Vertical dance company BANDALOOP starts work in Alameda next week
Alamedans have a chance to watch incredible dancers at work next week when they rehearse on the metal girders at the Eastern end of Building 25. This is the start of a new collaboration between the Artistic Director of Oakland’s BANDALOOP, Melecio Estrella, and Alameda choreographer, Tara Pilbrow, culminating in a series performance in fall 2024 called “Re-Cycle” that will be held at the future site of De-Pave Park.
Mission Creek Stormwater Park recognized with Fast Company Innovation by Design Award – Honorable Mention in Urban Design
Fast Company’s Innovation by Design awards recognizes excellence in creating products, reimagining spaces, and working to design a better world.
Civic Center Public Space Design receives AIA California Urban Design Honor Award
This unbuilt project goes to a bigger vision. It’s a path forward to the future: San Francisco has big issues to deal with, but it is such a positive gesture to understanding the importance of nature in the context of urban space. It balances the use of being an ”active” park as well as a ”ceremonial” one. The spaces are well-scaled, addressing both the monumental “civic heart” of the city and the day-to-day use of community, neighbors, and employees.
– 2023 AIA California Urban Design Awards Jury
Celebrating Willett Moss’s Elevation to ASLA Council of Fellows
We are thrilled to announce that CMG Partner, Willett Moss, a landscape architect with an unwavering dedication to revitalizing cultural landscapes through design, has been named an ASLA Fellow. With an illustrious career spanning twenty-seven years, Willett’s work has made a significant impact on the preservation and celebration of community identity through the thoughtful design of public spaces. His commitment to preserving and enhancing cultural landscapes goes beyond landscape architecture, as he has become a trusted leader, mentor, and advisor in the CMG studio, the built environment profession, and his local communities.
CMG + ASLA 2023 Conference on Landscape Architecture
Davi Parente Shoen, Designer, and Corbett Belcher, Senior Associate, will be sharing CMG’s climate action projects and strategies at the ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture 2023 in Minnesota. They’ll be diving into important topics of decarbonization, long-term waterfront resilience, and flood adaptation.
Corporate Landscaping Lets Its Hair Down
More companies are eschewing manicured grass in favor of native plants, a shift driven by the environmental costs of installing and maintaining lawns.
Congratulations to CMG’s Newly Promoted Team
Our studio is a collective of voices – all unique and important to the foundation and future of the practice. We are thrilled to celebrate the promotion of four CMG team members who will continue to advance the firm’s mission to increase social and ecological well-being through artful design.
Congratulations to Kate Lenahan and Andrew Prindle on their promotions to Associate, Paulina Davey on her promotion to Senior Communications Manager, and Will Benge on his promotion to Senior Associate!
Will San Jose’s St. James Park revamp be a gamechanger?
St. James Park, located on nearly seven acres in the downtown core, is getting a complete makeover through a partnership between Levitt Foundation, Friends of Levitt Pavilion San Jose and the city. The park has struggled with blight, crime and homelessness for decades, and city officials and advocates see this revamp as the catalyst to revitalizing a neglected section of downtown.
College of the Desert to move into design development phase for Palm Springs campus
College of the Desert reached a new milestone in its long-awaited Palm Springs campus. On Wednesday, June 14, the College wrapped up its schematic design phase. It was the fourth public meeting of the project management team charged with expediting the completion of the schematic design plans for the campus.
Burlingame Planning Commission Approves Life Science Project, Bay Trail Revitalization
A proposal for a nearly half-million life science development in Burlingame was met with approval by the City’s Planning Commission during the board’s most recent meeting. The board voted in favor of the project, which consists of two buildings that could accommodate 483,380 square feet of both life science and office uses.
Here’s the latest look at plans to revamp San Jose’s St. James Park
The long-in-development revamp of St. James Park in Downtown San Jose is out with a new set of images and a video illustrating how the park could look in a few years.
