Peter D. A. Jacobs (2020)

Professor Peter Jacobs Honoured with the 2020 Governor General’s Medal in Landscape Architecture

Ottawa – September 29th, 2020 - Today, the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA) is pleased to announce that Professor Peter Jacobs, AAPQ, FCSLA, FASLA, is the 2020 recipient of the Governor General’s Medal in Landscape Architecture.

Read the press release

Peter Jacobs Receives the Governor General's Medal in Landscape Architecture via an Online Ceremony

In case you missed the online ceremony on December 8th, 2020, you can now watch the full recording here: 

Remote video URL


"According to Peter Jacobs, perseverance and courage come naturally when obstacles encounter deep convictions based on fundamental values that are shared by peers, colleagues, students and institutions imbued with their respective missions. Peter understood early in his career that the field of landscape architecture is one of the keys that leads to the development of solutions to the critical issues we face today." - Isabelle Giasson, President, AAPQ

Thanks to Maglin Site Furniture, sponsor of the 2020
Governor General's Medal in Landscape Architecture

Jury Statement

Professor Peter Jacobs is a true renaissance man: award-winning practitioner, published author, orator, educator, leader, trailblazer, consultant, and mentor. He is best described as having an insatiable curiosity, a clear vision, and an unfailing desire to contribute to a better world. Far from pursuing a predetermined path, Professor Jacobs has, during his 50-year career, successfully navigated uncharted waters to mark our world through the practice of landscape architecture. 

The recipient of an astounding array of prestigious awards, Professor Jacobs is recognized both within the profession of landscape architecture and externally. Some of those awards include:

His impressive awards culminated in 2015 when he was named Executive Member of the Royal Academy of Arts of Canada by a jury of his peers that included some 700 distinguished artists and designers from every Canadian region. 

His leadership in, and advocacy of, the field of sustainable development is remarkable. Professor Jacobs promotes a sensible and sensitive approach based on environmental, social and aesthetic values. He punctuates this approach by constantly striving for new knowledge and the sharing of discoveries. His 38-year provincially appointed term with the Kativik Environmental Quality Commission demonstrates his limitless passion for contributing where he can make a difference.

In academe, Professor Jacobs is truly an international figurehead, having contributed to the development and accreditation of landscape architecture programs internationally and within Canada. His vast experience and fields of expertise are available to the public in more than 100 published articles, 15 book submissions, 9 book chapters, 7 complete manuscripts, participation in design juries at universities (over 16) and worldwide external thesis evaluations. He has spent a career supporting students, academia and collective research. 

A past CSLA President and CSLA-IFLA delegate, Professor Jacobs has a distinguished career fueled by sustained convictions rooted in his fundamental principles and belief in the transformative power of landscape architecture.

Glenn O’Connor, OALA, FCSLA, FASLA (Jury Chair), Nastaran Moradinejad, BCSLA, AALA, CSLA, and Carol Craig, AALA, FCSLA

"A pioneer and inspiring model for landscape architecture education in Canada, a recognized practitioner acknowledged through many awards and by citizen appreciation for his creations, Peter Jacobs has followed a path that embodies a vision of landscape architecture in its social, ethical and cultural dimension. He is a living heritage in service of human development through the improvement of habitats such as cities, neighbourhoods, and other forms of inhabited territories, including the North and Indigenous communities." - Dinu Bumbaru C.M., Policy Director, Héritage Montréal

About Professor Peter Jacobs, AAPQ, FCSLA, FASLA

PETER JACOBS is Professor of Landscape Architecture, École d'architecture de paysage, Faculté de l'aménagement, Université de Montréal. He has served as Professor at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University and has lecturedwidely in North America, Europe and Latin America. He is the recipient of the A.H. Tammsaare Environment Prize, the President's Prize of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, the Frederick Todd Prize of l’Association des architectes paysagistes du Québec, and the Governor General's medal on the occasion of the 125e Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada. Following his early practice in architecture, he has focused on landscape planning and urban design.

He is a Fellow and Past president of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA), Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), an Honorary Member of both the Association des architects paysagistes du Québec and the Columbian Society of Landscape Architects, and has served as Canada's delegate to the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) for ten years. He Chaired the College of Senior Fellows and was named the first Beatrix Farrand Distinguished Fellow, Landscape and Garden Studies, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C.

He is Emeritus Chairman of the Environmental Planning Commission, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and has been a member of the Kativik Environmental Quality Commission (KEQC) for more than 30 years. He has been nominated to numerous Canadian Committees, Commissions and public hearings concerned with environmental issues and sustainable development and Chaired the Public Advisory Committee on Canada's State of Environment Report, 1980-1990. He has served on numerous scientific and professional editorial advisory committees and has written, and edited publications related to sustainable and equitable development, landscape perception, and planning theory. Current studies focus on the idea of landscape, the meanings assigned to landscape in different cultural settings and how these inform management strategies and actions over time.

He has been a member of numerous design juries and acted as a consultant to the City of Montreal for the development of urban open space systems, the restoration of Mount-Royal Park; the re-design of Parc Jean Drapeau, the former site of Expo '67; and the design of Place Émilie Gamlin. He continues to collaborate on planning and design projects, many of which have received professional awards. He is member of the advisory committee for Mosiaculture International and is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts. Details of the ceremony where Mr. Jacobs will receive his medal are yet to be determined.

Read Peter Jacob's excerpted Curriculum Vitae

Selected Projects

Expo 67 (1967)

From 1964 to 1967, Peter worked on the realization of two Theme Pavilion complexes for the great universal exhibition Expo 67. The purpose of the six Theme Pavilions (which did not represent a corporation or a country) was to explore and express the theme of Expo 67, "Terre des hommes / Man and his World", by integrating contributions from several different countries. As a member of the Arcop office, Peter worked assiduously to conceive and carry out a very original project, whose revolutionary design was based on the "geodesic" principles developed by Buckminster Fuller and Jeffrey Lindsay. Inspired by what he learned at Expo and his discovery of landscape architecture, Peter changed his profession, returning to Harvard to pursue a master's degree in this discipline, which he saw as the most relevant path he could follow to face the new challenges of the time. 

Berri Square (1989)

The design for Berri Square (Place Émilie-Gamelin), the first modern design of a public park in Montréal, restructured a critical site in the urban core of Montréal. The site, formerly a parking lot, was transformed into an urban square bounded by trees, grass and sculpture in the heart of a highly diverse urban setting.

Mont-Royal Parc Master Plan (1990)

The Mount Royal Park Master Plan", developed by Peter Jacobs for the City of Montreal for the preparation of the "Mount Royal Development Plan - 1992", was intended as a tool to reframe subsequent interventions in the park, according to the founding orientations of Olmsted and the emerging challenges of the 21st century. The master plan served as the basis for the preparation of several implementation programs for the projects defined in the “Mount Royal Development Plan -1992” as well as in the “Mount Royal Protection and Development Plan - 2009 ”, the two most significant guideline documents produced since Olmsted's master plan in 1874. 

CSLA | AAPC 12 Forillon Crescent, Ottawa ON K2M 2W5