Learn how to play a critical role in advocating and designing for a variety of parks, recreational facilities, and children’s play environments. Best practices will be shared on critical topics including:
Contemporary planning may often require landscape architects to engage diverse and underrepresented communities during the design process to build consensus and positive change. Communities that are under-resourced or politically marginalized have long struggled to have a seat at the table for planning and development projects in their neighborhood. Design teams may face challenges in building trust and creating productive working relationships across real and perceived divides between community residents, local government, and community partners. This session will offer designers a menu of tools to develop trust between non-traditional partners, deepen historical and cultural understanding, and elevate community voices resulting in a richer, more robust and meaningful design outcome.
Select from a menu of tools to effectively engage underrepresented communities.
Elevate community voices in the design process and outcome.
Identify community priorities for cultural and historical themes to deepen the design outcome.
Overexposure to ambient variables such as ultraviolet radiation and extreme heat are major risk factors to children’s health. Many playgrounds are designed in a way that result in higher air and surface temperatures than the surrounding neighborhood, which is due to the predominant use of heat retaining materials and lack of shade. Few guidelines exist to promote the naturalization of playgrounds and the use of shade, which can result in multiple benefits for children apart from lowering heat and radiant exposures. This research addresses child exposures to extreme heat and UV radiation in outdoor playgrounds in Phoenix, AZ and Lubbock, TX and the influence of bioclimatic landscape design. Multiple types of data (in-situ, personal, survey) are presented related to microclimatic and human activity factors that affect child exposures and perceptions. New sensing technologies offer opportunities to understand exposures and monitor children’s exposures while allowing for safe and active play.
Understand how we can incorporate climate parameters into playground design.
Explain why shade and orientation play a key role in extreme heat and radiation exposure.
Make a more educated decision with respect to surface types used in playgrounds in a given climate zone.
America (PRA) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to decrease the
burden of chronic disease, increase health and happiness, and foster
environmental stewardship, by virtue of prescribing Nature during the routine
delivery of healthcare. PRA works closely with managers of
publicly-accessible land and water, as well as directly with healthcare
providers and their respective organizations, to "make it easy" to
prescribe parks and other protected areas to their patients real-time in the
clinical practice setting.
health reasons to spend time in nature
Learn how Park Rx America was planned, developed, and implemented at a "doctor's office."
Review recently published data on Park Rx America.
Summarize next steps for expansion and research of Park Rx.
Children today face two challenges relating to open space and the outdoors: not only are open spaces shrinking, making nature less accessible, but children have lost the freedom to experience nature. Between safety concerns and the increased need to protect natural areas, children are often prohibited from unstructured play in nature.
In efforts to remove these barriers and provide more opportunities for children to access nature, many cities have sought to incorporate nature play areas into parks. Often public agencies and landscape architects are constrained by tight budgets and concerns of liability. Using San Diego’s first public nature exploration area as an example, this presentation will outline how to safely and economically develop innovative nature play sites within public parks. The City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department will share methods used, obstacles faced, and lessons learned in implementing the Morley Field Nature Exploration Area.
Become familiar with how to adapt playground safety standards to nature play areas.
Understand strategies for site selection for effective and economical nature play sites.
Understand the obstacles and potential solutions in implementing a nature play area.
Gain insights into understanding and working with your agency or region's available resources to develop a successful nature play area.
day, each of us makes multiple decisions and interacts with our surroundings
based on sensory input from our external environment, which for most, is
automatically processed and interpreted. Conventional education teaches there
are five sensory systems. In reality there are three more that help us
understand and interpret our environment and develop physically, cognitively,
and emotionally. These systems include the proprioceptive, vestibular, and
interoceptive senses. This session will combine the expertise of occupational
therapy and landscape architecture by exploring how appropriate sensory
planning in play environments can help children, particularly those with
sensory processing disorder, self-regulate and find an equilibrium of sensory
input. The concepts of affect attunement, sensory lifestyles, just right
stimulation, reflex response, and grasp will be discussed.
Identify the basic sensory systems and their influence on childhood development.
Identify and thoughtfully apply principles of sensory development to play environment design.
Understand the fundamentals of how sensory input impacts play behaviors.
Outdoor learning environments are on the rise for botanical gardens, arboretums, and parks in place of playgrounds. The session begins with matters of context and essential elements, then explores three real world case studies to see what has worked and what has not for one of today’s most discerning user groups.
Identify the essential elements needed in an outdoor learning environment.
Examine the growing trend of outdoor learning environments in public gardens.
Distill examples from case studies of what is effective for outdoor learning.
Define design techniques that connect the user groups to a local sense of place.