3 Essential Tips for Planning with Multilingual Communities
Community engagement experts offer tested approaches that prevent tokenism, create trust, and foster a sense of belonging.
AIA Conference on Architecture ’23 Highlights
It was an amazing opportunity to share our work and ideas with our colleagues and friends at the AIA Conference on Architecture ’23. We dived into a few of our climate and socially resilient projects in the Bay Area—Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground, San Francisco Waterfront Resilience Program, and Mission Creek Stormwater Park.
If you’re dedicated to improving urban and built environments through resiliency and climate action, connect with us to keep the conversation going!
East Cut seeks corporate sponsors for dog and sports park in San Francisco
The East Cut Sports and Dog Park will be a new public open space in the East Cut neighborhood of downtown San Francisco—a major bike and pedestrian thoroughfare, packed with amenities and active programing.
The East Cut CBD is looking to meet its next fundraising milestone by raising $200,000 by the end of June 2023 to make the park a reality by 2027.
Nueva School Science and Environmental Center wins 2023 COTE Top Ten Awards by AIA
The new net zero carbon Science and Environmental Center is the embodiment of The Nueva School’s mission to spark a passion for lifelong learning and foster social acuity and environmental citizenship in the imaginative young minds of its students.
Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground wins 2023 ASLA Northern California Chapter Merit Award for Urban Design
A result of co-creation, Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground and Clubhouse is a fully accessible, modern playground and clubhouse that embraces the park’s meaning as a social heart for the neighborhood, a source of wellness and learning, and a place entwined with the identity of a Chinese American community that extends throughout the city and beyond.
Park Paseo wins 2023 ASLA Northern California Chapter Merit Award for Analysis and Planning
In collaboration with multiple stakeholders and the City of San Jose, Park Paseo has the collective vision and guiding design framework to become a new urban open space that brings people, nature, and mobility together in the heart of San Jose.
Mission Creek Stormwater Park wins 2023 ASLA Northern California Chapter Merit Award for Urban Design
As the gateway to the new Mission Bay district, Mission Creek Stormwater Park combines beauty and ecological function. The immersive waterfront plaza and esplanade recalls the industrial heritage, offers stunning views of San Francisco’s iconic attractions while serving as a model for urban green infrastructure.
CMG is committed to cultivating diversity in our practice, profession, and community.
We embrace and celebrate differences in our studio and our communities. To maintain a high level of design and quality of life, we seek diverse perspectives so our work will reflect the broader world. Building an inclusive design culture and process begins with our own practice and communities; doing so is critical to crafting inclusive public spaces and sustaining democracy.
Our Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Initiative is a vital step forward that embodies our mission and values, and actively fosters equity within our office, our discipline, and our community.
Doug Jones on Drawn to Scale Podcast
CMG Senior Associate Doug Jones joined Drawn to Scale Podcast with host Pablo Cortez, PLA, to discuss CMG’s work and approach to public realm projects and community engagement.
Treasure Island’s New Parks Ready for Changing Climate
Buckeye Grove, and its four acres of storm drains and newly planted native plants, is known as a bioswale, more commonly known as a storm drain garden. It’s a simple concept — rainwater flows into several storm basins which then funnels it through plants and dirt, filtering out contaminants such as car oil and heavy metals.
CMG + AIA Conference on Architecture 2023
AIA Conference on Architecture 2023 is coming to San Francisco June 7-10. Partners Kevin Conger and Willett Moss join our clients and collaborators to explore resilient design strategies, nature-based solutions, and placekeeping on CMG’s leading local projects.
San Francisco holds its breath to find out how much it will cost to protect its waterfront from sea level rise
Waves from San Francisco Bay now regularly breach the pier and spill into the streets during tidal surges and helped convince city officials that sea level rise caused by climate change is no longer a problem that can be ignored.
