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$75 USA 

Cities today face a profound challenge an< 
extraordinary opportunity: how do we balance 
the physical improvements of urban revitaliza- 
tion with the goals of social equity, economic 
development and public health for all city 
inhabitants? Our unfinished agenda as a 
society is to confront and overcome the enor- 
mous disparities that divide our communities. 

This book proposes a comprehensive solution: 
inclusive planning and design based on 
socially, environmentally and culturally sensitive 
policies and processes that allow communities 
to shape their own environments — so everyone 
improves economically as the physical realm is 

Here is a practical look at fourteen successful, 
inclusive projects with positive social impacts 
in urban environments — and one important 
result in common: the process of completing 
the project added value to the community 
beyond the physical project itself. 

The book also provides a set of hands-on 
inclusive design guidelines for your next 
project so that, someday, all built environments 
and all cities will be fully inclusive, welcoming 
and thriving. 

Planners, designers, architects, landscape 
architects, developers, policy makers and, 
most of all, community members who share a 
passion for great urban places — this book is 
for you. 

the inclusive city 


Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

Boston Library Consortium Member Libraries 

the inclusive city 


edited by 




Berkeley, California 

2007 MIG Communications. All rights reserved. 

No part of this work covered by the copyright hereon may be reproduced or used in any 
form or by any means — graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, 
recording, taping, or information storage and retrieval systems — without written 
permission of the publisher. 

Managing Editor: Joyce Vollmer 
Jacket design: Ed Canalin 
Interior design: Catherine Courtenaye 
Printed in China 

Library of Congress Cataloging-in- Publication Data 

The inclusive city : design solutions for buildings, neighborhoods, and urban spaces / 
edited by Susan Goltsman and Daniel Iacofano. 

p. cm. 
Includes bibliographical references and index. 
ISBN- 13: 978-0-944661-31-4 (cloth) 

1. City planning. 2. Public spaces. 3. Universal design. 4. City planning — Case 
studies. I. Goltsman, Susan M. II. Iacofano, Daniel S. 

NA903 1.152 2006 


MIG Communications 

800 Hearst Avenue 

Berkeley, California 94710 USA 

510-845-7549 phone 

510-845-8750 fax 

www. mipcom . com 

This book is dedicated to all those helping to make cities vital and healthy, humane 
and just. 





Foreword I Andrew Altman 


Introduction: The Challenge of Our Cities \ Susan Goltsman, Daniel Iacofano 



Ed Roberts Campus, Berkeley, California j Joan Leon 

This world-class center provides a home for the Independent Living Movement and the organizations 
that helped found it, demonstrating the principles of universal design atop a rail transit station. 


Edelman Children's Court, Los Angeles County, California j Susan Goltsman 

The Edelman Dependency Court's child-friendly design contributes to family healing and 


Tule Elk Park Child Development Center, San Francisco, California | Susan Goltsman 

A relatively small space becomes a complex urban ecosystem and learning laboratory in the 
middle of a diverse neighborhood. 


St. Coletta of Greater Washington, D.C. | Susan Goltsman 

A creative, caring educational program coupled with a nontraditional school design negotiates Jor 
space in a dense urban environment. 


Musees des Beaux Arts, Valenciennes and Calais, France j Coco Raynes 

Innovative exhibit design helps people with visual disabilities appreciate sculpture 
at museums in France. 



Explore! A Child's Nature, Brookjield Zoo, Illinois \ Robin Moore 

A venerable, world-renowned zoo instills environmental responsibility and stewardship through 
interactive exhibit design and adventure play. 

Chase Palm Park, Santa Barbara, California | Susan Goltsman 

As mitigation Jor new development, an oceanfront park recreates city history and aquatic life, 
attracting city residents and visitors. 


Edison School I Pacific Park, Glendale, California Susan McKay, Susan Goltsman 

A novel grouping of neighborhood facilities draws diverse communities into one central location 
in this traditionally underserved area. 


^iTHFRIMf; PI flrF? 

Central Park, Davis, California \ Stanton Jones, Cheryl Sullivan 

Community action leads to a new central park and farmers market, strengthening identity and pride 
in this small town. 


Davis Commons, Davis, California j Cheryl Sullivan 

Reconfiguring a neighborhood shopping center provides spaces for social interaction and public events. 


R Street Urban Design and Development Plan, Sacramento, California j Daniel Iacqfano, Mukul Malhotra 

Pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles share the road in the innovative redesign of this classic industrial street. 


Presidio Trails and Bikeways, San Francisco, California | Larry Wight, Sally Mclntyre 

An extensive trail network provides a high level of access to the outdoors Jor this national park 
set within an urban area. 



Alfred Zampa (Carquinez) Bridge, San Francisco Bay, California | Bart Ney, Daniel Iacofano 

A major piece of transportation infrastructure becomes a source of pride and reunification for a small suburban community. 


Downtown Area, Spokane, Washington | Daniel Iacofano, Mukul Malhotra, Rosemary Dudley 

A series of community-based plans and projects revitalizes a major urban center on the edge of decline. 




























In the fall of 2005, as we were working on this book, the Gulf Coast of the United 
States was devastated by two major hurricanes: Katrina and Rita. We all saw the 
images of New Orleans, and the small cities of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and 
Texas. As the winds stripped the land bare, they exposed the hidden underclass that 
remained: our most vulnerable — the poor, the elderly, the disabled, and the very 
young. Perhaps it shouldn't have been a shock to see that they were the ones who 
suffered most, as they have historically, because our city infrastructures do not fully 
support them. 

As we looked at those destroyed cities and torn communities, we saw that they 
might have to be entirely reconceived and rebuilt — and that offered our country a 
redeeming opportunity. We can do better. 

Cleveland's great equity-planner, Norman Krumholz, said that urban planning is a 
"perpetual opportunity. . .a field for those who wish to shape our collective future." 
As urban planners — and designers, architects, developers, economists, politicians 
and policymakers — we can build inclusive cities. Our built environments can be 
structured to embrace, welcome and encourage all members of our communities to 
thrive and prosper. This is the hope for our collective future; this is why we do what 
we do. 

Daniel lacofano and Susan Goltsman 

October 2006 



While the predominant pattern of development in the United States continues to be 
characterized by relentless sprawl with population and employment decentralization, 
there are clear signs that cities nationwide are resurgent once again. But what kind of 
city are we building? Each burst of urban rebuilding begs the question: for whom is 
the city being built? Further, what does the new form of the built environment say 
about our values as a society? 

Cities at the turn of the 21st century are doing better than they have in decades, but 
it's not yet clear that we will able to look back at this latest age of urban renaissance 
as having created a more inclusive city. Will changes in the form, diversity, social 
vitality and health of our 2 1 st century city be more profound than simply having 
created islands of prosperity and entertainment for a new urban elite? Or will the 
built environment being constructed in this time of rapid development and expan- 
sion create buildings and settings reflective of an inclusive city — an inclusive 
society — where diverse populations interact and their needs and aspirations are 
respected and encouraged? This is the central challenge that this book implores us to 

City master plans, planning conferences, architectural competitions and political 
discourse are replete with laudable and sincere aspirations to "build the inclusive city" 
and there are many success stories. Indeed we have come a long way since the era of 
Urban Renewal. However, if cities are to succeed in the 21st century, we must 
sharpen the tools and instructive cases that the shapers of urban environments can 
use to build the inclusive city. If the aspiration for an inclusive city is to be more than 
words, the arts of city planning and city building, which so often diverge in practice, 
will need to join again. Because it is in the detailed act of building the public and 


communal spaces of the city where the translation of an inclusive vision into an 
actual inclusive city often goes unrealized. 

That is why this book is needed now more than ever. 

Let us reflect upon this provocative challenge for a moment. If left unchecked, what 
would the paradox of growth sweeping our country portend for cities? There is 
evidence that the new information and service economy of the 2 1 st century will 
favor urban attributes. The timeless assets of successful cities — density, urbanity, 
compactness and complexity — constitute the ingredients of success in an economy 
where innovation, the exchange of ideas and the value of environments all become 
economic imperatives, not just niceties. 

Moreover, there is a return to urban living. People are moving downtown again, 
especially as empty nesters and young professionals seek the dynamism and range of 
social amenities and interactions that a city offers. Popular culture has signaled a 
change in our prevalent attitude toward cities. From apocalyptic images of cities in 
the cinema of the 1970s to the "hip" media favorites "Sex in the City" and "Friends," 
cities are again described in the media as "hot" places to live, work, shop and visit. As 
a consequence of this, some of the troubling signs of urban decline seem to have 
abated and in many cities are being reversed: indices of population decline, segrega- 
tion and concentrated poverty are, on average, improving. 

Yet we must not let these improved times for cities belie the harsh reality that cities 
continue to house the majority of the poor and segregation continues to persist 
as the basic form of the city. And while urban downtowns are indeed exciting desti- 
nations featuring celebrated new icons of modern architecture and temples of 
culture, they are often not the places where the diversity of the city intersects 
and enjoys shared public space. The very meaning and success of the city must be 
measured not solely by growth statistics or increased tax receipts — although these 
are both vital to the health of cities — but more importantly, by whether we are in 
fact creating an inclusive city that overcomes the economic, physical, environmental 
and social barriers that perpetuate inequality and separation. 

But how do we do it? We bemoan our helplessness in achieving an inclusive city 
because its lofty goal seems too difficult and overwhelming to actually achieve "on 
the ground." The argument is that the forces that shape the destiny of the city — the 
economic, market and government policies — are beyond the influence of a city. 
How can we create an inclusive city in an environment seemingly aligned against it, 
and that in fact fosters the very conditions of disparity and inequity that this book 
challenges us to confront, understand and resolve? 

I believe we can meet this challenge. Even in the face of federal withdrawal from 
cities and the hostility of many state governments to the interests of cities, there is 
increasing evidence that cities and urban communities are seizing control of their 
own destiny. New models of entrepreneurial urban development are emerging that, 
while on their own cannot resolve basic urban disparities, offer us hope for seeding 
an inclusive city that can be replicated on a larger scale. 

My own experience as planning director of Washington, D.C., confirms that just 
such an urban transformation is possible. Under the leadership of a visionary mayor, 
Mayor Anthony A. Williams, urban planning was empowered to think big again. 
Through the combination of generating bold ideas for urban transformation, engag- 
ing in participatory planning that attempted to bridge economic, social and racial 
divisions, and planning with — not against — the market so that opportunities are 
harnessed and created, Washington, D.C., is growing and addressing fundamental 
urban inequities after decades of steady decline. Its new master plan focuses on 
balancing growth, equity and a shared sense of community and responsibility across 
neighborhood, racial and economic fault lines. 

But while attention is often given to the "big" programmatic ideas that are prerequi- 
site to building an inclusive city — such as in Washington, D.C. — it is at the ground 
level where we are often left without sufficient professional guidance and successful 
examples. This is where The Inclusive City makes an important contribution. The 
public spaces and facilities that have defined the urbanity of cities for millennia can 
either be spaces and buildings that invite the interaction of diverse populations and 
encourage serendipitous experiences, or they can be controlled spaces that enforce 


segregation and sterility. Successful — inclusive — cities are designed to engage diver- 
gent and oft times conflicting communities in the civic and public life of the city. 
Nowhere is this more important than in the design and use of our public spaces — the 
streets, squares, schools and public facilities — that determine the extent to which the 
daily life of the city is either inclusive or exclusive. 

We desperately need a framework to provoke us, teach us and stimulate our work: 
what are the building blocks, principles and guidelines that we should look to and 
measure ourselves against so that values match desired outcomes? This much-needed 
book offers just such a guide and inspiration. From the scale of planning for down- 
town and pedestrian corridors, to the design of new parks, and the detailed layout of 
the interior and external environments of community facilities and schools, this book 
offers us a toolbox to bridge the gap between theory and action. 

Having worked with Daniel and Susan for many years, beginning with my tenure as 
planning director for the City of Oakland, California, I know their work exemplifies 
the search for and realization of community and inclusiveness in its most positive and 
myriad forms. We find this in Daniel's adroit organization of inclusive planning 
processes that break down the barriers separating communities from each other and 
planning professionals from the constituents they serve. And we find it in Susan's 
work designing humane environments for some of the most challenged and vulner- 
able populations in our society. The concept of the inclusive city, both as process and 
outcome, are pervasive in every aspect of their work. And importantly, if life is to be 
lived by example, their indefatigable optimism is simply an inspiration to be around, 
filling one with the belief that, with the right attitude and commitment, inclusive 
environments and inclusive cities are possible and within our reach. 

Andrew Altman is the former Director of the Washington, D.C. Office of Planning and 
Anacostia Waterfront Initiative. 



This book began with a vision: an "inclusive city" that fully supports the physical, 
economic, cultural, and social needs of all people of all abilities, of all social strata 
and of all income levels. As with all visions, implementing it required the creativity 
and dedication of a great many people. 

All of the book's contributors graciously shared their projects, their time and their 
enthusiasm. We would like to thank them: Coco Raynes, Joan Leon and Stanton 
Jones, and those who worked at MIG on projects with us, Robin Moore, Susan 
McKay, Mukul Malhotra, Larry Wight, Sally Mclntyre, Bart Ney and Cheryl Sullivan. 

During the course of researching how built inclusive environments are actually being 
used, we interviewed over 100 community members and planning staff from various 
cities who generously contributed their time and their insight. We thank all of them 
for their participation in this project. 

We would also like to thank the creative MIG Communications and Media Services 
team: writer Joyce Vollmer, director Carie DeRuiter, art director Ed Canalin, graphic 
designer Catherine Courtenaye and production manager Kim Donahue. 

This book is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts (grant number 
DCA 01-04/2001-2002) as part of its Universal Design Leadership Initiative. 
Additional funding has been provided by PLAE, Inc. 

Que ^ 


A great nation 
deserves great art. 


"Concepts such as harmony, beauty, variety, and order have been thought 
of as attributes of the [physical environment] itself. Designers have 
unconsciously relied on their own implicit values and perceptions, 
projecting them on the physical world as if they were inherent qualities. 
Not so — one begins with the images and priorities of the users of a 
place and must look at place and person together" 




The most profound challenges facing cities today also offer an extraordinary 
opportunity: how will we confront, understand and overcome the enormous 
economic, social and physical disparities that now divide our communities? As 
planners, designers, developers and managers, how can we overcome: 

■ Neighborhoods with vastly different qualities of life; 

■ Fundamentally unequal access to education and jobs; 

■ Virtually impassable physical barriers that cut through many disadvantaged urban 
neighborhoods; and 

■ Environmental disasters like toxic waste sites, a lack of parks and open space, and 
rivers that no longer resemble anything ever seen in nature? 

As long as these disparities exist, they 
will restrict and confine groups of peo- 
ple, limiting their ability to make 
choices about how and where they live, 
perpetuating inequity and cutting the 
social connections that define vibrant 
and thriving cities. That is the funda- 
mental unfinished agenda for our cities: 
balancing the physical improvements of 
urban revitalization with the goals of 
social equity, economic development 
and environmental protection for all 
city inhabitants. 

There have been many attempts to 
understand what makes a good city, 
good form and good design. It's more 
than simply stating that a new building 
or development is "postmodern with 
urban edginess" — that's just architec- 
tural rhetoric. While there are some 
general concepts that people agree on, 
it has proven difficult to define the exact 
typology. We need a way of objectifying 
criteria of success, some common 
points of reference so independent 

observers and evaluators can arrive at 
conclusions about what needs to happen 
as we plan and design cities. 

Let's take a brief step back: how did we 
get to this point? 

Since the beginning of U.S. cities, we 
have been challenged to accommodate 
and serve the multitudes of people liv- 
ing and working in them. Our first zon- 
ing laws, in the early 1900s, were 
actually developed for public health 
needs: to separate commercial, indus- 
trial and residential areas, with the hope 
of controlling the miasma of epidemics 
that ran rampant. 

After World War II, the U.S. government 
offered the GI Bill and low-interest loans 
that allowed so many people to buy their 
own homes. That became the American 
dream: the house with the white picket 
fence on a tree-lined curb and gutter 
street. It was all very organized and 
planned. The suburbs had arrived. 
William Whyte, the great urban sociolo- 

gist, wrote in The Organization Man how 
men in the 1 950s were trained to buy 
into the social ethic that the organization 
is superior to the individual. The suburbs 
were the extension of the organization. 

The new Interstate Highway system — a 
huge national defense project to 
improve mobility — also allowed cars 
and trucks to easily crisscross the coun- 
try. And it did so in a rather unrelenting 
fashion. Freeways often cut through 
cities, creating isolated communities and 
pockets of unused land that later 
became blighted areas. 

Downtowns, meanwhile, were "messy" 
places: high-density and lower-income, 
with kids playing on the streets, people 
living above shops, street vendors, and 
neighbors running back and forth. It 
was crowded, and for some — against 
the backdrop of the new suburban 
sensibilities — downtowns were consid- 
ered unhealthy, or even irrelevant to the 
new w : ay of living. We thought: the 



suburbs are successful; if we make the 
downtowns like the suburbs, down- 
towns will be successful. 

The concept was that physical planning 
could solve social problems. Planners 
embraced the idea that the new archi- 
tecture itself would save the city, and 
they called it Urban Renewal. Many 
neighborhoods were razed to make way 
for planned public housing. But often 
the physical planning did not take into 
account how people actually use space 
as they live and work. Planners missed 
the vital community connections that 
"messiness" provided. In fact, the under- 
lying design standard was based on the 
auto and the turning radius for fire 
trucks. Urban Renewal was not a 
success. Focusing solely on physical 
planning — on buildings and the spaces 
that connect them — did not work. 

In reaction, the pendulum swung heavily 
toward a focus on social planning: on 
jobs, health care and social services — all 

essential for people's quality of life in the 
city. But classical city and building design 
were almost entirely de- emphasized. 
Cities were left with suburban style 
buildings and suburban land use patterns 
placed into an urban context, continued 
auto -dominance, and an aging physical 
infrastructure, leading to continued 
flight to the suburbs by those who could 
afford it. 

But against the trend toward suburbia, 
there were other lines of thinking that 
continued to focus on creating urban 
vitality. Lewis Mumford examined the 
driving force behind cities, citing four 
human needs: protection, culture, com- 
merce and ceremony, the need for 
finding meaning and value. Jane Jacobs 
wrote The Death and Life of Great 
American Cities, detailing how urban 
renewal had created isolated, unnatural 
urban spaces that stripped the life out of 
cities. She advocated physical planning 
for dense, mixed-use neighborhoods. In 
his seminal book, A Theory of Good City 

Form, Kevin Lynch, one of our most 
prominent urban theorists, put forth a 
series of concepts for measuring the 
quality of the urban environment, called 
"dimensions of performance." Many 
planners also looked back to the great 
cities of Europe, that had never planned 
to accommodate cars, and retained 
vibrant and thriving downtowns. 

When New Urbanism burst on the 
scene in the late 1980's, it was a break- 
through in re -integrating the social and 
physical aspects of planning, and allow- 
ing communities to participate in plan- 
ning their own futures. New Urbanism 
emphasized people rather than cars, 
with a human scale "grid" that reduced 
the amount of space given to cars and 
increased opportunities for walking and 
gathering. It reintroduced the concept of 
the mixed-use, higher-density "urban 
village" and neighborhoods that activate 
the public realm. New Urbanist princi- 
ples aimed for restoring urban centers, 
creating real neighborhoods, conserving 


the environment and preserving the 
built legacy. 

But what about the new environments 
built under the rubric of New Urbanism? 
Do they take the principles far enough — 
are they truly meeting the needs of all 

Physically, there are well-designed proj- 
ects in many cities: vibrant streetscapes, 
interesting architecture, housing on top 
of retail, people walking and sitting in 
cafes. But a closer look reveals that 
many of these isolated projects often 
don't connect to anything. They are usu- 
ally designed, still, with cars in mind — 
surrounded by acres of parking with no 
transit connections. The housing is 
expensive, the shops even more expen- 
sive. The people who live there don't 
work there. The people who work there 
can't afford to live there. And the shop- 
pers just come and go. Where are the 
urban parks, the true gathering places, 
the grocery stores, the shoe repair — 
where are the functional services for 

real people? Chic boutiques on the 
corners don't make a social community. 

And as people are attracted back to 
areas with new housing options, more 
interesting architecture and more vital- 
ity, what's becoming of the people who 
already live there? 

The pendulum seems to be swinging 
once again to an over-reliance on a 
physical design approach — a set of 
formulaic design responses, which, 
when examined closely, do not address 
the needs of all people. 

We need the pendulum to stop its swing 
right in the middle, if we're to achieve 
this. So how do we proceed? 

The solution is inclusive planning based 
on economic, social, environmental 
and culturally sensitive policies that 
allow everyone to improve economi- 
cally as the physical area improves. 
Cities need planning that recognizes 
that every individual has the right to 
full and equal participation in the built 

environment — and that through their 
direct involvement they can shape their 
own environment to meet their own 


Let us examine for a moment a simple 
ecological principle: every living thing 
on earth is part of an ecosystem. All suc- 
cessful habitats are uniquely adapted to 
the species that inhabit them. Our task is 
to design healthy human habitats. The 
habitat has to meet the human needs for: 

Physical comfort and safety; 

- ; Community, connections and 

a Stimulation and discovery; 

■ Fun and joy; and 

■ Meaning. 

How do we design the physical environ- 
ment to provide for those human needs? 
Again, we can examine basic ecological 


Sustenance: We need resources to 
sustain us, such as food, shelter, 
water and sunlight. 

■ Diversity: We need a range of varia- 
tion in the habitat that allows adap- 
tive potential. 

Q Adaptability: We need the ability to 
adapt to variations in environmental 

■ Complexity: We need a richness of 
stimulation in the environment to 
promote healthy development. 

- Range: We need to be able to move 
through the habitat to acquire 

n Connectivity: We need safe pathways 
for mobility to find needed resources 
throughout the entire urban region. 


We can translate those ecological princi- 
ples for a healthy human habitat into 
inclusive design criteria for the built 

Successful inclusive design projects 
support our unique physical, social, 
cultural and economic needs with clear 
philosophies, strategies and tactics. 
From the outset, these projects aim for 
inclusiveness in all phases. They push the 
boundaries of creativity and innovation, 
energizing and regenerating a commu- 
nity. They result in functional, high- 
quality and aesthetically pleasing 
environments that manage impacts and 
add value to cities, providing residents 

with opportunities and choices to thrive 
and reach their full potential. 

We propose three criteria that can help 
us systematically analyze how well 
environments incorporate ecological 
principles, and how people are affected 
by and can shape development projects. 

1 . Functionality. Designs are function- 
ally based, incorporating the 
physical inclusiveness of universal 
design, which supports the unique 

Inclusive design projects must meet three criteria: fulfill functional needs, emerge from the 
context of the community, and mitigate their own impacts. 


physical needs of all types of 
people, and makes places and 
programs accessible to the widest 
possible audience. Universal design 
assumes that humans have a diverse 
range of abilities, that this range is 
ordinary, not unique, and that the 
range is dynamic — it will change 
during our lifespan. Friendly, acces- 
sible and easy-to-use environments 
benefit everyone: a mother holding 
a baby, a very short or tall person, a 
senior with low stamina or a visual 
impairment, or a child with a 
broken leg. 

Successful projects support the func- 
tional needs of their users such as 
health, safety and sustenance. There 
must be good transportation and 
communication, access to goods and 
services, and everything must be avail- 
able to all inhabitants regardless of age, 
income, power or rank. 

It is sized and positioned correctly, or, as 
Lynch says, the "form and capacity of 
spaces, channels and equipment in a 

settlement match the pattern and 
quantity of actions that people custom- 
arily engage in." There must be a match 
between the environment and cultural 
constructs such as values and vision. 
And finally, communities must be able 
to influence and mana ge the space and 
activities themselves. 

2. Context Sensitivity. Inclusive design 
translates the vision of an inclusive 
city into the physical; it enables 
people across the entire economic 
and social spectrum to participate 
in and receive value from the 

The first step is helping the client 
and the community understand and 
take an active role in early strategy 
and project planning. The critical 
thinking about the real source of a 
problem and potential solutions is 
participatory, involving the entire 
community in hands-on planning 
and leveraging resources. The 
projects are always context-driven, 
emerging from the needs, assets and 
culture of the communities and the 

environment in which they exist. 
With extensive participation, 
communities then feel strong 
ownership and commitment to 
the project. 

Successful designs are aesthetically 
pleasing and in harmony with the 
surrounding community fabric; 
people want to live and work there. 
They provide a sense of place that 
people identify with and an 
environmental consciousness that 
respects our stewardship of the 

People can grasp and understand 
the design; it's navigable. In the 
organizational sense, the project 
leaves the community with the 
capacity to accomplish more than 
before sthe project was started— 
the process of doing the project 
provides people with the tools they 
need to manage or control their 

3. Equitable Impacts. Every project has 
consequences, both intended and 
unintended. Successful projects 
mitigate the social and human 


impacts, especially on the most 
vulnerable members of society. 

A successful project manages it own 
impact by ensuring that the design 
addresses the entire environment, 
including the externalities beyond 
the project area. It ensures that 
there are minimal or no negative 
impacts and, often, that the impact 
actually becomes a net positive. For 
example, transportation infrastruc- 
ture projects that increase the flow 
of people, goods and services, are 
notorious for leaving residue such 
as a patchwork of left-over land 
areas, cut-up streets that disrupt 
social patterns and cultural 
resources, and increased noise and 
pollution. And those impacts are far 
more prevalent in low-income 


While it is difficult to find all elements 
of an inclusive city all in one place, we 
can find many successful projects in 
many cities. Here is just a sampling. 

■ A transit village in Oakland, 
California, is stimulating economic 
development and environmental 
improvement in an inner- city, 
moderate- to low-income Hispanic 
community. The Fruitvale Transit 
Village above a multi-modal transit 
station is the result of the neighbor- 
hood coming together and insisting 
that a new development include 
affordable and senior housing, offices, 
neighborhood-serving retail, a child- 
care facility — right there, for parents 
commuting to jobs — a library, senior 
center, health clinic, multi-lingual 
human services offices, and a public 
plaza. Fannie Mae calls it one of the 
ten "Just Right" affordable housing 
markets in the country. 

The Fruitvale Transit Village in Oakland, 
California, provides functional human 
services while stimulating economic 
revitalization in an inner-city community. 


Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, Oregon, is an active community gathering space in 
a fareless transit zone. 

Portland, Oregon, has one of the best 
public spaces in the country. Pioneer 
Courthouse Square was the commu- 
nity response to a planned ten-story 

parking lot in the middle of town. 
There's a transit mall right next to it, 
featuring a fareless zone — several 
square miles with free bus, street car 

and light rail service. If you want to 
commute to work by driving, you'll 
pay steep parking fees. 

In Seattle, Washington, downtown 
property owners have partnered with 
low-income housing providers. The 
City changed the development code 
to increase the housing height limit. 
Builders buy the extra height and that 
money goes toward affordable hous- 
ing. And Seattle's Housing Resources 
Group, formed by the Downtown 
Seattle Association, helps property 
owners or businesses build housing 
for people who work in their busi- 
nesses. This partnership has created 
thousands of units of affordable 
housing for people of all ages. 

Vancouver, British Columbia, offers a 
model of true high-density urban 
living with activity 24 hours a day. 
The City created pedestrian-scaled 
streets with three-story town homes 
closest to the street. Behind them are 
fifteen 30-story high-rise condos. 



That design allows light and views 
with transitions to older, single - 
family residences and commercial 
office towers. And everything is 
within walking distance. 

In Southern California, Interstate 710 
carries trucks out from the huge 
ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. 
Trucks are jammed up, belching out 
pollution, a serious health problem. 
Even worse, trucks go on local 
streets to connect with Interstate 5 
because there's no other connector. 
Community members came up with 
a solution: let's not build a connector 
because it would take homes and a 
much-needed park. Instead, let's 
widen the freeway with truck-only 
lanes and create a new truck-only 
off ramp that routes them onto a 
commercial street to the freight yard. 

i The University of California in San 
Francisco offers economic mitigations 
for its huge new campus in a long- 
time economically disadvantaged area 

Vancouver, British Columbia, offers tree-lined residential streets within walking distance of 
the commercial center. 

just south of the City. It reserved 
eight acres for usable public open 
space, with recreational facilities 

open to the public. It created high 
school and college programs for local 
residents to train for well-paid staff 


positions. It helps local businesses 
become vendors. It's planning afford- 
able housing for staff, adjacent to the 
campus. And, noting that over $35 
million in tax refunds go unclaimed 
in the Bay Area, it now offers a free 
tax service to low-income commu- 
nity members. 

In Washington, D.C. — where disen- 
franchised areas like the low-income 
Anacostia Waterfront have borne the 
brunt of political wrangling for 
years — an innovative new compre- 
hensive plan is adding jobs, educa- 
tion, arts and culture elements. Based 
on its "Vision for Growing an 
Inclusive City," the plan is being built 
on a monumental community out- 
reach program, benefiting from the 
ideas of thousands of community 


These successful projects offer choices 
and opportunities to all city inhabitants. 
To set the stage for formulating projects 
that embody inclusive design, we need a 
broad, inclusive policy framework that 
guides urban area decision-making. We 
need to be sure that cities provide: 

■ Economic Development — 

Opportunities for everyone to participate 
fully in the economy of the city, with 
access to a variety of quality jobs. Land 
use decisions must encourage locally 
owned, neighborhood-serving 
businesses and focus on catalyst 
projects that generate investment and 
stimulate further development. Cities 
must insist that new developments 
hire locally first, develop local 
vendors and develop courses at 
colleges or high schools to train 
community members. New or 
expanding companies must provide a 
net gain to the community, both in 

terms of numbers of jobs and quality 
of jobs (wages, choices, opportunities 
for advancement and ability to spend 
earnings in the community). Cities 
can explore the use of zoning over- 
lays, square footage caps, business 
improvement districts, parking 
assessments, and other creative, 
stimulating policies. 