Landscape architects serving in the federal government possess a range of unique professional opportunities, from designing sites for government buildings, national parks and forests, to collaborating with interdisciplinary teams and shaping national policy. Come learn more about the benefits of working in the federal government from representatives of two major federal agencies: U.S. Forest Service, U.S. General Service Administration, and the Smithsonian Institution. A segment of the presentation will be dedicated to the various pathways to entering federal service.
Understand how landscape architects make a difference in protecting, preserving, and enhancing public lands.
Gain familiarity with the range of project types, national policies, and initiatives undertaken by federal agency landscape architects.
Explore the variety of leadership roles within landscape architecture across federal agencies.
Identify pathways to a career as a landscape architect in the federal government.
Play environments encourage physical activity, socialization, and provide opportunities to get outside. However, many of these environments in the United States have become increasingly homogenized and safe as play regulations and insurance requirements respond to societal concerns over children’s risk and safety. Play environments in countries with a higher tolerance of risk often offer more dynamic and interesting play models.
Over a 6-month period in London, we visited 45 playgrounds and assessed 16, collecting data on user gender, age, ethnicity, and activity levels. By comparing playgrounds of similar size (.25-.75 acres) and population density (50,000-175,000 people in 1-mile radius) in London to those in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, we discovered that environments with fewer “off the shelf” components with more unique design elements and play surfaces, had 55% more visitors and 16-18% higher moderate to vigorous physical activity in children and teens.
Learn about different play environment design models, including varieties of equipment and surfacing.
Discover equipment and surfacing types that encourage higher levels of physical activity and promote health.
Explore direct observation techniques for assessing the built environment.
Learn how the City of Scottsdale and Scottsdale Public Art work together to integrate public art into the city’s Transportation program. Topics covered will include: the Percent for Art ordinance that stipulates contributions from the city’s Capital Improvement Program, site selection, public engagement, design teams, and our annual community bike ride - Cycle the Arts, and more!
Recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community, Scottsdale continues to expand the approximately 600-mile bikeway network with on-street bike lanes, paved paths, and unpaved trails through the Transportation Master Plan. Many of our 108 tunnels and bridges for bicyclists and pedestrians were designed by artists, including the Soleri Bridge and Plaza created by visionary architect Paulo Soleri.
Join us on a virtual bike tour of some of Scottsdale’s award-winning public art in and near downtown. Take the Indian Bend Wash Path through a series of parks that line one of the most innovative flood control projects in the nation.
Understand how Scottsdale integrates the League of American Bicyclists “5 E’s” (Engineering, Education, Enforcement, Encouragement, Evaluation/Planning) into the bicycle program for people of all ages and abilities.
Create partnerships and plan bike encouragement activities, events, and safety education.
Bring public art to the community with a strong focus on transportation projects.
For the past 14 years, Ilisa Goldman has specialized in creating neighborhood public spaces and dynamic outdoor learning environments for children of all ages to play, learn, and develop a relationship with the natural world. Using a strategic design process, Goldman works directly with youth in underserved communities to transform neglected spaces into thriving neighborhood gathering places. These important projects help to improve the quality of life for youth and their communities in San Diego through art-based, place-making projects. Learn how community organizations, landscape architects, artists, and public agencies join together to transform underutilized and blighted areas into inspiring public places that improve livability, health, and safety.
Learn how cross sector collaboration can transform neglected spaces into thriving neighborhood gathering places.
Gain insight into the methodology used to engage communities and their youth in creative place making.
Examine strategies of creative place making as a way to build community strength and capacity.
Understand the importance of and challenges in community place making projects.
Nature plays a critical role in child development and our emotional and psychological well-being. It is essential that professionals focus their attention on infusing nature back into children's everyday free play environments to create healthier, happier childhoods. This webinar will provide research-based solutions to reconnect children and families with the natural world through compelling case examples that attract users, promote physical activity, and demonstrate strategies to capture the culture, heritage, and dreams of communities.
Summarize two intentional design strategies to engage children with nature in their local communities.
Describe the research-based benefits of naturalized playgrounds and playful pathways.
List strategies for promoting environmental literacy and connecting to a community’s unique heritage.
Public/private partnerships have come to define the creation of the urban realm and will likely continue to be the template by which these spaces are created. The High Line in Manhattan and Houston’s Memorial Park offer two examples that have led to the creation of successful civic space.
Offer two contrasting models for the creation of urban parks.
Showcase the importance of communication and civic engagement in the creation of quality urban spaces.
Illustrate long-view approaches to the creation and maintenance of public space.
Bring together park advocates and lead designers to decode the process by which parks are created today.
Civic leaders are leveraging opportunities within their cities through the act of “design.” Understanding that the city is a landscape, enlightened mayors are turning to landscape architects for urban refurbishment. This session focuses on national experiences and the arc of one mayor in particular.
Understand what motivates local leaders, and what mayors can do to improve the quality of the built environment and advance green design practices.
Learn how local elected officials are addressing design through a variety of city offices and initiatives.
