Loam is a Minneapolis urban strategy practice founded in 2015 to propel implementation of complex ecological, public space and urban development initiatives. Named for the rich soil that underpins human prosperity, Loam is a metaphor for healthy cities; an intricate mix of life and environment that together establish a vibrant ecosystem. Loam combines urban design and project implementation expertise, leadership skills, and deep understanding of both human and ecological infrastructure to curate visionary community development initiatives that hold the power to alter the trajectory of place and culture.
Loam engages in project-based efforts and ongoing relationships with a passion to not only bring success to the work at hand but to expand client in-house and community-wide capacity. The types of activities we conduct include:
In an environment of rapidly emerging challenges and changing business practices, Loam acts as key advisor and curator in complicated efforts that demand a range of disciplines, partners and funding sources. In these times, the pathway between vision and implementation is seldom a straight line and success is increasingly found in innovative approaches that diverge from past norms. Successfully positioning efforts involving public space + parks + infrastructure + private development + economic systems accomplished by a consortium of public and private players is what Loam does.
Bruce Chamberlain, FASLA, Loam's Founding Principal is a nationally recognized urban designer and strategist with 30 years of private, public and non-profit experience. Since January 2015, Bruce has been the inaugural Minneapolis Parks Fellow, a consulting advisory role created by the Minneapolis Parks Foundation to offer a leading visionary and influential voice at the intersection of city-building and the next generation of parks. In addition, Bruce advises numerous communities and organizations and is an adjunct professor in the University of Minnesota's College of Design.
Projects, relationships, reputation, awards, and mentorship highlight important threads common to Bruce’s career of transformational work.
For 14 years as President and Executive Vice-President of the University of Minnesota, I had major oversight and leadership of over $1.5 billion in public construction and restoration projects. I have worked with many exceptional people in capital planning and development, but none with more abilities and skills of leadership than Bruce Chamberlain. He has exceptional long-term vision and insight, the emotional intelligence of a good mentor and leader of organizational change, and great project management abilities, skills that he constantly expresses while operating in a complex and often contentious environment. Bruce has engaged leaders and citizens in greatly enhancing the quality of life of this community and beyond.
Since 1999, Bruce Chamberlain has been Red Wing’s go-to consultant for master planning in the areas of downtown revitalization, park and comprehensive planning. He has unique gifts; combining the expertise of a professional urban designer with the insight and foresight of a visionary leader. He consistently challenges us to prepare for change through strategic initiatives.
For the 20 plus years that I've known and worked with Bruce, I've admired his ability to explain complex issues and systems in simple terms, and frame questions with skill and clarity. I have watched him summarize trends in ways that encourage new ways of thinking about public space and urban form, and graphically and orally convey large volumes of complex data that can be easily understood by the public as an important tool in guiding public planning and policymaking. His sincerity and enthusiasm for community building and his respect for diverse opinions has allowed him to achieve consensus on some of the more difficult and contentious public space issues of our time.
RiverFirst transformation of the upper Mississippi riverfront (Tom Leader Studio)
Please contact Bruce via email Bruce@Loam-Inc.com or the number below if you would like to discuss your city building project.
Thanks to my friends and collaborators who's creative works are displayed on this site including, Damon Farber Landscape Architects, HGA Architects, Tom Leader Studio, Hoisington Koegler Group, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation and Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board.