Keiji Asakura

KeijiAsakuraKeiji has served as a landscape architect and urban planner to the Houston community for over 30 years. His dedication to community service has been acknowledged by the receipt of several awards over the years including the American Society of Landscape Architect’s 2011 Distinguished Member Award and President Obama’s 2009 Call to Service Award. As an active board member of Keep Houston Beautiful for 16 years, Keiji dedicated thousands of volunteer hours to beautifying Houston neighborhoods. His accomplishments have been more than hands-on; he worked with the Public Works Department to develop the Adopt-a-Ditch program and later updated the Adopt-an-Esplanade program, both programs focusing on improved water quality in Houston, a topic in which he consistently pushes local authorities to become more engaged.

Keiji’s passion to promote environmental justice has led him to reach out to underserved neighborhoods through program development with organizations such as LISC’s Go-Neighborhood program; Houston Endowment’s NEA Placemaking grant; Texas A&M’s Coastal Citizen Planner Program; USGBC Galveston’s Hurricane Ike Recovery Initiative; BetterBlock Houston; Collaborative for Children’s Nature Play Initiative; and Neighborhood Centers, Inc. to name a few.

As a change-agent for urban design and sustainability Keiji’s passionate voice has been instrumental in influencing policy and ordinance. His role in the City’s Urban Corridor Study aimed to change the way pedestrian and bicyclist transit enhances urbanism in the region, and his participation on the recent ULI TAP to revitalize southern downtown emphasized open space as a catalyst for redevelopment. City Gardens, the series of container vegetable gardens outside 611 Walker was Keiji’s brainchild. The volunteer project evolved through collaboration with Public Work’s officials and staff, Mayor Parker, Laura Spanjian, Urban Harvest and Keep Houston Beautiful. National recognition included a feature in Michelle Obama’s book, American Grown.

As founder and Principal of Asakura Robinson Company, Keiji continues to promote safe and smart urbanism through his staff, encouraging community service and personal growth to reflect his own philosophy.