Lakota Wins Merit Award for St. Cloud Placemaking

The Lakota Group was recently presented with a Merit Award by the Illinois chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ILASLA) for its innovative work in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Engaged to help identify placemaking strategies and opportunities to enhance quality of life, Lakota worked to educate St. Cloud residents on the theory behind placemaking and encouraged participation of St. Cloud community members through training sessions, group conversations, and a temporary space in a downtown storefront.   This intensive stakeholder engagement process generated wonderful conversations regarding individual visions and their large-scale, collective application and persuaded the City to add a rebranding effort to the Placemaking process.  Working closely with its long-time ally sparc, inc., a marketing and branding sub-consultant, Lakota helped the community identify what key attributes contributed to St. Cloud’s “sense of place” and fundamental identity. The result? A new and exciting vision for greater St. Cloud, or, as the new branding campaign calls it, St. Cloud: GREATER.

Once this concept and the accompanying placemaking elements were developed, the challenge became how to best communicate the ideas back to the community.  Lakota decided that the best tool was to create a five minute narrated video, set to music, with accompanying images that could be used in a variety of venues to consistently convey the new brand and placemaking concepts.

St. Cloud: GREATER

Merit in Lakota’s North Clark Strategic Plan

It turns out, not one but two of Lakota’s projects were deemed merit-worthy by the ILASLA this year. The North Clark Street Strategic Plan, focusing on a neglected and under-developed parcel of North Clark Street in Lakeview, wins Lakota a second Merit Award. Through several phases of community outreach and design conceptualization, The Lakota Group helped to transform the North Clark Street corridor into a lively section with ample consideration for the pedestrian by using techniques ranging from streetscape and façade aesthetics to traffic  fluidity.

North Clark Street

North Clark Street Rendering