For centuries, humans have altered the natural environment to accommodate the needs of growing populations. An attitude of conquering natural systems, as opposed to one of protection and incorporation has led to a host of economic and environmental complications, such as inefficient use of energy, pollution, destruction of habitats and water shortages. Historic responses have consisted mainly of policies that aim to restrict and prohibit.  While such policies proved some help in altering outcomes, new and more enlightened land use approaches have emerged.

The concept of dynamic conservation has its roots in an emerging, more global realization of the need for stewardship of the earth to provide a sustainable living environment.  Embedded in this idea is the need for comprehensive and holistic land use planning. A stubborn stance for resistance to growth is uninformed and unrealistic based on global population growth projections. Rather, a cooperative and collaborative approach is needed, with public agencies and private enterprise working together to outline long-range, evolving land use plans in which regional growth and protection of the environment will best be balanced.

Current planning practices treat natural systems as infrastructure that is equal to, and in some cases, more important than the built environment.  This is supported by the widespread understanding that nothing exists in isolation – everything, including ourselves, is connected to everything else.  For optimal design efficiency, built and natural systems must be synergistic and this happens when design responds to a logical carrying capacity of the land, rather than simply “as of right” entitlements. In a reversal of conventional processes, carrying capacity is based on pre-development analysis of natural systems, preservation and enhancement rather than post development impacts. Similarly, coastal planning now considers resiliency to the forecasted effects of climate change. Implied in these approaches is a lifecycle measurement of predevelopment and post development conditions. The resulting metrics help us to understand performance so we can adjust design in a way that benefits future generations.

EDSA’s planning approach also layers in social diversity and economic sustainability. This dynamic balance between environmental, economic, and social components of a place is ultimately what fosters a truly successful place. For more information contact us directly at

meet the faces of edsa

systems administrator
ryan bauman
dan wang
vice president
craig stoner

With a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Wisconsin, Ryan soon discovered that his real passion was rooted in technology. This self-taught expert joined EDSA in 2007 and provides technical support to all 120 EDSA employees. As the Systems Administrator, Ryan balances the strategic requirements of the organization against practical constraints as it relates to software, hardware, technological advancements, and the operations reliability of computer systems.  He is an analytical professional who enjoys the challenge of wearing multiple hats and collaborating with designers to streamline systems. Ryan persistently educates himself on new trends related to maintaining network integrity, server deployment and system security, often participating in technical research and development to ensure continuous innovation within the firm. Most recently, Ryan was an integral leader in the implementation of the EDSAxchange, our newly enhanced intranet platform.  

Dan joined the EDSA family in June 2013 as part of the Lalli Studio.  A dynamic and vibrant designer, she likes to push the envelope in her artistic style and personal quests. Having recently experienced her first site visit for the Zhuolu Dongling Mountain project in Hebei Province, China, Dan returned energized with new insights on making design decisions that are not only implementable but contextually appropriate. She enjoys walking the land, understanding its opportunities and constraints, and then confidently infusing that knowledge into her schemes. Dan’s vision is to evolve into an accomplished landscape architect, positively impacting a wide cross-section of geographic regions and project types by applying her passion for people, plants, and the built environment. Dan’s educational background includes a Master’s degree in Ecology from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing and a Master in Landscape Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg.

With a varied work portfolio, ranging from large scale community planning and resort destinations, to infill development, and restoration, Craig combines his extensive knowledge of design and construction to transform outdoor spaces into beautiful surrounds. With a practical eye for design, he is a strong proponent that a project, regardless of form or function, must feel like it innately belongs. Craig’s experience on notable Caribbean projects has strengthened his dedication to creating contextually sensitive planning solutions. His most gratifying assignment has been Camp LeJeune, where he served as project manager and lead designer in the creation of over 3000 new homes within the naval base communities for families of military personnel serving our country. Craig earned his Bachelor in Landscape Architecture from Penn State and joined the EDSA Baltimore team in 2006. Craig currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Federal Hill Main Street Association.

brought to you by the
larrea studio - fort lauderdale

Find the truth in what a project should be.

larrea studio insight

Whether designing a whole site or just a component, a shared vision establishes what the experience will be for its users.  A differentiator for the way EDSA interacts with clients, a design workshop lays the foundation for creating a master plan that enriches the quality of the environment and equally stresses the importance of design ultimately being about and for people.  As designers, one of the biggest responsibilities we have is to define a cohesive vision that guides development – providing direction and inspiration. Immersing developers, owners, operators, community stakeholders, and consultants in this creative process allows for a platform of shared understandings, education on what the land will and will not allow, and a seamless execution methodology.   For the Larrea studio, the impact of this collaborative approach has been undeniable in our expansion throughout Latin America. For projects like Guacalito de la Isla in Nicaragua, Playa Tumbes in Peru, Punta Mita in Mexico, and others, determining how a place will look, how it will function and how it will make people feel, all originated from visioning workshops.  Our holistic approach considers the project as an interconnected whole, incorporating land, environment, and culture, as well as an element of spirituality infused with expertise and strategic goals.  The results are prospering town and cities with a significant impact on regional economies and the growth of an international tourism market. In the end, a unified vision helps the team stay on track, remain focused on the users, and involves clients in the design process in a very meaningful way.

For more information on the Larrea Studio, visit:

of life

A Celebration of Life: Joe Lalli (1943 – 2014)

During his 46 year career as a landscape architect, an artist, a philanthropist, a mentor, and teacher; Joseph J. Lalli helped propel EDSA into one of the world's most influential and highly regarded planning and landscape architecture practices. He touched us not only through his rich, beautiful project designs, but with his kind, gentle, mentoring nature, and honest approach to life.

On November 15th, a celebration of his life took place at his art studio in Fort Lauderdale. Hundreds of friends, family and colleagues gathered to share stories and honor the impact Joe has had in our lives and in the profession. Please visit our Facebook page for a picture gallery of Joe and of the celebration of life event:

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