Sean O’Malley Managing Principal

Sean O’Malley has over 30 years of experience in all aspects of the profession—including large-scale planning and construction. As an urban designer, planner, and landscape architect, he has implemented a unique approach to the design of cities, drawing upon the strength of site and utilizing natural structures as a framework for development. He is interested in what connects us—the places we have in common in our cities, streets, infrastructures, plazas and parks. He has created environments primarily in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

Mr. O’Malley’s design interests are rooted in environmental infrastructure, and in the integration of the natural structures of a site with its development potential, blurring the distinction between landscape and architecture.

Highlights with SWA include leading the planning and design of Shunde New City, in China, a project which has involved numerous waterfront development plans incorporating transportation, land use, and urban design strategies; multiple phased residential and commercial mixed-use development projects for the Irvine Community Development and Mission Viejo Companies in Southern California; and numerous parks and open-space planning and design concepts highlighting topography and recreation in dense urban environments.


Master of Landscape Architecture in Urban Design from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, with distinction; Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture, California State Polytechnic University Pomona, with distinction. Recipient - Urban Design Award, Harvard University.

Design philosophy

“The city is the ultimate expression of man; we must understand what the land can tell us, so that we can ensure the survival of our natural systems and civilization itself.”


Full Member, American Society of Landscape Architects

Member, Partnership for Sustainable Communities

Full Member, Urban Land Institute

ULI Global Exchange Council Member

BIA Member, Building Industry Association of Southern California, Inc.


2016, December - A Community of Ecosystem Services (ACES 2016) Panel Speaker, in Florida

2016, October - Waterfront Center 29th Annual Conference, Award Recipient - River Forest Island, in Washington DC

2016, September – 9 International Biennial of Landscape Architecture, Presenter, in Spain

2016, February - Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Lecturer, in Norway

2016 - Caltrans Excellence in Transportation Award, ARTIC

2016 ASLA Southern California Chapter Merit Award, Changsha Tongxi Waterway

2016 ASLA Southern California Chapter Honor Award, Greening Plan for Inglewood & Lennox

2016 - ASLA Southern California Chapter Honor Award, Changsha Lianjiang Park

2015, October – The Global Association for Corporate Real Estate (CoreNet Global), Speaker, in Los Angeles

2015, October - ULI Global Exchange Council (GEC) Presenter, in San Francisco

2015, August - Sustainable Cities Design Academy (SCDA), Presenter, in Washington DC

2015, May - LID Sponge City Symposium, Speaker, in China

2015 - ULI Urban Open Space Award, Finalist, Nanhai Citizen's Plaza and Thousand Lantern Park

2015 - China 2015 Real Estate Design Awards (READesign), Finalist, Changsha Baxizhou Island

2014 - ASLA Southern California Chapter Merit Award, Changsha Baxizhou Island

2015 - APA-LA Award of Merit for Best Planning Practices, West Hollywood Design Guidelines

2014 – U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Eco City Award, ARTIC

2014 - ASLA Southern California Chapter Merit Award, Shunde Guipan Waterfront

2013, October - Solar Decathlon Power Ideas Seminar, Keynote Lecture “Sustainable Urban Futures”, Irvine

2013 - ASLA Honor Award, Changsha Liuyang River Waterfront

2012, October - ULI Fall Meeting and Urban Land Expo – Speaker “Engaging Mixed-Use Development through Open Space”, Denver

2012 - Conde Nast Traveler #1 Spa in Mexico and Central America, Capella Ixtapa Resort

2011 – National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Gold Award for On-the-Boards Community of the Year, Bishops Bay

2010 - Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Recognition Award for Sustained Leadership, ARTIC
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