Housing and Neighborhoods — Safe 
neighborhoods with a range of housing 
types and price levels to accommodate 
diverse socio-economic backgrounds and 
lifestyle choices. Cities can modernize 
housing and building codes to focus 
more on health, safety and community 
quality of life. They can also adopt in 
lieu fees, tax credits, Individual 
Development Accounts, developer 
incentives, zoning changes and public 
infrastructure development to stimu- 
late private investment — ensuring a 
mix of affordable and market rate 
housing in scale with the surrounding 



Education — Full access to quality edu- 
cation choices. The physical condition 
of a school does have an impact on a 
child's ability to learn — and defines 
the social and economic characteristics 
of a neighborhood. Developers can 
contribute to renovation, although not 
in return for usable open space. Cities 
need to build schools near where chil- 
dren live, explore shared use between 
schools, parks and community facili- 
ties, maintain those facilities, and put 
their full weight behind any bonds or 
taxes needed to properly fund them. 

Access and Mobility — Viable, multi- 
modal and interconnected public transit 
systems. Cities can create incentives to 
promote transit and disincentives to 
discourage single occupancy car com- 
muting. They can promote transporta- 
tion demand management measures 
and funding policies that favor transit. 

Habitat Protection and a Safe 
Public Realm — Connected, safe,Junc- 
tional and green connections. Cities can 

Urban decision-making should be guided by a broad, progessive policy framework. 


I I 

reintroduce the human scale to create 
pedestrian-friendly and bike-friendly 
streets that reactivate the public 
realm. They can reintegrate land uses, 
rather than maintaining separation. 

Community Facilities and 
Gathering Spaces — Well-maintained 
and usable open space. Gathering spaces 
are virtually the only urban places 
where people of all socio-economic 
levels have equal access. Parks and 
open space are key tools for improved 
air and water quality and preserving 
rivers, wetlands and urban forests. In 
return for development rights, cities 
can ask for park impact fees, open 
space, pocket parks and plazas, green 
roofs, and private green space (prop- 
erty frontages). Cities should consider 
changing operating procedures to 
allow capital improvement dollars to 
be used for landscaping and mainte- 
nance and promote expanded roles for 
private citizens and community 
groups in maintenance. 

Cultural Meaning — Spaces and places 
to create and display social and cultural 
rituals and symbols that have meaning 
Jor all residents. Public events, such as 
street fairs and parades, contribute to 
vibrant neighborhood life. Cities can 
incorporate one-percent set-asides for 
arts, provide space for grassroots and 
community organizations in non- 
traditional settings and create arts 
districts — including culinary arts. 

These progressive policies require us to 
go beyond the traditional land use 
emphasis of city planning, to integrate 
all the elements of inclusive design. 
Planners must balance community good 
with the "right to develop." In return for 
that right, cities must require that devel- 
opers deliver certain benefits, in certain 
ways, in a certain amount of time. Each 
project must be critically examined: 

■ Is this contributing to a real 

Has the community been involved; 
does the project actually fulfill the 
community's vision? 

Does it respect social and cultural 

■ Does it enhance community connec- 

■ Is it environmentally sustainable? 

■ Will it allow all residents to improve 

ffl Does it mitigate its own impacts? 

■ Is it truly inclusive? 


This book provides a practical look at a 
range of successful inclusive design proj- 
ects with positive social impacts in 
urban environments. 

This eclectic mix has one important 
result in common: doing the project 
has added value to the world beyond 
the project itself. For example, build- 
ing a new bridge with community 


involvement led to new ways of align- 
ing off ramps that recreated long- 
lasting community connections — in 
addition to a stunning new bridge. 
Taking a fresh look at children's zoos 
resulted in a nationwide movement 
toward involving the entire family in 
experiential learning. And designing 
the Ed Roberts Campus led to new 
ways that the philosophy of the 
Independent Living Movement for 
people with disabilities will inform 
design and architecture in the future. 

All the projects demonstrate the belief 
that every individual has the right to full 
and equal participation in the built 

The book also offers a set of inclusive 
design guidelines that build on lessons 
learned from the projects. Reading 
through those guidelines will help 
provide an intuitive sense of how to 
achieve inclusive design in other, 
similar settings. 

Since every well-designed project grows 
out of its own context, it's impossible 
to find models that transfer exactly to 
other projects. But it is our hope that 
the reader will find some of this infor- 
mation useful enough to take to the 
next project, so that, someday, all built 
environments and all cities are fully 

inclusive, welcoming and engaging. The 
basic fact that we are all connected 
compels us to do so. 

As we continue to search Jor innovative 
solutions to creating inclusive environ- 
ments, we welcome feedback from planners, 
architects, landscape architects, policy 
makers and, most of all,Jrom community 
members who share our passion Jor great 
urban places. We hope to create a clearing- 
house to share ideas and successes from 
which others may benefit. Please contact 






A A 

Jfc K .,.,11 

H j MR;?*** 

L I? \ 




'We propose to build a new building, one that does not look like 
buildings of the past. We are hoping to change history and move to 
a brighter future? 





disabilities, died. The movement had begun in Berkeley, California, in the 1970s and 
it forever changed the lives of people with disabilities. After Ed died, leaders of the 
movement, the City of Berkeley, and the University of California, Berkeley, gathered 
to discuss a suitable memorial to his legacy, and the idea for the Ed Roberts Campus 
(ERC) was born. The campus will be the world's foremost disability service, advo- 
cacy, education, training and policy center. It will also be the embodiment of inclu- 
sive design, integrating the principles of independent living, universal design, 
sustainable design and transit-oriented development. 

Ed Roberts, a founder of the Independent Living Movement. 


PROJECT Ed Roberts Campus LOCATION Berkeley, California DATE DESIGNED 
SIZE 80,000 sq. ft. ARCHITECTS PRE-DESIGN: Siegel Diamond Architecture 
Equity Community Builders PROJECT MANAGER Calib Dardik CLIENT Ed Roberts 
Campus Partnership 

Ed Roberts was born in 1939 and 
became disabled in 1952 as a result of 
polio. In 1962, he was the first severely 
disabled student admitted to the 
University of California. He was an 
early leader of the Independent Living 
Movement, a struggle by people with 
disabilities to control their own lives. 
The movement began in reaction to the 
dehumanizing processes people with 
disabilities were subjected to, and it 
championed the need for equal access 
and equal opportunity. It recognized 
that the struggle for independence was 
not a medical or functional issue; it was 
a matter of civil rights. At a rally in 
front of the federal building in San 
Francisco, which ultimately resulted in a 
major change in federal disability policy, 
Ed defined the problem as the system's 
view that disabled people should have a 
"separate, but equal world." He cap- 
tured the sentiments of the disability 
movement when he declared, 
"Integration is the key word. People 
with disabilities have to come back into 
our society." 



The Independent Living Movement 
changed the old paradigm by developing 
a consumer-directed approach to 
services — people who use services 
could have control over the choices and 
options available to them. Instead of a 
presumption of charity and depen- 
dence, the movement successfully 
empowered people to become produc- 
tive members of society. 

One of Ed's favorite stories was about 
how his rehabilitation counselor, 

employed by the California Department 
of Rehabilitation, refused to serve him 
and opposed his desire to go to UC 
Berkeley. He was "too disabled to work," 
so what was the point of an education? 
Ed went to the director of the 
Department and convinced him to 
reverse the decision. "You don't let peo- 
ple walk all over you; you do something 
about it. You fight for what you believe 
is right," Ed commented. Ed earned a 
Master's Degree in Political Science and 

had completed all the course work for 
his Ph.D. when he left campus to work 
in the nascent Independent Living 
Movement. Years later, he became 
the director of the Department of 
Rehabilitation for the State of 
California, the same agency that had 
tried to refuse him an education. 

Ed traveled throughout the world 
promoting the concept of independent 
living and firmly believed in the strength 

People with disabilities have always known that a simple architectural design change can make all the difference in being able to self- 
sufficiently navigate and use a building. Their input drove the design process for the Ed Roberts Campus. 


I 7 

of collaborative efforts — he called it 
"working toward our preferred future." 
In 1984, Ed was awarded a John D. and 
Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship for 
his work championing the right of peo- 
ple with disabilities. When he died in 
1 995 , the concept of developing the Ed 
Roberts Campus became a memorial to 

The Ed Roberts Campus is being devel- 
oped by eight partner organizations who 
are board members and co-owners: Bay 
Area Outreach & Recreation Program 
(BORP), Center for Accessible 
Technology (CforAT), Center for 
Independent Living (CIL), Computer 
Technologies Program (CTP), Disability 
Rights Education and Defense Fund 
(DREDF), Through the Looking Glass 
(TLG) , Whirlwind Wheelchair Interna- 
tional (WWI), and the World Institute 
on Disability (WID). Several other non- 
profit and government organizations 
will also be located on the campus. 

The founding board agreed on basic 
requirements for the campus — that it 
easily accommodate hundreds of people 
with all types of disabilities at any one 
time, that it be situated at a transit hub 
to make it easy for people to obtain the 
services the organizations offer, and that 
it be located in Berkeley, the home of 
the Independent Living Movement. The 
80,000-square-foot complex on a 1.5- 
acre site will house the partner organiza- 
tions and other tenants, exhibition 
space, meeting rooms, a fitness center 
and a cafe. Construction of the $35 mil- 
lion facility is scheduled to begin in 
2007; it is scheduled to open in 2008. 


■ People with all types of abilities 
D People of all ages 

■ Students, researchers and policy- 
makers from around the world 

The Ed Roberts Campus presents a sweeping plaza on Adeline Street, an embracing civic 
gesture that expresses its important role in the community (artist's rendition). 



The Ed Roberts Campus will be the 
home of eight trailblazing disability 
organizations; by collocating they will 
provide services, share resources and 
expertise, and collaborate on the con- 
tinued development of improved serv- 
ices for people with disabilities. 

People with disabilities in the Bay Area, 
the nation and many other parts of the 
world have relied on the ERC organiza- 
tions for as many as 35 years. Their 
services and programs offer assistance 
with all aspects of a person's life, from 
legal advocacy and computer training to 
parenting support and wheelchair bas- 
ketball. In addition, their work in public 
policy research, advocacy and program 
development has had a major impact on 
people in other countries. Many of the 
programs and services provided by 
these organizations cannot be found 

The ERC will take the popular "one- 
stop shopping" concept a step further, 

grouping services in one place. People 
will come to the campus for a wide 
range of health, education, recreation 
and vocational services, and for social, 
educational and professional programs. 
Many of the programs will be new 
collaborative efforts by the participating 
organizations and other government and 
nonprofit entities. 

One collaborator is the University of 
California, Berkeley, where, according to 
former UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert 
Berdahl, "faculty members have begun to 
work closely with the ERC and its part- 
ner organizations on ways that we can 
collaborate so that our students will 
benefit from the vibrant atmosphere, 
extraordinary accessibility, and talents 
that will be located at the campus." 


The ERC site is a Bay Area Rapid Transit 
(BART) parking lot next to a BART sta- 
tion in a diverse neighborhood of single - 
family homes, apartment buildings and 

larger commercial structures. Half of 
the project site is located in a commer- 
cial zone facing Adeline Street — a busy 
commercial boulevard — and a large 
urban open space created by another 
BART parking lot to the west (home to 
a popular flea market on weekends). 
The other half of the project is located 
in a residential zone facing the remain- 
ing portion of the existing BART park- 
ing lot and single-family homes beyond. 
As a result, the building presents two 
different, but related, faces to the sur- 
rounding community, respecting its 
diverse context while offering a vitaliz- 
ing presence to the neighborhood. 

Transit agencies in California and the 
U.S. Department of Transportation 
have recognized the ERC as a model 
of transit-friendly development that 
maximizes the value of accessible public 
transit. People with disabilities from a 
multi- county area, who have had little 
or no access to these services before, 
will be able to travel easily and inex- 
pensively to the center. The transit 

The transparent lobby provides a welcoming view of the helical ramp and covered courtyard for gatherings (artist's rendition). 


Project design committee members reviewed the building design concepts to ensure it 
followed a simple equation: move people with disabilities from being dependent to 

location of the ERC is one of its most 
important innovations and is likely to be 
replicated in other urban areas. U.S. 
Congressional Representative Ellen 
Tauscher, in written testimony for a 
joint hearing convened by the House 
Committees on Transportation and 

Infrastructure and Education and the 
Workforce in May 2003, said that the 
ERC "will maximize Bay Area human 
services and, by locating at a BART 
station, reduce the need for costly and 
sometimes unreliable paratransit 



The relationship between access and 
design will become ever more impor- 
tant as the population ages and the 
demand for accessibility grows. Most 
people who design buildings and public 
spaces do not have a disability. It is peo- 
ple with disabilities who know what 
they need and who are beginning to 
inform design and architecture as direct 
participants and co-designers. 

In designing this campus, members of 
the disability organizations carried the 
concept of universal design for large 
buildings to a new level of innovation 
and effectiveness. People with disabili- 
ties have always known that a simple 
design change — often at little or no 
cost — can mean the difference between 
being able to do something themselves 
and needing help from someone else. 
The planning team advanced a simple 
principle: move people from being 
dependent to independent. A woman in 



a wheelchair changes the placement of 
the hinges on her oven door — now she 
can bake. Put kickpads on an elevator — 
she doesn't have to wait until someone 
comes who can push the button. A 
beeping light on a traffic signal allows 
people without sight to cross the street. 
Perhaps the most well-known example, 
and the one that people most associate 
with disability rights, is curb cuts: 
change the landscape so that people in 
wheelchairs can navigate sidewalks and 
walk to the store. And, by the way, that 
helps mothers with strollers, seniors 
with walkers and kids on tricycles, too. 

The disability organizations started 
working with the City of Berkeley in 
1995 to find a suitable location for the 
campus. Berkeley is a small, densely 
built city with little room for new 
large-scale developments. But in 1996, 
with the City's help, an ideal site was 
found: a parking lot co-owned by the 
City and BART. The City held the air 

Wood screens on the Adeline Street main entry integrate warm, natural materials that also 
control light and add expressive detail (artist's rendition). 



The eastern entrance, facing a residential neighborhood, is more compact and enlivened by a colorful mural celebrating people with disabilities, 
landscaping and an irregular rhythm of projecting bays in harmony with the residential scale of surrounding properties (artist's rendition). 

rights to the lot (BART runs under- 
neath) in an agreement executed when 
the transit system was built. The lot had 
been slated for development for some 
25 years, but no agreement had been 
made about what to build. 

In 1997, ERC held community 
meetings, neighborhood associations 
meetings and meetings with local 
merchants associations. The ERC was 
agreed on as the only project that was 
both economically feasible and satisfac- 

tory to the neighboring community, 
the City and BART The way was 
cleared for ERC to buy the site from 
BART at the original 1968 price. 




The partner organizations then devel- 
oped a design program for the campus 
to visualize how it might fit on the site. 
They organized design charettes to 
develop fundamental concepts and prin- 
ciples to incorporate in the design. They 

addressed the unique challenges of 
designing a transit- oriented facility to 
accommodate hundreds of people with 
all kinds of disabilities. 

The Metropolitan Transportation 
Commission of the San Francisco Bay 
Area provided a grant that paid for a 
series of community meetings on the 
design and the development of a 
newsletter so that neighbors could be 
brought into the process in a meaningful 
way. At these meetings, the architects 
presented a facility that occupied 
1 10,000 sq. ft. (including a 13,000 sq. 
ft. gym and fitness center and a 5,500 
sq. ft. Early Head Start Program). It also 
included a 10,000 sq. ft. conference cen- 
ter and 4,500 sq. ft. of meeting rooms, 
catering kitchen, library and computer 
and media resource center. The project 
provided parking at the ratio of two 
spaces/ 1 ,000 sq. ft. of building (esti- 
mated to be 220 spaces), as well as 
replacement parking on a 1:1 basis for 
parking displaced on the BART lot. 

This plan turned out to be very costly, 
especially the BART and ERC parking 
requirements. It also generated consider- 
able controversy in the neighborhood 
because of concerns about traffic and 
scale. During the next year, the ERC 
design went through many iterations as 
the partners struggled to balance space 
needs, costs and the concerns and wishes 
of the neighbors with the organization's 
fundraising capability. Finally, it was 
decided that 1 10,000 sq. ft. was simply 
too large and, reluctantly, the gym was 
dropped and other reductions were 
made in the development program. 


As a newly formed organization, the 
ERC did not have an endowment to tap 
or a long-standing Board of Directors to 
support its desire to build a campus. It 
is a community-based, consumer-led 
organization very much like the non- 
profits that founded it. These organiza- 
tions place the greatest value on having 
consumers on their boards. They focus 



The final design — a transit-oriented 
facility — will accommodate hundreds of 
users with a wide range of disabilities 
(artist's model). 


so strongly on using their resources to 
meet the need in the community that 
they do not have the time to build an 
endowment. And, of course, as non- 
profits operating continuously at full 
throttle, the organizations could not 
stop their own fundraising efforts while 
developing the ERC. 

The ERC reached out to community 
leaders to form a campaign committee 
and decided to approach government 
sources that support health and eco- 
nomic development and foundations that 
support disability issues. A major early 

supporter was the City of Berkeley. 
Proud of Berkeley's history with the 
Independent Living Movement, City offi- 
cials recognized that the ERC would not 
only benefit the people living in its 
boundaries but would also be of major 
national and international significance, 
both as a collaborative model for non- 
profits and as a beacon for independent 
living for people with disabilities. 

One of the other important early donors 
was NEC Foundation of America, which 
provided the funds for the design of a 
comprehensive technology system to 
make the campus fully accessible with 
state-of-the-art equipment and facilities 
for people with disabilities. NEC made 
the award in commemoration of its 1 Oth 
anniversary. An NEC-funded report, 
"Technology and Universal Design 
Assessment of the Ed Roberts Campus," 
describes the ways technology is used 
now by the partner organizations and 
presents strategies for its use in the 
future. It recommends technological 
solutions and an information technology 

action plan, and presents a newly created 
Universal Design Tool. (The report is 
available from the ERC.) 

The ERC developed a long-range finan- 
cial plan to support planning for the new 
organization, as well as designing, build- 
ing and operating the facility. The plan 
was laid out in phases so that each phase 
of work could proceed as funds are 
raised. This approach is working. The 
ERC raised more than $2 million in pub- 
He and private funds for the planning. 
This money was used to incorporate, 
secure the site and develop the design to 
the level needed for the City's permit 
process. While ERC carried out Phase 
2 — the schematic design — it continued 
fundraising for Phases 3 and 4, the con- 
struction drawings and construction. 

Once built, the ERC will be a self- 
sustaining entity, with partners and 
tenants paying rents and fees that are 
adequate to pay off the debt and main- 
tain and operate the facility. 



t. roe wcso www rw wucw 


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The site plan shows access for BART patron parking via a new driveway at the northwest corner of the site at Adeline Street. 


This detail of the floor plan shows the entrance to the reception area and ramp, cafe with both indoor and outdoor seating and the covered 
atrium. Glass paving blocks at the entrance allow light to enter the BART station below. 


Inclusive Design Features 
and Settings 

The design of the ERC integrates 
advanced elements of universal and sus- 
tainable design in a transit-oriented 
development that serves people of all 
abilities at many scales of engagement. 
At the scale of the City, the ERC is 
designed as a community building with a 
distinct civic presence that celebrates the 
collective values of its partner organiza- 
tions. The building acts as both commu- 
nity center and urban threshold — a 
gateway to Berkeley — simultaneously 
positioning the partner organizations on 
a prominent thoroughfare and at a major 
regional transit portal. 


The building presents an embracing, 
semicircular plaza to the City on 
Adeline Street. This serves as a drop-off 
and clearly identifiable entry for the 
ERC; a major transit plaza for bus, taxi, 
bicycle and BART riders; and a public 
gathering space. A variety of features, 

including a cafe, a bus shelter with 
interactive transit kiosk, a fully accessi- 
ble public elevator to the BART station 
below street level and public art, will 
help create a vibrant new urban space 
for the City of Berkeley. The transparent 
entry facade of the ERC borders the 
plaza, revealing a monumental helical 
ramp inside. The ramp, itself a work of 
public art, is placed beneath a large sky- 
light, and serves both functional and 
symbolic roles, providing inviting access 
to the upper floor of the ERC for all 
users, while offering a dramatic symbol 
of universal design and independent 
living to the public. 


Upon entering the Center through 
motion-activated automatic doors, the 
building offers visitors a simple, easily 
understandable organization. To the left, 
two large-capacity elevators with 
sophisticated, accessible controls con- 
nect the two floors of the Center with a 
sub-grade garage and a separate BART 
station lobby. A large reception and 

information desk offers human, graphic, 
Braille, and accessible audio information 
about Center services. To the right, the 
skylit helical ramp winds upward to the 
second floor, encircling a public exhibi- 
tion area devoted to issues of the 
Independent Living Movement. 


Beyond the lobby, the two 2 -story 
wings of the building form a central, 
covered courtyard that will provide 
natural daylight, ventilation and com- 
munity gathering spaces to occupants 
and visitors. The courtyard also serves 
as a simple orienting device, providing 
clear access to the ERC's various serv- 
ices and organizations. The cafe, a fit- 
ness center and two levels of shared, 
flexible meeting rooms open onto the 
space, fostering a sense of community 
and ensuring easy wayfinding. 


A separate lobby serves the sub-grade 
BART station level, opening directly 


onto the station concourse. ERC 
patrons will ascend from the train plat- 
form by way of escalators and accessible 
elevators to the concourse level and 
then proceed via a short ramp to the 
new lobby. A curving, skylit gallery 
below the plaza — displaying a striking 
"Disability Mural" created bv local 
artists — connects BART patrons to an 
elevator and landscaped stair to the 
street. The stair design features an inte- 
grated "wheel channel" that allows 
cyclists to negotiate the stairs without 
lifting their bikes. The adjacent ERC 
garage provides secured parking for staff 
and visitors who must arrive by car, 
including 1 8 accessible spaces directly 
adjacent to the BART-level lobby. 


The design of the ERC incorporates 
additional universal design features to 
ensure equal access and service to all: 

■ Specially designed, high-contrast 
audio wayfinding devices 

b Automatic, motion-activated doors at 
major exterior and interior entries 

Abundant natural daylight incorpo- 
rating glare reduction strategies in all 
spaces to enhance visibility 

■ Seven-foot-wide corridors through- 
out to allov\ easy circulation and 
adaptability of pace 

■ Restrooms designed for a range of 
ability levels, including private rooms 
for assisted individuals 

Localized temperature controls 
within each space for the thermally 

All light fixtures controlled by hands- 
free occupancy sensors and timers 

■ Secured garage access provided by 
hands-free electronic transponder 

Building life safety systems incorpo- 
rating visual and audio notification 
and accessible alarm stations 

Acoustical control to foster maxi- 
mum voice intelligibility 

A fully accessible, south-facing 
children's play area 


The ERC will incorporate a range of sus- 
tainable design techniques to serve the 

diverse needs of the occupants as well as 
the larger environment. These include: 

Maximum use of natural daylight and 
sun control strategies to reduce 
energy consumption and enhance 

Natural ventilation and radiant, 
hydronic heating in all public spaces 

Rooftop solar water heating system 
for common space heating and hot 
water pre-heat 

■ Energy-efficient, specially filtered 
heating and cooling systems with 
localized temperature control in 
office areas 

Operable windows with easily 
operated hardware 

Enhanced indoor air quality through- 
out construction, post-construction 
and occupancy phases 

■ Use of non-toxic, recycled and 
sustainably harvested materials 

■ On-site recycling center 

The Ed Roberts Campus embodies a set 
of design responses to the diverse needs 
of the community, the missions of its 
partner organizations and the varying 








The 36-foot-wide landscape buffer along Woolsey Street respects the adjacent residential neighborhood. It also provides a play area for the 
Daycare Center, which can be used by nearby residents as well (artist's rendition). 


abilities of the many individuals it will 
serve. Through the collaboration of 
many, it will create an environment that 
embodies the spirit of Ed Roberts and 
"our preferred future." 

The ERC design process evolved through an extensive user participation process. 

User Feedback 

Although the campus has not yet been 
built, the design process itself led to 
some breakthrough thinking. 

Susan Henderson, ERC Board Member 
and Director of Administration 

"It's a beautiful design — functional and 
beautiful. Accessibility is integrated so 
well that it is just another part of the 
design. It shows what can be achieved if 
an architect starts out with the idea of 
accessibility rather than incorporating it 
as an afterthought. We were fortunate in 
our choice of architects; the design firm 
understood the importance of accessi- 
bility right away and used it as a design 

theme. Integration in design is like inte- 
gration of people with disabilities in 
society — it's actually easy if it is a part 
of your thinking from the beginning. 

"Working closely with the community 
in an open process has worked very 
well for us. Unlike your typical devel- 
oper, we are nonprofits and we serve 
the community. So we were willing to 
take the time to meet again and again 
with neighbors. As a result, the neigh- 
bors are happy, the City is happy, and 
we have a wonderful building." 

Mark Krizack, 

Whirlwind Wheelchair International 

"For several years, as a Hastings College 
of the Law student, I walked from my 

flat to the Ashby BART station to make 
the trip to San Francisco. From these 
walks I came to know the Ashby BART 
neighborhood well . It is now 1 3 years 
later and there has been relatively little 
change in that area, although it has long 
been in need of an economic stimulus. . . . 
The Ed Roberts Campus can be the 
economic anchor for a revitalization of 
the Ashby- Adeline Corridor. ... As it is 
now, BART patrons do not stop and 
linger in the neighborhood either before 
or after their workday. The Ed Roberts 
Campus will give them a reason to 
pause and linger before they continue 
on their way. 

"The Ed Roberts Campus will be 
architecturally pleasing. It will make 



the area safer because there will be 
good street lighting and many more 
people on the streets. Surely other 
businesses will see an advantage in 
relocating to this area." 

Ken Stein, Former ADA Unit Manager, 
Disability Rights Education and 
Defense Fund 

"As a seven-year member and chair of 
the City of Berkeley's Landmarks 
Preservation Commission, I am aware 
of how important it is for new develop- 
ments to be respectful of the existing 
physical, architectural and cultural land- 
scape of the surrounding neighborhood 
and larger community. The effort that 
the project partners have made to 
involve the community in the planning 
process has resulted in a facility that is 
both sensitive to and respectful to the 
fabric of the existing community, both 
programmatically and architecturally." 

Jane Berliss- Vincent, Director, Adult and 
Senior Services, Center for Accessible 

"The ERC will be an ideal setting for 
serving seniors with disabilities. The 
location at the Ashby BART station will 
make the ERC agencies easy to find and 
visit. The one -stop -shop nature of the 
ERC will provide them with easy access 
to a wide variety of services related to 
computer access, grandparenting, exer- 
cise and many other areas of interest. I 
have spoken with many seniors about 
the potential of the ERC. Their response 
has been overwhelmingly positive 
towards both the concept and the loca- 
tion of the campus." 

Dmitri Reiser, Executive Director, 
Center for Accessible Technology 

"Too often, services for people with dis- 
abilities are in remote or hidden loca- 
tions, kept on the sidelines and out of 
the mainstream of society. By building 

the ERC, the disability community will 
have a major resource at a highly visible 
and central location. This sends an 
important message: people with disabil- 
ities are a key part of the community, 
not an adjunct to the community." 

Stephanie Miyashiro, 

Board Chair, Through the Looking Glass; 

Board Member, ERC 

"We propose to build a new building, 
one that does not look like buildings of 
the past. Those buildings did not ever 
have us in mind. I expect our building 
will become a historical building — a 
part of the history of the disabled 
community and of the City of Berkeley, 
which is the birthplace of the 
Independent Living Movement. 
Buildings of the past, even the recent 
past, have been part of our oppression. 
We are hoping to change history and 
move to a brighter future." 


'If spaces are designed around children, adults never Jbrget 
why they are there." 




The edelman children's court is THE first courthouse in the country DEDICATED 
solely to children in the dependency system. The entire courthouse is based on inclu- 
sive design principles for children and their families: to help ease their fears, feel less 
intimidated and begin a healing and family reunification process. 

This is the Juvenile Dependency Court for the County of Los Angeles, handling child 
abuse and neglect cases. It has 25 courtrooms with facilities for supporting services 
and a jail beneath. Through the legal process, the court protects children from 
dangerous or imminently dangerous situations. About 300,000 cases of child abuse 


were reported in the County in 2002, 
and nearly 100,000 children attended at 
least one hearing in Dependency Court. 
Some children remain with their families 
during the court process; others stay in 
foster care and may or may not see their 
families. In addition, a higher than aver- 
age percentage of these children — about 
one-third — have disabilities. 

The court's objective is to work with 
families to overcome problems and 
develop a stable and healthy home envi- 
ronment that will allow the child to 
return home — or find a viable alterna- 
tive home environment. 


It is hard to imagine a more traumatic 
experience for a child than attending a 

hearing in court in front of a judge. 
They may have been removed from 
home and placed in protective custody. 
A parent may be in jail, leaving the 
family struggling to maintain itself. 
Overnight, the children may have lost 
their support system, with no idea 
about what will happen next. Children 
and parents are upset, angry and scared. 
Worse, the physical environment of the 
old courthouse added to the trauma. 
Children were literally housed in cells, 
waiting for their hearing. They had noth- 
ing to do all day other than sit and watch 
television. They often felt that they were 
the ones who had done something 
wrong and were being punished. 

The new facility is sensitive to the needs 
of children and parents, communicates a 

PROJECT Edmund D. Edelman Children's Court LOCATION Monterey Park, California 
CONSTRUCTION COST $59.6 million SIZE 275,000 square feet on 4.2 acres 
CLIENT County of Los Angeles ARCHITECT Kajima Associates DESIGN PROGRAMMING 
Johnston Associates MECHANICAL ENGINEER Eli Solon & Associates 
Kajima Associates SIGNAGE AND GRAPHICS CONSULTANT Wayne Hunt Design, Inc. 

serious message to abusive parents, and 
provides comfortable and functional 


■ Children in protective custody 

■ Families with children 

■ Parents alone 

■ Parents in jail 

■ Foster Care parents 

■ Judges 

■ Attorneys 

■ County Counsel 

■ Dependency Court administrative staff 

■ Department of Children's Services 
(DCS) caseworkers and administra- 
tive staff 

■ Sheriff's department 

■ Court Appointed Special Advocates 


■ Shelter Care staff 

■ Child advocates /Guardian ad Li turn 

The teen conversation area in Shelter Care 
has age-appropriate furniture. 




Older children can quietly study or read books while they are waiting in Shelter Care. 



