TRB Committee on Landscape and Environmental Design Mid-Year Meeting

Roundabouts - Routes 82 and 85 in Salem, CT / image: Connecticut Department of Transportation
Roundabouts – Routes 82 and 85 in Salem, CT / image: Connecticut Department of Transportation

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) Committee on Landscape and Environmental Design (AFB40) is holding their mid-year meeting in Hartford, Connecticut August 6th through the 9th. The meeting’s theme, Retro-fitting for Resilience, focuses on the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s (CT DOT) efforts to restore the state’s transportation infrastructure. The subject matter has been deemed appropriate for continuing education hours for landscape architects licensed to practice in Connecticut. Refer to the conference website for additional information.

The meeting agenda is ambitious and varied with robust education sessions, panel discussions, walking tours, bus tours, and even a boat ride! Topics to be discussed include:

  • climate change (resilient design for coastal communities),
  • public involvement, community outreach, and consensus building,
  • historic resources,
  • landscape preservation and community character,
  • multi-use trails (East Coast Greenway Alliance),
  • pollinators,
  • designing multi-modal transportation corridors, including Bus Rapid Transit (BRT),
  • ecology and wildlife,
  • water quality, and
  • wetlands.

Connecticut landscape architecture practitioners from both the public and private sector will be involved in presenting education sessions, leading tours, and participating in activities. Education sessions begin the morning of Monday, August 7 with an in-depth look at the context sensitive redesign of the I-84 viaduct through Hartford, CT. This is followed by an equally thorough review of the challenges CT DOT staff faced while redesigning the historic Merritt Parkway. Tours begin late Monday afternoon and extend through Tuesday, culminating in a privately chartered boat ride up the Connecticut River Valley from Haddam Landing to Middletown.

Landscape architects practicing in the transportation sector may be familiar with the Transportation Research Board (TRB). For those unfamiliar, the TRB promotes advances in transportation through collaborative, interdisciplinary research, and information exchange. The research conducted by the TRB informs policy and program decisions implemented by state transportation departments and federal agencies.

TRB’s standing committees are established “communities of individuals” with particular expertise or interest in one transportation topic. The Landscape and Environmental Design Committee (AFB40) focuses on context sensitive and aesthetically pleasing designs, preservation of the natural environment, cultural and historic resources, and scenic quality. For more information on the TRB’s AFB40, including how to become involved in the Committee (as a friend or volunteer), visit the Committee’s website.

Attending the TRB AFB40’s mid-year meeting is an excellent opportunity to get involved in an organization that has a significant and widespread influence on both federal and state transportation policy. All conference participants are welcomed and encouraged to attend the Committee’s business meeting on Tuesday, August 8, from 7:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Early bird full registration is $260 through July 19 and includes all education sessions, tours, and meals. Daily rates and student rates are available. For registration information, see the Special Event Registration section of the California Transportation Foundation website.

by Christine Colley, ASLA, Transportation PPN Officer, and Willson McBurney, RLA, ASLA, Transportation PPN Officer

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