Bill Eubanks’ love for Charleston was built on what he describes as a “trip from hell.” Luckily, a few flight delays and frustrations into his trip to the Lowcountry, Bill eventually found himself exploring the streets of downtown Charleston--and knew--this would be home.
Before The Holy City came into the picture, though, home was Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Growing up there, Bill says three things came to mind as he set off to college: architecture, graphic design, or forestry. And so, when he stepped foot on the University of Arkansas campus, the life of a landscape architect was born.
“A light went off when I heard the term for the first time,” he recalls.
Fast-forward to today, and, when Bill’s not pushing boundaries with his West Ashley roadside garden, or devoting time to American Society of Landscape Architects, Charleston Moves, or the Byrnes Downs Neighborhood Association, you’ll find him nestled comfortably in Urban Edge Studio, a part of Seamon Whiteside + that focuses on urban design and form based planning. There, the collaborative environment focuses on the charrette process when taking on new projects (everything from Mt. Pleasant Farmer’s Market to the MUSC campus).
And while some may scoff at the idea of development, it’s Bill’s community-involved approach to new projects that gives him some serious edge. “It’s not our role to say this is what you’re going to do,” Bill explains. “We need support for a project and when people feel engaged, they can become some of your best advocates.
Bill’s thoughts on future Charleston growth: to think in terms of neighborhoods instead of developments:
“I’d like to see people basically living healthier lifestyles,” he says. “A lot of our neighborhoods weren’t designed to encourage walking and bicycling. New neighborhoods are designed to encourage that.”
And, yeah, maybe he would like Charleston to keep up the whole ‘beautiful city’ thing.
“People appreciate beauty here more. I’d like to see people demand excellence. There’s no excuse for a city to ever build anything ugly.”
Words by: Evans Craddock
Photos by: Adam Chandler