Founded in 2018, Asakura Robinson’s newest office represents an expansion of our commitment to the communities of the Mississippi River and the growth of our practice in the Great Lake Megalopolis, the region stretching from Montreal and Toronto in the east to Minneapolis in the West. We bring a deep respect for the Twin Cities region’s commitment to progressive planning, cultural diversity, inclusive growth, and to the preservation and public access of natural amenities. Our design perspective strongly complements these priorities: we focus on community-driven planning, sustainable landscapes, and overlapping strategies that include plans, policies, programs, and people.
Led by managing principal Zakcq Lockrem, who also leads our small area planning sector, our Minneapolis office offers full urban planning, design, and landscape architecture services both locally and nationally.
Minneapolis Office Representative Projects
Collaborative Park Design Services for the North Service Area Master Plan
The North Service Area Master Plan Collaborative Park Design Charrette represents a unique effort by the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board to expand the knowledge base, innovation, and creativity in the planning and design process.
Initiated in 2016, The North Service Area Master Plan is a community visioning process that has engaged northern Minneapolis communities in creating a vision for neighborhood parks north of I-394. As part of this effort, Founding Principal, Keiji Asakura, was selected to participate in the week-long Collaborative Park Design charrette to work with community members and develop initial concepts for 7 of the 34 park properties located within the North Service Area.
The park properties ranged from small green spaces to local neighborhood parks to a larger community park. Using previous input from broad community engagement efforts as a starting point, Keiji worked with members of the community to develop context-based concepts that diversify programming across the park properties, creating a unique identity for each site. One concept included a Bicycle Park envisioned as a destination for young children to learn how to bicycle but also for local youth to practice bicycle tricks! These concepts were then shared with the broader community in a series of public open houses.
St Louis Land Bank Assessement
The St. Louis Land Reutiization Authority (LRA) was founded in 1971, making it the oldest land bank in the country, and holds approximately 12,000 vacant properties, 75% vacant lots and 25% vacant structures. Asakura Robinson was engaged by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to conduct an assessment and make recommendations for process improvements based on a deep understanding of LRA operations and research on national best practices. The study identified four key themes developed through research and interviews with over 80 local stakeholders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors:
- the need for the LRA to adopt national best practices;
- the presence of severe constraints on staffing and funding resources that make it difficult for LRA staff to move beyond maintaining basic inventory standards and procedures;
- the clear presence of operational issues throughout the “property lifecycle” of LRA acquisition, maintenance, and disposition; and
- the need to build on previous work and research, particularly the Center for Community Progress’ 2016 report on St. Louis Vacancy.
Finally, the study documents and timelin-based action plan that displays the order in which recommendations should be implemented.
Zakcq Lockrem, Managing Principal
400 South Fourth Street, Suite 401-225
Minneapolis, MN 55415