Gill Williams

Principal | Landscape Architect
Licensure: Oregon, Arizona, Washington

Role at GreenWorks:
Gill Williams, PLA, ALSA, joined Greenworks in March of 2015 as a principal. Gill brings leadership with firm management, business development, design and construction to supplement GreenWorks’ team of landscape architects and planners. Throughout his professional career he has led multi-disciplinary teams as a project manager, landscape architect and natural resource planner. He will build and manage teams across disciplines to forge holistic, sustainable solutions to complex problems with longevity and durability in mind. He maintains strong relationships with clients from federal, state and local governments as well private development. He values engagement of the public in meaningful dialogue and strives to create projects that respond to the needs and goals of the stakeholders.

Why I work here:
I grew up in an agrarian landscape in central Arizona. Cotton and wheat fields stretched for miles against a backdrop of rugged mountains and the vast Sonora Desert. I found the juxtaposition between the two fascinating. The repetition and symmetry of the farm fields around me, each on a one mile grid, spawned my interest in the land, its order, productivity, ownership and use. I, without a doubt, benefitted from this ever expanding real estate and agricultural economy. I also witnessed unbridled use and abuse of the surrounding natural landscape and its resources.  My conclusion was that this interface between humans and nature, while inevitable, could be more symbiotic. While attending college at the University of Arizona in the School of Renewable Natural Resources, the Landscape Architecture program exposed me to the broad spectrum of our natural system(s), our impact on it and our ultimate responsibility for its preservation. It was also at this time that I was exposed to the limits of financial resources (what college student isn’t?). Additionally, my appreciation of the rich cultural diversity of southern Arizona began to develop during these years and it was with this new found ethic and diploma in hand that I moved to Portland in 1992.

There are many similarities between Oregon and Arizona. In fact, Oregon’s constitution was used as a model by the State of Arizona during the latter’s 1912 quest for statehood. The states share similar agricultural and natural resource-based economies, similar vast amounts of open space and diverse demographics. However, there remains a difference. Oregon has a rein on unregulated growth. As I have watched desert landscapes of my childhood give way to roof tops, congestion, and pavement, I have a profound appreciation for that line that contains sprawl called the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB). With this desire for increased density, the citizens of each city require a mix of accessible open space, a variety of transportation options, economic opportunity, access to clean water and air, visual and physical access to our rivers and coastline, and safe and livable neighborhoods.  As a parent I believe my children and their children deserve the same.  As a landscape architect I am uniquely qualified to impact the ongoing realization of these goals and the synthesis between the built and natural environment. As a principal at GreenWorks I have found a group of like-minded individuals that share my vision of that future. I am unabashed and proud to be a member of this relatively young and noble profession and I am fortunate to live in this place at this time.