ASLA 2022 Conference on Landscape Architecture Highlights: Climate Action, Waterfront Resilience, and Low-Carbon Design
We were honored to share our work and ideas at this year’s ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture at the Moscone Center. Through sessions in the conference rooms and in the field, we explored several of our projects across the Bay Area and our approach to planning and designing climate and socially resilient places.
Recordings of select sessions are available on the ASLA Online Learning website. If you’re interested in continuing the conversation and learning more about our work, connect with us.
These ‘bioswales’ were built to help prevent flooding. Here’s how they fared in Bay Area storms
When San Francisco’s new Southeast Community Center opened in October, the three acres of parkland included an expansive landscaped bioswale that, in theory, would handle the water running off even the most extensive storm. Less than a month later, the theory was put to the test — and it passed with flying colors.
Nueva School Science and Environmental Center Embraces its Landscape with Sustainable Goals
At Nueva School’s pre-K through 8th-grade campus, in Hillsborough, California, even the buildings are fodder for learning. Most recently, students have been analyzing the sustainability strategies of the new Science and Environmental Center (SEC).
CarbonPositive: Beyond the Building
Pamela Conrad, an Architecture 2030 senior fellow and principal with CMG Landscape Architecture in San Francisco, explains why architects must focus sustainability efforts on the outdoor realm and exterior built environment.
CMG + ASLA 2022 Conference on Landscape Architecture
We have an incredible lineup of educational sessions at this year’s ASLA 2022 Conference on Landscape Architecture on topics ranging from carbon in design, workplace campuses, waterfront landscapes, and urban playgrounds. We hope to see you in San Francisco at the conference!
San Francisco’s park revival is here. Here are 7 of the best newcomers
Two dozen parks or playgrounds have opened since 2020, including the Mission Creek Stormwater Park and Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground.
S.F.’s plan to protect the city from sea-level rise will ‘set the stage for our future shoreline’
San Francisco is embarking on a more expensive, almost existential task: planning how to prepare the city’s bay shoreline for as much as seven feet of sea level rise.
Celebrating CMG’s Newest Associates + Senior Associates
CMG honors inclusivity and the sharing of ideas and stories. Our studio is a collective of voices – all unique and important to the foundation and future of the practice. We are thrilled to expand our leadership group with the promotions of seven CMG team members who will continue to advance the firm’s mission to increase social and ecological wellbeing through artful design. Please join us in congratulating Lauren Bergenholtz and Renee Nam on their promotions to Associate; and Justin Aff, Corbett Belcher, Jason Rowe, Doug Jones, and Sam Woodhams-Roberts, on their promotions to Senior Associate at CMG! We look forward to their collaborative, passionate, and innovative direction.
Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground wins 2022 AIA California Urban Design Award – Merit
“Land is very scarce in San Francisco and for this design team to make an “oasis” for children in a concrete jungle is a game changer. It’s a complex urban project–how it handles the relationship between the sidewalk and the internal parts of the building and the building envelope is very clever. It’s well-executed and offers a variety of experiences. Proof of its success is that it’s built and being used. It’s a joyful and playful space.”
2022 Urban Design Awards Jury
Earth Architects. This Landscape Architect wants to protect the planet
Principal Pamela Conrad chats with Time for Kids about a career in landscape architecture and protecting the planet for their new career-education website for kids ages 8-14.
Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground recognized as Fast Company’s 2022 Innovation By Design Award Finalist – Urban Design
Willie “Woo Woo Wong” Playground has been honored by Fast Company as a part of its 2022 Innovation by Design Awards. The program highlights designers and businesses who are solving the problems of today and tomorrow. Learn about the Fast Company’s Urban Design honorees at fastcompany.com.
Waterfront Resilience Program recognized with 2022 Preservation Design Award for Cultural Resource Studies & Reports
Waterfront Resilience Program’s Embarcadero Seawall Historic Assets and Risks Report of San Francisco is a winner for the 2022 Preservation Design Award for Cultural Resource Studies & Reports.
