Led by a coalition of residents in the Caño Martín Peña District, the plan will increase access to safe drinking water, flood protection, economic opportunities, and safe housing and open space
By Lisa Hardaway
ASLA and the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) announced that the Caño Martín Peña Comprehensive Infrastructure Master Plan in San Juan, Puerto Rico, by the landscape architecture firm OLIN and their client Corporación del Proyecto ENLACE del Caño Martín Peña has won the ASLA/IFLA 2023 Global Impact Award.
The ASLA/IFLA Global Impact Award is presented to a project in the Analysis and Planning category of the annual ASLA Awards. The award is given to a work of landscape architecture that demonstrates excellence in addressing climate impacts through transformative action, scalable solutions, and adherence to ASLA’s and IFLA’s climate action commitments.
“This project is so deserving of the inaugural ASLA/IFLA Global Impact Award because it showcases the full range of expertise in landscape architecture,” said ASLA President Emily O’Mahoney, FASLA. “Community engagement and data-driven decision-making inform a design that will address chronic flooding in a way that creates healthy green spaces, improving both mental and physical wellbeing of the neighborhood.”
“As the impacts of climate change increase, so does the importance of the work of landscape architects,” said Torey Carter-Conneen, CEO of ASLA. “The residents of Caño Martín Peña have a long history of taking action to address needs in their community. For this plan, they knew they needed a visionary problem-solving partner and they found that in OLIN.”
“This project stands as an inspiring statement to the pivotal role of landscape architecture as the profession of the 21st century – a profession adeptly poised to navigate the challenges that will define new ways of living and designing for future generations,” said Dr. Bruno Marques, President of the International Federation of Landscape Architects.
“Anchored in a profound comprehension of the natural environment, the built environment, and the interface between them, this project not only protects the only tropical estuary in the United States but also provides a comprehensive infrastructure master plan that caters for the community’s health and wellbeing. Within this myriad of complexities, design solutions that address climate resilience, biodiversity, flooding, housing and nature-based solutions are meticulously explored. Projects like this one call upon landscape architects to raise their voices and share their insights so we keep raising the profile of the profession.”
“OLIN is delighted to see the Caño Martín Peña Comprehensive Infrastructure Master Plan recognized! If we are to respond to climate change justly, it has to be led by the voice of the community,” said Richard Roark, ASLA, Partner at OLIN. “The plan reimagines traditional infrastructure systems as a force for rebuilding social capital and environmental equity. Everything we planned for comes from understanding a community’s relationship to their neighbors, to the estuary they live beside and the shared resources between them.”
Corporación del Proyecto ENLACE del Caño Martín Peña’s reaction to the award news:
“This award is a recognition of the ongoing participatory planning process that for many years has been led and implemented by the G-8 Inc. in collaboration with the Proyecto ENLACE Corporation and the Caño Martín Peña Community Land Trust as a social and environmental justice project, addressing the community’s needs and aspirations as well as climate change challenges in a sustainable, inclusive and innovative manner,” said Mario Núñez Mercado, Executive Director of ENLACE.
Grupo de las Ocho Comunidades Aledañas al Caño Martín Peña or G-8 Inc.’s reaction to the award news:
“The creation and implementation of the plan culminates the hard work of a team who fought to transform this great community for current and future residents. Showing the country that when there’s passion, anything is possible. This award shows us we have done things right and we hope to be a beacon for other communities in pursuit of accomplishing their goals,” said Lucy Cruz Rivera, President of G-8 Inc.
The Global Impact Award was announced as part of the ASLA 2023 Professional Awards. This year, thirty-four winners in multiple categories showcase innovation and represent the highest level of achievement in the landscape architecture profession.
Award recipients and their clients will be honored in person at the awards presentation ceremony during the ASLA 2023 Conference on Landscape Architecture in Minneapolis, MN., October 27-30.
The 2023 Professional Awards Jury includes:
Jury 1- General Design, Residential Design, & Urban Design
Chair: Kimberly Garza, ASLA, ATLAS Lab Inc.
Michel Borg, AIA, Page Think
Shuyi Chang, ASLA, SWA
Chingwen Cheng, PhD, ASLA, Arizona State University
Jamie Maslyn Larson, FASLA, Tohono Chul
Garry Meus, National Capital Commission
Jennifer Nitzky, FASLA, Studio HIP
Jury 2 – Analysis & Planning ASLA / IFLA Global Impact Award, Research & Communications
Chair: Maura Rockcastle, ASLA, Ten x Ten
Camille Applewhite, ASLA, Site Design Group
Stephanie Grigsby, ASLA, Design Workshop, Inc
Mitchell Silver, Hon. ASLA, McAdams
Michael Stanley, FASLA, Dream Design International, Inc.
Michael Todoran, The Landscape Architecture Podcast
Yujia Wang, ASLA, University of Nebraska
Joining the professional awards jury for the selection of the Analysis & Planning – ASLA / IFLA Global Impact Award category will be a representative on behalf of the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA).
Monica Pallares, IFLA Americas
Also, joining the professional jury for the selection of the Research Category will be representatives on behalf of the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) and the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA).
Jenn Engelke, ASLA, University of Washington, LAF Representative
Sohyun Park, ASLA, University of Connecticut, CELA Representative