This October, Minneapolis Parks Fellow Bruce Chamberlain will be honored with the highest recognition in the field of Landscape Architecture for a career focused on improving the public realm through parks and urban design. In a ceremony held in Los Angeles, Bruce will be elevated into the American Society of Landscape Architects Council of Fellows along with 22 peers from around the country.
In elevating Bruce to the Council of Fellows, the ASLA recognized Bruce’s exceptional expertise as a landscape architect and his authentic connection to his work, writing:
“Chamberlain’s professional impact is rooted in his systemic understanding of landscape and passion for community within it. Through a career spanning nearly three decades, Chamberlain has been a leader in private, public and non-profit organizations. He carries a unique, almost singular ability to envision transformative ideas and goes on to captain them through the implementation process. The selection jury says Chamberlain inspires new ways of thinking about public space and urban form. They go on to say he blends long-term vision with the emotional empathy of a mentor to inspire lasting impacts.”
To be a member of the ASLA Council of Fellows – among the highest honors the 119-year-old, 15,000-member association bestows – an individual must make significant contributions “to their profession and society at large based on their works, leadership and management, knowledge, and service.”
Nominated by the Minnesota Chapter of the ASLA, Bruce has a distinguished career in landscape architecture and urban design.
For landscape architects, this is an exciting time, Bruce told me. “Over the last 50 years, the profession has grown from one focused on site design to a profession central to city-building, integrating layers of critical issues like equity and ecological systems into the approach for every effort. That’s the kind of work I’m interested in and it’s a fantastic honor to be recognized by my peers for it.”
Anyone who has worked with Bruce knows he brings a unique blend of deep knowledge, authentic curiosity, and approachable humility to every project.
In 2015, Bruce became the inaugural Minneapolis Parks Fellow and has helped lead the Parks Foundation’s implementation of the RiverFirst Initiative in partnership with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. When realized, RiverFirst will become this generation’s legacy toward Minneapolis as a city within a park, a vision first expressed and doggedly implemented by two other landscape visionaries: Horace Cleveland and Theodore Wirth.
Prior to joining the Minneapolis Parks Foundation, Bruce served as the Assistant Superintendent for Planning with the Minneapolis Park Board where he transformed the agency’s approach to community engagement, recruited an in-house design and planning team, built a charrette-based studio, and bolstered community trust. He upheld RiverFirst’s principals of connection and transformation in service to the neighborhoods and communities that need healthy connections to the Mississippi River through parks and public space.
Please join us in extending our congratulations to Bruce.