Pamela Conrad leads high-profile task force to take action on climate and biodiversity crises
Principal Pamela Conrad, ASLA, has been named chair of the ASLA Climate Action Plan Task Force.
An earthquake in Japan speaks to a sea wall in San Francisco
The challenges of climate change are everywhere but maybe no more so than in coastal cities that face dual threats of seismic activity and rising seas.
Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground receives 2022 Urban Design Commendation from AIA San Francisco
The jury praised this project for transforming the neighborhood and providing necessary new and safe public space for the interaction of families and children. Great effort was taken to create welcoming and meaningful community hub with a strong connection to the rich history of Chinatown, considering the community and catering to multi-generational use. The project is an extraordinary response to its complicated existing context that integrates well with the hilly urban site and separates its uses appropriately while also connecting them through a cohesive design.
Inspiring a new, diverse generation of designers: Everett Middle School
In our effort to educate K-12 students about landscape architecture, we started with schools in our own community of San Francisco. We had the opportunity to co-create a design process-focused curriculum with Everett Middle School. The design curriculum met State and National Standards for Art, specifically pertaining to Landscape Architecture.
San Francisco Civic Center Public Space Plan wins 2022 ASLA Northern California Analysis and Planning Honor Award
Civic spaces are the bedrock of democracy, but in many American cities these landscapes are empty and inhospitable. The Civic Center Public Space Plan remakes a mid-century landscape that was designed and managed for exclusion into a civic space of inclusion: a place that reflects the cultural, social, and economic diversity of the neighborhoods it serves, and embodies the democratic values of the City it represents. Civic Center is the largest public space in San Francisco that is located in a low-income neighborhood inhabited by residents from diverse ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. Through deep community engagement and analysis of historic assets, the vision will transform Civic Center into thriving social infrastructure, prioritizing public life and the needs of the local community. Demonstrating civic ideals – of a city, of a community, of a denizen – in its design process and in the vision itself, the Plan creates a place for people from all walks of life to come together in celebration and protest, respite and play, health and refuge, in the heart of San Francisco.
A redone Chinatown park shows why public space matters in times like these
Some public parks want you to feel like you’re in a place apart from your surroundings. The joyously intricate transformation of Chinatown’s Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground, by contrast, plunges you right in.
Pamela Conrad honored with 2021 ASLA Outstanding Service Award
At the 2021 ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture in Nashville, Pamela Conrad honored with ASLA Outstanding Service Award.
Community Design Salon
On October 7th, CMG hosted Community Design, the second salon in its three-part Equity in Landscape Architecture series, with the goal of learning how to go beyond traditional community engagement processes by working with communities to build trust, capacity, and to define and design projects together.
Alameda DePave Park Vision Plan honored with 2022 Analysis and Planning Merit Award from ASLA Northern California
Alameda Point DePave Park is noteworthy for its highly sustainable and resilient design approach in recycling nearly 100% of the existing site materials, transforming a large, paved airstrip into an ecological park that welcomes sea level rise to create future wetlands, and its community-driven design process.
The Value of Open Space in the Pandemic
Open recreational space offers many community benefits – environmental, aesthetic, economic, physical, mental, and social. Urban parks and playgrounds provide people with a variety of physical activities, opportunities for social interaction, and connection to nature and beauty. The COVID-19 global pandemic has quickly reminded us just how valuable our local neighborhood parks and open spaces are – as people turn to these public places to exercise, hold a protest, get out of their homes, and feel a sense of connection and community.
Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground Wins 2021 Architect’s Newspaper Best of Design Award Honorable Mention for Social Impact
Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground recognized by Architect’s Newspaper with honorable mention for Best of Design Award – Social Impact.
Principal Kevin Conger joins SPUR and AIA SF to discuss Treasure Island
Treasure Island’s past, the plan for its future, and an update on the grand vision.
