Equal access to the public realm regardless of disability is the law; but neither the ADA nor accessibility standards and guidelines resolve the challenges of making the complex public environment universally accessible. Panelists will share their insights based on involvement in accessibility projects in Central Park and other relevant experience. Learning Objectives:
Understand the purpose of the ADA--an ongoing obligation under civil rights law to make public program/services universally available—and the implications for planning, design, and stewardship of the public environment.
Examine some fundamental challenges of improving accessibility of complex public places, and corresponding strategies.
Learn how standards and guidelines not specifically address the entirety of the environments we design for can be interpreted/adapted to provide accessibility improvements consistent with the intent of the ADA.
Gain insight into the perspectives and experiences of people across a wide range of abilities and how they support the concept of an inclusive approach to planning, design, and wayfinding.
Play environments fulfill a vital role in the physical, social, and cognitive development of their users. These spaces allow kids and adults to engage all their senses to find calm and work together to assess and overcome challenges.
There are two important design trends that have helped amplify the reach and benefits of public play spaces over the past several years - inclusivity and nature play. We now see more parks and playgrounds that celebrate inclusive design. Rather than programming for specific separate user “restrictions,” play environments offer a range of accessibility and challenges that promotes side-by-side play. Integrating natural spaces allows a greater freedom of expression, imagination, creativity, and exploration.
These play environments blur the boundaries that separate people of differing abilities, ages, and interests. Creating inviting play environments that appeal to the largest possible number of people is a way to bring greater social vitality to any community.
Understanding: Participants will learn how play environments differ from traditional design in a way that addresses the needs of a diverse population.
Evidence-Based: Participants will learn how studies in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and biophilic response affect the design of play environments.
Incorporation: Participants will learn how to incorporate strategies in their own projects to create a holistic play environment that benefits a large population of users.
Amplification: Participants will learn how strategies for creating play environments can be applied to schools, healthcare facilities, corporate, and residential landscapes.
Leveraging the innovative (and kind) spirit of Silicon Valley, Magical Bridge Foundation presents a new model to provide truly inclusive playgrounds and healthier public play spaces for all, regardless of ability, disability, size, or age. With more than 25,000 visitors per month flocking to Palo Alto to play, Magical Bridge is heralded as the nation’s most inclusive play space, with worldwide interest in replicating their model. In this session, the founders of the foundation will give insight into their success, expansion throughout the Bay Area (and the nation), and the extensive community they serve, including those living with physical and cognitive disabilities, autism, visual and auditory impairments, the medically fragile, and the aging population. Learn about their process and guidelines for success and understand how they infuse Silicon Valley innovation into inclusive playground design.
Learn how to leverage the success of Magical Bridge Playground to enhance the quality and quantity of outdoor play time in the communities you serve, going way beyond ADA standards.
Understand the success of Magical Bridge Playground and Foundation, and the broad community they serve, including those living with physical and cognitive disabilities, autism, visual and auditory impairments, the medically fragile, and the aging population.
Take lessons learned from mindfully-designed Magical Bridge Playground in Palo Alto and apply these processes and guidelines to create truly inclusive experiences in your projects.
Accessible play environments have received considerable attention in recent practice, yet little comparative research has been done evaluating the use of specific park and playground features. This research evaluates the value of Universal Design (UD) in playgrounds in a comparative study using new graphic methods addressing the primary UD question and overall physical activity in the park environment. The evidence-based findings can support public policy for the promotion of community-wide healthy active living.
Explain the multi-faceted benefits of Universal Design in playground environments.
Describe the research-grounded basis for the conclusions presented.
Apply behavior observation techniques in public outdoor open space.
This presentation focuses on inclusive play in outdoor playgrounds. Based on observations, interviews and research in a universal design public playground and a playground at a school for children with disabilities, we have deducted a series of recommendations for inclusive, universal play design for all abilities. One of the main considerations of the presentation is that we do harm when we underestimate the abilities of children with disabilities. As all other children, they love the thrill of physical play such as spinning, sliding, and swinging. The presentation will go through cases of good universal playground designs and functional playground equipment design features. Finally, we will touch upon working within the framework of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and beyond.
Learn key elements of inclusive play and universal design, based on observations and research with users and care givers.
Get new insights on playground planning and play equipment functionality.
Learn about the policy dimension of planning inclusive playgrounds, beyond the ADA.
Get an adult user perspective on accessibility and usability in public play areas.
Learn how the landscape architect can implement policies and insights of users in the final solution.
Understand how to advocate for standard solutions that fit all user groups.
Everyday, 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.
Are accessibility requirements a burden to the quality of a project’s design, or can they enhance both universal usability and design integrity? A panel composed of a landscape architect, a state agency representative, and an accessibility representative focuses on case studies of highly designed responses to specific accessibility regulations.
Identify the basic principles of accessible design as applied in urban landscape architecture.
Learn specific design choices relative to accessibility and Universal Design for "special" populations, and how they can be of benefit in all design contexts.
Clarify black, white, and "grey" areas of understanding regarding federal and state accessibility regulations and guidelines.
Investigate imaginative design responses to landscape-related accessibility regulations and guidelines through case study examples of built work.
One of the biggest hurdles faced by communities recovering from a flood is that the community itself needs to come together, become more involved and develop new partnerships to move forward with recovery. As landscape architects who work for government agencies on behalf of a community to restore devastated amenities and facilities, we see how quickly plans with the best intentions can be derailed solely based on the process used to develop them.
Many plans need to be driven by the engineer or Town in order to meet funding, permitting and requirements. With a community driven project, the people themselves set the priorities and endorse action as it moves forward over the years of reconstruction and recovery. This presentation centers on how true collaboration between landscape architects and engineers can provide a better outcome that balances the social needs of a community with the technical needs of a floodplain.
Understand the value of landscape architecture in flood recovery.
Understand the importance of community input during the planning process.
Understand how to develop and leverage partnerships to increase community support.
Globally, arid coastal regions face a fundamental water challenge. Water supplies will continue to decrease while flooding and water inundation will increasingly threaten our coastlines. Instead of the water shortages we expect in a dry climate, this session showcases the prospect of too much water on arid lands.
Explore how arid regions’ vulnerable relationship with water can be transformed both inland and at the coast’s edge.
Learn to apply environmentally responsive strategies specific to arid regions to ensure resiliency along desert coastlines.
Capitalize on the growing momentum surrounding the revitalization of infrastructure as drought, flood and inundation measures.
Explore adaptive multi-beneficial solutions integrating parks and open space together with improved transit, viable housing, and renewable energy.
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