Employee Spotlight: Brian Ashworth, PLA ASLA

By October 12, 2018Staff Activity

From streetscape design to large scale master plans, Brian focuses on the “big picture” in planning and landscape architecture. Brian, a talented artist/woodworker/runner, spends his free time doing “mountain stuff,” riding bikes and playing hockey with his son. He lives downtown in the Brewery District with his wife, Katie, and two-year-old son, Weston.

Giving back in a big way. Brian shares his talents and expertise in big ways outside of his professional life. He has taught studios at the Ohio State University’s Knowlton School of Architecture and has volunteered for landscape architecture class design reviews at the school. After working on the Central Ohio Greenways (COG) Strategic Plan, Brian started volunteering for the COG Trail Development Committee. His committee duties have included creating trail design guidelines and engaging the counties surrounding Franklin to learn where they would like to see the trail network expanded. This engagement led to a large working map of the future trail system and was recently approved by the COG Board.

Brian is also an avid hockey fan and player, which led him to working and volunteering for the Columbus Blue Jackets (CBJ). He is on the Blue Jacket’s Ice Crew and keeps the ice in prime condition during games. He volunteers through CBJ for Avondale Elementary School in Franklinton. He has a fifth-grade pen pal at Avondale and has visited the school for lunch and fun activities with the kids. Brian, an ultramarathon runner, also volunteers at local road races in our community.

Seeing the larger picture. Brian decided to pursue a career in planning after his first Geographic Information Systems (GIS) class. Previously an engineering major, Brian switched to Geography and Urban Planning after he discovered his love for mapping. Brian then went on to receive a master’s in landscape architecture. Brian practiced as a landscape architect at a design firm where he worked on projects all over the world; but after a few years decided he wanted to zoom back out—look past the city block to communities as a whole. This led Brian to Planning NEXT where he works on both comprehensive and strategic plans.

Making plans and data accessible. One thing Brian wants to teach his son—and others—is to be cognizant that cities don’t just become great on their own—they must be proactively planned. He encourages others to think critically about their communities not to just accept them as they are. To support this thinking, Brian believes plans should be easily understood by a broad audience. To share planning messages, Brian uses maps, graphics, video and multi-media to translate plan data and final recommendations into an easily digestible final document. One of his end goals for all plans he works on is to make them accessible and useful to all community members, from elected officials to the general public.

Brian’s Key Projects

Brian’s talents are highlighted in his recent projects:

  • Think! Downtown, a downtown master plan for Lebanon, Ohio
  • Build Mobile, implementation projects for Mobile, Alabama’s comprehensive plan
  • Greenville Land Use Plan, for Greenville, North Carolina
  • Columbus State Capital Planning, for Columbus State Community College