Openlands, a Chicago-based metropolitan conservation organization, presented its 2012 Conservation Leadership Award to Philip Enquist, FAIA, Partner in Charge of Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP’s global City Design Practice.
The award recognizes Enquist’s impact on the sustainability of cities worldwide, including his commitment to conservation in Chicago and the Great Lakes region.
In just the last year, the Enquist-led City Design Practice has worked in more than 25 cities on four continents. In emerging cities from China to Turkey, Enquist has sought to reverse unsustainable development trends and balance urban development with the preservation and creation of natural areas. Enquist’s environmental stewardship is especially evident in cities where his designs have reestablished green public waterfronts.
“Sustainable design is not simply about making sure that cities are energy and water efficient,” Enquist said in a statement. “Urban design must protect and enhance our ecological assets.”
Enquist’s work has not been limited to urban areas, however. The Great Lakes Century is a four-year pro-bono initiative to create a 100-year vision for the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Basin. The project outlines strategies for cities, mobility, and clean energy, and proposes the first “international park” to celebrate the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth.
In Chicago, Enquist is spearheading Chicago Lakeside, a mixed-use development by McCaffery Interests that will transform the site of a former steel mill into a sustainable urban community. The 600-acre project will extend Chicago’s public lakefront and create access to Lake Michigan with a network of green streetscapes, small and large parks, and a bird sanctuary with native plantings.