The key to the entire design process was 
to view the building through the eyes of 
the children who are brought to the 
facility and the parents who need help 
from the system. It was assumed that if 
the building accommodates those with 
the least "power," everyone else would 
also be accommodated. People who 
work in the facility are there because it's 
their job. The families are there because 
they are in serious trouble. 

At the time the project began, there 
was no research on children in a court 
environment; the most applicable 
research addressed children in hospitals. 
Although children experience stress in 
both situations, children in court are 
not ill. The design team needed to 
define child- and family-sensitive design 
in the context of a court of law. 

To gather firsthand information, the 
design team conducted focus groups, 
interviews, surveys and field observa- 
tions (see table on facing page) . The 
team followed people with different jobs 
to see how they interacted with chil- 
dren, families and the court system. 
Workshops were conducted with judges, 
children and youth in foster care, 
parents, attorneys and social workers. 

Research revealed two terms that 
would convey the best atmosphere for 
the court: dignified and friendly. It had 
to be a serious and dignified place so 
parents would remember why they 
are there. Yet, the court also had to 



empower children, foster education and 
promote family healing. A 30-person 
committee, representing all user 
groups, articulated what "dignified and 
friendly" meant in spatial terms. 
"Dignified" translated into a design lan- 
guage of clean, simple lines, geometric 
symmetrical spaces, gateway entrances, 

subdued colors, familiar symbols, and 
strong, durable building materials. 

"Friendly" translated to a human scale 
with extensive indoor plants, warm 
materials, windows and daylight, incan- 
descent, shaded and non-glare lights, 
and a view to the outdoors. 

The next step was the design and con- 
stuction of a full-scale mock courtroom 
to test hearing room layouts and config- 
urations. The new courtrooms were 
designed to be one-third smaller to cre- 
ate a more intimate setting. A 30' by 30' 
bare room was used as the prototype 

User Groups and Survey Methods 

interviews with 
key individuals 


focus groups 






Foster Parents 


Shelter Care Children 




County Counsel 



Dept. of Children's Services/Social Workers 







Child's Advocate 


Shelter Care Staff 


Children/Youth in Foster Care 



Panel Lawyers 


Clerk of Court 


Court Officer 













Configuration 1. Four semicircular desks face the center of the 
room with the judge at the head. This creates separation and pro- 
vides privacy, ensures children don't have to look directly at their 
parents and offers clear sightlines. However, the setup feels adver- 
sarial with each party in a corner and may not provide the bailiff 
appropriate access. 











Configuration 2. This closed semicircle provides clear sightlines, 
locates the bailiff in a solid control position, ensures that parents 
and children are in non-confrontational positions and locates the 
court reporter for easy listening distances. However, it places the 
public entrance to the side rather than the middle. 







r \ 



V J 







j v 

~\ r 

j v 


"nn~Ti[TTi rrTj 






Configuration 3. The parallel conference table places the child and 
parent in non-confrontational positions and locates the bailiff and 
court reporter well. However, it's quite formal with little flexibility. 





J U 



lAWYi-H V_y (. J 









Configuration 4. A circular configuration provides clear sightlines 
for all parties and a more collaborative, less confrontational envi- 
ronment, while locating the bailiff and court reporter in good 
positions. However, this may be too informal and non-traditional. 


During focus groups, children worked with 
graphic shapes to help determine who sits 
where in the courtroom. 


space. Cut-out plywood furniture with 
different shapes was arranged in four 
different test configurations. 

During a three-hour block of time, 
mock trials were conducted with people 
representing all user groups, and every- 
one's actions and comments were 
recorded. Participants decided that a 
circular arrangement of furniture, 

with the judge included in the circle 
(Configuration 4) would be most con- 
ducive to personalizing the courtroom 
for children. 

However, since the mock trials did not 
include the children who would really 
be in the courtroom or the real court 
personnel, this decision needed to be 
verified. Otherwise, 25 courtrooms 



would be built with very little research 
on whether the arrangement would 
work the way the design committee 
expected it would. A full-scale, circular 
courtroom was built in an existing 
courtroom and evaluated during a six- 
week period. Six different judges and 
their entire staff and court docket each 
used the room for one week. 

As it turned out, the circular arrange- 
ment actually did not work for children 
or the judges. For children, there was 
too much eye contact between them, 
their parents and everyone else, which 
was very intimidating. They thought 
everyone was staring at them. The 
judges felt the arrangement was too 
egalitarian, making their position less 

The design team used the research find- 
ings to produce the final solution for the 
hearing room design (as shown in the 
photograph on page 50). The final 
arrangement of the furniture is semi- 
circular, placing the judge in front on a 
raised platform. 

Based on the research, the team devel- 
oped design programming criteria and a 
set of design guidelines on which the 
entire building was based. All settings 
were designed with inclusive design 
principles; many of the resulting settings 
may be applicable to other building 

Inclusive Design Features 
and Settings 


Every morning at 8 a.m., over 2,500 
people arrive and enter the court build- 
ing. No one knows what time their case 
will be called, so everyone must arrive 
when court begins and wait their turn. 
That means 2,500 people must enter the 

The building looks less intimidating than a traditional courthouse, yet is still dignified. 


lobby, pass through security, find their 
way to the correct courtroom and wait- 
ing area, and wait there for up to eight 

The building does not look like a tradi- 
tional courthouse; it's more like an 
office building. It's on a smaller scale, 
with more "house-like" features and 
symbols such as arbors, vegetation and 

awnings. There is a partially covered 
outdoor area near the entrance that may 
be used for sitting and waiting for 
someone, or just to get some air. 

Families arrive by bus or car. The cov- 
ered bus stop is near a covered entry, 
with bollards separating pedestrians 
from vehicles. The bollards are far 
enough apart for wheelchairs or 

strollers to pass. People coming from 
the parking garage are led to the entry 
through a series of arbors that function 
like outdoor rooms. 

Visitors enter the building through a 
gabled roof — again, to convey a more 
"home-like" feel. The covered entry area 
has long, generous open spaces to 
accommodate all people trying to enter, 

The lobby area is spacious and filled with friendly artwork. 



L ^__ 



including strollers and wheelchairs, 
without pushing or squeezing. Enough 
room is provided for kids to move 
around and fidget. 

The lobby is welcoming and friendly, 
with light, artwork and natural con- 
struction materials to soften the feel of 
the building. Everyone must pass 
through a metal detector, located at the 
lobby entrance, surrounded by stylized 
palm trees so it does not feel threaten- 
ing. Lighting fixtures in the lobby are 
shaped like clouds. 

Visitors stop by reception to find out to 
which of the 25 courtrooms they have 
been assigned. The elevator lobby fea- 
tures a floor-to-ceiling mural of self- 
portrait tiles created by children who 
were in the child welfare system and 
used the court — a vivid reminder of 
why the court exists. 

The metal detector is part of the archway. Light fixtures are in the shape of clouds. 




A tile mural, produced in an art therapy 
program, shows self-portraits of children 
in the system — reminding everyone why 
they are in this building. 



\\J* / 

418 - 425 

410 - 417 

409 ■ AftO 

The directory is not language-based; instead 
it uses colors, numbers and symbols. 


Signage for each floor has a unique color and symbol. 



Wayfinding and circulation have been 
combined. The courtrooms are situated 
on three different floors, with other sup- 
port services and staff on two additional 
floors. Since over ISO languages are spo- 
ken in Los Angeles, wayfinding cannot 
be simply language-based. Each floor has 
a number, a color and an easily recogniz- 

able symbol (star, moon, sun, cloud and 
snowflake) . Colors and symbols are also 
a homey element for children. In addi- 
tion, symbols and numbers are raised for 
blind and sight-impaired people to feel. 

Visitors use oversize elevators that 
accommodate large numbers of people, 
strollers and wheelchairs. The aim is to 
get people out of the lobbies and into 

family waiting areas as quickly as possi- 
ble. When the elevator doors open, visi- 
tors see the wayfinding colors and 
symbols carried on throughout each 
floor, in sculptures and on columns. 

Children coming from Shelter Care 
(those in protective custody) have their 
own elevator that brings them directly to 
the courtroom; they don't need to share 


elevators with parents or the public. 
Judges also have their own elevator, as do 
prisoners coming from the jail below. 


There are 25 courtrooms on three sepa- 
rate floors. Each floor has a large, 
5,000-square-foot waiting area outside 
the courtroom. In the morning, parents 
go into their assigned courtroom at the 
same time as all other families assigned 
to that courtroom. They receive an 
introduction, then go back out to wait 
for as long as eight hours. The area is 
organized so each courtroom has its 
own waiting space, but all areas are 
open so they can be monitored from a 
single point. The courtroom doors, 
viewed from the waiting area, look resi- 
dential, with incandescent light and 
home-like architectural details. 

Waiting areas are open and airy, with 
panoramic views out the windows. 
Ordinarily, judges would have these cov- 
eted views. But this building recognizes 
that children and families will especially 
benefit from not feeling cooped up. The 

windows also provide natural light in 
addition to the overhead lighting. Wide, 
carpeted aisles accommodate wheel- 
chairs. The soft, cushioned sofas and 
chairs and small tables can be moved to 
fit each family's size, creating opportuni- 
ties for small group inter-actions. 
Children who are with their parents can 
eat, sleep and play in that area. There are 
also areas with facilitated play where a 
CAS A social worker models child/ 
parent play behavior — an opportunity 
for teaching parenting skills. 

The L shape of the building provides the 
waiting areas with maximum views and 
natural light. 

Each courtroom has a waiting area with natural light and movable furniture. The wayfinding 
colors and symbols are carried on throughout the floor. 




Families attending court are often con- 
fused about the entire process, so a sub- 
stantial effort is made to convey vital 
information. Television monitors located 
throughout the waiting areas offer multi- 
lingual programming about the court 
process and what to expect during the 
day. Children's programming is also 
available. Service desks on each floor 
allow parents to quickly and easily sign 
up for services the court may order, 
such as parenting, anger management or 
drug treatment. 

Bathrooms are separated: men, women, 
children (with child-size toilets and 
sinks) and an infant changing area that 
can be monitored. 


There are two types of consultation 
spaces where attorneys can consult 
with families or children before their 
hearing begins. Mediation / Interview 
Rooms located off the public waiting 
area offer privacy — a great improve- 
ment over the previous situation, which 

Mediation/interview rooms allow attorneys 
to consult with children in privacy. 


forced attorneys to conduct private 
consultations in public waiting areas. 
These rooms are also used when a 
judge orders mediation during a hear- 
ing and puts the family and counsel in a 
room to come to an agreement on a 
course of action. Attorneys can also 
meet separately with children in the 
Interview Rooms off the Shelter Care 
area, which are set up for children to 
talk privately with their attorneys. 

Family visiting rooms have interior windows 
for easy monitoring. The furniture is homey 
and comfortable. 



After a court appearance, a child in pro- 
tective custody may visit with parents 
and relatives they might not have seen 
since they were removed from their 
home. Although these visits must be 
monitored, it's essential to make children 
feel as comfortable as possible. A series 
of visiting rooms off the lobby, connected 
to the Shelter Care area, are designed 
like home living rooms and can accom- 
modate three to twelve people. They 


have comfortable chairs, couches, plants 
and incandescent lighting. Each has a 
large picture window with shutter details 
that opens onto the hallway so a monitor 
can view several families at the same 
time without intruding into the room. 


Hearing rooms where court is held are 
scaled down to feel less intimidating; 
they are about half the traditional court- 
room size and ceilings are lower. Colors 
are neutral and the symbology subdued 
so people are the focus of the room. The 
seal of the State of California, a required 
element in the courtroom, is softly 
etched in glass. Lighting is directed 
upward to prevent glare. There is a deep 
contrast between the floor, furniture and 
walls. Wainscoting gives the illusion of 
wood and protects the walls. 

The judge is at the front of the room. 
The bench is raised 1 2 inches to provide 
authority, but is lower than a standard 
1 8 -inch bench. The judges enter the 
courtroom through their own separate 
entrance. When they enter the building 

The final design of the hearing room places the judge facing a semicircular arrangement of 
key participants. 

to go to their chambers, they pass by 
the children in the Shelter Care area, so 
they are always reminded of why they 
are conducting hearings. The presiding 
judge's office is located over the out- 
door children's play area to provide a 
continual reminder that this building is 
about children. 

Families and lawyers sit in a semicircle 
facing the judge. Children and their 
advocates sit on one side and parents on 
the other. Or, the seating arrangement 

can be changed depending on the needs 
of the child: they can sit with parents if 
they wish or be separated by attorneys 
and advocates. The key is that children 
may choose where to sit. 

The witness stand is not raised and is on 
rollers so it can be moved up to accom- 
modate a wheelchair or turned around 
to the judge if a child witness only 
wants to face the judge. 

The court reporter, who usually sits in 
the "well" space between the judge's 



The state seal is softly etched in glass to 
convey dignity, without being intimidating. 

bench and attorney's table, now sits at 
the edge of the semicircle. During the 
research phase, children perceived the 
person sitting in the middle of the 
courtroom as staring angrily at them, 
not realizing the court reporter stared 
to concentrate on taking down what 
was said at the hearing. As long as the 
court reporter can hear all the parties, 
where they sit isn't critical to the hear- 
ing, and they were moved out of the 
middle. At some point, court reporting 

may be done remotely though improved 
electronic communications. 


Shelter Care is where children ages 4 to 
1 7 who are in protective custody (those 
taken from their homes) wait to go to 
court. It's often the first impression 
children have of the court system; it sets 
the tone for the entire court experience 
and is one of the most important envi- 
ronments in the facility. Children may 
spend up to 8 hours here, waiting for 
their hearing — which may take only 20 
minutes — and then waiting for the bus 
ride back to foster care. 

Children under stress do not play. The 
goal of Shelter Care is to help children 
to understand the court process, play, 
visit or take classes — and begin their 
healing process. 

This Shelter Care provides more than a 
waiting area. It is 10,000 square feet of 
programmed space, accommodating as 
many as 130 children at a time, with a 




i c 

* * 



Children are taken out of school every six 
months to spend an entire day at the 
courthouse. The library provides a place 
for schoolwork. 


There are small spaces for solitary play. 




Children can choose from a variety of activities. 



staff ratio of 1 :4.The entire space, activ- 
ities and all programs are completely 

Children enter the building through the 
same back entrance the judges use. To 
prevent parents from entering the area, 
it is unmarked, with no signage at all. 
The entry area provides room for 
decompression; children can be com- 
forted by staff. There are bathrooms 
and access to the eating area where 
healthy snacks are always available. A 
series of small rooms allow children to 
meet privately with their attorneys, 
who must check in with staff first and 
then take a child out of Shelter Care to 
the private room. 

The main area is divided, but not sepa- 
rated, with younger kids (4—12) on one 
side and older kids (13—17) on the 
other. The eating area is in the middle 

so that family members of different 
ages can visit. Children can choose 
what they want to do, and when and 
what to eat, which gives them back a 
little sense of control. 

Younger children can choose games, 
reading, facilitated art and science 
projects, movies and dress-up or role- 
playing activities. Older kids choose 
from aerobics, music and dance, quiet 
study, conversation pit, foosball, pool, 
ping-pong and video games. There are 
low walls separating areas, which also 
provide some intimate spaces for kids 
to be alone (although those spaces are 
always observed) . The outdoor area 
offers hangout space, a giant chess- 
board, basketball, play equipment, open 
grassy areas and a covered eating area. 

This space and its program are designed 
to help children process the information 



Comfortable conversation areas allow chil- 
dren to form groups or sit alone. 


Kids can create their own games, too. There 
is a Velcro wall for throwing soft cushions. 


Kids choose to play on traditional play equip- 
ment or some unusual games like giant chess. 


The indoor eating area allows siblings of 
different ages to eat together. 


An outdoor eating area is a buffer between A comfortable spot in the shade is some- 

indoor and outdoor play areas. times the best way to relax. 



they obtain in court, receive services, 
satisfy their material needs, and begin to 
heal. A comprehensive program guide 
was created as the basis for the Shelter 
Care program. 

Management and 
Operational Issues 

It was apparent to everyone involved in 
the court system that the previous 
system was not meeting the needs of 
children and needed to be changed. The 
inclusive design approach brought 
everyone — including children — into a ' 
discussion of critical operational and 
management issues. Designing the 
building became a catalyst for change 
because everyone who used the build- 
ing was forced to think about what he 
or she did and new ways to do it. 

For the first time ever, the court closed 
for one business day so all staff, includ- 
ing judges, could be trained in how to 
interact with and be sensitive to 

1 The new furniture arrangement 
brought the judge physically closer to 
the children, encouraging better 
communication between them. 
Judges now address children by 
name, instead of referring to them as 
"the minor," and include them in con- 

1 Because there is a space dedicated to 
attorney-child conferences, attorneys 
now take the time to bring children 
to private rooms to confer, rather 
than discuss private, intimate details 
in a public setting. 

1 Shelter Care staff use play to interact 
with children and now see the court 
experience as part of the healing 
process. Rather than allowing chil- 
dren to watch television, staff and 
volunteers encourage art and science 
projects and model good adult-to- 
child behavior. 

1 Because there is a place where children 
can express their needs or their frustra- 
tions, and there are adults with author- 
ity to intervene, caseworkers can be 
more responsive to individual children. 

1 Building staff learned how to use the 
building: new ways were devised to 
move children, parents and prisoners 

separately through the building, to 
maintain the building, and to provide 
places where people can give and 
receive services. 

When children who have been taken 
from their families arrive in Juvenile 
Dependency Court, they have no control 
over their situation, are not living with 
their families, and have little or no idea 
what will happen to them. Coming to 
court is now part of the healing process. 
Children will have to attend several hear- 
ings before potentially being reunited 
with their family or placed in permanent 
foster care. Each time they come to 
court they can be helped in some way, 
whether it's by participating in an art 
project in Shelter Care, having an inti- 
mate visit with their family, or requesting 
necessary services to support their life. 

The physical environment of the build- 
ing became the container for change. It 
locked in the operational and manage- 
ment changes through new spaces that 
housed services — no one could use the 
old organizational systems in the new 
building. It became a place where new 



behaviors could be learned and old ones 
discouraged. It became a place where 
new life could begin for children and 
their families. 

User Feedback 

How spaces are actually used can some- 
times be different from original inten- 
tions. The following quotes are taken 
from people who have used the court- 
house building for three years. 

Presiding Judge Gerald Nash 

"This building expresses the value that we 
want the court to convey: children are 
important. The Children's Shelter Care 
area is the largest part of the court — it's 
also the most unique and best part of the 
court. It reduces the anxiety children feel 
when they come to court; they feel wel- 
come. There's also a bright, expansive, 
open, public waiting area. The hearing 
room environment is warmer and more 
comfortable, which reduces the anxiety 

The spacious outdoor area provides room 
to run and lots of choices. 

of the adults as well. It's not a dehumaniz- 
ing environment that devalues people; it 
does just the opposite. 

"Strangely enough, the problem is that 
we've outgrown the building. It would 
be an improvement to have even more 
services available to families on site. The 
courthouse is also a meeting place for 
many, many different groups and com- 
mittees — we're now meeting in the 
Judge's Lounge or Department of 
Children and Family Services confer- 
ence room. We could use more office 
and large meeting places. 

"But, without a doubt, this is still the 
best facility of its kind in the world." 

Randall Henderson, 
Dependency Court Administrator 

"There are 31,105 children currently 
under jurisdiction of the court, about 
10,000 filings a year. About five years 
ago, the system started providing more 
services to families to prevent removing 
children, and also pursuing adoption 




more actively. Both programs have 
resulted in fewer children coming 
through the courts." (Five years ago the 
court had over 50,000 children in juris- 
diction at a time.) 

"This building sends a message that chil- 
dren matter. It's overwhelmingly suc- 
cessful and a showcase for the Superior 
Court. It's child-friendly and not intimi- 
dating. The functionality is excellent. It's 
so much better than having children in 
criminal courts and superior to anything 
I've seen anywhere else. 

"The separate corridors and elevators 
for children coming up from Shelter 
Care are much more respectful to the 
child. They don't have to go through the 
public areas. And there's a separate child 
waiting area by the courtroom in case 
there's a wait once they go upstairs. 

"The courtroom configuration is very 
successful . The layout works well in this 
situation where we don't have a lot of 
spectators, but we do have a lot of 
attorneys. The courtrooms now have 

live video available so children can tes- 
tify from the judge's chambers, away 
from their parents. Many judges believe 
that seeing children on a screen has a 
vivid impact on parents, and moves 
them more than seeing children testify 
live. Parents often say, 'I see it now, I see 
what has happened.' 

"One aspect that has not worked so well 
is the areas in the waiting room for eat- 
ing. People just eat anywhere, they don't 
go to the tables. And the furniture 
choices were not practical . The uphol- 
stery started to look grungy quickly. 
There are just too many people. So the 
second generation of furniture is more 
practical . 

"This is a multi-agency building. Right 
after the building opened, the judges 
decided they wanted the County's cen- 
tralized adoption unit here. So we had to 
fit them in. I like that the building allows 
us to evolve and adjust. Many different 
agencies need office space and you just 
can't get enough of it. I'd put in more 

conference and office space if I could. 
You have to be rigorous about allocating 
and controlling space to avoid compro- 
mising space for children's programs. 

"Families can get many types of services 
here. We have Free Arts for Abused 
Kids, Children's Book Service, a teddy 
bear program, parenting services, drug 
and alcohol services, Parents Beyond 
Conflict, mental health services. It's a 
huge list." 

Supervising Judge Emily Stevens 

"Kids and parents who are out of the 
system now often come back to talk 
with me and show me how well they're 
doing. The court seems positive and 
accessible — I don't think they would 
come back to the old criminal court. 

"The less formal structure of the court- 
room lends itself to closer physical 
contact. I can talk with the kids, there's 
more interaction between us. Some- 
times they want a hug, and I can easily 
reach them." 


"Many more people come to court now 
than before and they bring more people 
with them. We encourage that, and I 
think people find it a comfortable place 
to be and to wait; it's open, airy and 
light yet still conveys the serious work 
we do here. That's a very positive aspect 
of the building; it's family-friendly. 

"The Shelter Care is very good. It's 500 
percent better than what the kids had 
before. The kids love it. 

"The building itself is holding up very 
well. We maintain it very carefully so it 
still looks fresh and new. We had to 
make some changes; we used a higher- 
gloss paint to prevent so many scratches, 
and we needed tougher furniture. 

"However, in designing the building for 
children, I think they didn't give quite 
enough consideration to the adults who 
have to work here. The courtrooms are 
now too small on a regular basis. 
Sometimes there are siblings and multi- 
ple parents, each with an attorney. 
There's just not enough space. 

"They also didn't expect anybody to 
keep anything in the courtroom and 
that's just not practical. We put built-in 
cabinets in the smaller courtrooms and 
metal cabinets in the larger. It was just 
impossible to work without storage. 
Employees feel they were given very 
little personal space, so we had to find 
them some space. 

"There was not enough thought given to 
where the court reporter would be. 
They didn't have a desk, just a little 
table and chair. So I had to buy them 
desks. They sit in different places in each 

"The courtrooms don't take into 
account incarcerated parents and secu- 
rity. In my courtroom, the bailiff has to 
walk in with the custody through the 
courtroom and there's no barrier 

between the custody and me I have 

had as many as three custodies in the 
courtroom at the same time. You can 
imagine the security and space issues. 

"I was appalled at some of the concepts 
of this building. For instance, the judge's 
secured corridor is not very secure. 
There are no stairs from lockup. So in 
an emergency, custodies have to be 
taken through the judge's corridor. And 
bringing in children through the judge's 
corridor is also problematic. They go off 
in there. Some of these kids are very 
upset and they're in the hallway scream- 
ing. Sometimes I have to go out to talk 
them down and get them back down to 
Shelter Care. 

"And it's not practical to have judges go 
through the areas where children are to 
get to the courtroom. If they know me, 
they want to talk to me. But I'm not 
allowed to have ex partite communica- 
tions with the minor, so I can't talk. 
That sometimes upsets them." 








'Imagine if this whole asphalt playground were one big garden." 




One day, a group of parents and school staff looked out at a little patch of 
bare dirt and a lot of black asphalt and imagined it all as a big garden. Through a 
huge collaborative effort, the community transformed dirt, asphalt and an uninspired 
play structure into a nature-based outdoor learning environment that offers children 
a wide variety of choices: vegetable and flower gardens, bike paths, sand and water 
play, construction area, sculpture and an art terrace. 

The Tule Elk Park Child Development Center is a public school in the Marina 
District of San Francisco. The Center is a fully integrated learning environment for 

The site plan transformed asphalt into a natural environment. 

PROJECT Tule Elk Park Child Development Center LOCATION San Francisco, California 
Inc. CLIENT Lynn Juarez (former director), Alan Brossard (current director), Tule Elk Park 
Child Development Center, San Francisco Unified School District DESIGN TEAM Frank 
& Grossman Landscape Contractors, Inc.; Michael Olexo; Magrane Associates; MIG, Inc. 



children with and without disabilities. It 
serves about 360 children in preschool 
(ages 3—5) and in kindergarten through 
third grade in an after school program 
(ages 5—8) in eight classrooms. The chil- 
dren are primarily from low-income 
families, and many are learning English 
while they learn math and reading. 

The renovated play area supports the 
tenets of inclusive design in multiple 
ways. Where there were once obstacles 
to mobility (stairs to temporary class- 
rooms), the new design of the space 
promotes uninterrupted accessibility 
from the classroom to the playground 
and among the variety of play areas. The 
new play areas also make play and learn- 
ing accessible to a wider spectrum of 
children because there are now a variety 
of options that speak to children with 
different interests, abilities and learning 

The school integrates nature and the 

garden with standard subjects such 

as science, math and art. 

The outdoor area includes sculpture and artwork. 

Children become reporters for the school 


The project intent was to develop the 
schoolyard both as a resource for com- 
munity use and to support school pro- 
grams. The new master plan aimed to 
improve physical accessibility, increase 
staff morale and student engagement in 

learning, and amplify the connection 
between the school and its surrounding 



The school sought meaningful ways to 
address a diverse population's needs 
and use the different outdoor elements 

to address literacy. For example, stu- 
dents now use the garden as an authen- 
tic context for dictation, writing and 
reading. They publish a regular 
newsletter to educate parents about 
activities in the garden. The students 



Homemade compost becomes a lesson about the "Lasagne of Life." 

observe the garden, interview each 
other and the garden teacher, tran- 
scribe notes, and write articles for 
their parents and peers to read. 

Teachers and staff have noticed that the 
outdoors has become a place where 

students who have trouble concentrat- 
ing inside the classroom become 
focused and calm . Tying the activities in 
the schoolyard to classroom curriculum 
addresses those different learning 
modalities and allows these children to 

focus on their schoolwork in a different 
way. Outdoor settings also allow 
students to express themselves in sen- 
sory ways in addition to the logical 
ways that are emphasized in the 
academic curriculum. 

The current school director, Alan 
Brossard, says that children are more 
engaged in learning when they can see 
something that has a beginning, middle 
and end. The garden presents a multi- 
tude of projects like this. Children study 
birds, watch nests being built, see the 
eggs hatch, and watch birds begin to fly. 
Or they create compost, plant corn, 
watch it grow, and eat it. 

The physical design reflects the inclusive 
philosophy of the school. The outdoor 
area has been a community-builder 
among all user groups. The staff work 
together to implement the curriculum; 
children work together in the outdoor 
setting; and parents see their children 
getting interested and become 
involved in the programs themselves. 



Kids are encouraged to dig in and get dirty. 


For example, a recent schoolwide proj- 
ect focused on the subject of "tea." All 
classes and their families learned about 
the cultural aspects and rituals of tea, 
conducted tea surveys, had tea in the 
garden, and involved parents and fami- 
lies in the activities. 

Neighborhood residents and surround- 
ing community members also visit the 
school and want to know what's going 
on. This community building creates 
connections for the school and supports 
the school's belief that relationships are 
the core of education: people don't 
learn in isolation, they learn with each 
other. The outdoor yard is a vehicle for 
that to happen. 


* Preschool students (ages 3— S) 

• After school students (ages 5—8) 

■ Teachers 

■ Staff 

: Community members 

Community members and parents often 
come to the school to work on art projects. 


Dedicated staff, parents, community 
members, foundations, and businesses 
pooled their resources to transform the 
asphalt schoolyard into a play and learn- 
ing garden. During the visioning process 
in 1990, then-director Lynn Juarez and 
a group of staff and parents looked out 
at that single, fenced, patch of dirt 

■ . 

The curriculum merges art and seasonal 
plants, such as pumpkins. 

within the asphalt playground and imag- 
ined a huge, open garden. 

During the master plan phase, the 
neighborhood and community were 
heavily involved in contributing design 
ideas. A landscape architect was engaged 
to draw a plan. 




Accessible paths link all areas. The white picket fence adds a homey touch around the 
vegetable garden. 

The school staff then built a living 
model on wheels to use as a community 
development tool. They brought it to 
street fairs and used it to educate people 
about the project. Through this process, 
they gained monetary donations as well 
as community connections and commit- 
ments of voluntary labor and in-kind 
donations such as carpentry and con- 
crete work. The school enlisted 
AmeriCorps workers to remove the 
majority of the site asphalt. 

A contractor donated earth-grading 
services to the school. There were some 
grading problems that needed to be 
solved for accessible pathways. The 
portable bungalow classrooms were not 
accessible from the playground grade, 
and the school wanted continuous 
accessible circulation rather than sepa- 
rate ramps leading to each classroom. A 
grading plan was prepared that would 
achieve this goal and serve as the master 
plan to further develop areas for out- 
door learning. 

Inclusive Design Features 
and Settings 


The manufactured play apparatus is 
accessible to persons with disabilities 
and provides an opportunity for active 
play and gross motor development. 


Outside each interior classroom is a 
concrete patio that serves as a transition 
to the playground. The patios are con- 
crete with trees nearby. This patio helps 
children make the psychological transi- 
tion between play and work, and serves 
as additional workspace for large and 
messy projects. 


The school has universal circulation 
throughout the site — linking the play 
area, elevated portable bungalow class- 
rooms, and amphitheater through 
accessible pathways that provide a con- 
tinuous, uninterrupted play area for 





Insects found in the garden also provide 
learning opportunities through scientific 


tricycles and rollerblades (allowed dur- 
ing community use hours of operation, 
not during school hours) . 



