Asakura Robinson Welcomes Jessica Young

May 9, 2024   /   Asakura Robinson, Office Culture, Project News

Sustainability and resilience are core tenants of our mission-driven approach to planning, urban design, and landscape architecture. In alignment with our mission of environmental stewardship, healthy and empowered communities, and equitable outcomes, we are happy to announce that Jessica Young, a climate and resilience planner, has joined our Austin studio.

Jessica is a passionate advocate for planning solutions that center communities disproportionately impacted by climate change and historic disinvestment. She strives to improve the lived experience of community members in the face of climate change by developing implementable adaptation strategies. Like Jessica, our firm sees the power planning has in sustainably addressing the needs of a community and its environment. At Asakura Robinson Jessica is leading discussions within the firm about how we can establish climate resilience and sustainability as a tenet of our entire portfolio of work.


“Resilience and sustainability are threads that connect landscape, urban design, and planning projects,” Jessica said. “By thinking about how our projects impact communities over different scales and timelines, we are able to create plans and designs that serve a real purpose, with implementable strategies that take into account historic context, community needs, and the challenges we are going to face as the climate crisis accelerates.”


This month she is developing recommendations for the City of Houston’s Parks and Recreation Water Plan to incorporate green stormwater infrastructure into existing and future assets to make for more resilient parks and, ultimately, communities. She is also part of the team developing the comprehensive plan update for the City of Shreveport, LA, ensuring that recommendations and analysis of existing conditions are grounded in resilience and climate adaptation and take into account how environmental features and historic policies have shaped the built and social environment.

Before joining AR, Jessica served as the Project Manager for the Austin Area Sustainability Indicators study at the LBJ School of Public Affairs where she worked directly with a community group, the City of Austin, Travis County, and researchers at Texas A&M to co-create a new research tool that assesses social, health, economic, and climate indicators over time. Before she entered the planning field, she led environmental protection program work at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, with a specific focus on environmental justice, clean air, and access to green space and coastal areas. She recently co-authored the American Planning Association’s Planner’s Perspectives on Climate report and survey and has published research on municipal barriers to climate action planning.

In reflecting on our efforts in sustainable planning and looking forward to the continued incorporation of sustainability across all future projects, we’ve highlighted three of our more recent projects which celebrate the value of ecological health. 

In February, our firm drafted a sustainability plan for the City of Dublin, Ohio which builds upon two decades of the city’s dedicated commitment to sustainability. Through a detailed investigation of the city’s 2018 Sustainability Framework, greenhouse gas emission data, and public engagement, we identified four key areas of opportunity: 

  • “Sustainable Leadership,” emphasizing partnerships and equity;
  • “Adaptive Development,” prioritizing mobility and renewable energy;
  • “Environmental Assets + Natural Resources,” targeting water and air quality;
  • “Waste Management & Circulation,” aiming for a zero-waste circular economy. 

The plan underscores Dublin’s dedication to a sustainable future and is expected to be adopted by the City Council in Summer 2024.

Lastly, our firm’s development of a One Health Index for Harris County recognizes that work at the intersection of animal & biodiversity health, human health & well-being, and environmental health provides a unique framework for promoting community action, collaboration, and growth. We identified the data sets through existing research and refined them through a series of multidisciplinary discussions with subject matter experts (SMEs). AR held further stakeholder engagement on a regular basis and coordinated between representatives from HARC, Harris County Public Health, and the Nature Conservancy to continually refine index metrics and ensure the project vision was consistently applied to data-related efforts. These efforts helped maintain a shared understanding of project purpose and expected outcomes.

At Asakura Robinson, we believe resilient ecologies sustain and grow resilient communities. As our team grows, we remain committed to sustainability and will continue to passionately promote the connection between people and nature.

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