CMG Studio Video wins 2021 SMPS Honor Award: External Communications
Our Studio Video was recognized with the Award of Excellence in the External Video Category from the Society for Marketing Professional Services.
Community engagement at a distance
We have been at the forefront of using hands-on interactive exercises to engage communities in the process of planning and designing public spaces. CMG, and the rest of the planning and design field, has been faced with the challenge of creating meaningful engagement with communities that we can no longer meet face to face with and gather around a table.
Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground wins 2022 AIA Regional & Urban Design Award
Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground was recognized with 2022 Regional & Urban Design Award from The American Institute of Architects. The park is the only space dedicated to active outdoor recreation in San Francisco’s Chinatown.
Climate Positive Design receives 2021 Metropolis Magazine Planet Positive Award, Tool and Technology
In the inaugural year of the Metropolis’s Planet Positive Awards, Climate Positive Design won in the Tools + Technology category.
Metropolis’s Planet Positive Awards recognizes the most creative projects and products from around the world that benefit people and planet. Judged by four expert juries across project types, regions, and product categories, the winners and honorable mentions below represent the highest achievements today in design that addresses climate change, ecosystem health, human health, and equity.
855 Brannan wins 2021 PCBC Gold Nugget Award – Merit, Best Multi-Family Housing
855 Brannan is a significant contribution to the housing and public realm needs of the fast-growing San Francisco SOMA and Design District neighborhoods. This mixed-use project occupies three quarters of a city block bringing new public open space and streetscape improvements for residents, local workers, and the community.
Climate Positive Design receives 2020 ASLA Professional Award – Honor, Research Category
Climate Positive Design is a research initiative that launched in 2019 to improve the carbon impact of the built environment through collective action. Its mission is to help projects become Climate Positive solutions that sequester more carbon than they emit.
Daggett Park recognized with 2018 American Society of Landscape Architects Northern California Chapter Merit Award – General Design
Daggett Park is a 1-acre public park is a vibrant community space serving families and residents from several surrounding neighborhoods. The project exemplifies how community members, public agencies, and forward- thinking developers can come together to provide much needed housing and public open space on underused brownfield sites. The simplicity and openness of the project are complemented by fluid forms, robust materials and attention to craft and detail to create an idiosyncratic and welcoming space.
ASLA Northern California Chapter acknowledges the outstanding work of bay area landscape architects with their annual design awards.
An Architecture Guide to the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals
With the expansion and refurbishment of Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California, the landscape and buildings are designed to increase community connectivity, provide public access, create plant and wildlife habitats, and to reflect the culture of the business.
The Plus Side
When designers need to calculate the environmental cost of projects, a new tech tool crunches the numbers.
A New Civic Center Design Hopes to Be All Things to All People
A Q&A with landscape architect Willett Moss.
Pamela Conrad honored with 2021 AILA President’s Award
Pamela Conrad is the recipient of the 2021 AILA President’s Award in recognition of her global leadership in the development of the Pathfinder landscape carbon calculator app.
Cleveland Flats Connection Plan recognized with 2019 ASLA Professional Honor Award – Analysis & Planning
The Flats Connections Plan is an open space and trail network that leverages the unique conditions of the neighborhood to revitalize the riverfront and connect it to surrounding communities and to the region. Part of a rich industrial history, the Plan also looks to the present and future, working with neighbors, local organizations, and city officials to incorporate their values and concerns into a vision for the future of the Flats.
Arturo Fuentes-Ortiz elected to ASLA Northern California Chapter Executive Committee
As a member of the ASLA Northern California Chapter Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, Arturo is a strong advocate for increasing the representation of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in the Landscape Architecture profession.
Meta MPK20 awarded 2017 ASLA National Professional Award – Honor, General Design Category
American Society of Landscape Architects recognized MPK20 with 2017 Professional Award – Honor, General Design category. As the first of several new buildings completed as part of a broader vision for the campus, MPK 20 sets a benchmark for the creation of complex, yet resilient urban ecologies.