AIA Minnesota Convention 2015

Minneapolis, November 8, 2016


Architects are increasingly required to participate in, if not design

and lead, stakeholder engagement processes for public, private,

and public-private projects.  Landscape architects responsible for

designing large public-private urban spaces know that a well-

conceived, robust, and genuine stakeholder engagement process

will not only improve the quality of their designs, but can also be

the difference between a completed project and one that never gets

off the boards.  Soliciting and thoughtfully integrating feedback from

the many and varied competing and conflicting interests surrounding a project

is critical to attracting community and political support as well as public and private funds. 


This program was based on a panel discussion with Landscape Architects who have successfully designed prominent public realm projects in Minneapolis, followed by audience Q&A.  The speakers included:


• Mary Margaret Jones, FASLA, FAAR, Senior Principal and President of Hargreaves Associates and designer of

  the Downtown East Commons

• Megan Born, ASLA, Lecturer, University of Pennsylvania School of Design, Former Associate, James Corner

  Field Operations, and project manager for the redesign of Nicollet Mall

• Jean Garbarini, ASLA, PLA, Senior Associate, Damon Farber Landscape Architects, and project manager for

  the Peavey Plaza Historic Structures Report (with Miller Dunwiddie Architects)

• Peter Hendee Brown, AIA, AICP, Ph.D., Owner’s Representative to the City of Minneapolis for the Downtown

  East Commons, Nicollet Mall, and Peavey Plaza projects, and program moderator.


Audience members learned about how to plan and implement a stakeholder engagement process that will lead to a coherent vision and attract broad community and political support, approvals, and funding.  Specifically, audience members learned how to do the following:



• Identify and diagram the five integral elements of a successful public realm project

• List all of the types of stakeholders who have interests in a public realm project

• List the most effective strategies, methods, and tools for collecting stakeholder feedback

• Use stakeholder feedback to develop and test concepts and improve design quality