The amphitheater is a small concrete 
circle, edged with turf. This serves as 
an outdoor gathering area as well as 
a theater for classes and theater 


The vegetable garden is a primary 
educational resource of the outdoor 
learning environment. It promotes 

Children learn about vegetables by growing 
and eating them. 


accessibility to learners of all languages 
and ethnicities. Raised beds and accessi- 
ble, stabilized decomposed granite 
surfacing ensure that persons with 
disabilities may use the garden. 


The construction area is designated as a 
flexible space where children can 
manipulate their environment and build 
things. "Program poles" (four vertical 
columns at the corners of a wood plat- 
form) serve as a structure for activities. 
Children have used the poles as play 
props for imaginative play during recess 
(a boat! a house!), as a stage for dances 
and plays, as armatures for Japanese tea- 
houses during the curriculum unit on 
tea, and as Sukkahs to celebrate the 
Jewish harvest holiday of Sukkot. 

Children decorate platforms and poles with corn stalks to celebrate a harvest holiday. 



The play house provides an opportunity 
for dramatic play. It is located adjacent 
to an accessible path and the entry is 
large enough so that a person with a 
wheelchair can enter. It is located at 
ground level so there are no barriers to 


This play area is located so that it does 
not conflict with any other uses. It is 
one of the most popular and engaging 
play areas. There are transfer pads that 
allow a person to transfer from a wheel- 
chair down into the sand play area. 


The storage area for wheeled tricycles 
allows children to take on responsibili- 
ties for their environment. The area also 
serves as a shed for garden supplies. 

The platforms also provide small areas for social interaction. 


7 I 

A large tree stump in the sand play area 
is a natural play element: a lily pad, a 
vantage point, or a throne. 


The art patio is a large concrete area 
equipped with a sink, hose bib and 
drain. Here, students can work out- 
doors on large projects, such as murals. 


This area accommodates large groups 
and is equipped with a number of pic- 
nic tables for outdoor eating or group 

Children work on art projects in the classroom and outdoors. 

Management and 
Operational Issues 

More complex outdoor designs require 
more maintenance than the standardized 
asphalt surface, although some design 
elements actually assist with mainte- 
nance. For example, a sand play area is 
edged with a low concrete curb that 
keeps the sand from spilling over the 
edges onto the pathways. The outdoor 

Children often work in teams on large 
projects such as this garden-inspired mural. 



Tile murals are mounted outdoors and 
children are encouraged to touch. 

A large painted quilt reflects nature and the seasons. 


storage area provided for wheeled toys 
minimizes the clutter on the play- 
ground. A raised curb protects the plant- 
ing. However, ongoing maintenance and 
care is still a major consideration. 

The largest operational issues are overall 
education and maintenance. Operating 
the site as an environmental education 
resource costs about $35,000 to 
$40,000 per year. This pays for an envi- 
ronmental educator three and one-half 
days per week to develop curriculum 
and teach lessons, and for a gardener 
one day per week. 

At the beginning of the project, the City 
had high hopes that families, staff and 
the community would be able to main- 
tain the schoolyard through organized 
"work parties." This approach has not 
resulted in the consistent level of on- 

going maintenance that is required for 
operation. Since the school district has 
limited available funding and staff to 
maintain additional vegetation, Tule Elk 
Park must include funding for mainte- 
nance as part of its fundraising efforts 
(about $5,000 per year). Tule Elk Park 
also maintains relationships with com- 
munity organizations and generous indi- 
viduals who assist through in-kind 
donations of irrigation maintenance and 
specific items such as nursery stock. 

Another operational issue is the school's 
need to respond to academic standards 
and regulations. While some parents and 
administrators believe this approach 
meets children's needs, others ask ques- 
tions: "How do we know that this will 
translate into academic and lifelong suc- 
cess?" and "Will an investment in this 

approach yield results?" Tule Elk Park 
has therefore developed the program 
into a full environmental science pro- 
gram and has hired an outside evaluator 
to observe and analyze the program to 
obtain quantitative data. The environ- 
mental education specialist is charged 
with multiple tasks: integrate outdoor 
learning activities to align with what 
children are learning in the classroom; 
develop schoolwide learning activities 
that can be performed with the children, 
their families and the community; and 
maintain the garden. The school will 
measure and evaluate the outcomes, 
institute a curriculum framework and 
formalize the standards of environmen- 
tal education. 



User Feedback 

Tule Elk Park Child Development Center 
has been in use for almost six years. 

Alan Brossard, Director 

"One of our biggest challenges has been 
program development — how to inte- 

grate the outdoor curriculum with what 
students were learning in the classroom. 
At first, the pieces weren't working in 
synchronicity. Then, we hired an envi- 
ronmental educator to coordinate and 
formalize the integration of these pieces 
using state curriculum standards. This 
has been the key to our success, and 

now the classroom learning is sup- 
ported and inspired by the garden. 

"At the beginning of the project we met 
with resistance from the school district, 
which is understandable because it's 
hard to have vision when you're trying 
to survive day-to-day. So we proceeded 
with a grassroots effort, taking risks and 
dreaming. We made presentations and 
reached out to the community. They 
saw value in the project and supported 
our school. Once we achieved success, 
there was visible support from the 
school board and Superintendent; the 
Mayor even came to unveil the new 
park and garden. 

"A unique aspect of our school is that 
the environmental educator, artist-in- 
residence and classroom teachers form 
a collaborative team to integrate the 
curriculum within the context of the 
outdoor environment." 

A leaf can be whatever a child makes of it. 





"These children are not sick, they're not broken. They're who they are 
and how they are. ...Schools should be shrines to children." 




design: "At St. Coletta we believe in the immeasurable value of the individual human 
spirit and the right of each individual to live as full and as independent a life as possible 
. . .our goal is to serve them in an atmosphere that encourages their talents, celebrates 
their successes and builds their self-esteem." 

But the relationship between St. Coletta and its surrounding community has not 
been inclusive; it has been a clash between two critical but competing needs. 


Halloween is one of the students' favorite 

Founded in 1959, St. Coletta of Greater 
Washington is a private, independent 
nonprofit school and adult day support 
program for children with severe mental 
retardation or autism and multiple phys- 
ical disabilities. Many have been abused; 
most are in foster care. The director's 
vision was to create a jewel of a place 
for people who usually get nothing — to 
show these children they are valued and 
give them the kind of self-esteem they 
need to survive in the world. Although 
the school was designed by a renowned 
architect, this is not a school for rich 
kids. It exists because public schools 
don't have the facilities, staff or pro- 
gramming to serve these children. The 
school had been operating out of two 

PROJECT St. Coletta of Greater Washington LOCATION Washington, D.C. 
CONSTRUCTION COST $350 million SIZE building: approx. 96,000 sq. feet; 
outdoor classroom and recreation areas: approx. 1.5 acres ARCHITECT AND INDOOR 
OUTDOOR PROGRAMMING MIG, Inc. CLIENT St. Coletta of Greater Washington, D.C. 

former bank buildings in Alexandria, 
Virginia, and looked to the new 
Washington, D.C. site to expand the 
number of children it could serve. 
About 85 percent of students at the new 
site come from the District, referred by 
their Local Educational Agency. 

The community did not want the 
school and they did not feel included in 
the planning process. The neighbor- 
hood, located in the District's Anacostia 
River area, is home to a jail, an armory, 
an abandoned hospital, dilapidated 
schools and aging row houses. 
Residents wanted housing and neigh- 
borhood-serving retail that could stim- 
ulate economic development. They 
believed that while St. Coletta may have 
laudable goals, a fancy new school for 
children with disabilities wouldn't do 
much for them. They would look over 
at a beautiful school, while their own 
children attended schools that are 
substandard. Once again, they felt, 
their needs were not taken into account 



through the political process of the 
nation's capital. 

St. Coletta received the land through an 
act of Congress because it receives 
appropriations from the U.S. Senate. The 
federal government gave the District a 
67-acre site, called "Reservation 13," 
with the proviso that St. Coletta would 
get a spot there, along with other gov- 
ernment services. The General Services 
Administration ruled that the land could 
not be used for retail. St. Coletta took a 
vacant site, which also happened to be 
an excellent site for retail, on a corner 
and near the Metro. The community had 
no say in what would be built on the 
site. In addition, St. Coletta will pay the 
District just $ 1 a year in rent and the 
District is required by law to provide 
schooling for students with disabilities — 
that could cost about $30,000 a year for 
each student at St. Coletta. The commu- 
nity was very upset. 

To build connections with the commu- 
nity, the school's director had many 

meetings with community members, 
asking for input on usage, site design, 
school bus routes, and even the height 
of fences. The school offered to build 
and maintain a community park and 
offered the community use of the 
grounds, community room and gymna- 
sium after school hours. The community 
refused to accept the park because of 
maintenance concerns, but the building 
facilities will be made available to com- 
munity-serving organizations. 

As construction began, the relationship 
remained a work in progress. St. Coletta 
continued to reach out to the commu- 
nity and remained dedicated to creating 
better relations. The school opened in 
September 2006 — a 96,000-square-foot 
facility that supports 250 students a day 
and almost 200 staff members. 


St. Coletta 's students have severe dis- 
abilities and physical challenges that 
limit their mobility, learning and social 
skills. Students must meet the admis- 

St. Coletta student enjoys activities at 

sions criteria of "significant cognitive 
delay." This can be coupled with sec- 
ondary orthopedic, health, hearing and 
speech and language impairments. 

Over 50 percent of St. Coletta 's stu- 
dents live in foster care or group 
homes. For this reason, St. Coletta 
serves as more than just a school for 


these individuals — it is a home custom- 
tailored to their needs, a place where 
they celebrate birthdays and holidays, 
take special trips and make friends. 

The staff focuses on the students' abilities, 
not their limitations. St. Coletta's execu- 
tive director Sharon Raimo's expression 
of the school's respect for the students is 
refreshingly candid and straightforward: 
"These children are not sick, they're not 
broken. They're who they are and how 
they are — they're people." 

Students are taught in classes with addi- 
tional individualized and personalized 
instruction given to address a student's 
particular needs or skills. Therapists and 
educators work together to integrate 
physical therapy into the students' daily 
routine — in the classroom, in the 
lunchroom and in their excursions into 
the community. 

St. Coletta practices an emergent cur- 
riculum — one that "emerges" from the 
interactions between the learners and 
their environments — both the built envi- 

Student interests are incorporated into lessons — from picture books to computers. 

ronment and natural areas. The immedi- 
ate school environment, both indoors and 
outdoors, and the school's surrounding 
community therefore play a very impor- 
tant role in the students' education. 

Staff often assist students with self- 
expression through nonverbal means. 
These methods are not limited to tra- 
ditional assistive technology; teachers 
direct students to take photographs 
(visual documentation and expression) 
and practice representation and simula- 

Students learn practical skills, such as 
cooking, and celebrate birthdays! 



tion with models and art. For example, 
after a field trip to the marshlands, 
teachers encouraged students to draw 
or make a model of what they saw. 
Students simulated the marsh by using 
a plastic bag laid out on the ground. 
The wrinkles in the bag formed 
"rivers" and "marshlands" and when 
water was poured on the model, stu- 
dents saw how the water runs through 
the marsh environment. 

The new learning environment will 
expand the settings in the school that 
can provide experiences like the marsh- 
lands. Student learning opportunities 
are expanded because the new outdoor 
classroom will provide a safe, enclosed 
area where students can be supervised. 
Students and teachers can use the out- 
door classroom frequently and therefore 
experience an outdoor environment 
more often than they can on a limited 
number of field trips in a given year. It 
allows students to engage with the envi- 
ronment in a way that supports their 


: Children (ages 4—8) 
■Youth (ages 9-17) 

■ Adults (ages 18-22) 

■ Teachers 

Board members and guests 


In the existing former bank facility, many 
of the current design choices such as 
paint color have evolved through trial 

and error over time, resulting in an envi- 
ronment that works. For the new facility, 
St. Coletta hired skilled architects and 
landscape architects who folded St. 
Coletta 's gathered knowledge into the 
design of the learning environment. 

A workshop with teachers helps designers 
gather information for the new school 

Visiting the school helped designers 
understand student abilities and design 
an environment they will can enjoy fully. 



Reading with a teacher provides social 
interaction while learning. 

Existing classrooms are painted light green, a calming color. 

There are few design standards or guide- 
lines on environments for students with 
special needs, and each group of stu- 
dents and staff is unique. Therefore, pro- 
gramming workshops with the school's 
staff and users, along with multiple site 
visits for observation of use has been a 
priority for the architects and designers. 
They have worked very closely with the 
school during the design process. 

For the outdoor environment in the 
new building, designers first visited 

the school to observe the typical class- 
room and activities. A workshop was 
conducted with staff and teachers to 
gather ideas about the outdoor space. 
Teachers expressed their learning goals 
for the students and described specific 
behaviors or needs that should be 
accommodated in the design such as 
practicing mobility in wheelchairs or 
walkers, or having the option of being 
in a quiet natural space versus a 
group setting. 

Inclusive Design Features 
and Settings 

The new building design is multi- 
functional. It includes classrooms, 
kitchens, speech and occupational 
therapy rooms, group rooms, a full- 
court gymnasium with locker rooms, 
an infirmary, a hydrotherapy room, 
administrative offices, conference rooms 
and a "village green" — a sky-lit atrium 
hallway that runs the center length of 
the building's interior. 



St. Coletta also plans to make some 
spaces available for community use out- 
side of school hours, including the gym- 
nasium, kitchen and community room. 

A key design element of the new facility 
is the outdoor classrooms that expand 
the learning areas for the students. The 
outdoor context allows for hands-on 
activities such as gardening and dramatic 
play, as well as studying nature, wildlife 
and the seasons. 


The physical environment reflects how 
St. Coletta values its students. The 
school itself tested many elements over 
many years, which will be continued in 
the new building and expanded to the 

■ Art. Framed artwork and whimsical 
sculptures are strategically placed on 
walls and in rooms. Student artwork is 
framed and hung on the wall alongside 
professional art — reflecting that their 
work is valued and important. In addi- 
tion to the emotional and psychological 

Students hang their artwork on school walls. 



benefits, art also serves an interesting 
educational purpose for this student 
population. Many of St. Coletta's stu- 
dents are very visual, but don't speak. 
Staff observe many students staring at 
the art, especially the autistic children. 
They note that the art affects their 
mood and that color also has a 
tremendous effect on them. 

Color. The school's preferred colors 
are secondary and tertiary colors, 
rather than primary colors; they are 
bright and appealing, but not jarring. 
Currently, yellow is used in public 

hallways. The director believes it is an 
"alert" color, which is the behavior 
St. Coletta wants students to have in 
public areas. The classrooms are 
painted green and orange. Quiet 
Rooms are pink and violet and "under 
the sea" colors, which seem to have a 
calming effect. 

Lighting. Incandescent light is pre- 
ferred to fluorescent, which can create 
a glaring and harsh environment. 
Autistic children see and hear the 
"strobe" effect that fluorescent fights 

Rooms are painted and furnished in a 
single color. 


This state-of-the-art kitchen was designed 
to be functional and calming. 


Social spaces. Hallways can promote 
socialization. People cross paths, pass 
each other in the hall and come 
together, greeting each other. The 
school provides spaces where people 
can be together in big groups and 
small groups. One of the major goals 
of coming to school for these students 
is to learn how to be in a group set- 
ting and interact socially with others. 

Private spaces. At the same time, peo- 
ple need private areas for reflection. 
St. Coletta provides alcoves, window 
seats and places for kids to be alone 
and look out the window. 


The new building by architect Michael 
Graves is designed to fit in with 
its urban community context in 
Washington, D.C. There are five 3- 
story pavilions along Independence 
Avenue. The geometric shapes, evoca- 
tive of children's blocks, relate to the 
Armory building across the street and 
help establish the school's identity 
along this urban street. Along the 19th 
Street frontage, the character of the 


Geometric shapes bring to mind children's blocks and relate to buildings acress the street, while establishing the school's unique identity. 



buildings mimics the character of the 
residential neighborhood to the east of 
the site, appearing as a row of proto- 
typical stylized houses. 


Not only does the architectural charac- 
ter reflect the program and specific 
nature of the site and its surrounding 
context, it takes into account the needs 
and response of the building's users. 
The house-like facades along 19th 
Street allow students and teachers to 
identify with their classrooms in a 
home-like manner, a compositional 
strategy that reflects the school's 
functions through form. 


Perpendicular to this frontage is a 
central three-story, sky-lit atrium hall- 
way. This hallway organizes the class- 
rooms in a single axis, like an interior 
street or "village green." The interior 
design of St. Coletta reinforces the idea 
of individual houses, as each classroom 
adjacent to the village green is 
designed as a separate "house." Each 
house corresponds to a different age 
group and contains several flexible 
classrooms, various offices, tutoring 
rooms and elevators. 


Above: The "village green," a sky-lit atrium, 
is a gathering place for the St. Coletta 
community (artist's rendition). 


Below: The 1 9th Street building elevation 
mirrors the character of the adjacent 
residential neighborhood. Classrooms are 
like "houses," both in character and 
function (artist's rendition). 




Each "house" is composed of two class- 
rooms that flank a common room. The 
common room has a special purpose 
such as horticulture, sensory integration 
therapy, physical therapy, weaving, art 
and music. The horticulture room will be 
set up like a greenhouse with potting 
tables, a sink and a large table for looking 
at plans and making charts. The sensory 
therapy room is designed to contain 
elements such as changeable colors of 
light, sound devices, water features that 
have a calming effect and swings and balls 
for bouncing. The physical therapy room 
has a balance beam, steps, balls, bars to 
hold on to and a removable swing. 

The sensory therapy room has changeable 
light colors, auditory devices and water 
features that have a calming effect. 



The outdoor environment often 
becomes the basis of themes in the 
curriculum at St. Coletta. Students talk 
about what they see and experience in 
their surroundings. From these discus- 
sions, teachers formulate a curriculum. 
For example, students recently studied 
the house. They explored their own 
houses and animal houses, built models 
of houses, studied industries that 
support houses, visited a home supply 
store to buy nails and shingles to make 
bird houses, and visited a construction 
site down the street to study the people 
who make houses. Math, science, read- 


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Decorative metal work and landscaping along the wall will provide an attractive buffer to 
the community, while the building echoes neighborhood architecture. 


ing, writing and arts are all woven into 
the curriculum — and teachers make 
the children's social experiences with 
people in the community part of the 
curriculum as well. 

The curriculum of St. Coletta requires 
outdoor program areas. The new build- 
ing was designed with a number of out- 
door settings to enhance classroom 
activities. These settings are well- 

integrated with the school's program 
needs and have a strong relationship with 
the architecture and overall site layout. 

The outdoor program areas will border 
the school's east and west sides, adjacent 
to each classroom "house" and will be 
enclosed for the safety of the students. A 
fence along the street will shield these 
outdoor classroom areas from the street. 
The full length of the wall includes 
decorative metal work and trellises, 
along with ornamental landscaping on 
the pedestrian side of the fence to offer 
an attractive buffer to the community. 


Each patio space will be large enough 
to accommodate 25 people (including 
wheelchairs) at one time. This allows 
for two classrooms to gather for a 
shared lesson or event. The outdoor 
classroom patios will be equipped with 
long tables, a sink, a storage cabinet, 
an overhead shade structure and a back- 
drop wall that includes a blackboard for 
writing and drawing. 






















The new campus will have many opportunities for outdoor learning. 


The loading and unloading area is a 
wide driveway that is fenced at either 
end for security. During school hours, 
these gates are closed and the driveway 

serves as a multi-purpose hard court 
area for play. During peak drop-off 
hours, the gates are open and the drive- 
way serves that function. 


Raised garden beds will be located 
adjacent to the Horticulture Therapy 
room and in additional locations 
throughout the outdoor classrooms. 



House-type facades help students identify with their classroom in a home-like manner. 


Planting, tending and harvesting plants 
are core activities in the curriculum for 
science, math (measuring growth) and 
art. Growing vegetables and cutting 
flowers teach students life skills. Plants 
will be selected to arouse the senses: 
fragrance, bright color, soft touch, 
rattles in the wind, and edible herbs and 
vegetables. A Pizza Garden, located adja- 
cent to the older students' classroom, 
will allow 17— 2 2 -year-olds to grow 
vegetables and herbs, and cook and eat 
their own pizzas in outdoor areas. 


The playhouse village will provide dra- 
matic play opportunities for young stu- 
dents, ages A~ 8. The props in that area 
(houses, dress-up clothing, cars) inspire 
and aid role playing and dramatic play, 
which are typical activities for young 


Sand offers a medium for creative play 
and social interaction. Students with 




PANEL 1 = 

PAN EL 2-. 


PANEL 3 - 


Outdoor classrooms are planned immediately adjacent to indoor spaces. 


The outdoor classroom environment will support lessons and activities. 

physical limitations can mold, form, 
and shape sand and water. The sand 
and water will also provide sensory 
stimulation for students who rarely 
have contact with natural materials or 
elements. There will be two sand play 
areas: one for 4— 8-year-olds and one 
for 9— 12-year-olds. 


An accessible path will run through and 
link the outdoor classrooms. The path 
will be wide enough to accommodate 
two wheelchairs or one wheelchair and 
one ambulatory person side by side. The 
path will be relatively flat, so slope is 
not a mobility constraint. 

The path provides more than just a cir- 
culation route. During the design 
process, teachers requested that a 
series of elements be placed along the 
path to attract students and motivate 
them to be mobile. The sensory path 
will have mirrors, wind chimes, mov- 
ing sculptures, and engaging features 



along the way to encourage students 
to move. 



A small semicircle will provide an area 
for small concerts or presentations. 
Teachers and students can pull off the 
main pathway and gather in a somewhat 
private area, or a performer could 
stand on one side and an audience on 
the other. 

Management and 
Operational Issues 

The primary management and opera- 
tional issues of outdoor learning envi- 
ronments at a facility like St. Coletta 
are the staffing and ongoing mainte- 
nance required to keep up the landscape 
areas. Since the student population at 
St. Coletta requires nearly a 1 : 1 student 
to teacher ratio, staffing is less of an 
issue in the outdoor classroom than it is 
at typical public schools. Some minimal 
amount of planting and tending will be 

Opening celebrations honor the student gardening activities that will expand at the new 


taken care of by the students themselves 
as part of their classes, recreation and 
therapy. In order to afford and maintain 

a facility like this, additional fundraising 
is required. This is an ongoing task that 
is critical to ensuring its usability. 




User Feedback 

Doreen Hodges, parent, as quoted in The 
Washington Post, September 6, 2006 

"Truthfully, I just wanted to cry. It's so 
beautiful and you could just feel the love 
in the building. . . .You never thought 
anything like that was ever going to be 
available to kids like this in D.C." 

Chip Henstenburg, parent, as quoted in 
The Washington Post, September 6, 

"Everything is really well thought out 
and designed to minimize disruption in 
the classroom, and to be able to deliver 
all the services the kids need in the 

Sharon Raimo, Executive Director, 

St. Coletta of Greater Washington, D.C. 

"People get a sense of what you think 
and feel about them by their surround- 

ings. Standard school classrooms have 
four walls and are warm, but that's not 
good enough. 

"St. Coletta 's philosophy is to look at 
the people around you and share expe- 
riences together. From experiences you 
share together — the experiences a 
person has — will emerge what the 
learner needs to know. You discern how 
learners learn best because you know 
them, and the curriculum will evolve 
(based on experiences). For example: 
What's the point of memorizing all 
the colors, if the kid doesn't perceive 
colors? There's a different way to go 
about teaching that. 

"We rely on theme-based, hands-on 
activities that emerge from shared 
experiences and interactions with 
people and the environment. That's why 
the physical things around the building 

are so important. This generates what 
the themes are going to be, what we are 
going to talk about, what we see, what 
we do together. 

"Our students feel valued and impor- 
tant. We hang their pictures on the wall. 
Beautiful work is framed and hung on 
the wall (with respect) . These students 
are the best they can be and deserve 
being around things that are beautiful. 
Autistic kids stare at paintings; paintings 
provide food for the imagination. Many 
students are very visual, and don't 
speak. They're like little cameras, taking 
it all in. Art affects their mood. And 
color has a tremendous effect on them." 

St. Coletta welcomed students to its new 
facility in September 2006. 





"It is not a question of asserting a right, but quite simply, of a humane 
step towards equality!' 




Allowing visually impaired people to experience an art museum might seem 
paradoxical: how can you appreciate what you can't see? 

"The Museum at Your Fingertips" program in the Musees des Beaux Arts in 
Valenciennes and Calais is a tactile journey for visually impaired visitors. It is planned 
for all the national museums in the north of France by the Ministere de la Culture- 
Direction des Musees de France. The tactile program, which is incorporated into the 
general visit without needing an appointment, allows blind visitors to touch selected 
sculptures and other pieces. In some museums, audio commentary further describes 


the artworks. Visitors follow the precise 
tactile and audio information to move 
through the museum autonomously and 
at their own pace. By visiting different 
museums throughout the north of 
France, visually impaired visitors can 
discover the history of sculpture from 
medieval times to the 20th century. 


The long-term goal of the program is to 
overcome problems of exclusion by 
opening France's national art collections 
to visually impaired visitors, including 
blind children. It has been widely cov- 
ered in the press and became the subject 
of a documentary sponsored by the 

Department of Cultural Affairs, which 
aired on national television. 

Although France lacks regulations such 
as The Americans with Disabilities Act 
(ADA) in the United States, the 
Direction des Musees de France had 
already established many accessibility 
projects in its national museums. The 
client wanted to test accessible design 
concepts in the museum environment. It 
was understood that access would have 
to be universal — physical, cultural and 

ADA regulations regarding signage for 
visually impaired travelers are fairly 
simple. In addition to letter size and 

PROJECT "The Museum at Your Fingertips" (Le Musee au bout des Doigts) LOCATION 
Musees des Beaux Arts in the cities of Calais and Valenciennes, France DATE 
Ministere de la Culture— Direction des Musees de France and Federation des Amis des 
Musees du Nord Pas-de-Calais DESIGNER Raynes Associates 

The Raynes Rail provides continuous 
Braille information. 

All visitors can press buttons to hear audio 





color contrast, they require that rooms 
be identified with Braille by the doors. 
However, they do not require any 
means to find the rooms. 

To broaden the ADA standard, the 
design team developed several 
approaches to navigation for blind 
travelers, including the Raynes Rail, a 
patented Braille and audio handrail sys- 
tem. The rail provides the missing link 
from a point of arrival to a desired des- 
tination. Braille messages on the inner 
face of the handrail describe open areas 
and traffic patterns, warn of stairs and 
ramps and announce turns. Tactile maps 
and diagrams on glass have also been 


■ General public 

■ Visually impaired adults 

■ Visually impaired children 

■ Visitors with reduced mobility 

Visually impaired visitors in Valenciennes 
can touch selected sculptures. 

The 1 9th century sculpture gallery includes works by Auguste Rodin that visually impaired 
visitors may touch. 

Musee des Beaux Arts et de 
la Dentelle, Calais, France 

The 1 9th century sculpture gallery at 
the Museum of Calais, which houses 
Rodin's original bronze studies for the 

Burghers of Calais, was designated the 
first "Museum at Your Fingertips" proj- 
ect. The design team worked in con- 
junction with the nonprofit Federation 
du Nord de la France des Societes 

d'Amis des Musees (the Society of 
Friends of the Museums in the Calais 
Region), the Lions Club International 
District 103, and the museum curator. 


The first step was to inventory the 
sculptures. Bronze and marble works 
that could be touched were identified. 
The more fragile pieces were to be 
placed in cases along the walls. Works 
were then rearranged into two rows of 
sculpture with enough space between 
each pedestal to allow visitors with 
seeing-eye dogs or wheelchairs to navi- 
gate through the sculptures comfortably. 

This simplified floor plan could be easily 
memorized and would prevent visitors 
from bumping into the sculptures. 
Beyond aesthetics, several factors were 
considered in the new museography, 
including chronological order, scale and 











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Statues are arranged in two rows with enough room for wheelchairs and seeing-eye 
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Visually impaired visitors may touch the 
bronze sculptures. 

Fragile pieces are displayed in cases along 
the wall, with information in Braille along 
the railings. 


Inclusive Design Features 
and Settings 


At the door of the sculpture gallery, an 
audio message, triggered by a photo- 
sensor positioned on the Raynes Rail, 

introduces the overall concept of the 
tactile itinerary and the collection. 


The Braille and audio handrail system 
runs along both sides of the room. The 
Braille information allows the visitor to 

select the sculptures they wish to dis- 
cover. The messages direct visitors to 
specific statues they may touch, giving 
the distances in paces and angles. For 
example, it may state: "The Burghers of 
Calais, first study, is on your opposite 
side, five steps." 

Tete d'Eustache de Saint-Pierre 

Etude pour le Monument 

des Bourgeois de Calais - Vers 1886-1887 

Bronze. Fonte E. Godard, 1981 

Don des Amis du Musee de Calais, 1981 


Visitors read the information on the 
pedestals of smaller pieces. 

Glass panels offer information in raised text and Braille. 


All visitors can have a similar satisfying 
museum experience. 


Three additional audio units along the 
rails, also activated by photosensors, 
address all visitors. The audio commen- 
tary describes the characteristics and 
evolution of masterpieces by Auguste 
Rodin and Antoine Bourdelle. 

The heights of the pedestals were 
adapted to each sculpture to guarantee 

The room layout allows for groups of children of all abilities to experience the art. 

ease of exploration. The pedestal incor- 
porates a glass panel, tilted at 30 degrees 
to facilitate Braille reading. The glass is 
sandblasted to obtain a non-glare surface 
and includes both Braille and large 

raised descriptive text for those who are 
visually impaired but do not read 
-Braille. For budgetary considerations, 
the pedestals were designed to be man- 
ufactured by the in-house carpenters. 



Musee des Beaux Arts, 
Valenciennes, France 

The Musee des Beaux Arts in 
Valenciennes displays works from the 
1 5th to 20th centuries. It has eleven 
galleries, featuring bronze and marble 
sculptures, paintings, a cafe and a 
library. Workshops and administrative 
facilities are located at the lower level. 
In this museum, visually impaired 
visitors move through the entire 
museum independently, at their own 
pace. An invisible information system 
guides visitors to selected sculptures 
throughout the museum. 


