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Tony Bradwell honoured for contributions to landscape architecture

Urban Systems team member to receive CSLA’s highest honour

Tony Bradwell now holds the highest honour offered by the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA), after being nominated by his Urban Systems peers.

Tony was officially inducted into CSLA College of Fellows during the society’s May 29-31 Congress in Ottawa, in the category of Built Works and Service to the Community or the Public.

The award recognizes an exceptionally creative approach to the profession.

The journey has been long and somewhat circuitous, but Tony says he reached a point in his career some years back where he became captivated by the promise in landscape architecture to help create vibrant communities.

A leading example is the City of Kamloops Water Treatment Plant. It started out as a cinderblock plant design exercise, and ended up going far beyond that, thanks largely to Tony’s expansive perspective.

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The plant was transformed into an architecturally significant building that functions as a revenue-generating facility and management training centre. It also includes the creation of a significant wetland/park to clean reject water before releasing it back into the river.

The Kamloops project is only one example of this generative approach.

In the course of his career, Tony has also found ways to leverage the upgrading of water mains and other utilities into downtown revitalizations for numerous small, cash-strapped communities throughout the B.C. interior.

For many years, Tony was one of a handful of landscape architectural practitioners in the interior of the province. Through his collaborative working relationships he has been able to introduce the profession and its value to many small communities that otherwise would not have this exposure.

“The profession resonated with me as something through which I could help others make a difference — do things with land and space in a way that would provide some benefit,” Tony says.

“I saw within landscape architecture an opportunity to consider, to speak to, what contribution design could make to community.”

At the heart of his work is a commitment and an intention to consider not just the client’s short-term interests and goals, but also the needs, desires and ideas of the ultimate users — the people who will be enjoying a park, for instance. How can their anticipated experiences in the future shape the design of the park today? He’s not just thinking a few years ahead, but 10, 15, 20 years.

He doesn’t just consider the project itself, but the needs and opportunities in the community in which it’s located, and what the larger community impact will be as a result of design interventions that are made through that project.

Because of his commitment and tenacity, Tony has developed a loyal following of community clients who see him as a trusted partner.

He has also opened the eyes of several generations of engineers to the value that landscape architects bring to the table.

Read part two of this story here >>

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