See examples from all over the country of mayors acting to promote the public realm and livability; take a deep dive into Baltimore as a case study
Learn new approaches to civic design and implementation that are replicable to your practice and community.
More than just play, children with developmental disorders benefit from strategically designed sensory playgrounds and sensory gardens. This study evaluated the outcomes of outdoor play using a multiple baseline research design. The lessons are applicable to future sensory gardens and play areas within broad fields of architecture and landscape architecture.
Overview evidence-based design research working with children who have developmental disorders in the context of a sensory garden/playground.
Define sensory processing disorders showing treatment in our sensory garden/playground at STAR Center in Denver, CO.
Identify elements of landscape design based on research data that facilitate self-regulation and social participation for all children and contribute to a quality life experience.
Discuss research findings which go beyond playground design and have implications for architecture and landscape architecture in general.
Urban green space design is challenged by limited knowledge of which attributes and spatial configurations are most likely to support mental well-being. This session explains new environmental psychology research that connects specific physical characteristics (best designs) to aspects of wellness. Wellness parks built by TKF Foundation serve as case studies.
Appreciate what environmental psychology research brings to the design of urban space for wellbeing.
Understand the meaning of evidence-based design and how to employ it for best effect.
Discover which physical attributes (content & spatial configuration) of a green space design are preferred.
Explore examples of wellness parks built by TKF that exemplify design attributes related to wellbeing.
For centuries, landscapes have served as iconic signifiers of cultural identity, from reinforcing monarchies to declaring independence and enlightenment. This panel presentation explores current trends in the branding of landscapes—from university campuses and neighborhoods to small towns—and the collaborative opportunities within graphic design, identity, and landscape.
Discover how and why 21st century collaborations in landscape and graphic design face new and different concerns from previous generations.
Understand the current discourses of design and cities, and appreciate the new complexities that have fundamentally changed the manner with which designers must think about the landscape of the urban realm.
Appreciate the varied approaches and collaborative processes between landscape architects and graphic designers
Understand the powerful history of landscape and identity and the prospect for future iterations
Metropolitan Park in Athens, Greece, at 500 acres, will be the largest contemporary urban park in Europe. Part of an icon, this park has one of the greatest settings on earth—the cradle of Western civilization. Incredible archeology, culture, and ecology are the foundations for this truly Greek park.
Learn about programming and design in a complex urban context in a culture without a tradition of large urban parks.
Understand the site’s technical challenges, especially building over an abandoned airport and a site with historic and contemporary (2004 Olympic facility) ruins.
Learn how construction of the park in phases occurs in tandem with adjacent development. Strategies to share cut and fill includes phasing and brownfield mitigation measures.
Examine the role of the landscape architect as part of a complex international design team.
Designing innovative, fun play environments for children is challenging with the contemporary federal regulations and industry standards for safety and accessibility. Christopher J. Nolan, FASLA, Vice President for Planning, Design, and Construction at the Central Park Conservancy has worked extensively in Central Park’s 21 playgrounds, including leading the redesign of the Park’s adventure-style playgrounds, originally built in the 1960s/70s, to comply with modern standards. This webinar will explore how to create innovative and artful play spaces while complying with the standards in place.
Introduce the key safety and accessibility standards that playground designers must be aware of and comply with when designing playgrounds in the U.S.
Specify key definitions and codes, and show how they influence designers’ interpretations of the standards
Identify how accessible paths and routes contribute to the overall play experience and value for users
Show how designers can work within these existing safety and accessibility standards to create artful, fun spaces for children
The presentation will examine the practice of design in natural play and learning environments with consideration of risk management for children in a variety of settings. A portion of the presentation will focus on the case study of a ten year old operating children’s garden at the Morton Arboretum located in suburban Chicago. The presentation will explore an established setting having variety of play and learning activities and lessons learned over ten years of operation.
Risk management concepts will also be presented examining safety in a hazard centered format. A review of current public playground standards and their origins in reported injuries will be made to give attendees a foundation toward evaluating risk management exposures in natural settings. These concepts will be demonstrated in practice through exploration of current natural play area case studies that have been designed and developed in the Pacific Northwest Region.
Investigate the application of interactive and manipulative play combining nature and play in an established arboretum children’s garden setting.
Examine the current children’s playground standards and their origins as applied to practical risk management in natural learning and play settings.
Demonstrate the combination of learning and play activities in naturalized settings applied in practice.
Publication of the U.S. National Guidelines, Nature Play and Learning Places: Creating and Managing Places Where Children Engage with Nature (2014), provides a tool for landscape architects to join forces with community activists to advocate, promote, and execute play and learning places, where children can authentically engage with nature. The growing number of examples on the ground range from inexpensive, open access areas in municipal parks to protected spaces in nature centers and other nonformal education institutions. Upfront unit area costs vary greatly as do approaches to activity programming, management, and day-to-day maintenance. New approaches to risk management are evolving. Successful implementation is supported by locally grown policy combined with community participation in development.