Because the museum is a classified 
monument, no railing could be 
installed within the galleries. The 
existing museography could not be 
modified; every piece had to remain 
where it was. The guidance system had 

Selected marble and bronze sculptures may 
be touched. 


The main directory is a tactile map that can be used by all visitors. It shows the itinerary as 
a raised path on the glass surface, with additional information in Braille on the inner side 
of the rail. 

to lead visitors down the staircase to 
the lower level. And, at the curator's 
request, the system had to be invisible. 

The major challenge was to select 
representative sculptures that could be 
touched — within every gallery and 
from each historical period — forming a 
pathway that would be simple enough 
to be remembered when presented on 
a tactile map. Visitors would need to 
remember the path through a gallery, 
which pieces they could touch, and 
how to get to the next gallery. 

Inclusive Design Features 
and Settings 


At the museum entrance, a main direc- 
tory made of a tactile glass slab with a 
Raynes Rail segment introduces the itin- 
erary. Braille information on the inner 

The main map shows the simple route through the entire museum. 


A detailed tactile map shows the route 
through each gallery and into the next 

Raised letters and Braille can be 
incorporated onto the pedestal. 

side of the rail provides direction to the 
information desk and to the start of the 
tactile visit. 

At the entrance of each gallery, a more 
detailed map is mounted consistently on 
the right side and at the same height. 
This map presents the position of the 
sculptures within the space and the 
route to the next gallery. Raised dots on 
the glass maps guide visually impaired 
visitors to the works they may touch. 

Visitors can touch and explore a sculpture, then navigate to the next one. 



A discreet glass plaque with a Braille 
description raised on the blasted surface 
was positioned between the pedestal 
and the sculpture. 


At the lower level, in staircases, landing 
areas and in the main corridor, seg- 

ments of the Raynes Rail were installed, 
with Braille messages only. In addition, 
in areas difficult to navigate, a series of 
raised dots were installed on the floor 
about six inches apart. The TacDots, 
which are made of fiberglass and hollow 
inside, make a distinctive sound when 
tapped with a cane. 

Management and 
Operational Issues 

To support "The Museum at Your 
Fingertips," the museums have trained 
attendants, guides and lecturers. 
Educational programs have been created 
in conjunction with the schools to 
address sighted and non-sighted children 
who learn from one another — all 
equally delighted by the exchange. 
Programs feature artists and storytellers 
and include sculpture workshops. 

The Braille and audio handrails do not 
require any special maintenance. They 
are cleaned like other surfaces. In the 
event of changes in the museography, 
the Braille inserts can be easily updated. 
Audio messages can be recorded on site. 

In some museums, visitors are 
instructed to wear surgical gloves to 
protect the marble statues. 

User Feedback 

"The Museum at Your Fingertips" 
program received extensive coverage. 
The following users were quoted in 
newspapers and magazines (translated 
from French). 

Pierre Houiez, Blind Visitor 

"I was shocked when I came in and the 
docent told me to touch! I rediscovered 

Visitors follow a series of raised dots to 
navigate difficult areas. 


an appreciation for beauty and I spent 
three hours there (Palais des 

Papes) The interactions between 

those who can and cannot see multiply 
the worth of the art. We are at the 
beginning of a change in the vision for 
works of art in museums. Even for 
those who can see, it is another 
approach to art." (Mr. Houiez had 
stopped visiting his favorite art muse- 
ums after losing his eyesight.) 

Docent at the Musee des Beaux Arts 

"He came to us and wanted to redis- 
cover the museum he had known 

When you work with people with poor 
eyesight, you completely lose your 
frame of reference. We are used to see- 
ing things, and when you approach a 
piece by touching it, your points of 
reference change completely." 

Depending on the height of the sculpture, sometimes visitors can explore only the lower parts. 


Visitor Who Is Losing Her Eyesight 

"I understand a piece of work much 
faster by touching it than by seeing it. 
You also understand the approach of the 
artist since he worked with his hands! 
When the Rodin Museum organized the 
modeling workshop in addition to the 
tactile tours, the program enriched our 
group, allowing us to open up, leading 
people with new motivation. After a 
visit, it is a question of reproducing 

what you have memorized, but also the 
feelings that you have come away with 
from discovering a piece of work. 

"You touch someone else's work and so 
enter into a relationship with him. For 
me, art gives me a lot; it is a means of 
sharing, of exploring. 

"For me, it is not a question of asserting 
a right, but quite simply, of a humane 
step towards equality." 




"One visit to the Hamill Family Play Zoo affected one of my children 
enough that she not only learned to love the animal (a lemur), but 
believed that she could make a difference in its life!" 




Nothing like this project had been tackled before in the world of zoos: a zoo 
created as a place where children can connect to nature emotionally, through play. 
Explore! A Child's Nature /the Hamill Family Play Zoo and Play Gardens, part of 
Brookfield Zoo, is the first children's zoo in the country to adopt adventure play as a 
core concept of its program. The mission of the Hamill Family Play Zoo and Play 
Gardens embraces the assumption that children's experiences at a zoo can make a 
difference in their lives and in the world. Children role-play as animals, create animal 

I I 

The Hamill Family Play Zoo entrance announces immediately that children are here to play. 

PROJECT Explore! A Child's Nature, Hamill Family Play Zoo and Play Gardens LOCATION 
Brookfield Zoo, Brookfield, Illinois DATE DESIGNED 1998-99 CONSTRUCTION 
COMPLETED June 2000 CONSTRUCTION COST $6.7 million SIZE 10 acres when 
completed CLIENT Chicago Zoological Society, Brookfield Zoo DESIGN TEAM 
Brookfield Zoo; MIG, Inc.; Wheeler Kearns Architects; Douglas/Gallagher ENGINEERING 
Hanscomb Associates, Inc. PROJECT MANAGEMENT McClier Corporation 

habitats with natural materials, search 
for bugs, and participate in animal care, 
feeding and grooming exciting and 
appealing ways to learn about animals 
and nature. 

The two primary physical components 
of the zoo are : 

The Play Zoo, located in the redevel- 
oped and expanded former Small 
Mammal House (which dates from 
the 1950s). 

The Play Gardens, surrounding the 
Play Zoo building and easily accessible 
from it, providing a broad range of 
outdoor experiences in both pro- 
grammed and non-programmed 

The Play Zoo and Gardens are the first 
phase of Explore! A Child's Nature. 
When completed, the entire Children's 
Play Zoo will encompass ten acres of 
diverse play settings for children and 

Children can strut like peacocks. 

explore! a child's nature 

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SCALE 30 60 100 FEET 

When completed, the entire Children's Play Zoo will encompass ten acres of diverse play settings for children and youth. 

4 explore! a child's nature 


SCALE 10 20 25 FEET 



Phase 1 of the Children's Play Zoo Master Plan is the Hamill Family Play Zoo, consisting of interactive animal exhibits and play settings. 

explore! a child's NATURE II5 

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Newspapers are used to wrap "treats" hidden by the zoo keepers for the lemurs to discover and eat, to the great delight of children. 

The adventure play concept has three 
essential components: 

A team of trained play workers , or as 
they are called at the Hamill Family 
Play Zoo, "Play Partners." These 
professionals work with children and 
families in an educational role of 
facilitation rather than traditional 

■ An interactive, participatory environ- 
ment designed to support experiences 

by children and families with the phys- 
ical settings and features of the play 


An indoor-outdoor environment 
designed to offer attractive and varied 
activities year round. 

The zoo provides settings in which all 
members of the community, of all 
ages, abilities and cultures, can partici- 
pate and share experiences. 

The Play Zoo opened in the spring of 
2001 , and rapidly became a popular, 
repeat visit destination for families, 
schools and youth organizations from 
the Chicago region. The target audience 
is families with children up to 10 years 
old and their siblings. 

Explore! A Child's Nature /Hamill 
Family Play Zoo is located within a 
private institution (Brookfield Zoo); 

explore! a child's nature 

The exhibit design lets children sit on the 
same rock as a lemur, separated by a glass 

nonetheless, it provides an unmatched 
opportunity for assessment within the 
broader frame of reference of universal 
and inclusive design. 


The overall goal of Explore! A Child's 
Nature is to foster a love of animals and 
nature by: 

■ Offering children and their families 
year-round, hands-on, open-ended 

opportunities to play with, work 
with, and care for animals and plants; 

■ Setting a context that encourages 
families to experience animals and 
nature in their everyday lives, wher- 
ever they are; and 

■ Providing the materials, ideas and 
experiences that help adults rediscover 
the magic and importance of child- 
hood, play and nature; and encourag- 
ing them to integrate these elements 
into their everyday lives. 

The philosophy embodied in this last 
goal focuses on allowing children to 
playfully explore their environment and 
to make their own discoveries. This 
approach assumes that the environment 
can be designed to stimulate children's 
intrinsic motivation to explore and 
learn about their surroundings through 
play. The philosophy also recognizes the 
practical reality of an environment that 
can attract thousands of visitors on a 
midsummer's weekend. With such high 
levels of use, the environment must be 
appropriately prepared and managed for 
sustainability, while at the same time 

Play Partners work with children and families in an educational role of facilitation rather 
than traditional instruction; here children are pretending to be lemurs, complete with tails. 

explore! a child's NATURE 117 

engaging users of all ages and abilities to 
play and learn. 


r Families with children 10 years old 
and under 

■ Older accompanying siblings 

■ School-aged children on field visits 
and their teachers 

■ Children from preschool centers 

■ Children with special needs from 
specialized programs 

b Children enrolled in summer or 
vacation programs and accompanying 

Children's birthday groups 

■ College students conducting research 


A key to the success of the Play Zoo was 
the preparatory work the zoo staff proj- 
ect team completed before the design 
consultants were hired. For two years, 
the Brookfield Zoo Southeast Section 
Planning Team (SES) organized a series 
of seminars and workshops with a broad 

The zoo provides relaxing time-out settings for parents, such as this parent resource space in the Zoo-At-Home area. 

118 explore! a child's nature 

Children's ideas are integrated into many aspects of the zoo's design and programming. 

variety of consultants and stakeholders 
to pin down the core purpose of the 
project. The final outcome of this 
process was the decision to base the 
Play Zoo on children's play as a vehicle 
for emotional development in relation 
to animals and nature. 

In this regard, Brookfield Zoo was a 
"perfect client," meaning that a fully 

articulated mission and purpose for the 
new children's zoo was used as the basis 
for hiring a design consultant aligned 
with these core values. For this reason, 
the match between client and consultant 
worked well. 

The design process engaged a project 
team composed of selected members 
from the original SES planning team 

along with other zoo staff and the 
design consultants. Together, this group 
participated in the design process for 
over one year. 

The design team included representa- 
tion of all major functions of the zoo 
pertaining to the new project, including 
exhibit design and fabrication, veteri- 
nary science, groundskeeping, water 
quality, docent and volunteer program- 
ming, education, safety, development, 
operations, communications and animal 

A series of design workshops carried the 
design team from general considerations 
of alternative site development concepts 
to detailed layout, materials selection, 
lighting, acoustics, air conditioning and 
plant materials. 

The concept of behavior or activity set- 
ting was used throughout the design 
process as the common framework for 
investigating alternative programmatic 
themes, functional requirements, 
detailed features of the space, and the 
match with user needs. 

explore! a child's nature 

I 19 

Activity Setting Structure of the Play Zoo and Play Gardens 

Indoor Settings: Play Zoo 


Animal Exhibits 

■ Lemur Exhibits 

■ Reptile Run 

■ Bird Exhibit/Aviary 

■ The Mountain 

Zoo Director's Office 
Animal Hospital 
Indoor Garden Play 


Family Room 

■ Small Pet Display 

■ Contact 

■ Habitat-Making Area 

Living Room 

■ Grooming 

■ Demo 

Dramatic Play Area 


■ Information 

■ Resource Area Stories 

■ Pet Memories Area 

■ Nature Crafts 

■ Cat Room/Storage 

Bath Room 

■ Dog Bathing 

■ Grooming 

■ Fish and Aquaria 

■ Demonstration Area 

Child's Room 

■ Swap Shop 


Adult Resource Station 
Parent Trees 
Quiet Alcoves 
Base Office 
Real Food Preparation 


■ Visitors Services Cart 

■ Life Safety Cart 

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Outdoor Settings: Play Gardens 



Willow Tunnel 
Insect Exhibits 
Dress Up 

Building Material Storage 


Animal Homes Play Garden 
Woody Knoll 
Earth Play Garden 
Pet Play Garden 

Pond/Stream Play Garden 

■ Forest Maze 

■ Demonstration Lawn 

■ Family Gardens 

■ Parent Resource Area 

Primary Pathways 
Secondary Pathways 
Secret Pathways 
Maintenance Pathways 
Ambulance and Fire Dept. Access 

Cart Pads and Vending Carts 

I 20 explore! a child's nature 

A key component of the participatory 
design strategy was the early involve- 
ment of children. A "Kid's Council" was 
formed with children of the Zoo's 
member families. At Saturday morning 
meetings, the Phase I schematic design 
was introduced and discussed. Many of 
the key components of the design pro- 
gram were strongly validated, which 
was not surprising as so much prior 
research and expertise had been 
devoted to the front end of the design 
process. The most significant Kid's 
Council contribution was the detailed 
ideas children presented for activities 
with animals and nature. 

In the first phase of the design process, a 
schematic design program and concep- 

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Through the "Kid's Council" children 
presented detailed ideas for activities 
with animals and nature. 

tual master plan were developed for the 
entire ten-acre site of Explore! A Child's 
Nature. The physical boundaries of the 
project, as well as the extent of the Play 
Zoo and Play Gardens, were defined. 

The Play Zoo contains two main 
indoor settings and twelve subsettings. 
The outdoor Play Gardens contain 
eight main settings and seventeen sub- 
settings. The complete setting structure 
is presented on the facing page. 

The large majority of settings and sub- 
settings were conceptually defined early 
on in the design programming process as 
a reflection of overall project goals. 
However, as detailed functions, adjacen- 
cies and characteristics became more and 
more clearly defined, many iterations 
and refinements were added. This phase 
of the project was conducted, in essence, 
as a collaborative investigation of design 
options by everyone on the design team. 

In the second phase of work, the design 
program and designs for the Play Zoo 
and Play Gardens were developed. Once 
the draft design program and schematic 

design of building renovation and land- 
scape were complete, a rough cost esti- 
mate was produced. It indicated that the 
project was substantially over budget. 

Understandably, as the team knew that 
the running cost of the Play Zoo would 
be greater than the existing children's 
zoo, some team members remained 
skeptical of the "play concept." They 
still had difficulty envisioning the con- 
cept in practice and needed reassurance 
that it would work. 

At this point, the team suggested the 
idea of prototyping — a common 
approach in the development of zoo 
exhibits. A one-week prototyping pro- 
gram was set up with zoo visitors, cov- 
ering both outdoor and indoor settings, 
using spaces available in and around the 
building. Prototyping involves setting up 
a temporary exhibit or experience to 
test a design before it is actually built. 
Based on the prototyping results, the 
design is modified as appropriate, or it 
is not built because it did not meet 

explore! a child's nature 

The prototyping program was the turn- 
ing point of the project. The public 
reaction was extremely positive, as 
documented by the zoo research staff. 
The enthusiastic smiles and visitor 
comments were strong indicators 
of encouragement to proceed. 
Observations of user response helped 
refine the design of several settings and 
articulate programmatic requirements. 
The size of the building and the scope of 
some settings were value engineered. 
An acceptable cost estimate eventually 
emerged. Design development was 
completed. Construction documents 
and building construction followed. 
After painful cost-cutting and a strenu- 
ous fundraising period, the project 
opened in 2000. 


In a family-focused facility, should all 
settings be usable by all age groups — 
even infants? The design team con- 
cluded, "yes." Any other arrangement 
would inevitably segregate family mem- 

Settings are designed to include all ages, from infants to adults. 

bers from each other; whoever is "look- 
ing after the baby" is going to get left 
out of the action. For that reason, 
accommodations for infants and tod- 
dlers were designed into each setting. 

By the same token, care was taken to 
design each setting as a family-friendly 
environment. This was achieved on the 
one hand by making sure opportunities 
for adults and children to play together 

122 explore! a child's nature 

Parents get involved in the action, too, such as making habitats. 

were provided (supporting the third goal 
of the Play Zoo). On the other hand, 
accommodations were made to ensure 
that caregivers (a weary grandparent, for 
example) could withdraw from the 

action for a while, stay on the sidelines, 
and enjoy observing children playing. 
Provision of choices for both engage- 
ment and disengagement is a key inclu- 
sive design principle in family settings. 

Access requirements mandated by the 
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 
were applied as a design variable or 
were interpreted for situations not 
covered by the ADA. 

Within the realm of the ADA, changes in 
level presented the greatest design 
challenge. For example, design of a "tree - 
house" setting was explored early on. An 
elevated ramp would have made the tree- 
house accessible. However, the amount 
of space occupied and installation cost in 
relation to its capacity (i.e., number of 
playing children at any one time), value- 
engineered it out of the program. 

But in its place, at a much lower cost, 
came a miniature "forest maze." This 
element was added not to comply with 
ADA, but because of the commitment 
to universal design principles. The forest 
maze was installed connecting directly 
to the accessible route via a narrow, 
wood mulch path — more challenging to 
access by wheelchair but potentially 
usable by all visitors. The maze was 
scaled to preschool children and placed 

explore! a child's nature 123 

in the same vicinity as other settings for 
this age group, easily accessible by care- 
givers, and more usable than the tree- 
house by a broader range of visitors. In 
addition, while many caregivers would 
have been apprehensive about allowing 
young preschoolers out of sight playing 
in a treehouse, they could keep tabs on 
them more easily in the maze. 

Other design variables not discussed 
here, but nonetheless important, 
include issues of management, mainte- 
nance, consumables, materials selection 
and staff training. All these issues pre- 
sented trade-offs which needed to be 
resolved through the design process. 

Inclusive Design Features 
and Settings 

Any place that embraces the broad 
community has great value, especially 
at this point in human history, when 
it has become imperative for global 
human society to understand its 

dependency on the biosphere. Design 
that supports that aim is truly inclusive. 
The broader the spread of shared expe- 
rience through the community and the 
deeper the meaning, the greater the 
possible impact on conserving the 
planet for future generations. 

Inclusive design is a powerful concept 
that looks beyond accessible design and 
the prevailing disability focus to 
embrace the broader realm of social 
equity and inclusion in design. 
Fundamentally, inclusive design is design 
that meets the basic tenets of democ- 
racy, which in public environments 
means social access that does not dis- 
criminate between users. This is the 
function of the great public open spaces 
and the role of the world's greatest 
parks and children's learning environ- 
ments. They share the same social trait: 
openness to all comers. 


The Play Zoo faces the broad lawns of 
Brookfield Zoo's main axis. The 

approaching visitor sees the Play Zoo 
facility from afar and notices immedi- 
ately an active area in front, enclosed by 
open railings, festooned with colorful 
signs and banners. "This must be some- 
thing special, something different," the 
new visitor might muse. Signs announce 
iamily, children, nature, learn and 
"play!" Closer in, animated children can 
be seen looking intently at two bulbous, 
transparent enclosures on each side of 
the main entrance. The entry message is 
simple and direct. It says, "all welcome." 

A small, natural timber booth has a 
friendly feel, welcomes visitors, and 
perhaps even reduces the painful 
surprise of having to pay extra to enter 
the Play Zoo. From the entry booth, 
broad paths sweep around a central 
"Stroller Park" bringing the visitor to 
the main doors. The old, stepped 
entrance plaza was redesigned to 
accommodate strollers and at the same 
time provide a generous sloping 
entrance — easily navigable by all. No 
more icy steps to tumble down, no 

124 explore! a child's nature 

more pedestrian "traffic blocks" outside 
the main door. 

The renovated Play Zoo building is sur- 
rounded on all four sides by outdoor 
settings. The building entrance is on 
the west end just beyond the site 
entrance and stroller park. The "rear" 
building entrance is at the other (east) 
end facing the more extensive outdoor 
settings. The narrow, sunny, south side 
is designed as a Bug Walk, full of 
perennial flowering plants. The north 
side is the site of Animal Homes 
Adventure Play, under huge elm and 
maple trees. 

Animal settings, enclosed with light 
steel netting, bulge out on each side of 
the main building entrance — on one 
side, playful lemurs; on the other, noisy 
Lory birds. Entering visitors receive 
immediate live animal cues about the 
essence of the Play Zoo. 

For security reasons, all visitors enter 
and leave the building at one of two 
points (of course, additional emergency 

The attractive boundary fence expresses a sense of security as parents with young children 
approach the entry. 

exits are available) . What is the social 
effect of few entries and exits versus 
many? Perceptually, single nodal entry 
and exit points produce a clear mental 

image connected to the rest of the zoo. 
Socially, all visitors share the same spaces 
and the comings and goings of each 
other. While waiting or taking a rest, all 

explore! a child's nature 


have the same possibility of making con- 
versation with a neighbor sitting on one 
of several sitting walls near the entrance. 
An open site without a boundary fence 
would not afford these social opportuni- 
ties. Psychologically, parents feel safer 
knowing their children are in a bounded 
space and can be easily tracked. 


The design team hotly debated the 
stroller issue. The fact is, strollers take 
up lots of space inside zoo buildings — 
space that could be used by visitors and 
programs. Indeed, they were not 
allowed in other Brookfield Zoo exhibit 
buildings. The design team argued that a 
Play Zoo would attract so many families 
with strollers that the quality of the 
experience of all would be lessened by 
navigating through bunches of strollers. 
A positive consequence of this policy 
has been that all children who can walk 
or toddle do so, in a fully bounded safe 
environment with varied floor surfaces, 
innumerable small cul-de-sac spaces to 
explore off the main circulation routes, 

and visual interest at low eye level. 

As the Play Zoo design was executed 
before the issue of children's increasingly 
sedentary life styles hit the national 
press, this benefit was not appreciated 
until later. Now, the Play Zoo can be 
viewed as contributing to the solution 
of this health problem . Emphasizing 
pedestrian activity of toddlers and 
preschoolers is essential, instead of 
encouraging "wheeled mobility" habits 
by unnecessarily keeping young children 
in strollers at an early age. What could 
be more universal, equitable and demo- 
cratic than an environment where every- 
one who can must walk? 


Wayfinding is crucial for new visitors to 
a complex environment. Immediately 
after entering the Play Zoo's main 
entrance airlock, visitors face three 
choices: left, right or straight ahead. 
Only once, for the first visit, are the 
sensory circumstances of this choice rel- 
evant and important. Wayfinding success 
helps define the first impression of the 

Bold, colorful graphics, created by Brookfield 
Zoo staff, add playful expression. 

place for, at least, the adult visitor. 
Parents who have a successful first visit 
will return. 

Signs reinforce the choices: left ("Reptile 
Run" and "Bird Play") and right ("Lemur 
Leap") . Straight ahead the "Mountain" 
rises up, dominating the central, glazed 
roofed area. Here, wayfinding offers 
three choices: into the Mountain or 
along either side of it. 

Signage reinforces the identity of each 
setting. As visitors move around, 
uniquely styled signs and expressive 

126 explore! a child's nature 

Words are recognizable as objects (differentiated by word shape, color, texture and material) and serve as a system of landmarks that help 
guide visitors through the space. 

explore! a child's NATURE 127 

This sign simply announces a grove of trees. 

Signage is part of the identity of each setting 

Signage incorporates expressive children's drawings. 

128 explore! a child's nature 

What child hasn't drawn in the mud? 

custom graphics identify each setting. 
The "Garden Play" sign looks very dif- 
ferent from the "Workshop" sign. Bold 
and easy to read, these words are rec- 
ognizable as objects (differentiated by 
word shape, color, texture and mate- 
rial) and thus serve as a system of land- 

marks that help guide visitors through 
the space. This attribute of identity 
helps children with learning disabilities 
and partially sighted children by 
increasing the perceptual function and 
reducing the cognitive burden of 

The rustic pet play area holds bunnies and 
guinea pigs. 

explore! a child's NATURE 129 


Zoo-Within-A-Zoo presents children 
with opportunities to experience 
aspects of running the bigger Brookfield 
Zoo — it's not called the "real" zoo, 
because the Play Zoo is also real . The 
universal message throughout is "anyone 
can do it." 

In the Zoo Director's Office, children 
sit behind the director's desk pretend- 
ing to give and take calls, and issue 

In the Workshop, children and adults 
can collaborate on construction and 
exhibit design projects — making signs, 
animal sculptures, cultural artifacts 
linked to the zoo, and other imaginable 

In the Animal Hospital, children can 
care for plush animals, invent illnesses 
and cures, conduct surgical procedures, 
check x-rays, and look up computer 
animal health records. Everyone is 
included as a participant. 

Even the insides of animals come alive for older children. 

30 explore! a child's nature 

A child becomes a zoo worker. 

Collectively, in their dramatic play and 
imaginations, the children are running 
the zoo. Each of these settings — 
Director's Office, Workshop and 
Hospital — is universally appealing and 
inclusive because of the setting flexibil- 
ity of movable features and loose parts. 
These characteristics provide many 
dramatic play options for all types of 
children regardless of developmental 
level, physical ability, personality, 
mother tongue and gender. In a corner 
of the Animal Hospital, a four-year-old 
is quietly examining a plush rabbit with 
a stethoscope, while a group of girls 
scurry around organizing a "surgical 
procedure" on one of the operating 
tables. In the Workshop, half a dozen 
children from different family groups 
are making masks for an "animal 

The most universally expressive, dra- 
matic play activity is pretending to be 
an animal, which also most directly 
supports the Play Zoo educational 

In the Workshop, children can make all 
manner of zoo-related artifacts. 

mission. Prepared loose part props 
(lemur tails, bird wings and the face- 
painting station) stimulate young 
children's animal role-playing. 

The lemur exhibit takes inclusive design 
into a new domain of integration of 
exotic animals and children. The con- 
cept was solidified in the prototyping 
phase when children expressed great 
enthusiasm for being in the cage with 
the animals. Glazed panels subdivide the 
outdoor enclosure of Lemur Leap — one 
for lemurs and the other for children 

explore! a child's nature 


Children can talk with vets and help treat real animals, too. 

playing like lemurs. At feeding time, 
little food treats are hidden by the keep- 
ers for the lemurs to find. This always 
attracts crowds of curious children and 
stimulates fun lemur play. 

Dramatic play activity with loose parts 
provides special opportunities for 
adults and children to play together 
creatively, bolstered by an ambience 
that gives adults permission to step 
outside the constraining frame of refer- 
ence of everyday life at home. Some 
families come to the Play Zoo every 
week and always find or invent some- 
thing new to do. Part of the attraction 
is the emphasis on full -body play, like 
the nest building at the Lory bird 
exhibit. A permanent nest-shaped 
armature is turned into a "real" nest 
with loose parts that simulate nest- 
building materials. Giant bird eggs 
liberate imaginations as children play 
mommy and daddy bird, sitting on the 
eggs, hatching young chicks, teaching 

132 explore! a child's nature 

To children, a stuffed animal is just as real as a live animal. 

explore! a child's NATURE 133 

Children can climb into the nest and help "hatch" eggs. 

first flight, and away we go! A child 
using a wheelchair joins in the nest 
building. Helped out of her chair, she 
becomes the mother bird in the nest. 
Another child lets friends bind his 
chair up like a nest, an egg in his lap. 

Full-body play is more participatory 
and inclusive than traditional tabletop 
games or games of physical skill that 
inevitably discriminate against the less 
skilled. All children have imagination. 
This is the key ingredient that brings 
them together. 

Inside the Mountain, behind-the-scenes, 
children experience the backside of ani- 
mal tanks and cages. They can sweep the 
floor and begin to appreciate what's 
involved in creating the public view of 
animal exhibits. Again, the setting is 
inclusive. All can participate and define 
their own role, their own level of com- 
fort. The other end of the Mountain 
terminates in a small gathering and 
demonstration setting, which is open 
to all. 

Parents feed "worms" to the "birds" in the nest. 

134 explore! a child's nature 

Children get a taste of behind-the-scenes work in animal cages. 


As its name implies, Zoo-At-Home is all 
about domestic pets. A front porch and 
rocking chairs welcome visitors. Inside, 
cats and dogs visit. Children can build 
habitat trails for gerbils on a large, low, 
edged tabletop. A walk-in play aquarium 
invites children to play like fish while 
playmates on the outside interact. Cats 
play behind a screened backdoor to the 
kitchen. Windows on either side of the 

fireplace provide glimpses of the out- 
door settings, beckoning further fun. 

During the design process, this setting 
took the longest time to resolve. The 
design team agreed unanimously that 
linking the Play Zoo and home was fun- 
damental. But how to do it? What style 
of house? Inner-city apartment? 
Townhouse? Suburban ranch? Working- 
class or middle-class, or both? And 
what about ethnic expression? These 
fundamental questions of inclusive 
design were difficult to resolve. The 
final decor is best described as an eclec- 
tic, uncluttered background to the real 
action: children's play. 

Architecturally, the front of the home 
has an attractive inclusive design feature, 
the quintessential, classless element of 
North American domestic architec- 
ture — a porch. Here, parents can rest 
their feet and chat with a neighbor while 
children enjoy pet play indoors. The 

Children make packages of "food" for the 

explore! a child's nature 135 




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Zoo-At-Home looks like a home, with a 
quintessential American porch. 

Domestic animals link the zoo to animals 
at home. 

Inside the living room, children design 
"habitrails" for gerbils. 

A walk-in aquarium invites children to 
become fish. 

The Nature Swap area is designed like a 
child's bedroom. 

Older children classify and collect natural 
items in the Nature Swap area. 

136 explore! a child's nature 

The Greenhouse offers fun-filled warmth on a cold Chicago day. 

The Greenhouse extends to an outdoor 
garden where children can help grow 
plants and take seedlings home. 

