This fall, ASLA’s Community Design Professional Practice Network (PPN) solicited updates from our members from across the country to give us a snapshot of community design trends in 2022. While past posts have featured members from the PPN’s leadership team, this time our goal was to hear from members and other professionals working in community design through contributions to this collaborative post.
Landscape architects play a pivotal role in community design—we are the connectors! Our designs convey vision in built form within the public realm around us, allowing people to experience unique spaces each and every day. Designers have a significant impact on new communities, redevelopment, and infill projects. As this post reveals, community design trends are ushering in increased density and smaller living footprints, which ultimately requires a balance of space for people to live outside their residences. This challenge presents us with the opportunity to be placemakers, creating authentic and enduring landscapes that allow life to happen. As we emerge from the pandemic shift, we’re tasked with strengthening the community experience that fosters connections between people and the places we live. The following content highlights observations from designers focused on community design every day, presenting a terrific snapshot of the current trends shaping the communities we live in.
Today marks the start of World Landscape Architecture Month! Given the 2021 WLAM theme of healthy, beautiful, and resilient places for all communities, ASLA’s Community Design Professional Practice Network (PPN) leadership team put together a set of thought-provoking, community-focused questions for the PPN’s leaders to address to celebrate the launch of WLAM. Below, we share answers from the Community Design PPN team on a range of topics, from reimagining brownfield sites to what the future of community design may look like post-COVID:
Scott Redding, ASLA, PPN Co-Chair – Sacramento, California
Oliver Penny, ASLA, PPN Officer – Fort Worth, Texas
Bob Smith, ASLA, PPN Officer and past Chair – Watkinsville, Georgia
Stacey Weaks, ASLA
Principal, Norris Design
How do you deal with brownfield sites and other types of sites that require remediation for new development? How do you make these reimagined sites an addition to the community fabric and an enhancement of the community environment?
Redevelopment remediation projects require a significant commitment from the lead developer and the teaming partners, including public and private entities. Norris Design has been collaborating on Miller’s Landing in Castle Rock, Colorado, a centrally located property in the Downtown Castle Rock area which historically served as the town’s former landfill. The property recently completed an extensive remediation process. Our team, in collaboration with the Town of Castle Rock and an extensive team of subconsultants, has been guiding the planning, design, and entitlement process to redevelop the 80-acre property, which required complete remediation prior to any redevelopment.
The vision for Miller’s Landing establishes a mixed-use district that diversifies the community fabric to serve the growing Castle Rock area and expand the economic opportunities in the area. A key aspect of the master plan is the establishment of a central Main Street with connections to a restored greenway, linking a critical segment of the trail network between downtown and the regional park and resulting in a healthier environment that would not be possible without the extensive remediation process.