Founding Member Spotlight: Mithun

Mithun logoMithun is an integrated design practice that operates at the intersection of planning, urban design, architecture, landscape architecture and interior design disciplines. With offices in Seattle and San Francisco, the firm provides design solutions that look beyond the building and the site to the sustainable district scale.

Mithun uses the central theme of well-being to connect with the community and potential users and clearly convey how alternatives to conventional neighborhood development can improve quality of life, serve community needs, improve social equity and support cultural expression. This approach also helps overcome economic and development limitations by building partnerships across multiple property owners and government agencies. The firm’s district-scale projects address the intertwined urban ecological functions and the need for nature in cities by expressing green infrastructure in the public realm with an emphasis on resilience, significant tree canopy and improved water quality.


Lloyd Crossing Sustainable Urban Design Plan, Portland, Oregon

Begun in 2002, prior to the development of neighborhood-scale rating systems, the Lloyd Crossing team established predevelopment metrics to quantify district-scale strategies that mimic natural systems and reduce the development’s net environmental impact over time. Mithun led this integrated project team commissioned by the Portland Development Commission. The approach helped stakeholders think beyond traditional property and urban systems limitations, and was central to creating new financial and governance frameworks.


EcoDistricts Initiative, Portland, Oregon

In 2010, Mithun began collaborating with EcoDistricts and Portland State University to develop the beta EcoDistricts Assessment Toolkit. Mithun collaborated in development of the Assessment Process and tools such as the Project Palette and Performance Matrix. This Toolkit was beta tested in three Portland ecodistricts, and became the basis for refined technical assistance tools that make up the EcoDistricts Initiative program today.


South Lincoln Redevelopment Master Plan and Mariposa Healthy Living Initiative, Denver, Colorado

Mithun-South Lincoln Mariposa Begun in 2009, this 17-acre TOD redevelopment master plan used evidence-based design to improve resident health in the historic La Alma neighborhood in downtown Denver. The plan is aligned with sustainability performance metrics including LEED ND Gold and the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria. This project has been recognized with a 2012 EPA Smart Growth Equitable Development Award, and a 2013 CNU Charter Award honorable mention for use of a health impact assessment and significant environmental performance.


A Sustainable Little Tokyo Sustainable Urban Design Plan, Los Angeles, California

Mithun is leading an integrated design team for the Little Tokyo Service Center to develop an inclusive neighborhood revitalization and cultural ecodistrict. Spurred by the construction of a new Regional Connector light rail station, the 2014 community vision for transit-oriented-development can achieve LEED ND Platinum rating by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting the local economy, addressing social equity and preserving the neighborhood’s unique cultural heritage. The plan features neighborhood-scaled energy and water infrastructure, as well as an enhanced open space network that emphasizes pedestrian and bike access.


Sun Valley Redevelopment Master Plan, Denver, Colorado

Currently, Mithun is working with the Denver Housing Authority and the Sun Valley community to leverage partnerships in a transparent planning process. The community is providing input to develop implementable programs that provide access to healthy food and create family friendly places that build on the existing culture of the neighborhood. Goals include progressive energy and water infrastructure to bring a higher quality of life to a community where over 70 percent residents live below the poverty level and over 50% are under 18 years old.


Chatham University Eden Hall Campus, Richland Township, PennsylvaniaMithun Eden Hall Campus Chatham University

Construction started in 2012 on the new 388-acre Eden Hall Campus. With a closed loop system that includes everything from soil building to crop cultivation, harvesting and preparation, to waste and nutrient recycling, this “energy positive” campus has green infrastructure that meets code challenges and treats all wastewater on-site with plant-based systems. The campus brings academic programming for sustainability and food studies together with organic farming and regenerative landscape strategies.


EcoDistricts Target Cities Pilot Program

Little Tokyo, along with Denver’s Sun Valley Neighborhood, are two Mithun-led planning projects that are participating in the EcoDistricts Target Cities pilot program. Target Cities is a two-year immersion program for leading North American projects to develop and deliver catalytic, district-scale sustainable development – influencing how cities, utilities, developers, and community-based organizations engage in next-generation urban redevelopment. Target Cities projects apply the EcoDistricts Protocol to guide project governance, assessment, and development.