It also offers a set of new universal design principles that address the needs of those with disabilities.
“This guide serves as an entry point into Universal Design, asking designers to assess our existing design models and projects, and to include disabled people as stakeholders and experts in the design process,” said Alexa Vaughn, Associate ASLA, a landscape designer at OLIN.
“As a Deaf landscape designer, I am elated that landscape architects, designers, planners, elected officials, and beyond have started to think about Universal Design.”
Landscape architects, urban planners, elected officials, and community advocates can implement these real-world solutions in their communities to ensure that the built environment is accessible to all.
“As our society ages, those of us involved in creating public places must understand the unique challenges that accessing public spaces has for older adults,” said landscape architect Brian Bainnson, ASLA, founder of Quatrefoil, Inc.
“The simple concepts captured in this guide provide clear, achievable steps that will make our public spaces safer and more accommodating for everyone.”
The ASLA Guide includes hundreds of freely-available case studies, research studies, articles, and resources from non-profit organizations around the world. Projects and solutions are organised around different types of public space that landscape architects and planners design: neighbourhoods, streets, parks and plazas, playgrounds, and public gardens.
New design principles identified ensure that public spaces are:
Walkable / Traversable
The guide was developed with the assistance of an advisory group that includes disabled landscape architects, designers, and experts: Danielle Arigoni, director of livable communities, AARP; Brian Bainnson, ASLA, founder, Quatrefoil Inc.; Melissa Erikson, ASLA, principal, director of community design services, MIG, Inc.; Emily O’Mahoney, FASLA, partner, Gentile Glas Holloway O’Mahoney & Associates; Clare Cooper Marcus, Hon. ASLA, professor emerita of architecture and landscape architecture and environmental planning, University of California, Berkeley; Danielle Toronyi, OLIN; and Alexa Vaughn, Associate ASLA, Deaf landscape designer at OLIN.