Maria and Jose Huarte, and Claire Robinson
As Founder and Managing Director, Claire Robinson’s multi-disciplinary background in art, architecture, urban planning, and business have led to Amigos de Los Rios – ‘the Emerald Necklace Group’s’ unique success in creating living infrastructure for Los Angeles County.
Claire believes cities are similar in complexity to living entities and as hosts to over 85% of Americans, she has worked for past 25 years to ensure our metro areas support our optimal public health, civic cultural and spiritual livelihood. Our U.S. cities need a balance of grey and green infrastructure, nature and living infrastructure of forests and nature-based systems are critical within cities.
Claire is a legacy expert in planning and implementing multi-objective community-based watershed and green infrastructure projects. Under her direction, Amigos de Los Rios, also known as the Emerald Necklace Group has collaborated with a myriad agency and community partners to outline an APA award-winning (2016) regional green infrastructure vision known as the Emerald Necklace Expanded Vision Plan.
Claire and over 160 Emerald Necklace Natural Infrastructure “Fellows” (university graduate trainees) over the past 15 years have launched an Emerald Necklace Coalition of Agencies and raised over $50,000,000 in successful competitive grants, required to complete 35 Urban Greening Pilot projects within disadvantaged communities in East Los Angeles County. Every project Amigos de Los Rios does follows a community-based design process and strives to marry culturally relevant spaces with green infrastructure attributes.
Celebration for South El Monte’s Mini Center and Mary Van Dyke Park
As a national leader in metropolitan greenspace development, Claire serves as Co-Chair of the Metropolitan Greenspaces Alliance (MGA) and is a USDA Secretary of Agriculture appointed a member of the National Urban Forestry Advisory Council.
In Los Angeles, Claire has led Amigos successful participation in the San Gabriel Mountains Forever Coalition and currently serves on: the National Forest Foundation Community Collaborative, formed to guide the development of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Management Plan, and the Executive Advisory Committee for the Los Angeles Urban Forestry Lab. She is a founding member and serves on Los Angeles County’s ’‘EnviroMetro”; a sustainable transportation coalition.
Claire enjoys working with young planners, designers, and architects who are passionate about the life of cities and who appreciate the urgency of convergent infrastructure approach to infrastructure planning. She leverages 12 years of teaching architecture and design at Carlton University, Rhode Island School of Design, Harvard GSD, Versailles Ecoles des Beaux Arts in France and serving as visiting critic at schools all over the country.
Claire with daughter Julia