Nature Swap is a subsetting of Zoo-At- 
Home, added later after a member of 
the design team saw it at another institu- 
tion. For the upper age level of the Play 
Zoo target audience, the Nature Swap 
responds to a desire to collect and 
classify the natural world — like all good 
scientists. In this case, natural objects 
become the universal medium of curios- 
ity that brings children together to share 

knowledge. The Swap Shop decor is 
arranged like a child's bedroom, care- 
fully assembled with a non-gendered 


In response to the harsh Chicago winter, 
part of the concept of Indoor Garden 
Play was to attract winter visitors to the 
Play Zoo by providing a warm green 

place. This spot is open to all, especially 
those without time or money for a win- 
ter trip to southern latitudes. 

How to make a garden setting function- 
ally accessible and usable by all? Care 
was taken to ensure plants were 
installed at various heights above the 
floor level so visitors from preschoolers 
to adults could make tactile contact. To 
accommodate infants and toddlers 


Children are encouraged to touch and 
water plants. 

whose parents were apprehensive about 
them putting soil and vegetation in their 
mouths, a play deck was installed in one 
corner near the Garden Play entrance, 
furnished with appropriate play objects 
fashioned from natural materials. 
Families were thus accommodated in a 
way that allowed older siblings to play 

Spray bottles are very popular. Varied heights of tabletops provide access for children of 
different heights and those in wheelchairs. 

38 explore! a child's nature 

Functional access for children partici- 
pating in planting and other tabletop 
activities with plants was accommo- 
dated by a wonderful feature invented 
by the zoo staff: a great slab of thick 
particle board cut into a fun, amoeba- 
like shape and supported on a slice of 
old tree trunk. The height is suitable for 
wheelchairs, which works fine for most 
standing children (or they stand on 
boosters) . 

One loose part universally enjoyed by 
children of all ages is a simple spray 
bottle. Some children do nothing else 
in Garden Play except go around 
spraying every plant in sight. How can 
this behavior be explained? The answer 
most likely is a combination of factors: 
the cause-and-effect delight of the 
spray bottle function, the sensory stim- 
ulation of the interaction of misty 
water and light, the intriguing change 
in state from liquid to mist, the further 
intrigue of mist turning to droplets on 

the shiny leaves, the sense of control 
over the whole process, and the satis- 
faction of caring for the plants by 
watering. Any child whose index finger 
is strong enough can participate in 
bottle spraying. And if not, ball-like 
spray devices are available that can be 
squeezed with the whole hand. They 
are especially useful for participants in 
the zoo's intergenerational playgroup 
when preschoolers and seniors play 
together in the Greenhouse. 


Two settings, Parent Resource Areas 
and Quiet Alcoves, are repeated 
throughout the Play Zoo and serve sev- 
eral purposes. Both function as gather- 
ing points, as minor nodes. 

Parent Resource Areas are located at 
seven indoor and outdoor settings and 
serve as informational landmarks where 
parents can read permanent graphics 

The Backyard of Zoo-At-Home offers 
information for families... 

...and a resting place. 

explore! a child's NATURE 139 

about the importance of play and tips 
for playing at the zoo. 

As this base information is fundamental 
to the philosophy of the Play Zoo, 
repeated outlets reinforce a sense of 
shared meaning of the place among the 
adult visitors to take away and continue 
to work with at home. Shared, universal 
experiences and meanings tie communi- 
ties together, and increase our under- 
standing of the interconnectedness of 
life. The broader the spread of shared 
experience throughout the community, 
the greater the likelihood of shared 
environmental values. 

Quiet Alcoves have a more modest 
aim: rest and recuperation, a universal 
need. These are places where families 
and small groups can get away from 
high-level activity, places to nurse a 
baby or feed a toddler. Open to all, 
Quiet Alcoves offer additional visitor 
opportunities for building shared 

values that come from positive social 
contact in an environment that symbol- 
izes those values. 


Outdoors, the Zoo Play Gardens com- 
prise six main settings and fourteen 
subsettings. There are four entrances. 
From the Main Entry Plaza, visitors 
can bypass the Play Zoo and go directly 
to Animal Homes Adventure Play (left) 
or Bug Walk (right). Alternatively, one 
can enter from the other end of the 
Play Zoo or directly via the South Plaza 

Wayfinding outdoors at either end of 
the Play Zoo building is direct. At the 
front (west) end, visitors can go left or 
right. At the back (east) end, the same 
choices are offered plus a central path- 
way (which eventually will connect 
with Phase 2 of Explore! A Child's 


This setting supports the play philoso- 
phy of Explore! A Child's Nature in its 
most classic form: adventure play using 
loose materials to construct shelters, in 
this case for animals. Since this is an 
open-ended activity, anyone can join in 
and lead it wherever collective desires 
go. Above all others, this is the setting 
that became better understood by the 
design team through prototyping. Once 
the team saw the adventure play process 
in action, they understood the potential 
for engagement and inclusion. Anyone 
can join in, like a barn-raising — the more 
the merrier. The only limit is human 
imagination. Three children roof one of 
the cubicles used to store building mate- 
rials with tree branches. They are making 
a tiger cage. One, her face painted with 
tiger whiskers (from the indoor face 
painting) , puts on her fiercest expression 
and growls. She "eats" a small wooden 
log in the cubicle and paces back and 

40 explore! a child's nature 





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Building animal homes encourages cooperative play. 


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explore! a child's nature 


Children enjoy inhabiting the new animal 

There's no limit to materials that can be used. 

Even the youngest visitor can enjoy 
pounding away. 

42 explore! a child's nature 


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forth on all fours, tiger-like. Almost 
nothing is required to set such imagina- 
tive processes in motion, except a few 
rudimentary props. Adventure Play is not 
a new idea, but for the first time, it has 
been applied in a children's zoo. (The 
Playgrounds for Children with Special 
Needs in the United Kingdom have 
applied the adventure play approach 
successfully for more than 40 years.) 


On the other (south) side of the Play 
Zoo, a richly planted perennial garden 
offers a sensory walk replete with 
insects of many types, depending on 
the season. "Lift-ups" (boxes planted in 
the raised bed with lids that house the 
bug collection) offer critters that like 
damp, dark places underground. An 
elevated pool offers dragonflies and 
their cousins that love damp places. A 
curvy, living willow tunnel engulfs 

Children can find secret places for a moment of calm. 

explore! a child's nature 


Spiderman is spotted in the willow tunnel! 

Ladybugs bring good luck — the more the 

Children investigate leaf litter on the 
ground, looking for bugs. 

The dark cavity of a "Lift-up" offers insects 
in their natural habitat. 


And why not be a butterfly in the garden? 

144 explore! a child's nature 

children in vegetation. The Bug Walk is 
a quiet spot for reverie, where children 
are engaged by the colors, fragrances, 
textures and movement of a myriad of 
flowers. Because of its quietness and 
sensory richness, the Bug Walk is a 
favorite destination of autistic children 
and their caregivers. 


Eight subsettings comprise the 
Backyard, which is intended to have a 
domestic feel so that caring behaviors 
can be transferred and modeled at 
home. "Backyard" means different things 
to different people. Casual observation 
on a warm, sunny afternoon indicates 
happy, family enjoyment. A grandfather, 
his pant legs rolled up, is padding back 
and forth in the stream with his grand- 
daughter, perhaps recalling similar 
childhood pleasures — a beautiful exam- 
ple of universal design spanning the 
generations. The feel of running water 

The Backyard stream is a favorite setting on hot summer days. 

explore! a child's NATURE 145 

Children can wade in the water and play 
with small rocks. 

Parents sit on boulders while children play 
in the Earth Play Garden. 

The dirt is a mix of peat moss and sand so 
children don't get too muddy. 

on naked feet is elemental. At one and 
the same time, it is a delicious sensory 
experience, perhaps experienced for the 
first time by a very young child. Sharing 
across generations adds immeasurable 

Meanwhile, on the Demonstration 
Lawn, a group has been called together 
by one of the Play Partners to "cele- 
brate life ."Adults and children lie on 

their backs in a circle, stand up, move 
to a tree and stand around it holding 
hands. It is a beautiful sight. Strangers 
ten minutes ago, children and adults 
now trust each other's affirmation of 
life. The Play Partner receives an affir- 
mation as well: that the risk she took to 
lead this activity paid off. Participants 
feel enriched and empowered with an 
increased sense of shared Play Zoo 

values. Maybe they will be stronger 
protectors of the planet. 

Along one side of the Demonstration 
Lawn, zoo staff installed a series of 
small window boxes (6" x 6" x 12") at 
different heights on a lattice fence to 
create a raised garden accessible to sen- 
iors and preschoolers doing planting 
activities together. 

146 explore! a child's nature 

In the Earth Play Garden, parents sit on 
a circle of large boulders while their 
toddler- aged children play in the 
enclosed "play soil" (a specially con- 
cocted non-soil mix of peat moss and 
sand to prevent very young children 
from getting too muddy) . An elevated 
wheelchair accessible play table is part 
of the installation. 

Pet Play is another universal experience 
for young children; what more needs to 
be said? Everyone can be involved. The 
main problem is not to overstress the 
animals. For this reason, a holding pen 
where the bunnies and guinea pigs can 
rest is located alongside the public 
enclosure where the playing takes place. 

A pre-existing natural feature of the 
Play Gardens is the Woody Knoll, a 
tree-covered hillock on the eastern 
boundary of the site. Invasive shrubs 
were cleared off to reveal the form of 
the hill, and a circle of logs was installed 
on the summit. There are two ways up: 
a direct climb up a large log laid on the 

side of the hill with steps notched out, 
and a longer, ramped pathway, winding 
around the back of the hill. Liz Heller, a 
wheelchair-using zoo intern, noted that 
she could access the pathway to the top 
of the hill using a manual wheelchair 
with help and with a power chair inde- 


In association with the Illinois Autism 
Society, Ann Roth, Access Coordinator, 


J < 

A collection of fall leaves becomes a work 
of art. 

helped design a Visual Schedule Book 
for families with autistic children as a 
tool to help with communication. 
Autistic children are nonverbal, but can 
communicate visually. The book looks a 
bit like a stamp album, with movable 
icons representing each play setting. 
Child and family members use the book 
to plan the Play Zoo trip, as well as for 
deciding changes in the schedule once 
there. As autistic children often have 
difficulty transitioning from one activity 
to another, the toolbook is used as a ref- 
erence to keep things on track. For the 
Reptile Run setting, for example, there 
are photos of all the items needed to 
build a "herp home," so the activity can 
be reviewed pictorially step-by-step 
beforehand. Similarly, the toolbook is 
used to introduce putting on a tail at 
Lemur Leap or doing things in the 
Animal Hospital. The idea is to use the 
book for practice a few times, then 
wean individual children away from it 
into a more independent realm of 

explore! a child's nature 


Management and 
Operational Issues 

During the initial stages of the master 
planning process, Brookfield Zoo made 
an impressive commitment to support- 
ing a Play Partner Troupe because it was 
seen as an essential component to 
implement the Play Zoo mission. The 
operational economic equation was a 
challenge, one side of which must be 
measured by the number of admissions. 
The books must balance. The Play Zoo 
enhances the larger zoo's reputation and 
visibility, which is an added value. Most 
importantly, the Play Zoo appears to be 
addressing its mission. This is indicated 
by visitor behavioral research conducted 
during the summer of 2003. Preliminary 
results show child visitors exhibit signifi- 
cant levels of "caring behavior." 

Nursing the new landscape was a man- 
agement challenge at Explore! A Child's 
Nature. Because interaction with nature 
is fundamental to the mission, the 
installed landscape contains many more 

horticultural species than is typical in 
other Brookfield Zoo exhibits (even 
though they are well endowed with 
attractive landscape treatments) . The zoo 
has a fine professional horticultural staff 
with decades of landscape management 
experience, who enthusiastically rose to 
the challenge of nursing the establish- 
ment of the new Explore! A Child's 
Nature landscape. Existing plantings 
were conserved in the new play settings 
or moved from other locations to pro- 
vide a foundation of older plantings. 

The south side of Bug Walk was more 
challenging, as the landscape was com- 
pletely new. But after two growing sea- 
sons, the perennial gardens were well 
established. Lack of shade was a major 
problem in the hot Illinois summer. This 
was addressed by adding two large 
shade trees on the south side of the 
walkway. The original design had 
included a number of wide arbors over 
the walkway as shading devices, but 
these were omitted as a cost- saving 

measure. They could still be installed to 
add further shade and extend the diver- 
sity of Bug Walk plantings. 

Consumables can easily become a signif- 
icant cost factor in play-based programs. 
During the design-programming phase, 
this issue was carefully monitored, so 
that only essential consumables were 
designed in. For example, plush animals 
had to be available as play props in the 
Hospital. Although not strictly a con- 
sumable, they wear out fast and have to 
be replaced. In Animal Homes 
Adventure Play, only scrap materials are 
used, including recycled prunings from 
the horticulture department. The 
Workshop uses paper and paint that 
must be purchased, but also all manner 
of recycled "scrap" (cardboard, cans, 
plastic bottles, lumber, etc.). Green- 
house consumables include seeds and 
planting mix that children take home in 
(recycled) pots. 

The most substantial management issue 
by far is the use of live animals with 

1-48 explore! a child's nature 

children. The main considerations are 
the health and safety of both children 
and animals. Having operated a chil- 
dren's zoo since the 1950s, the Play Zoo 
staff had extensive experience in these 
areas. That history helped enormously 
to deal with these issues during the 
design phase, but still much time was 
required to make final decisions about 
specific species and their environmental 
requirements. For example, sanitation 
requirements for Pet Play meant using 
concrete that could be hosed down each 
day as a substrate with straw. 

Play Partners are trained to handle the 
floor animals in Reptile Run, Zoo-At- 
Home and Pet Play. Partners walk or 
carry animals around on a regular 
schedule, so that hands-on animal expe- 
riences are always available on the floor 
as well as in the permanent exhibits 
(Lemur Leap, Lory Bird, Reptile Run 
and the Mountain). 

Play Partners will help plan a family's visit 
and provide tools they'll need. 

explore! a child's NATURE 149 

Liz Heller: "It's useful for people to see someone in a wheelchair working...." 

50 explore! a child's nature 

User Feedback 

The zoo has been open for four years, 
with many visitors making multiple 
visits — some even come every week. 

Dave Fuentes, Chicago Area Parent 

". . .The whole project sounded silly. An 
exhibit without a lot of animals? Who 
wants to see that? How is that going to 
help children understand the impor- 
tance of nature? 

"I took my wife and children to the 
exhibit's employee premiere. . .My chil- 
dren played away, uninterested in what 
the adults thought. Leia, my three-year- 
old, began talking about lemurs. We 
bought her a play lemur tail from the 
zoo and she wore it all the 
time. . .When relatives and friends asked 
her what she was, she would yell, 'A 
lemur! I made it better!' When asked to 
explain, she would simply restate, 'I 
made it better!' 

"(On another visit) Leia began working 
with a stuffed owl. After several minutes 
she yelled, 'Dada! I made it better!' 
That's when it clicked. . .There, in my 
snapshots (from the first visit), was a 
photograph of Leia wearing a lab coat 
and holding a stethoscope to a stuffed 
lemur's heart. Although it had been over 
a year ago, she remembered that she 
had indeed 'made it better.' 

"That one visit to the Hamill Family 
Play Zoo affected one of my children 
enough that she not only learned to 
love the animal, but believe that she 
could make a difference in its life! She 
never had to hear the words 'endan- 
gered,' 'extinct,' or 'killed.' In a two- 
year-old's world, a stuffed animal is as 
alive as a real one is. Through her play 
she had felt empowered and was not 
made to feel helpless, as a lecture on 
animal endangerment might have made 
her. I am a true convert." 

Liz Heller, Intern 

Liz Heller started volunteering at 
Explore! A Child's Nature as a high 
school student when the facility opened 
in 2000. Earlier, she was a manual 
wheelchair user but now uses a power 
chair. Asked about the working environ- 
ment at Explore! A Child's Nature, she 
was mostly very complimentary. She 
mentioned the low cabinets that were 
easy to use. Even in a manual chair she 
said it was "easy to get around," includ- 
ing the outdoors, which she said was 
"well done, with flat, easy grades." 

She made specific mention of the occa- 
sional drop in level where concrete path 
and lawn come together as a problem. 
She noted the woodchip ground surface 
in Animal Homes Adventure Play that 
she could not access in a manual chair 
without help. "I can live with that," she 
said, recognizing that the setting needed 
to feel natural (the pervious surface was 
also critical for the health of the mature 
trees in that zone). 

explore! a child's nature 


She commented that, "Everyone is so 
caring here, and willing to help — but 
are subtle about it." Heller also reflected 
on her experiences as a worker at the 
zoo. "It's useful for people to see some- 
one in a wheelchair working, it's good 
exposure. It helps counter their precon- 

Summing up, Heller noted that 
"Explore! A Child's Nature has taken 
the concept of universal access further 
than most places. It is open to every- 
thing. I love working here, it is so great." 

Ann Roth, Brookfield Zoo, 
Access Coordinator 

"As all the basic ADA-type access issues 
were already covered in the design of 
the Play Zoo, I have been able to devote 
my energies to responding to the special 
needs of specific audiences in different 
program areas. 

"The Play Zoo is built for all the senses, 
so some of the classes we do are very 
attractive to children with sight disabili- 
ties." Roth mentioned a class called 
"How Things Are Wrapped," which deals 
with all types of animal coverings. 
Children handle samples, as well as live 
animals (snakes, turtles, bunnies). The 
class is open to all children. "Sight- 
impaired kids love it," she said. 

"Hard of Hearing Days" is a zoo-wide 
event for which zoo staff are trained in 
basic sign language. This means signing 
is going on in the Play Zoo with the 
Play Partners, which makes it more 
attractive and comfortable to the deaf 
culture. "The Play Partners love that 
stuff," Roth comments. She describes 
the "Good Works Program," which 
enables students with disabilities to 
volunteer at the zoo. Some have cogni- 
tive impairments; some are deaf. "Job 
Coaches" help participants train to get 

jobs (at the zoo and elsewhere). "The 
Play Zoo is an ideal place for children 
with disabilities," Roth emphasizes, 




is so 


foinp on. 

David Becker, Play Manager 

"The Play Zoo has developed a strong 
internal partnership with the Zoo's 
access programs. Several factors make 
this possible. Because principles of uni- 
versal design have been applied to the 
space itself, it is user-friendly for a vari- 
ety of visitors including families. The 
space encourages open-ended explo- 
ration, which creates a powerful context 
for program development and facilita- 
tion of learning. In the world-renowned 
Reggio Emilia schools, the educators 
refer to the built environment as 'the 
third teacher.' 

152 explore! a child's nature 

"Similarly, the Play Zoo functions in col- 
laboration with the Play Partners, who 
are equally important in enabling a 
growing collaboration with the zoo's 
access programs. It is the staff that acti- 
vates the space and pushes it beyond the 
surface potential. Beyond creative pro- 
gramming, Play Partners are committed 
to creating relationships. To this end, 
they facilitate interactions between fam- 
ilies and nature, support family interac- 
tions with each other and become a part 
of the place attachment that families 
develop with the Play Zoo. This highly 
individualized process extends equally 
to families who have children with dis- 
abilities because they know their child 
will be valued when they visit. This is 
incredibly empowering for everyone." 

The Play Zoo is built for all the senses. 

explore! a child's NATURE 153 




"This park has been adopted into the community's heart..'s a 
town square right on the waterfront!' 




This highly used park was once a derelict piece of unused land, the last bit of 
open space in the City of Santa Barbara, California. Chase Palm Park is now a 
nine-acre linear park with a one-acre children's play area. It's located across the 
roadway from the beach, adjacent to railroad tracks, with views of Santa Barbara's 
golden hills. The park land was given to the City as a trade-off for an expanded 
development at the nearby resort and conference center. 


The City wanted a play area that would 
serve as a community focal point and 
link to the ocean. The new play area 
setting contains an underwater garden 
of sea life, a full-size pod of anatomi- 
cally correct whales spouting water, sea 
caves, a marooned village, a large ship- 
wreck, a lighthouse with kaleidoscope, 
fishing pier, and docks with the facade 
of a child-sized City of Santa Barbara in 
the background. 

The park includes many community 
uses such as a gathering plaza adjacent 
to a restored historic carousel, a lawn 
area, a small stage for community 
events and a park support building (for 

storage and rentals) across from the play 
area. The play area and park are linked 
by a pedestrian path (the paseo) and 
stream "creeklets" that wind through. 
The creeklets are a unifying design 
element of the park and are part of the 
overall drainage system. 


The play area facilitates recreational 
programming and stimulates children's 
imaginations. Thematic settings help 
children learn about the general context 
and character of their city through play. 
Play elements have a strong marine 
character and are tied to local historical 
and cultural events. 

PROJECT Chase Palm Park— Children's Play Area LOCATION Santa Barbara, 
CONSTRUCTION COST $500,000 SIZE 9 acres (entire park); 1 acre (play area) 
ARTISTS Susan Jordan and Scott Peterson CIVIL ENGINEERS Penfield & Smith 

Park and recreational programming is 
integral to the project. The play area is 
more than just play equipment. The 
recreation staff have support facilities 
adjacent to the play area, especially 
needed for public attendance at summer 
day camps. The entire park provides a 
great setting for play programming, 
imaginative play and community gather- 
ing. For example, summer evening 
concerts draw 4,000 to 5,000 people 
to hear music and play in the park. 



■ Adults 

■ Schoolteachers (local field trips) 


The children's play area in Chase Palm 

Park is based on a marine life theme and 

includes elements such as this giant 

nautilus and the wave wall behind 

it with a fish emerging. 

Children developed the idea of including a shipwreck to play on. 


The design team was selected through a 
design competition. The project 
included design programming, concep- 
tual design, participation by children as 
well as community members, and play 
area design and development. Santa 

Barbara's Parks and Recreation 
Department went into classrooms to 
talk with schoolchildren about their 
ideas for the park. Based on the input 
from these children, the play and learn- 
ing environment was designed with the 
theme of life in and by the sea. 

The design team worked with local 
artists to develop a design concept for 
the park that reflects the City and the 
site's history, including a shipwreck that 
once occurred off the coast. The artists 
developed sculptural elements that are 
both artistic and functional. 

During one brainstorming session, a 
desire to create a whale quickly became 
"an entire pod of whales swimming 
through the park." 

Recreational programming was consid- 
ered throughout the design process. 
The design team worked with the 
Parks and Recreation Department to 
develop an activity program for recre- 
ation leaders to use during summer day 
camp sessions. The park lends itself to 
creating theme -based programs and 
activities such as making treasure 
maps, dressing like pirates for a day, 
and making telescopes to explore the 
shipwreck play area. 


Inclusive Design Features 
and Settings 

Accessibility and connections are inte- 
grated and expanded in a thematic way 
throughout the park. For example, the 
blue "ocean" rubberized safety surfacing 
serves as a context for the whales and 
provides an accessible pathway through 
the play area. This design element pro- 
vides more than a walkway or ramp up 
to a play element. It integrates access 

for everyone into the theme of the play 
area. Transfer platforms are more than 
single-purpose assistive devices; they 
are integrated into the theme and the 
sitting areas and are usable by all kinds 
of people. 


A pathway of blue rubberized safety 
surfacing meanders through the play 
area to define the ocean. The pod of 

sculptural whales flows through the 
park at various points throughout the 
ocean pathway. The whales are realistic 
and true to form and size, but the 
materials are expressed artistically and 
creatively. The whales swim in the ocean 
around the shipwreck, enhancing the 
theme. They breach and curve through- 
out the play area and sporadically spray 
water through their blowholes, adding 
an interactive element of surprise. 

Full-size whales swim through the area. 


'% Nfc ftA£ 

Randomly timed water spouts add a surprising and entrancing element as whales swim 
through blue rubberized safety surfaces. 

Children wait by the whales to catch the 
water spray. 

The whales serve as climbing objects 
and as transfer points onto the grass. 
They're integrated with seat walls to 
provide points of access and transfer. 
Some whales are not accessible but still 
add to the variety of experiences. The 

whales also tie the play area into the rest 
of the park, because some of the whales 
actually sit on the turf, entering and 
exiting the play area. 


In this area, children explore and 
manipulate sand. There are two water 

features: a raised nautilus with tide 
pools and a fish head fountain that 
spouts water into a basin. The nautilus 
simulates a tide pool experience and is 
completely accessible because the tide 
pools and water are raised. A concrete 
wave wall curves up overhead like the 
curl of a wave and provides seating for 

The starfish is a three-dimensional, 
oversized sculpture in the sand, coated 
in rubberized safety surfacing. It serves 
two purposes: it is a play element that 
supports the theme, and it is a place to 
sit and play in the sand. The starfish 
offers back support for small children 
with limited upper body strength, or a 
slightly elevated place to sit for parents 
who don't want to sit in the sand. 


The play village and fishing pier serve as 
a reference to the City. Located on the 
side of the park adjacent to the commu- 
nity, they add the look and feel of Santa 
Barbara. The play village, based on tradi- 


This whale is about to breach as a mother sits on the back of the wave wall. 

The nautilus is completely accessible. 

Rocks in the nautilus are similar to those 
found in tidepools. 

A spouting fish is an interactive water 


An oversized starfish provides opportunities for climbing and sitting and to play in the sand. 


Local artist Susan Jordan painted a mural 
of the Santa Barbara mountains and 

The child-size play village is based on the architecture of Santa Barbara. 

tional Santa Barbara building facades, is 
like a stage set: stucco building facades 
are set at angles so children can imagine 
their own settings. Local artist Susan 
Jordan also painted a mural on the adja- 
cent sound wall to create a backdrop to 

the play village that looks like the moun- 
tains behind Santa Barbara. The setting 
inspires imaginative play — children 
pretend the buildings are storefronts 
and homes while interacting with 
parents and play leaders. 


The creeklets are veins of boulder-lined 
channels that run through the park. They 
are especially popular in the summertime 
for small children and parents who sit 
nearby and talk. They are closely linked 



to the play village, enhancing their 
programmatic contributions. During 
summer day camps, play leaders seed the 
creeklets with "gold-plated" rocks. They 
set up an assay office in the play village 
where the children trade in their gold for 
some other prize. It encourages children 
to explore and discover their environ- 
ment. The play village facades are wheel- 
chair accessible through relatively flat 

A wood fishing pier extends into the 
shipwreck play area; it is suggestive of 
the real pier in Santa Barbara. The pier is 
wide enough to accommodate wheel- 
chairs. Play leaders put metal fish in the 
sand around the pier, and children use 
fishing poles with magnets on the end. 


The strong theme enhances the oppor- 
tunities for universal design. From the 
play village and lighthouse, a ramp 

Children love the creeklets and often pan for 
gold like the '49ers of early California. 


Children and play leaders use the play 
village to role play, such as exchanging 
gold for prizes at an assay office. 

■SBErer'V- '-.x 

The back of the shipwreck is a wide inclined 
plane for going down — and climbing up. 

slopes down into the play area and a 
swath of ocean-blue rubberized safety 
surfacing connects the ramp to the sink- 
ing ship. The theme transforms this 

The fishing pier is wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs. 

entrance route from a single-purpose 
accessible ramp to an imaginary boat 
ramp leading into the ocean that every- 
one can use for play. 

The shipwreck climbing structure is 
the central element of the play area. 
The play apparatus is tilted to give the 
impression that it is sinking into the 
sand. This slanted ship stern is the most 
active portion of the play structure. 
Groups of five or six children often 
work together to form a human chain, 
holding hands so they can climb up the 

slant. Ramps, bridges and ground plane 
elements are located at multiple levels 
so children can transfer to the ship 
from seating areas and from the ocean, 
and access a variety of play experiences 
on different parts of the ship. All levels 
of the ship are wheelchair accessible. 


A quieter area is nestled among euca- 
lyptus trees across the ocean pathway 
from the shipwreck. Here, a series of 
vertical wooden poles of varying 



heights can serve as a framework for 
construction games and theater sets to 
be used by the play leaders in summer 
day camps. The ground surface is engi- 
neered wood fibre — an accessible 
loose fill material that accommodates 


Between the play village and the ship- 
wreck playground is a seating overlook 
area. Here, parents and caregivers can 
rest on a bench or steps while they 
watch their children play. There is also 
a transfer plank that children can use 
to access the shipwreck play structure. 
The lighthouse is designed with enough 
space inside to accommodate wheel- 
chairs, and children of varying heights 
can access the handle to turn the light 
on top. 

Children can enter the lighthouse and cooperatively turn the pole to rotate the light. 


The lighthouse has a prism light, visible from the inside. 


Management and 
Operational Issues 


Settings that support fantasy play and 
physical gross motor development pres- 
ent several management and operational 
challenges if play value is to be maxi- 
mized. The same regular maintenance 
and attention to safety is required as a 

typical playground. However, the park 
works best with play leaders who 
engage children in activities and pro- 
grams that relate to the theme. Play 
leaders place "gold" in creeks, perform 
roles and talk with children to inspire 
play. It can be a challenge to get the play 
leaders to fully use the settings. The play 
village, for example, is not as active as 
other areas. Young children play hide 

and seek, but without play leaders, the 
play doesn't progress much beyond 


The wooden pole area for younger kids 
has not functioned as originally intended. 
The design intent of the forest of poles 
was to be a flexible retreat space that 
play leaders could modify by stringing 
cloth or ribbons from one pole to the 
next. Now, the poles are more of a 
curiosity. The balance beam, cargo net 
and platforms are de facto picnic tables, 
and places for parents to sit and stash 
their belongings. 


The designers worked with a play 
equipment manufacturer to develop the 
custom shipwreck apparatus. This 
ensures that the structure complies with 
current accessibility and safety laws. 
Two spring play elements have become 
a problem. The buoy rocker was 
removed because the spring was too soft 

Parents can use the whales for back support while children hitch a ride. 


and it was hazardous, while the escape 
raft spring benches in the shipwreck 
area are too stiff and don't get enough 
motion to be an exciting play element. 


Water always presents a management 
and operational issue in play areas. In 
Chase Palm Park, some of the water 
features were experimental. The whale 
spray needed to be realistic and evoca- 
tive of real spouting, and still be safe 
and workable. The plumbing required 
intricate engineering to adequately 
handle the water flow so it would not 
be too forceful. 

