The Firm That’s Honoring (And Saving) Portland’s Natural Resources



Founded in 1987, Portland-based GreenWorks has steadily emerged as a leader in landscape design with its unique approach to shaping places that work for people just as they celebrate and protect natural resources. With major parks and recreation projects across the Northwest, including Portland’s first bike park at Gateway Green (top), GreenWorks’ new managing principal Gill Williams is bringing the firm squarely into the future.

How do you define “sustainable design”? To me, it has three tenants: environmental, physical and social. We’ve honed our approach to the natural and environmental over the years, but today the social issues facing our communities are profound. As designers of environments, it’s our duty to create places that are adaptable, equitable and accessible. 

What’s most important to you in design today? We’re landscape architects, so we’re always concerned with our impact on the spaces around us. As a firm, we’ve realized that in order to reflect what we’d like to see externally, we need to model those behaviors and approaches internally. It’s designing from the inside out. 

What’s next for GreenWorks? We just moved to a new office on the Central Eastside, across the river from downtown Portland. It’s an emerging neighborhood, and we’re excited to help shape its character.