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ASLA 2019 Professional General Design Honor Award. Hunter's Point South Waterfront Park Phase II. SWA / Balsley and Weiss/Manfredi >

Professional Practice Network News

Each of ASLA's 20 Professional Practice Networks (PPNs) contributes to The Field, a blog that was created to give members who work in landscape architecture a place to exchange information, learn about recent work and research, and share their thoughts about current happenings. In LAND this year, we’ll be rounding up recent posts on The Field you may have missed. If you’d like to receive email notifications as soon as new posts are published, sign up to follow The Field—look for “The Field by Email” box on the right-hand side.

Two new posts are published on The Field each week. Here is what’s been published since the last issue of LAND:

Leading Landscape Design Practices for Cost-Effective Roadside Water Management - A Review

PPN: Transportation
by Christine Colley, ASLA, RLA, and Lucy Joyce, ASLA

“Does your state Department of Transportation (DOT) have standards for green infrastructure (GI)? A recent study from the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) investigated how transportation agencies are applying the principles and practices of GI. The study—Leading Landscape Design Practices for Cost-Effective Roadside Water Management —was requested by the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and prepared by a team of experts that included Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and DOT staff from across the country (California, Minnesota, Washington, Maine, Louisiana, and Nevada). The team scanned existing state DOT GI regulations, targeted regional, city, and DOTs with robust GI programs, and conducted a deep dive into GI standards and specifications. The intent was to suss out successful and unsuccessful practices with an eye toward developing guidelines for state and other public agencies to use when creating GI programs.”

Celebrate Pollinator Week this June 17-23

“The third week in June is National Pollinator Week, established in 2006 by the U.S. Senate and the Pollinator Partnership to spotlight the manifold benefits pollinators provide and the urgent need to preserve and create more pollinator-friendly landscapes. Landscape architects play an integral role in designing spaces that foster healthy pollinator habitats, using their ingenuity to create vibrant, well-designed landscapes that support the pollinator population.”

ADA Access: Project Retrofits and Upgrades

PPN: Parks and Recreation
by Nate Lowry, ASLA

“Providing access and inclusion, to accommodate people of all abilities, continues to be a challenging proposition with many previously developed spaces. In 2013, the United States Access Board drafted guidelines for federally developed projects to harmonize with the International Building Code and to follow up on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. The criteria developed from this process became mandatory in late 2013 and were incorporated into the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) accessibility standards. Amenity areas covered by these access requirements include camping facilities, picnic facilities, viewing areas, trails, and beach access routes. The requirements were not limited to only federal lands, but also covered federally funded projects.

Criteria and ideals developed during this process are great for addressing new projects, but what about previously developed spaces and retrofitting access and infrastructure to conform to the new standards?

Upgrading previously developed projects to meet codes and regulations of new construction can be an arduous task and tough to achieve in retrofit projects. Site constraints, costs, available revenues, end user input, and key stakeholder input can influence programming and inform which existing facilities are or are not upgraded. Inclusion goals and providing ADA access to previously developed sites can also vary widely from one municipality to another, and one region to another.”

To Vend or Not to Vend

PPN: Children’s Outdoor Environments
by Amy Wagenfeld, Affil. ASLA, PhD, OTR/L, SCEM, FAOTA

“I have been thinking about vending machines since last year when I attended and presented at the National Children’s Youth Gardening Conference hosted at Cornell University. What is my inspiration? Located in the lobby of the Mann Library is a vending machine loaded with fresh apples. Graduate students in the Horticulture Program pick the apples from the Cornell and Horticulture Section’s Lansing Orchards and keep the machine well stocked. Proceeds from sales benefit the Society for Horticulture Graduate Student Association.

What a surprise! I had never seen anything like it. My experiences with vending machines are those full of soft drinks and not-so-healthy snacks. One thing led to another, and I began taking pictures of vending machines, making note of where they were located and what their contents included. Then I started to do a bit of a search for research on their impact on children’s health. Here I share a few thoughts about how landscape architects committed to promoting children’s health and wellness can contribute to a conversation about vending machines.”

Write for The Field!

All ASLA members are invited to submit posts for The Field, and we invite you to join the conversation!

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