Become conversant with the intent and contents of the U.S. National Guidelines, Nature Play and Learning Places.
Become aware of research supporting the benefits of human engagement with nature in terms of both individual and cultural development.
Appreciate the range of potential nature play and learning design interventions in urban contexts.
Understand the principles and methods of a behavioral approach to design of intergenerational, outdoor settings.
Learn how the SITES rating system is providing added value to design, management, and maintenance practices of four certified park projects in diverse eco-regions, from an ultra-urban environment and postindustrial waterfront, to large national parks. Panelists will share lessons that informed critical modifications and improvements to the SITES rating system.
Examine lessons learned from the designers of four certified SITES park pilot projects
Gain an understanding of the synergy between LEED and SITES
Understand the projects teams expectations and challenges related to SITES
Expand the use and applicability of the SITES rating system for a wide variety of projects in diverse eco-regions, in both the public and private sector.
Exposure to nature during childhood is essential for healthy development, yet self-directed outdoor discovery is waning. Presenters have collaboratively designed campus environments that create learning opportunities and inspire stewardship of nature through indoor-outdoor spaces that integrate natural systems and interdisciplinary curricula, thus cultivating a campus culture of outdoor learning.
Understand the process of integrating class curriculum with campus planning and design.
Discover ways to collaborate with stakeholders to cultivate engagement with the project and site.
Examine strategies for integrating natural and built systems.
Gain insight into the potential and challenges of integrating learning opportunities within educational projects.
Abandoned rail lines, once economically interwoven but psychologically marginal to city life, can become new, welcoming trails and greenways. They facilitate civic connections, unlike older parks intended as escapes from the city. This transforms cities into desirable places to live rather than districts inhabited primarily by necessity and not choice.
Comprehend the transformative potential of abandoned rail lines as recreational paths and linear parks.
Internalize the current national context for rail-trail conversion, with a focus on urban areas.
Take the vanguard on specific roles for landscape architects to convert rail lines into linear parks.
Accept the relationships among the various public, private, and nonprofit stakeholders that are necessary to implement successful rail conversions.
From abandoned parking lots to lush rolling hills, gardens, and meadows, Tongva Park is the new green heart of Santa Monica. Developed under the scrutiny of urban foresters and eclectic horticulturalists, the resultant planting design offers a model of sustainability for similar projects--one that carefully balances environment and culture.
Determine the management process for large park-planting designs from aesthetic, cultural, and environmental perspectives.
Understand how sustainable landscapes can incorporate both native and non-native plants and multi-zone landscapes.
Learn effective design approaches to establish large-scale Mediterranean meadows and create multi-storied landscape habitats within urban environments.
Explore the challenges, changes, and opportunities encountered during construction.
Risk management is a paramount issue in the design of nature play and learning areas. This presentation provides background on the dominant standards-based approach to risk management in children’s play areas, considers its application to nature play areas, then presents an alternative approach to risk management based on analysis of actual risk. The presenter is a coauthor of the recently released guide for the design of nature play and learning areas, Nature Play & Learning: creating spaces where children engage with nature.
Understand the historical development of the current standards-based approach to risk management in children’s play settings.
Understand and be able to accurately use technical terms such as 'hazard' and 'risk.'
Be prepared to converse with local legal authorities to determine applicable design standards and liability standards for nature play areas.
Understand the core elements of a risk-based risk management protocol.
Buffalo’s Pop-up Adventure-Playground was started by an architect, a landscape architect, an environmental activist, and an educator; all parents who are concerned about the state of children’s play in our country. Our group’s goal was to host an open-ended, free play event, which encouraged children’s curiosity about the natural and man-made world through self-directed creative play/construction projects in a format that would be approachable for parents. Our presentation will showcase the five Pop Up Parks and what the kids created, as well as in-depth information on how communities can create their own.
Understand the current state of Play in the US.
Understand how to organize a one day community based adventure playground.
Identify the creative elements designed and built by youth, as well as the developmental and social benefits received.
Learn how to develop a specific "Event Plan", while understanding the pitfalls.
Learn how to develop a "Follow Up" plan that documents the event's success, while balancing research and encouraging play.
Light surrounds us and is ever-present yet is mysterious. This session will elucidate the role of materials sciences and the technical means to exploit and expound upon the presence of light with the goal of transforming the individual's understanding of and connection to their environment.
Understand the roles daylight and electrical light play in the urban and exurban landscape.
Learn the effects of low-level light.
Recognize the role of design in re-establishing the experience of light in the urban and exurban landscape.
Appreciate the flexibility and specificity of approaches required to light the public realm.