Biographical Narrative by James Patchett
Soon after Jerry Wilhelm joined the firm on a full-time basis in January, 1996, we began searching for a Principal level landscape architect/ planner who possessed a genuine passion for sustainable design coupled with an extensive background in land planning and development. In a stroke of good fortune, Jerry and I were called in to assist on the ecological restoration design component of Mill Creek, a 1,600 acre mixed-use development in Geneva, IL where we were introduced to David Yocca, one of the principal planners of the project. Based on his interest to focus in sustainable design, David had recently broken out on his own after a more than decade-long relationship with another firm. At the time, Mill Creek represented one of the country’s first and most ambitious attempts to integrate the concepts of new urbanism or traditional community planning with environmentally sustainable design, development, and management measures.
It didn’t take long for us to recognize David’s qualities and that his passion and commitment to sustainability were genuine and consistent with the mission and philosophies of CDF. After several months of collaboration and dialogue that allowed us sufficient time to get to know each other, David formally joined CDF in the fall of 1996.
As one of our Principal partners, David’s contributions are invaluable. He has a remarkable ability to quickly assess the potential of a site, a neighborhood, or a community, and based on multiple factors including the development program and corresponding budget, identify solutions that creatively integrate economic, social, and ecological considerations. Rather than rely on a set of rigidly applied principles imposed repeatedly regardless of scope, scale, and geographic context as is so often the norm, David has the ability and life experience to adapt the underlying principles to the physical and cultural qualities unique to each and every place. This is a skill that David continues to expand and develop in concert with his CDF colleagues and the wealth of talented professionals from around the country and internationally in which it is our good fortune to routinely collaborate.
David J Yocca
Michigan State University
B.S. Landscape Architecture, 1985
Landscape Architect - IL, IN, WI, NY (Limited Practice)
Certified Planner, AICP
LEED Accredited Professional
American Society of Landscape Architects
American Planning Association
Urban Land Institute
Congress for New Urbanism
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