Instructor: Richard Roark

Richard Roark
Richard Roark, a landscape architect with accreditations in LEED and Sustainable SITES, centers his work around creating sustainable, economical, and thoughtfully crafted public landscapes.

Spanning a variety of scales and types, Roark's portfolio ranges from the bustling Eastern Market of Detroit to the expansive 51 miles of the Los Angeles River. At the heart of his work lies a dedication to invigorating the public realm while ensuring that development brings value without displacement, promotes social justice, and creates opportunities for all. His commitment to shared, ecologically-sound landscapes can be seen in projects like the post Superstorm Sandy restoration of the Red Hook Homes in Brooklyn, the Northwest Resilience Park in Hoboken, New Jersey, and the comprehensive infrastructure plan for the environmental justice communities of Caño Martín Peña in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Roark's efforts have been recognized in his field. In 2020, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) awarded the Urban Design Award of Excellence for Dilworth Park. He received the Community Strategy of the Year award at the 2018 Detroit Community Development Awards for his Eastern Market 2025 Strategy. His work on Dilworth Park also earned the Good Design Award from the Chicago Athenaeum in 2016. In 2021, the Floodplain Management Association recognized his contribution to the LA River Master Plan Update with the Integrated Floodplain Management Award. His commitment to sustainable practices is evident in his Circular Soils project, which received the EPA 2022 Phase 2 and Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Grants for building green infrastructure soils from food compost and waste glass and a 2022 ASLA Honor Award for Research.

Recently, Roark completed a comprehensive infrastructure plan for the communities of Caño Martín Peña and a rewilding plan for a heavily mined quarry landscape at Sojourner Truth Park. Beyond his projects, Roark serves on the board of Studio Ludo, a non-profit advocating for innovative play research.

Classes by this instructor