5 Minutes With The Little Island Team

Little Island, Awards for Excellence in Urban Open Space Finalist 
Signe Nielsen, Principal, Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects


Who has had the greatest influence on your career and what was the best advice he or she gave you?  

My father was the greatest influence on my career; though he knew little of the field of landscape architecture, his wisdom and ability to listen have stayed with meThe best advice he gave me was to plan my life and career in 5-year incrementsMore than that will lock you into an inflexible life.

As a ULI NY Awards nominee, what makes you most proud of your project?  

I am most proud of the public’s response to the landscapeI see folks from all walks of life and cultures enjoying the landscape- whether it is the detail of a flower, the expansive views, or strolling with friends through the lush plantings.  

What is your favorite off the beaten path New York location or activity?  

I enjoy taking my grandkids kayaking in the HudsonOne gets a very different perspective of the city from the water and one also understands our vulnerabilities to the effects of climate changeIt is both exhilarating and sobering.