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ASLA Medal to EDAW CEO Joe Brown, FASLA

"The universe can be in the smallest garden. That's a wonderful role for landscape architects. That's not the role I aspire to or aspire for the profession, certainly not exclusively. I think landscape can be this great mediating milieu of design, where we connect all the dots. We have the bigger picture; we have the smaller picture; we have the built environment, we have the man-made natural environment and the nonman-made environment."-- Joseph Brown, FASLA, reflecting on the role of landscape architects

Joe Brown, FASLA, a guiding force behind EDAW’s worldwide expansion, and an aggressive voice in his profession’s move toward deeper collaboration among disciplines, is the 2009 recipient of the ASLA Medal.

The ASLA Medal is the highest honor bestowed on a landscape architect by the American Society of Landscape Architects and reflects lifetime achievements and contributions to the profession.

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Mr. Brown is the CEO and guiding visionary of EDAW | AECOM. He develops and implements plans, policies, strategies and budgets and is the embodiment of the firm's leadership values.

His career path was originally architecture. He received a BA in architecture from Catholic University before resetting his sights on landscape architecture and getting his MLA in urban design from Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

He joined EDAW in 1972 and became the CEO in 1992. He has molded the firm into an international force and been a mentor to a generation of EDAW employees. EDAW become part of the AECOM family of design, engineering, planning, program, and construction management companies in 2006. The firm has about 1,500 employees in 27 offices throughout the U.S., Australia, China, Hong Kong, the U.K. and the Middle East.

Joe was nominated to the ASLA Class of Fellows in 1992.

Mr. Brown has taught at Harvard Graduate School of Design, the University of Virginia and George Washington University and is author and subject of numerous articles. Despite his many leadership roles, Brown has remained a designer's designer and a practicing landscape architect whose notable works include the Signers' Memorial in Washington, D.C.; redevelopment of Denver's Stapleton Airport; Tokyo midtown; and, currently, the public domain and streetscape design for the former World Trade Center site in New York.

Barbara Faga, FASLA, EDAW principal and past president of the Landscape Architecture Foundation, wrote the letter of nomination to ASLA. "Since taking the reins in 1992, Joe has transformed the firm into a guiding force for land stewardship," wrote Ms. Faga. "In the midst of building EDAW, Joe has never stopped being a designer. One of the keys to our firm's success has been strong, repeat clients who respect and admire Joe. (He) has been a leading figure in the Urban Land Institute, an organization that represents the land developers and public authorities who are our client base."

Joe is a member of the Urban Land Institute executive committee and vice chairman of its board of trustees, chairman of the Gerald Hines Urban Design Competition and jury chair of the J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionary Leadership in Urban Development.

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February 16, 2019, 6:35 am PST

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