Session M1 - Design for Access, Design for Equity
Jennifer Wagner, PLA, ASLA, LEED AP
TJ McCourt, J.D.
Many communities still struggle with inequity in services and amenities. Designers can assist with equity-balance by helping to create public spaces for all members of a community, while taking safe and convenient access into consideration to ensure that the benefits provided by these parks can extend to everyone.
This presentation will explore two complementary methods of addressing gaps in park access:
- Build new parks in areas that are underserved;
- Create safer and better opportunities for access to existing parks.
The City of Raleigh has been studying access to the existing park system to create a relatively low-cost way to improve park access. Many communities have roads that cut off access to amenities and reduce the functionality of parks. Providing safe pedestrian and bicycle access will improve the social and physical health of a community. Whether parks are newly designed or existing, safe pedestrian and bicycle access should be a top consideration for designers and planners.
The presentation will describe relevant park and greenway case studies and a description of the City of Raleigh's Neighborhood and Community Connections Program.
Session M2 - Cities for Life: Planning Inclusive Urban Spaces
Gary Warner, PLA, ASLA, AICP
Often, planners and designers are tasked with designing urban spaces for the benefit of all abilities. And, often, we pull out the Federal, State and local ADA Guidelines and design away. For most of our design careers, designing per ADA code was the target. But when we do, we miss entire populations of our community or we miss entire generations of users for our projects. As planners and designers, we need to step to the side of ADA (which is still important and required) and take a broader look at inclusive planning and universal design. We have been designing homes to allow us to age in place, but we must plan our cities to allow us to live and age in place.