A powerful leader in healing post-industrial New York City’s landscapes, Signe Nielsen and her firm, MNLA, have revitalized Lincoln Center’s public plazas, restored St. Paul’s historic churchyard, devised the master plan for the South Bronx Greenway, and transformed more than 22 miles of waterfront into places that are restorative for people and natural processes—including the Tribeca section of Hudson River Park and Brooklyn’s Fulton Landing. Each of her design sites addresses multiple challenges, from protecting shorelines from the damaging effects of climate change to providing communities with safe, beautiful gathering spaces.
Her current focus is Pier 55, a high-profile island park that will be built in the Hudson River. An ASLA Fellow, a professor at Pratt Institute, and president of New York City’s Public Design Commission, Nielsen is a tireless advocate for policy change that supports sustainable, inspiring, diverse urban spaces. Her work has received more than two dozen national design awards and been published extensively in professional journals and books.