The expectation was that a park with so 
much community focus, pride and visi- 
bility could afford this higher level of 
maintenance. Water features need to be 
tested over a long period of time. The 
lesson learned is to assume that all 
maintenance will be performed in- 
house, and to design with that in mind 
by specifying parts and maintenance 
methods that are consistent with a 

The spouting fish, by local artist Scott Peterson, is a favorite with small children, and 
located within easy reach of children using wheelchairs. 

maintenance department's operations. 
Another lesson learned is that a park 
like this will be so popular and well- 
used that the normal level of mainte- 
nance must be increased. 


Including artists on the design team 
adds unique elements to the park. In 
the design and construction process, 
working with artists differs from work- 
ing with trade contractors. Artists' 



work requires both creative design and 
fabrication processes beyond typical 
construction. The City also needed to 
provide special contracting procedures, 
insurance and liability for the artists. 

For the elements designed by artists to 
be acceptable in a children's play envi- 
ronment, they must meet all safety, 
accessibility and maintenance require- 
ments. A greater level of engineering 
detail (including consideration of main- 
tenance, service and parts required to 
keep the elements functioning) should 
be an intentional part of the design 
process. Ideally, artists will have creative 
input and then work with an engineer 
to design the mechanics and prepare the 
technical drawings required to build and 
maintain the element. 

User Feedback 

The following comments are from staff 
who have used the play area for over 
three years. 

hilly Goodnick, City of Santa Barbara 
Landscape Architect 

"This park has been adopted into the 
community's heart: family celebrations, 
weddings, tree dedications to commem- 
orate special events in peoples' lives, 
and as a destination to show off to visi- 
tors. The park provides a needed venue 
for many daily activities and special 
events, both public and private. The 
well-executed design and high caliber 
of maintenance are a source of pride; a 
top-notch project creates a higher 
standard for other community improve- 
ments. This park has become the bench- 

"The community-based design charette 

was invaluable The community's 

insight was the impetus for a workable 
design and they got it right. The com- 
munity process also asked for integrat- 
ing art into the design, which was 
successfully achieved by local artists 
who created a strong sense of place and 
conveyed Santa Barbara's unique loca- 
tion and character. Santa Barbara is a 
beach community, but we never had a 
place to celebrate our strong coastal 
character. Chase Palm Park provides the 
equivalent of a multi-use town square, 
right on the waterfront. 

"The totally unique, art-filled play area 
is a source of hours of play and explo- 
ration for children. The summertime 
creeklets are a huge hit with toddlers 
and young kids. And there are clutches 
of kids hanging by the whales, waiting 
for the spout to go off, which makes the 


place exciting. There's a lot of fun, wet 
sand play by the nautilus. Most of the 
play centers on the sand areas and the 
shipwreck; not a lot of kids go to the 
end of the pier, and the wooden poles 
haven't really worked out. 

"The style is a perfect fit with the rest 
of the distinctive architecture of Santa 
Barbara and has a timeless feel. All the 
materials seem to have sprung from one 
design vision and integrate well with 
the givens of the site. The final key is 
that the designers and City staff truly 
collaborated down to the minute details 
that allow the park to remain well- 
maintained without overburdening our 
perennially tight budgets." 

Jerri Brown, Assistant Parks and 
Recreation Supervisor,Youth Activities 

"We have programming for ten weeks in 
the summer. We set the stage up as a 
frontier village and use the creeklets as 
part of a frontier village to pan for gold. 
We trade for play money and set up 
frontier businesses. The shipwreck lets 
us create a treasure quest, telling the 
story of a pirate who left buried treas- 
ure. Kids find the map, find treasures 
and paint their faces like pirates. We can 
also turn the stage into a circus. During 
the year, we have other special events, 
like an egg hunt for thousands of kids." 


17 I 


"This facility feels like a park, not just a typical school. It's a joy to see 
kids running and playing tag. ..just being kids." 





between the City of Glendale, the Glendale Unified School District and residents 

of the Edison-Pacific neighborhood. The concept, design and construction were all 

guided and sustained by local community energy. The school is a community focal 

point, bustling with activity fifteen hours a day, seven days a week. Residents now 

enjoy using a new elementary school, library, community center, and a completely 

renovated and expanded park. 

The park facilities include a little league ballpark, multi-purpose field and hard court, 
children's playground, group picnic area, water play area, and outdoor theater in the 


The new community center and public library share many common facilities. 


PROJECT Edison School/Pacific Park Revitalization LOCATION Glendale, California 
DATE DESIGNED 1994 (community process began); 1996-1997 (design process) 
(including land acquisition) SIZE 9.5 acres CLIENT City of Glendale and Glendale 
Unified School District NEIGHBORHOOD PLANNING Community Involvement and 
MIG, Inc. DESIGN ARCHITECT Siegel Diamond Architects ARCHITECT OF 
RECORD Leidenfrost/Horowitz & Associates, Inc. DESIGN LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT 


school playground. The community 
center also incorporates a special area 
for youth and teens. 


The City of Glendale faced a set of 
critical community needs: an old, over- 
crowded school, the lack of libraries and 
a park needing renovation. The student 
population at Edison School is very 
diverse. Enrollment for the 2002—03 
school year was over 800 children in 
grades kindergarten through 6, with 
approximately 54 percent Hispanic, 33 
percent Caucasian (mainly Armenian 
immigrants), 6 percent Filipino, 5 
percent Asian, and 2 percent African 
American. About 72 percent of students 
are English language learners and almost 
84 percent are eligible for free or 
reduced-price meals. 

The City decided to enlist the whole 
community through neighborhood plan- 
ning, a comprehensive approach that 
involved the community in the entire 
planning process. As a result of the three - 

Building the new elementary school was fueled by the passion of parents, the school principal and staff. 





The school is surrounded by dense urban area. Final siting of buildings and park elements 
reflected community input. 


The fully equipped computer lab is used 
by the school during the day and by the 
community in the evenings. 


year planning process, the City and the 
Glendale Unified School District 
embarked on the joint project. Neither 
the City nor the school district had 
enough funds to create two separate 
facilities. But by pooling and leveraging 
City and school resources, they achieved 
sufficient financial capability to create a 
shared-use facility that could serve the 

The conceptual master plan contained a 
rich and diverse array of community 
facilities, spaces and amenities. 

entire community. The school and adja- 
cent park now share the library, a 
multi-purpose cafeteria and gymna- 
sium, hard court and turf play areas, 
and parking. Separate entrances and 
designated access for the school and 
for the community facilitate shared 
use. The mixed-use facility is now the 
"focal point of identity and activity for 

the surrounding residential neighbor- 
hood," as stated in the Pacific- Edison 
model neighborhood plan. 

The new Edison Elementary School 
replaced the existing building with a 
fully modernized facility. School 
resources are expanded during school 
hours with student and staff access to 


^— ■*=»*, 

Many children and youth visit the park after school hours. 

Neighborhood residents take advantage of the toddler area, which is open at all times. 

the shared-use facilities such as the 
library, gymnasium, indoor /outdoor 
stage, athletic fields and food services. 

The shared-use Pacific Community 
Center is designed to serve every age 
group in the community, from infants to 
elders. The facility itself includes a multi- 
purpose gymnasium, game room, com- 
puter lab, arts and science room, 
conference room, and meeting rooms — 
all of which are used by the school and 
open to the public during non- school 
hours. Community members can take a 
variety of classes and participate in pro- 
grams such as driver education, English 
as a second language, parenting and 
computer classes. Babysitting services 
are available during class times to 
encourage participation. 

The project also includes a new neigh- 
borhood branch of the Glendale Public 
Library. The Pacific Park Branch Library 
is open to students during school hours 
and to the community during non- 
school hours. Materials at the library are 


available in the languages represented in 
the community, including Armenian, 
Spanish and Korean. Library use is 
extremely high. In addition to basic 
reading and book-related services, the 
library provides a place for children to 

study after school, job-seeking assis- 
tance for community members and 
health-related materials for seniors. 

All areas indoors and outdoors are fully 
accessible. Buildings and park areas 
were sited and designed at grade to 

avoid ramps and stairs. Play areas were 
designed with accessible play equipment 
and safety surfacing so that wheelchair 
users or persons with mobility impair- 
ments have access to all play elements. 


J Preschool children 

■ Schoolchildren (K— 6) 
_i Teachers 

■ Staff 

■ Community members (children, 
teens, adults, seniors) 

Young people use the community center after school and on weekends. 

All paths are fully accessible. 


The school operates on a year-round 
calendar so students use the community 
facilities throughout the year. 


Neighborhood-based planning brings 
together all points of view to develop 
a shared vision for community devel- 
opment. The City of Glendale adopted 
this inclusive approach for its Strategic 
Plan process to revitalize neighbor- 
hoods City wide. This process required 
the active participation of local resi- 
dents through a neighborhood task 
force. The City, the school, businesses 
and community organizations commit- 
ted their resources to the process. In 
this case, two usually underrepresented 
minority communities (Armenian and 
Mexican) formed a strong coalition. 
Teachers spoke with students, who in 
turn got their parents involved. A 
dynamic principal and staff made par- 
ents feel included and involved, and 

Armenian and Mexican design motifs on the building facade reflect the ethnic make-up of 
the neighborhood. 


the community soon became the driv- 
ing force behind the project. All out- 
reach materials were produced in 
English, Spanish and Armenian. 

The City identified the Edison-Pacific 
area as a model neighborhood in its 
Strategic Plan. The City coordinated the 
project financing and property acquisi- 
tion, acquiring new parcels within the 

A new water play feature replaced the out- 
dated (and expensive!) swimming pool. 







v *<;Z 

■ mm 

:.',■■ ■-' •■ i 


— \ 

{•".■*•-■>* -;:■ 

This mature heritage oak tree was preserved, becoming a focal point of the courtyard. 
Some classrooms and labs, as well as the library and outdoor eating area, surround the 
courtyard and are connected by a covered arcade. 



An accessible ramp leads to play equipment 
in the children's play area. 

The interior of the library reflects the 
colors and design of the exterior. 

The plaza contains sitting areas with a lion's head fountain and shade trees, and serves as 
the public entry to the library. 

two-acre block and relocating 150 resi- 
dents. The Neighborhood Task Force, 
City departments and school district 
planned the project. Broader commu- 
nity participation occurred at neighbor- 
hood workshops and community 

The design team provided drawings and 
renderings of the park to help commu- 
nity members visualize this large, 
complex development project. The 
illustrations showed how the existing 
park would be enhanced, and its rela- 
tionship to the new school. The work- 
shops galvanized the community and 
gave voice to its ideas and needs. 

The architect played a strong role in 
shepherding the community and City 
through the process, explaining the 
complicated project to each City offi- 
cial, including the operational details of 
how the library, school district, and 
City would share responsibility and 
benefit from the project. City officials 
and school district staff produced the 


The school playground includes amphitheater-style seating that is fully accessible by a gently sloping walkway. 

program for the site, as well as opera- 
tions and maintenance plans, through a 
series of intensive working sessions. 

As with any design process, existing 
conditions and constraints influenced 
the design. The existing school on the 
site needed to remain open during con- 
struction of the new school. The new 
school was located on the other side of 

the street in the existing park, so the 
old school could stay open. The old 
school site will eventually become new, 
badly needed housing. 

Land use issues also greatly influenced 
the design. The mixed-use community 
facility required a significant effort to 
purchase the land and relocate about 
1 50 residents, resulting in the entire 

project being contained within one 
block. A major benefit of this scheme is 
that children do not need to cross busy 
streets to get from place to place as 
they would if uses were dispersed 
throughout the neighborhood. 

Legal issues also played a role as 
contracts were negotiated to bring 
together the school district and the 


The group picnic area is used by the school and is open to the public after hours. 

A large shade structure keeps eating areas 

City to determine responsibility for 
property maintenance. This established 
where the shared-use facilities and 
fences were located. Now that the 
school district and the City have a joint 
use agreement, the stage is set for 
additional projects and opportunities 
throughout the City. 

This process illustrates the power of 
inclusive design as a framework for 
planning that precedes actual design: 
involving all users in creating an envi- 
ronment results in a project that is 
usable by the greatest possible number 
of people. 

Inclusive Design Features 
and Settings 


The school operates year round so there 
are always children using the shared 
facilities (park, library, ball fields). The 
site is flat and designed for convenient 
access with wide stairs, a visible elevator 
and gentle slopes. Spaces flow smoothly 


The kindergarten play area includes a "village" for fantasy play. 

from one area to the next. The site is 
planned for age-focused activities while 
still being viewable and accessible to all 
ages. Fences are transparent, which helps 
with security issues and prevents groups 
from being completely segregated from 
each other. 

Spaces throughout the site will eventu- 
ally be filled with public art. A com- 

munity center lobby project by an 
Armenian youth group is in the works. 


The school has an intimate feeling that 
is achieved through design. Classrooms 
have peaked ceilings, rather than the 
traditionally flat ones prevalent in most 
schools. Rooms are not entirely rectan- 
gular; there are built-in nooks and other 

"hidden" places. Ground floor class- 
rooms open directly to outdoor patios. 
Second floor rooms open to bridged 
corridors that orient students to the 
ground level areas below. 

The courtyard between building wings is 
a landscaped outdoor space that supports 
instructional programs. 


Classrooms have peaked roofs and built-in nooks. 


The design of the reading and story area 
within the library is based on a round 
building architectural feature found in 

A poured-in-place, tilt-up construction 
method was used to form the commu- 
nity center and school buildings. This 
allowed for relief motifs expressing 
community cultures on exterior walls. 


The Community Center has a large, 
shared lobby and courtyard space for a 
cafe, a future police substation and 
other community activities. Community 
members are comfortable with all ages 
interacting. Senior activities are on the 
second floor, overlooking adolescents 
below. There is one entry which every- 
one uses. 


The multi-purpose field is a large rec- 
tangular turf area (approximately 200 

The gymnasium opens onto an outdoor stage with amphitheater seating for 
community events. 


The community uses the gymnasium during 
non-school hours. 


feet by 300 feet). Students and commu- 
nity members use this field both for 
organized and free play sports. 


The group picnic area is located 
between the field and the little league 
ball field. Surrounded by pine trees, it 
contains tables and barbecues under- 
neath shelters, plus benches and trash 
receptacles. Users can access the picnic 
area either by the adjacent parking lot 

or by a gently sloped concrete path 
connecting the rest of the park and the 


The renovated ball field is a standard size 
little league field. It is located adjacent 
to the picnic area and the restrooms and 
concession stand. An accessible entrance 
connects adjacent streets and parking 
area to the ball field. 


The multi-purpose hard court is sized 
for volleyball and basketball. It is adja- 
cent to the community center entry and 
youth and teenage area to be convenient 
for after-school programs. 


Children have access to the multi- 
purpose turf field, a composite play 
structure and hard court asphalt area 
during recess and lunchtime. After 
school, all children are welcome to use 
the area with adult supervision. 


The children's play area has several dif- 
ferent settings, including a water spray 
area (in which sprinklers in the guise 
of life-sized palm trees rain down on 
children), swings, and a village with 
small play houses. All areas are accessi- 
ble; safety surfacing is either rubber- 
ized surfacing or engineered wood 


The public garden has benches, a lion's 
head fountain and shade trees. This 
garden is located at the corner of the 
site and serves as the public entry to the 
community center and library. This 
space was designed to accommodate 
large community-wide events. 

Management and 
Operational Issues 

The project is heralded as a template for 
a successful joint venture between a city 
and school district. 


After just the first year of operation, the 
public library circulation matched other 
established branch libraries. The school 
principal reports this is partially due to 
an influx of more children reading after 
school hours. 

No additional staffing has been 
required at the school. The City's Parks 
and Recreation Department has an 
affiliation with a neighborhood church 
and they have developed a joint use 
agreement to help maintain the prop- 
erty. This has resulted in additional 
community involvement and support. 
Since the school is open from 5:30 
a.m. to 1 1 p.m., wear and tear is 
higher than most schools, further 
evidence of the project's success. 

Lively building colors and an articulated facade contribute to the vitality of the new 
community project. 


User Feedback 

Linda Conover, Principal 

"The project is a great success. The col- 
laboration with the City has been very 
good and a growth experience for 
everyone involved. There is an overall 
feeling that the facility serves the com- 
munity well. The increased number of 
on-site programs in the family center 
and library brings parents to the school. 

"Students are so proud to be at the 
school. The first few weeks after it 

opened, students came up to me in the 
hallways and said, 'Thank you for the 
school!' They are excited about all the 
new facilities: the computer lab, library, 
field and play apparatus. 

"The outdoor spaces, such as the sloping 
grass courtyards between buildings, 
make the facility feel like a park, not 
just a typical school. It's a joy to see kids 
running and playing tag on the multi- 
purpose field, just being kids." 

The second level corridor overlooks the 
school's landscaped courtyard. 


Colorful mosaic tiles on the school's facade 
enhance the students' daily experience. 


"Coming to the market is like being part of the hustle and bustle of a 
large city.. .everyone's talking, the colors, the people. ...But it's a small 
town. I feel comfortable." 





mall, right across the street from a quiet downtown park. That proposal generated a 
popular uprising among the residents of Davis, California, and resulted in a one-of-a- 
kind park that has become the family room for the community of Davis. 

Public squares and central parks are not uncommon elements in the fabric of cities 
and towns across North America; in many cases, cities have found great success in 
creating a pleasant, vibrant place where members of that community can play, rest 
and celebrate in a venue that elevates the pride that individuals have for their home 
town. What is rare, however, is the creation of a place that is so intensely interwoven 


A lovely grove of sycamore trees provides shady spots for picnics in the summer. The trees 
date from the 1 930s and the community won't allow them to be touched. 

PROJECT Davis Central Park LOCATION Davis, California DATE DESIGNED 
Phase 1: 1987; Phase 2: 1991 CONSTRUCTION COMPLETED Phase 1: 1990; 
Phase 2: 1992 CONSTRUCTION COST $1 million SIZE 5 acres 
DESIGN CoDesign, Inc. (now part of MIG, Inc.) CLIENT City of Davis 

into a community's fabric that its resi- 
dents can't imagine their city without 
it. Even more rare are places that have 
been designed for the broadest spec- 
trum of park users imaginable, where 
programmed and unprogrammed activ- 
ities abound, and where outside non- 
governmental agencies and city park 
staff cooperate in the development, 
management and care of the place. Add 
to this a design process that offered the 
community a meaningful, participatory 
role in developing concepts and designs 
for the park, and the result is a truly 
special place. Central Park in Davis, 
California, is just such a place. 

The original park, located along the old 
Lincoln Highway between the heart of 
Downtown Davis and the campus of the 
University of California, Davis, was one 
square block. (Central Park is four 
blocks from Davis Commons, described 
in the chapter "Transforming Retail 
Space into Community Space.") Over 
time, the park had evolved into a sacred 
place for the community, a relatively 
quiet downtown park with a large grove 


of sycamore trees where families gath- 
ered for reunions, picnics and barbe- 
cues. Every Saturday morning, the park 
bursts with activity when one of the 
most successful farmers markets in the 
State of California sets up its trucks and 
booths on the adjacent street. 

In 1986, the proposal to turn the large 
gravel parking lot directly adjacent to 
Central Park into a shopping mall led to 
the creation of a grass roots group 
called Save Open Space (SOS). Rather 
than build a mall, the group's counter- 
proposal was to make one large park by 
incorporating the gravel lot and elimi- 
nating the street between the park and 
the lot. Their efforts ultimately led to a 
ballot measure that offered all of the 
residents of Davis a choice: mall or 
park. Voters turned down the mall in 
June of 1986 and design began on the 
new park. 

The park on market day is a bustling place, voted as the best place to picnic in Davis — and 
to see and be seen. 


Reminiscent of a large barn, the pavilion at Central Park is the first permanent covered 
market structure of its kind in California. 


From the outset the purpose of Central 
Park was to provide a truly inclusive, 
vibrant and adaptive public space that 
would reflect the soul of the commu- 
nity now and in the future. It also 
needed to include several critical 

elements, the most notable being the 
Davis Farmers Market, which contin- 
ues to draw up to 10,000 people to the 
area every Saturday. But the park is 
more than just an improved venue for 
the market. Other uses were also 
incorporated into its fabric, including a 

Locally grown flowers are also a big draw. 

teen center, a large picnic and play 
lawn, a small plaza for performances, a 
preserved historic grove of sycamore 
trees, and special features such as an 
interactive fountain and a community- 
installed garden. Several public art 
projects add yet another layer to the 
park, increasing its appeal to an 
extremely large spectrum of the popu- 
lation. While this sounds like a long list 
of concerns to be organized in the 
park, the key to its ultimate success 
was the way in which the list, the plan 
and the design were developed. 

The farmers market bustles with activity 
and seasonal produce. 


On Wednesday evenings "Picnic in the Park" draws thousands of people to their community living room, Davis Central Park. 


Today, the park serves as the living 
room for the City of Davis. In addition 
to the Saturday morning market, on 
Wednesday nights the "Picnic in the 
Park" market and food bazaar draws 
3,000 to 6,000 people. "Picnic in the 
Park" runs from May to October. An 
ongoing list of programmed activities 
organized by Third & B, the teen center 
located at the corner of the park, draws 

7th through 1 2th graders to the park 
during both days and evenings. The 
large at-grade fountain and its sur- 
rounding hardscape (called The Beach 
by Davis residents) offers children and 
adults a place to hang out, stay cool and 
play among the water jets in the hot 
summer sun. The large lawn area is a 
place for picnics, dog shows, Frisbee 
games and all sorts of child's play. Also 

located in the park is the Hattie Weber 
Museum, the City's first library. The 
building was relocated to the park and 
remodeled as a community meeting 
hall and museum, with exhibits depict- 
ing the history of Davis (which used 
to be called Davisville) and a pedal- 
powered carousel donated by the Davis 
Education Fund. 

All sorts of community groups perform on the permanent wooden bandstand. 

Long summer evenings are perfect for 
informal folk music. 



■ All Davis residents 

■ Davis Farmers Market (market 
vendors and shoppers) 

■ Families 

■ Children 

■ Teens 

■ Performers 

■ Artists 

■ Picnickers 

■ Park Department staff 


Once the City had the mandate of the 
electorate, landscape architect and Davis 
resident Mark Francis began coordinat- 
ing a series of workshops with several 
goals in mind. The design process was 
diverse and extremely inclusive from 
the outset, incorporating a number of 
different techniques for soliciting ideas, 
generating concepts and building both 
support and an enthusiastic constituency 
for the expanded park. The participa- 
tory meetings — conducted in the 

park — helped people to understand 
what was there and to map out "sacred 
spaces" that individual residents wanted 
preserved. This was done through walk- 
ing tours of the park and design work- 
shops held on site (under a tent on 
some occasions), which helped give 
form to the overall park master plan. 
People used styrofoam model pieces to 
design their ideal park on base sheets. 

Two unique user groups, the Farmers 
Market and the Third & B Teen Center, 
wanted to be located in the park and 
each required a permanent facility. Key 
to the development of the plan was 
recognizing the importance of the 
Farmers Market as an integral compo- 
nent of the life and future of the park. 
After Phase 1 was built, another series 
of workshops were held with the 


Participatory meetings drew the community deep into the design process. 


Community members of all ages offered 
their thoughts about the park design. 

Farmers Market to design the first per- 
manent, covered market pavilion in 
California. It needed to accommodate 
the vendor trucks inside the park and 
still be a space suitable for other events 
outside of market days. 

Similarly, the development of the Third 
& B Teen Center was also perceived as 
critical to the future of the park, leading 
design team members to work with 
local teen advocates and with the 
landscape architecture faculty of the 

University who, because of their previ- 
ous work with teens and the commu- 
nity, were well aware of the needs of 
teens in public space. A Teen Facility 
Task Force evaluated the need for a teen 
center and surveyed junior and senior 
high school students on their interest in 
having a teen center. Then a committee 
of teens and interested public developed 
a program for the type of facility, activi- 
ties and potential users. Every year a 
teen activity planning group is organ- 
ized to help plan activities and programs 
for the coming year. After 1 3 years, 
Third & B is still a success. Attendance 
in 2003-2004 was over 29,000. 

The public design process resulted in a 
program and plan for the park that was 
consensus based, and that had such a 
strong set of roots in the community 
that all subsequent changes and addi- 
tions to the park have been evaluated 
through the lens of how well the ele- 
ment or program matches the intent of 
the master plan. 

Inclusive Design Features 
and Settings 

The park possesses a number of key 
design features that make for a highly 
inclusive place. 


One of the primary focal points of the 
park is the plaza at the south end of the 
park, labeled The Beach by locals. It has 
as its centerpiece a large at-grade foun- 
tain that offers people of all abilities — 
children on bikes and in strollers, and 
parents looking for a place to play and 
stay cool with their children — an oppor- 
tunity to participate in the life of the 
place without the need for special 
accommodations or separate routes of 
access. And when the fountain is turned 
off, the plaza is a stage. The simple design 
and adaptability inherent in this type of 
fountain is crucial to the plaza's multiple 
uses, ranging from dances to skateboard 
demonstrations to musical performances. 
This area is very popular on all days, 
market or non-market, particularly on 


Water sprays offer a perfect way to cool off 
in the hot Central Valley summer. 

The Beach provides an inclusive, flexible environment where parents can watch their 
children play in the at-grade fountain close by the market. 

When the fountain is off, the area functions 
as a stage for small groups. 


hot Central Valley summer days when 
schools are out. 


The pavilion and the large expanse of 
colored paving was designed for pickup 
trucks to back into stalls while leaving 
the central aisle open for shoppers. 
The structure is filled with the sights, 
smells and activities of the market 
twice a week. When not in use, it 
offers a visual memory of the market, 
as well as shade and a place for parties 
and other activities. 


The Third & B facility addresses the 
needs of a constituency that communi- 
ties often forget when developing public 
spaces. Third & B was created to provide 
a positive, "cool" and fun place for 7th to 
1 2th graders to hang out and participate 
in activities designed for them in a man- 
ner that is neither condescending nor 
childish. It is a two-story building with 
a basement and sunken plaza, located 
on the most public corner of the park, 
Third and B Streets. It's easy to get to 

and is located in the main entry into the 
park and in the heart of town. Large 
windows along Third Street give every- 
one a view in and out of the center. The 
entry sits three feet above the street, 
with lots of steps to sit on and watch the 
crowd go by. The basement is used for 
community meetings and dances; the 
first floor is set up for pames, snacks and 
movies; and the second floor is reserved 
for quieter activities — reading, tutoring, 
visiting. Third & B offers over 1 9 differ- 
ent programs, which continually evolve 
to meet the changing interests of teens. 

Formal organized activities include 
dances, concerts and field trips to 
amusement parks. It's also a place where 
students can come for free tutoring, 
from the basics to advanced subjects. 
Volunteer tutors are recruited from UC 
Davis. The Third & B facility provides an 
opportunity for youth to get involved in 
their communities through volunteering. 
Teens have participated in canned food 
drives, beach and park cleanups, and 
graffiti paint outs. The informal activities 
include shooting pool, watching movies 

Located in the most used corner of Central 
Park, Third & B is a very popular place for 
teens to hang out. 

Third & B offers informal drop-in activities 
and structured programs. 

on a big screen TV, or playing foosball 
and video games. There's even a party 
package that allows parents to use the 
basement for a private party for their 


teenager, with as many as 350 guests. 
That it is not officially called a "teen 
center" helps with its level of acceptance 
with teens in Davis. They know they are 
part of the community fabric. 


Art was incorporated into the design 
from the beginning: some of it obvious 
and some very subtle, some conceptual 
and some functional. 

The foundation wall is so functional that few people realize it's actually public art. 

The artist incorporated an abstract 
representation of the valley into a large 
public wash basin. 

The functional wash basin provides people of different needs and abilities a place to wash 
their hands, splash their faces on a hot day, or rinse produce just purchased at the market. 


Children love to ride on the hand-carved animals. 

The retaining wall embedded with 
stones looks like an uncovered founda- 
tion wall. It's just the right height and 
width for sitting and walking on. Its 
rustic finish hides its newness; very few 
know that it is actually a piece of public 
art. More dramatic is a beautiful, yet 
functional basin for washing hands 
before a picnic, or for cleaning produce 

purchased at the market. Made of 
colored, rammed concrete, the fountain 
and basin evoke a geological cross 
section of the Central Valley — from 
mountains to river. 

Two more pieces sit in the public 
garden. One is a bronze casting of 
whimsical dancers, another is a larger 

than life set of ceramic hands. This part 
of the park can accommodate more 
public art installations. It's flat and set 
off from the major activity areas, yet 
you can catch glimpses of the sculptures 
as you ride down the street. 


The Flying Carousel of the Delta Breeze 
was designed as a fundraiser for the 
Davis Education Association. Parents 
and children experience the carousel 
together, in a uniquely interactive fash- 
ion. It's pedal-powered, with hand- 
carved wooden animals for young ones 
to ride. This piece was proposed after 
the park was designed and built, and 
luckily, a perfect spot was found for it. 
Each market day, the carousel is opened 
for rides. As appropriate for a City with 
over 50,000 bicycles, the carousel runs 
on human leg power. While youngsters 
sit on top of the carved wooden ani- 
mals, a "big kid" sits on a recumbent 
bike and pedals away, turning the 
carousel round and round. Because of 
its wonderful gearing, it is very easy to 


Parents get some exercise while they pedal to turn the carousel round and round. The 
interior column is covered in a colorful tile mosaic. 

The gardens provide a quiet reprieve from 
the bustle of the market. 

set the carousel in motion. Parents and 
tots line up to take their turns at riding 
and pedaling. 


The oldest feature in the park is a grove 
of sycamore trees that dates from the 
1930s. It is the sacred place in town, 
and the community won't allow any 
changes to the space. The grove was 
planted in a basin about 3 feet lower 
than the sidewalk, so it could be flood 
irrigated. This created a protected and 

shady enclave. It's suitable for family 
reunions, picnics, dog shows, tag games 
and workday lunches. When the Park 
expanded, this sunken lawn area was 
extended all the way across to a new 
grove of sycamore trees that surround 
fountain plaza. 


There is a large garden area that sepa- 
rates the park activities from B Street, a 
major arterial leading to the University. 
The original idea for this space was to 

create a strolling garden with several 
"rooms" with different themes, including 
a rose garden, an herb garden, a grass 
garden and a peace garden. The City 
bought the plants and the community 
gathered to plant over a thousand trees, 
shrubs and perennials in one weekend. It 
was a community event with over 1 00 
people participating. The garden is a 
place where plants and sculptures can 
support each other. It's a place where all 
can visit and enjoy a quiet space. 


