Phase 1 of the Wild Mile received an Honor Award. This floating eco-park, judged by the jury as "an ambitious and impactful project," utilizes pre-existing manmade channel walls to the east of Chicago's Goose Island to reestablish a natural habitat for wildlife and river recreation. The project is designed in three phrases.
This year's award winners will be honored with further recognition at the annual ILASLA awards ceremony, Celebration+, which will take place on Friday, April 20th in Chicago.