Nurturing a Sustainable Future: Reflecting on mission driven values that have shaped our practice

March 25, 2024   /   Project News

As we commemorate Asakura Robinson’s 20-year anniversary, we’re excited to talk about three values that have shaped our journey: Ecologies that Grow, Communities that Flourish, Technology that Empowers. These aren’t just ideals; they’re the core tenets behind everything we do. Today, we begin by delving into Ecologies that Grow, the foundation of our commitment to creating sustainable and thriving environments.

Part 1: Ecologies that Grow: Planetary health, thriving ecosystems and places that respond and adapt to environments

At Asakura Robinson, we believe that the foundation of any thriving community begins with a deep commitment to the environment. Ecology isn’t just a buzzword for us; it’s the cornerstone of our mission and the driving force behind everything we do. As a planning, urban design, and landscape architecture firm, we understand that our actions today have a profound impact on the world we leave for future generations. 

Our approach to ecology is multifaceted, reflecting our dedication to regeneration, low impact, adaptation, and social responsibility.


We recognize that true sustainability goes beyond simply minimizing harm; it’s about actively restoring and replenishing the natural world. Through our projects, we aim to regenerate ecosystems, breathing new life into landscapes and fostering biodiversity.

Our work on Resilient Houston epitomizes regeneration through its comprehensive approach to building resilience in the face of diverse challenges. By integrating innovative strategies such as green infrastructure and community engagement, our initiative not only enhances the city’s ability to recover from disasters like Hurricane Harvey but also fosters long-term sustainability and vitality. Through collaborative efforts with diverse stakeholders and the incorporation of neighborhood-based solutions, our work embodies a vision where Houston emerges stronger, more inclusive, and better prepared to thrive in the face of future adversities. Since it’s completion, the plan has shaped resiliency through its many recommendations; a 2022 audit saw 1.4 million trees planted, 86 green stormwater infrastructure projects initiated, and almost 52,000 new homes built. Find out more about the progress here.

MD Anderson Cancer Center’s decision to replace a demolished building with a prairie instead of a parking lot reflects their commitment to health values and aligns with the site’s history as an ancient prairie. Asakura Robinson worked with the Center staff and other stakeholders to transform this urban site into a flourishing native habitat. This choice sparked a trend, with prairies becoming a centerpiece of the campus and wider community. The project’s success in attracting diverse wildlife demonstrates the rejuvenating effect of such natural spaces, serving as vital havens for both humans and wildlife alike. The legacy of these urban prairies extends beyond mere aesthetics, offering tangible benefits to mental and physical well-being while reconnecting people with the oldest relationship humanity has: nature.

Low Impact Design

Low impact design is another key tenet of our ecological philosophy. We plan to minimize our footprint on the environment, whether through innovative design strategies, sustainable materials, or thoughtful urban design practices. By doing so, we ensure that our projects contribute to planetary health.

LID Guide: Designing for Impact

The LID Guide Designing for Impact embodies Low Impact Development (LID) by effectively communicating strategies for implementing green stormwater infrastructure across the Houston region. The guide promotes LID as an environmentally friendly and cost-effective approach to development, catering to a diverse audience of property owners, engineers, planners, designers, and developers. By utilizing clear graphics, case studies, and sample estimates, the guide demystifies the complexities of LID, making it accessible and increasing its impact in the region. Through this project, Asakura Robinson demonstrates a commitment to sustainability in landscape architecture, planning, and design, effectively accommodating future development while managing stormwater in a manner that minimizes environmental impact.

Harris County’s first “green park” and first USGBC LEED registered project, Gene Green Park is 230-acres of parkland in northeast Houston. This project exemplifies LID principles by integrating dual-use detention basins with park amenities, reflecting community vision.The design incorporates LID techniques such as bioswales and meandering streams to manage stormwater through native vegetation, with wetland preservation and reduced impervious paving. Community engagement, including high school student involvement, shaped park programming and amenities like an “Xtreme Park” with skateboarding and BMX features.


Adaptation is essential in a rapidly changing world. As stewards of the environment, we must anticipate and respond to the challenges of climate change, rising sea levels, and extreme weather events. Our designs prioritize resilience, allowing communities to withstand and recover from environmental disruptions.

The adaptive reuse of the golf course for flood mitigation and recreation networks in Inwood Forest repurposes existing infrastructure to address flood vulnerability and enhance community resilience. Through collaboration with stakeholders and innovative design options, the project integrates detention basins for flood control while preserving site amenities. Landscape plans incorporate native plant communities for ecological benefits and offer recreational opportunities, fostering community engagement and connectivity within the region. Once complete, the project will include a series of basins that will be able to hold enough water to fill 1,200 Olympic-size swimming pools or even the Astrodome and provide flood damage reduction to over 4,400 structures in the White Oak Bayou and Vogel Creek watershed,

Japhet Creek Vision Plan

The master plan for rehabilitating Japhet Creek exemplifies adaptation by revitalizing a neglected natural asset in the heart of Houston’s Fifth Ward. Asakura Robinson’s collaboration with the Buffalo Bayou Partnership aims to reconnect the community with Japhet Creek, enhancing accessibility and restoring its ecological vitality. Through invasive plant removal and debris cleanup, the project restores the creek’s natural habitat, providing residents with a serene escape from urban life. By incorporating amenities and activities in a natural setting, the plan addresses community needs for relaxation and recreation. This initiative aligns with the broader East Master Plan, marking a proactive step towards adaptive urban development and community revitalization.

Social responsibility

Social responsibility is at the heart of our ecological ethos. We recognize that environmental issues disproportionately affect marginalized communities, and we’re committed to promoting environmental justice and equity in all of our projects. By engaging with communities, listening to their needs, and co-creating solutions, we ensure that our work benefits everyone, regardless of race, income, or background.

Plant Seeds for Change

This engaging project exemplifies the social dimension by fostering collaboration between diverse stakeholders and community members to address climate-related hazards in Galveston’s Old Central Carver Park neighborhood. By engaging scientists, designers, planners, and community leaders, the initiative promotes grassroots resilience and empowers residents to participate in decision-making processes. Through the identification of nature-based solutions tailored to the community’s needs, such as planting tree canopies and capturing rainwater, the project enhances social cohesion and equity by prioritizing the most vulnerable residents and ensuring their voices are heard in the planning and implementation of resilience measures.

The Central Williamson Creek Greenway Vision Plan embodies a commitment to social responsibility by prioritizing community engagement and collaboration. Asakura Robinson and team members facilitated extensive community conversations and visioning sessions to ensure the development of green spaces aligned with the needs and desires of residents. Decisions were then made to balance community priorities with environmental sustainability. The project emphasized the creation of healthy park amenities while promoting vital ecological benefits such as flood control and wildlife habitat preservation. By providing opportunities for residents to connect with nature and use green spaces for recreation and social gatherings, the project enhances community well-being and fosters a sense of ownership and stewardship among residents.

Ecology is a guiding value that shapes every aspect of our work. By embracing the interconnectedness of all living things and honoring the delicate balance of our planet, we create healthier, more resilient communities for generations to come.

Greenprinting: Mapping Nature-Based Solutions February 19, 2024   /   Press / Awards