Landscape architecture students’ plans earn Texas ASLA Awards

Galen Newman

Jeremy Merrill

Jun Hyun Kim

Master plans by Texas A&M [landscape architecture] ( students addressing urban neighborhoods’ flooding and crime, unintended effects of gentrification, and additional environmental and societal issues earned top honors from the [Texas Chapter] ( of the [American Society of Landscape Architects] ( .

Students received their awards at an April 19 luncheon during the 2018 Texas ALSA [conference] ( in the Galveston Island Convention Center.

Texas A&M’s five winning projects were selected from a pool of entries submitted by university students across the state by a jury of academics and industry professionals.

Award of Excellence

Graduate students Xueqi Song and Rui Zhu earned an Award of Excellence, the top student project honor presented by the Texas ASLA, for “Resilience Through Regeneration,” a master plan to improve a low-income neighborhood in south Houston.

In the plan, vacant parcels and crime-attracting, dilapidated buildings in the neighborhood are replaced with single and multifamily housing, while flood vulnerability is reduced with the addition of storm water retention ponds, interconnected community gardens and green spaces.

The recommended changes result in a tripling of the neighborhood’s green space, a 15-percent jump in multifamily housing, and significant increases in commercial and institutional space.

The students were advised by Galen Newman , an associate professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning.

Honor awards

Three teams of Texas A&M landscape architecture students earned honor awards.

One group proposed a new outdoor classroom, more gathering space, and additional amenities for students at Texas A&M’s [Soltis Center for Research and Education] ( in Costa Rica, to boost center users’ opportunities for learning and relaxation.

Undergraduate students Kourtney Gonzalez, Philip Hammond, Alaina Parker and Maritza Sanchez created the proposal. They were advised by Jun-Hyun Kim , former assistant professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning.

In another Honor Award-winning entry, a group of undergraduate students sought to protect low-income residents from getting pushed out of their gentrifying Houston neighborhood with a master plan that includes affordable housing and restricted commercial development.

The plan was created by Catalino Diaz, Damaris Martinez, Antoni Kwiatkowski, Natalie Somerville and Eun Taek Yoon . They were advised by Newman and Jeremy Merrill , an assistant professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning.

In another plan that earned an Honor Award, students sought to reduce flooding in a portion of coastal League City, Texas by decreasing the proposal area’s impermeable surfaces and dramatically increasing the amount of captured storm water runoff.

The plan was created by graduate students Shen-Yu Hu, Priya Katoch and Lingshuang Meng, who were advised by Newman .

Merit award

A proposal to increase green space and rainwater harvesting to reduce development-related storm water runoff in the rapidly growing Bryan/College station area earned a merit award.

The plan was developed by graduate students Xinyi Bu, Yaxuan Han and Carolina Pena Rojas , who were advised by Newman .

Richard Nira

posted April 27, 2018