The strolling gardens offer a wide variety 
of plants and meandering paths. 

v-i ;._--:^ :;.'■' 1*\ «.V. 


A children's play area is adjacent to the 
market pavilion, allowing parents to 
shop and visit with friends at the market 
while their children play nearby. The 
play lot has two structures — a sand 
climber where kids have to cooperate to 
move the sand up and down the struc- 
ture, and a composite piece where they 
can climb and slide down poles and run 
up and down. These are meant to pro- 
vide some kid-oriented activities while 
parents shop. The kids feel that they are 
part of the hustle and bustle of the mar- 
ket place, not segregated from it all. 

Management and 
Operational Issues 

The park is so popular that it is almost 
loved to death. It is a high profile public 
space that requires regular maintenance. 
The park's maintenance costs are 
approximately $50,000 per year out of 
the City's budget, with some additional 
costs covered by other organizations 
such as the Davis Farmers Market 

The children's play area incorporates plenty of sand play, and its location right next to the 
Farmers Market puts kids in the middle of the market day action. 


Association. Other areas of the park, 
such as the garden, can be aided in their 
upkeep by local residents, although the 
bulk of the maintenance and capital 
improvements are the responsibility of 
the City of Davis. 

The fountain is a high maintenance fea- 
ture. Since the water is recirculated, it 
has to be chlorinated, and the filter 
needs to be regularly cleaned. The 
sprays are controlled by an irrigation 
controller and are turned off at night, 
and on windy and rainy days. However, 
the fountain is now a new sacred place 
in the park. It's a destination, a place for 
simple enjoyment for all. 

The Farmers Market takes on the 
responsibility of cleaning the paving 
where the market is held. The Market 
Director works closely with the City on 
facility issues. The Market has been 
instrumental in finishing the construc- 
tion of the last corner of the park. The 
master plan called for a Market cafe. 

Maintaining rose and perennial gardens 
is labor intensive. As park budgets 

shrink, maintenance is deferred. A 
volunteer organization will need to take 
over the planting and maintenance of 
the strolling garden for it to continue as 
originally planned. 

User Feedback 

The park has been in continuous use for 
12 years, long enough for some Davis 
residents to have grown up in it. 

Jake Gilchrist 

"The shade structure is one of the best 
facilities for a farmers market. It makes 
it feel like Davis has committed to the 
farmers market. The park itself is pretty 
iconic. It's really simple but it gets used 
perfectly. So much of the community 
uses it — that's testimony to its success." 

Brent Hopkins 

"The fountain is terrific! What a great 
place to cool off. I just love watching 
the kids try to guess which jet is going 
to shoot up next. [The fountain jets are 

programmed to turn on in a random 
pattern.] I was riding my bike down 
Third Street right after the park was 
opened. I saw this fountain shooting up 
out of the paving. . . I couldn't resist it — 
I had to ride my bike through it!" 

Heather O'Neill 

"Coming to the market is like being part 
of the hustle and bustle of a large city. 
You get to rub elbows with lots of 
different folks, everyone's talking, the 
colors, the people, the amazing choices 
of food. But it's a small town. I feel 
comfortable bringing my three-year-old 
daughter. There are pony rides for her, 
or a turn on the carousel, and she can 
play with the kids in the sand box." 

Christine O'Neill 

"When I was in junior high I went to 
some dances at Third & B. It's pretty 
cool that there's a place besides the 
school cafeteria where we can have 
dances and hear some music." 




"This is an urban, modern, comfortable space... a new alternative 
to the large mall or the old strip mall." 




Davis commons is a three- acre retail site with traditional parking and shops. 
What sets Davis Commons apart is that it is both a retail shopping center and an 
urban park. The design turns the concept of a retail area around: it's centered on a 
one-acre park and the shops are the backdrop to the park. The Commons has 
become a community meeting place: a place to shop, meet friends, share a meal, 
take part in community events, hear free music, browse the arboretum garden, read 
a book — it's a small town square that is its own destination. 

21 I 

Davis is a university town of 60,000 
people, about 10 miles southwest of 
Sacramento, California. It is the home 
of the third largest University of 
California (UC Davis) campus. The cli- 
mate is warm and Mediterranean, with 
summer lasting five to six months 
before winter rains begin in November. 
Davis is flat and a natural "biking" town; 
virtually every resident owns a bicycle. 

Downtown Davis is about five blocks 
square, rather than a long single street 
of businesses. Cafes, eateries, book- 
stores, clothing and shoe stores, house 
wares, plants and garden supplies, hard- 
ware and banking are all within easy 
walking or biking distance. 

Davis Commons is located at an 
extremely busy intersection at the main 
entry into Downtown Davis. It's oppo- 
site the central business district on one 
side and the University of California 
Davis campus on another. The 
University owned the land adjacent to 
the Downtown and saw this as an 
opportunity to incorporate mixed-use, 
community design principles in the 
development of the land. 


The goal was to create an open-air plaza 
and town square that combines the 
retail experience with a park. Store- 
fronts open onto the plaza, the park and 
the parking lot, which is at the rear of 

PROJECT Davis Commons LOCATION Davis, California DATE DESIGNED 
$6.5 million (entire site) SIZE 3 acres DEVELOPER AND OWNER The Fulcrum 
Group, Sacramento, California ARCHITECT DZ Architects LANDSCAPE 
ARCHITECT CoDesign, Inc. (now part of MIG, Inc.) CIVIL ENGINEER Cunningham 
Turley and Associates STRUCTURAL ENGINEER Marr Shaffer Miyamoto 
OTHER DESIGN TEAM MEMBERS UC Davis Office of Development, City of Davis 
Planning Department 

the site. Parking is in the rear with one 
entry and exit point and is not visible 
from any street edge. The buildings 
form an arc around a central open space 
which fronts the street and looks very 
much like a small park. 

This design layout creates a space that 
people can easily see while walking 
down other streets. Accessible by foot 
and bike, it creates a welcoming corner 
into town. It also provides more foot 
traffic for the shops on E Street. It is a 
pedestrian-friendly arrangement where 
people walk or bike to different 
shops — to buy or window shop. 

The Commons adds to the City's 
pedestrian and bicycle transportation 
networks and links the Downtown with 
the University, housing and the arbore- 
tum. It provides a comfortable, appeal- 
ing place where people want to linger. 
The site design, landscaping, circulation, 
paving and seating all work together to 
create a space that's easy to navigate. 





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The shops are a backdrop to the park. 


A row of shops forms an arc around the park. 

Families can relax with a cup of coffee 
while children play on the grass. 

Three factors make Davis Commons a 
successful urban park and retail center: 
the attention to the arrangement of 
space and features that encourage and 
enhance social life; the lush and inten- 
sive landscaping throughout the site; 

and the mix of shops that are well- 
suited to the town and the setting. This 
retail mix draws many different shop- 
pers and users, creating a critical mass 
that keeps the businesses prosperous, 
both in the Commons and in the rest of 

the Downtown. It's a symbiotic relation- 
ship. Davis Commons now generates 
the most sales tax of any shopping 
center in town. And it's a space that 
everyone, from young to old, mobile 
and not-so-mobile, can enjoy. 


Trellises and open spaces provide a comfortable sense of enclosure. 


■ Families 

■ Singles 

■ University students 

■ Teens on their own 


Out of town visitors 

Business owners 


First and E Streets form the edge of the 
Downtown core and separate the 
University campus from the Downtown 
area. The University owned property 
along First Street, between E and B 


The design places parking at the rear with landscaped open spaces throughout. 


Streets, and decided to develop it into a 
retail center and housing for staff and 
faculty using New Urbanist design 

The University prepared a master plan 
for a 12-acre site, including the three- 
acre retail center and a four-acre resi- 
dential development now called Aggie 
Village. (UC Davis students are called 
"Aggies" because of the school's original 
emphasis on agriculture.) In addition to 
generating revenue, the project would 
be compatible with the architectural 
style and scale of the existing mixed-use 
Downtown core. 

The design team, UC Davis and City of 
Davis planners worked together to 
refine the site plan with input from 
local business owners. 

The University also modified the site 
plan for Aggie Village, reducing the 
number of inner streets in the residen- 
tial zone and locating granny flats along 
the retail parking lot. This change made 

Bicyclists are ubiquitous in Downtown Davis. 

for a smoother transition and an ani- 
mated visual buffer from the shopping 
center to the single-family residential 

The Davis Commons design team saw an 
opportunity to create a town square by 
relocating the public plaza space so it 
would face Downtown businesses, rather 


than the quieter, residential section of 
Downtown. This change in orientation 
linked the new retail to the old 
Downtown and gave the public plaza its 
urban life. This is the first thing one sees 
when entering Downtown and the last 
place one sees when leaving Downtown. 
With the plaza space at the corner, the 
buildings were placed around the park 
with parking in the rear. 

During the planning process, the busi- 
nesses and community in general 
expressed concerns that the intensity of 
vehicle traffic on First Street would 
impede pedestrian access and discour- 
age people from crossing the street. 
During this same time, voters defeated a 
measure that would have widened E 
Street and First Street. 

To address community traffic issues, the 
City of Davis undertook several actions: 

■ First Street was striped for three 
lanes of traffic (one in each direction 
with a right turn pocket). 

■ A new bike and pedestrian tunnel 
was installed underneath the freeway 
providing an alternate route from 
south Davis to Downtown and Davis 

■ Traffic signals were finely tuned to 
alleviate congestion. 

■ The new streetscape was designed to 
slow traffic and improve bicycle and 
pedestrian safety. 

Inclusive Design Features 
and Settings 

The open space is divided into a paved 
plaza and a large, circular lawn. The 
large open lawn area is wrapped with 
plantings and seating. The plaza fronts 

Plantings soften the edges of the open areas. 

Colorful, seasonal flowers provide visual 
interest and wayfinding cues. 


the retail shopping and provides spaces 
for eating, sitting and visiting. There are 
a variety of seating options — shaded 
tables, curving seatwalls, the lawn, 
benches and patio tables. Here, inclu- 
sive design is functional without being 


Lush landscaping gives the Commons a 
special quality, transforming the retail 
center into a large public garden. 
Plantings soften edges, create a sense of 
enclosure and protection, provide visual 

Plants are a mix of colors, textures and 
heights so everyone can touch and smell. 

Native grasses are hardy yet visually 

interest, control access and guide peo- 
ple along paths. Plants are located at 
many levels so everyone has a chance to 
touch and smell. All spaces are well 
landscaped, even those utilitarian areas 
like trash enclosures, delivery bays, the 
back property line and the bike and car 
parking lots. Every space looks and feels 
part of the whole. 

Plants were selected for their texture, 
seasonal color, variety, scent and ability 
to withstand public activity. Ornamental 

grasses and roses direct pedestrians in 
the desired direction. This planting 
design illustrates the large selection of 
plants that can be used in a commercial 
setting. It adds park-like qualities and 
makes the space inviting. 


The large, open lawn is the entry to the 
Commons, creating a green plaza. This 
space is large enough to host civic 
events and small summer musical per- 
formances. A mixture of ornamental 
grasses and shrubs encircle the space, 
leaving just one opening towards the 
street. The street edge plantings dis- 
courage cut-through pedestrian traffic. 
Parents feel comfortable letting their 
children run around the lawn area. It's 
big enough for kids, and small enough 
for parents to see their children. The 
success of the space is its use of plants 
to wrap the space and create a feeling of 
enclosure. Grasses and shrubs are softer 
and less formal than ornamental metal 


The large green space is perfect for families to hear music on a summer evening. 

The lawn gently slopes down towards 
the street. From across the street, this 
sloped lawn creates a view up and into 
the Commons. Densely planted perime- 
ter greenery defines the spaces. Trees 
provide summer shade. 


The Arboretum Terrace is a secluded 
patio space with teak tables, chairs and 
umbrellas, and a collection of California 
native and Mediterranean plants suitable 

At the top of the green lawn is the con- 
crete plaza where bands often perform. 

for the Central Valley climate. Many 
plants attract butterflies and insects. This 
is a sensory garden with plants at differ- 
ent heights so that everyone has an 
opportunity to see, touch and smell. 


There are two types of seating in the 
Plaza: concrete seat walls and metal 
chairs. The Plaza is full of tables with 
umbrellas and movable chairs and a row 
of patio trees. Tables and chairs are 
located opposite the restaurants and 
cafes so patrons can take their meals 


Teak furniture and umbrellas are available 
in the arboretum patio. 

California native and Mediterranean plants 
attract butterflies. 


Visitors can find secluded benches for a 
quiet urban moment. 

Plants are labeled for those who would like to create their own gardens. 


Visitors can arrange chairs and use the 
seat walls in many different ways. 

There's plenty of room between tables for strollers and wheelchairs. 

outside and arrange seating for their 
group. The spacing between tables is 
adequate for people to move in and out, 
including those in wheelchairs. The col- 
ored concrete seat walls, shaped in arcs, 
separate the Plaza patio from the lawn. 
People can sit in either direction, lean 
against them and use them for tables or 
foot rests. They provide a generous 
amount of seating space. 


The main entry from First Street is 
marked with a huge elm tree, as well as 
signage and a change in paving from 
plain concrete and asphalt to highly col- 
ored and patterned concrete paving. 

Shops and restaurants are arranged in 
two buildings, separated by a triangular 
shaped space and a long vine-covered 
trellis. This serves as the gateway 
between the parking lot and the plaza 

The entry from First Street is across from 
residences, marked with a huge elm tree 
and whimsical signage. 




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A long vine-covered trellis between retail 
buildings invites visitors in from the 
parking lot. 

Pedestrians have plenty of time to cross 
the very busy intersection. 

Pedestrian-only paths are decomposed 
granite and narrower than multiple-use 
paved paths. 

space. It's cool, the space is comfortable 
and there's activity along the edges. 


Even though pedestrians have to cross 
the busiest street in Downtown Davis, 
pedestrian traffic flows smoothly and 
safely. Controlled intersections and 
marked crosswalks signify the formal 
entries into the Commons. Traffic light 
intervals are long enough for safe 

A raised central walk travels through 
the parking lot, connecting the 
Commons to the arboretum trail and 
adjacent residential neighborhoods. 

Footpaths through the lawn and along 
the outside perimeter are decomposed 
granite, and are narrower than the 
paved walks. 


Davis Commons can be reached by car 
through one driveway. However, bikes 

and pedestrians have four clearly 
defined routes and several other casual 
paths to and through the Commons, 
which join other paths connecting to the 
University and the City. The paths 
through the Commons link the 
University campus to the Downtown. 
This arrangement continues the pattern 
of mid-block passages found in other 
parts of the central business district. 

Along First Street, pedestrian and bike 
routes are separated. Because of limited 


Along First Street, a screen of plants sepa- 
rates bikes from pedestrians. (Pedestrians 
walk on the left, next to the buildings.) 

Roses keep these bikes in line. 

Other bikes are nestled in the lantana. 

space, the potential for conflicts 
between pedestrians and bikes is signifi- 
cant. Paths are no greater than six feet 
wide, and are separated by a thickly 
planted screen, so that neither bicyclists 
nor pedestrians can inadvertently stray 
into the other's path. 


In Davis, conflicts between bike parking 
and pedestrian paths are an everyday 
occurrence. To lessen these conflicts at 

Davis Commons, large bike parking 
lots are located on each side of the 
complex. Bike parking lots are adjacent 
to the main path. These spaces are sur- 
rounded by beautiful landscaping — 
with a prickly purpose. Day lilies and 
thorny roses line one parking area, 
while the other has lantana and spikey 
pyracantha.They are located near 
entrances and main walkways with 
enough bike racks to meet demand. 


Vehicle parking is located behind build- 
ings and is not visible from the street. 
The parking lot is heavily landscaped 
with large shade trees that shade over 
half of the paving. The parking lot has 
several short to medium length rows 
so it is a short walk from even the fur- 
thest parking space. A raised pedestrian 
crossing and shaded pedestrian walk- 
way connects the Commons with the 


arboretum path and the residential 
housing adjacent to the parking lot. 

Management and 
Operational Issues 


The Commons is densely planted with 
a wide variety of plants not typical at 

traditional shopping centers. Most 
plants lie in close proximity to the 
public. Consequently, landscape mainte- 
nance is a daily task. With the exception 
of the demonstration garden, the land- 
scape is designed for ease of mainte- 
nance. The plants are not too large for 
their space, so little pruning is needed. 
The landscaping around the building's 

front entry has to be planted and main- 
tained to a high standard. Everything is 
"the front yard." 

The Arboretum Terrace is a demonstra- 
tion garden using California native and 
Mediterranean plants, arranged around 
a patio and little trails. This is a high- 
maintenance landscape that is closed off 
at night. 


The outdoor tables and chairs are not 
just for shop patrons. They encourage 
people to have coffee, read a book and 

Much of the concrete parking area is shaded. 

Flowers and trees are highly visible across 
the parking lots. 


linger. They add life to the plaza and 
outdoor spaces. 

The color and quality of materials gives 
the message that the Davis Commons is 
a special place. Quality materials main- 
tain their appearance. 


The arrangement of the buildings in the 
center of the site, with a park on one 
side and a parking lot on the other, 
means that some stores have two front 
doors. This requires more staff and a 
higher operating budget. 


Stores usually want a long store 
frontage. However, the only portion of 
the building that has street frontage is 
not conducive for a shop entry. In place 
of long store frontage, the bookstore has 
a tower that marks the corner of the 
complex. The walkway on the north 
side of the building is a passageway, not 
a place to stop and linger. It's a close 
space opening right on the pedestrian 

path. It is better suited for window dis- 
plays. Most people enter the site for 
shopping from the parking lot side or 
from E Street. 


The design guidelines allowed a maxi- 
mum building square footage of 50,000, 
with second floor residential. The devel- 
oper built a 45,000-square-foot building 
with no residential units. If they were to 
do it again, the developers say they 
would include the second story resi- 
dences. The residences would animate 
the public space to an even greater 
degree. The plaza could then be used for 
longer hours every day, which would 
add to the town plaza ambiance. 


Several spaces in the parking lot are 
reserved for granny flat residents nearby. 
In the original development plan, vehicle 
parking was not included. The loss of 
these spaces to the general public does 
not appear to have an impact on the 
availability of parking. 

User Feedback 

The first four comments are from visi- 
tors to Davis Commons. 

Jasmine Lautzenheimer 

"I love the rose arbor, walking under it to 
get to the lawn and Pluto's Restaurant. 
The combination of flowers is 
gorgeous. It's kid-friendly; the lawn 
and seating and restaurants are sepa- 
rated from the parking lot. It has a nice 
feeling of enclosure. And the people 
watching is great! The spaces are 
broken up, with shade and lots of dif- 
ferent plants to see. And shaded seating 
in the garden area. The kids love 
exploring for bugs and butterflies in 
the garden. It's like being in a park." 

Ron Lautzenheimer 

"Having the parking in the back is a 
great idea. But this parking lot is a nice 
place, too. There's lots of shade, and the 
planters are full of grasses and roses. It's 
not a sea of asphalt." 


Mike Navillus 

"I love going to the music events, seeing 
little kids and families and older folks, all 
talking and enjoying the music and the 
summer evening, and each other. It's a 
great way to spend a summer evening." 

Laurie Hopkins 

"I like the mix of businesses. It's fun to 
wander through the stores, and then go 
outside and read the new book, eat an 
ice cream and watch the people." 

Laura Cole Rowe, Director, 

Davis Downtown Business Association 

"The compactness of the space is good. 
The mix of stores is excellent for shop- 
ping, visiting, wandering. It's an urban, 
modern, comfortable space. It's a new 
alternative to a large mall and the old 
strip mall image. 

"This is the easiest space to host events. 
The setting works so well that I am able 
to charge more for the space than I can 
for others. Bands set up in the circle and 
play out to the crowd. The lawn slopes 
away. People bring their blankets and 
small lawn chairs to sit on. Parents 
don't worry about their little kids danc- 
ing and running around. The place is 
circled with low plantings and seat 
walls. The space is small enough so that 
the kids don't get lost in the crowd. 
People either bring their own food and 
drinks, or get refreshments from the 
eateries and cafes at the Commons. 
There are tables and chairs surrounding 
the lawn that people can sit at, too. 
There could be more space for addi- 
tional tables. It's a very popular place to 
eat and listen to music in the summer." 



'I grew up on this street — this was my playground. ..Now I'd 
love to purchase a loft and live here myself... walk, ride my 
bike, and be part of helping this community grow." 




Ever since sirwalter raleigh laid his cloak down to protect queen Elizabeth's 
shoes from that mud puddle, traffic engineers have attempted to protect urban 
pedestrians from the "muddy" streets. As cars and trucks turned streets into busy 
thoroughfares, it became even more important to keep pedestrians safely relegated 
to the narrow sidewalk space between buildings and the street. Safety became the 
priority, but in so doing, the community connections that are created when pedestri- 
ans stroll, shop and gather in welcoming public spaces were lost. It's time to reclaim 
neighborhood streets for pedestrians. 



r: ; 

R Street is envisioned as a living street, where pedestrians and autos share the public 
realm, depending on the time and day of the week. Shown here is Portland's Ankeny 
Burnside District with weekend uses for a weekday parking lot. 

PROJECT R Street Corridor LOCATION Sacramento, California SIZE approximately 20 
square blocks CONCEPTUAL DESIGN 2004-2005 CONSTRUCTION 2007 (tentative) 

Historic Environment Consultants CLIENT Capitol Area Development Authority 

The R Street project in Sacramento, 
California, will change the relationship 
between people, their urban environ- 
ment and cars. The concept goes beyond 
a discussion of the proper sidewalk 
width; it obliterates the sidewalk. Yet it 
is not "anti-car." Rather, it proposes a 
shared public realm, with pedestrians 
and bicyclists having equal rights to the 
streets. Breaking pedestrians and bicy- 
clists out of their narrow confines will 
allow residents, employees and visitors 
to experience the dynamic urban envi- 
ronment that a "living street" offers. 
Currently, as much as 70 percent of our 
urban land is planned by traffic engi- 
neers. But, if any place should reflect 
our urban values and priorities, our 
streets should. 

By capitalizing on R Street's public 
transit infrastructure, bringing its historic 
attributes to the forefront, focusing on 
catalyst development projects and imple- 
menting inclusive design concepts, the 
project will transform this under-utilized 



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| Project Study Area 
| Open Spaces 
Sacramento River 
%k State Capitol Building 

Main Highways 
Major Arterial Streets 
Light Rail 
Light Rail Stations 


500 1000 1500 2000 2500 

Prepared by MIG. Inc. - May 2005 

The R Street Corridor project focuses on a 20-block area on R Street from 9th Street east to 19th Street. Major arterials include 9th-10th 
Streets and 15th-16th Streets, which connect to nearby residential neighborhoods. 



R Street is home to a wide mix of uses, including residential, light industrial and commercial 
in converted historic buildings. Pedestrians already use the street as a pathway, although it's 
not designed as such. 

former rail corridor and transitional 
warehouse district into a vibrant, mixed- 
use residential and commercial district 
that provides new physical, economic 
and social connections — while celebrat- 
ing its original industrial spirit. 


R Street is a mixed-used, urban neigh- 
borhood street. The project area covers 
20 blocks on R Street — running east- 
west from 9th Street to 1 9th Street — 
and two blocks to the north and south of 
the street. R Street is in the heart of 
Sacramento near the State Capitol build- 

Underused surface parking lots, neglected 
open spaces and a lack of any pedestrian 
amenities characterize R Street today. 

ing. It was the site of the first railroad 
west of the Mississippi and features an 
eclectic group of industrial land uses that 
date back to the early days of the City. 

The gritty industrial quality of this land- 
mark signal tower provides inspiration for 
the R Street detailed design palette. 


The area was home to metal foundries, 
warehouses and shipping companies — 
and some of those uses remain today. 

In the past, industrial corridors such as 
R Street functioned as the economic 
and social backbone of a city. Over 
time, as manufacturing needs evolved 
and employment and residential pat- 
terns shifted, these industrial areas fre- 
quently became underused, blighted and 
perceived as unsafe. But today their rich 
cultural and architectural history can be 
the basis of revitalization. And as the 
capital of California, Sacramento is one 
of the most historically significant cities 
in the State. 

In the mid-1980s, Sacramento Regional 
Transit completed the starter line of a 
light rail system. As part of the system, a 
major line serving the central business 
district runs adjacent to R Street, with 
two transit stations along the corridor. 
That stimulated interest in redeveloping 
the corridor and a multiyear planning 
effort began. 

In 1996, the City Council adopted a land 
use guide for a 54-block area that envi- 
sioned a long-term transformation into a 
transit-oriented, mixed-use neighbor- 
hood. R Street has already seen develop- 
ment based on that land use vision, but 
there were no specific design guidelines 
that would create a cohesive neighbor- 
hood. The light rail stations lacked seating 
and shelters, surrounding buildings didn't 
relate to the stations, and unkempt alley- 
ways created an unfriendly pedestrian 
environment. Some historic buildings had 
been converted to modern offices, shops, 

studios and art galleries, but many of 
those buildings had "turned their backs on 
the street," with blank walls or dark glass 
facing the pedestrian environment. There 
had been an influx of new restaurants, 
clubs and a grocery store, but a significant 
portion of the area was still vacant build- 
ings, underused surface parking lots, neg- 
lected public realm and open spaces and 
brownfield sites, which gave the area a 
blighted and negative reputation. 

The City realized it needed a cohesive 
design framework to improve the area's 

1 '™ '^J\t ' 

Vacant buildings lead to an impression of 
blight and lack of safety. 

Unfriendly building facades often turn their 
backs to pedestrians. 


Well-established residential neighborhoods, 
especially to the south, will be reconnected 
to R Street. 

Employees in the nearby Downtown area 
to the north can easily stroll and shop on 
R Street. 

The State Capitol is also just a few blocks 

streetscape, weave the project area into 
the urban fabric of the City, increase 
accessibility, and meet the needs of resi- 
dents, employees and visitors. 

The "R Street Urban Design and 
Development Plan" provides an urban 
design roadmap for future built and 
open space development. It does not 
propose a standard new streetscape with 
sidewalks, trees and benches because 
that would obliterate the area's unique 
historic character. It preserves the his- 

toric street design and the urban "edgi- 
ness" lent by its industrial past. 

The concept supports diverse uses: 
high-density housing (mainly above 
ground floor retail), live-work lofts, 
neighborhood-serving retail, restau- 
rants, art galleries, offices, commercial 
and light industrial. The light rail sta- 
tions at 1 3th and 1 6th Streets will 
become centerpieces of the R Street 
core. R Street will be a connector 
between neighborhoods north and 

south, rather than a barrier between 
them. Development on S Street, to the 
south, will be compatible with the exist- 
ing residential areas there, and develop- 
ment on Q Street, to the north, will 
reflect the changing character of that 
street as it transitions from office com- 
mercial of the Capitol area, east to the 
residential midtown neighborhood. 

Improvements focus on both neighbor- 
hood- and visitor-serving mixed uses 
and activities, key infill opportunities, 


The community participated in a series of 
planning and design workshops. 

transit-oriented development, site and 
building design that is in keeping with 
the industrial context, public realm and 
open space amenities, safe pedestrian 
connections, efficient parking and circu- 
lation, and universal access. 

The Plan provides a complete set of 
tools to guide future physical and 
service changes: a neighborhood urban 
design concept plan, a comprehensive 
set of design guidelines, infrastructure 
standards that complement streetscape 
design recommendations, infrastructure 

During design charettes, community members offered feedback on different design options. 

financing strategies and implementation 
action steps. 


Residents of varied incomes and 

Employees in offices, retail, light 
industry and warehouses 

Shoppers and visitors of varied abilities 



The City of Sacramento 1 996 R Street 
Corridor Plan serves as the foundation 
for the R Street Urban Design and 
Development Plan. 

The Capitol Area Development 
Authority (CADA) is a joint powers 
authority of the State of California and 


Community workshop participants first took a walking tour of the area. 

Charette participants manipulate a land use 
block model to illustrate future possibilities. 

the City of Sacramento. Its primary job 
is to carry out the residential and com- 
mercial portions of the Capitol Area 
Plan, setting the standard for affordable 

mixed-income and mixed-use property 
development. In 2002, the State 
expanded CADA's redevelopment 
boundaries to include the R Street cor- 
ridor and accelerate investment and 
redevelopment of the area. In January 
2004, CADA began working on a plan 
to design the preferred future for the 
corridor and develop specific action 
steps to get there. 

CADA and its consultants conducted an 
extensive analysis of existing conditions, 
including a site organization study, an 
assessment of street language and char- 
acter and an infrastructure assessment. 
The project team worked closely with 
the City Planning and Public Works 
Departments, the Design Review and 
Preservation Board and ADA groups. 

An initial CADA Board workshop in 
February 2003 included a walking tour 
to identify which buildings to preserve 
("keepers"), the image of the area, com- 
munity connections, and the type of 
investment in infrastructure needed to 
revitalize the street. 

CADA held a series of three community 
workshops and design charettes to build 
consensus on a shared vision of the cor- 
ridor, neighborhood assets, planning 
issues and development opportunities. 
Workshops in April, May and June 2004 
focused on overall vision, assets of the 
area, issues and opportunities, design 
concepts and a street language and 
palette. In March and November 2004, 
separate workshops addressed the 
nearby 1 6th Street and 1 3th Street Light 
Rail Stations. 

Through this extensive community 
process, property owners, public 
officials, developers and the professional 
design community agreed on a vision 
and conceptual design for the area. 


West End 
R Street 



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R Street 



; Existing Surrounding Blocks 

"J Existing Parks 

| Potential Opportunity Sites 

Q Existing Train Station 

Proposed Corridor Sectors 
~^\ Historic Industrial 
~^\ Mixed Use Transit 

| Art Walk 
~] Market Green 

Proposed Open Space Network 

^ R St Streetscape 
m Pocket Parks/Plazas 

| Transit Plazas 
«— > Mews /Midblock Paths 

Activity Nodes 
^ Existing Major Node 

♦ Existing Minor Node 

♦ Proposed Major Node 

♦ Proposed Minor Node 

Circulation Network 

Existing Major Arterials 
< — > On-Site Vehicular Access Alleys 

<™> Pedestrian Orient Local R Street 1 1 1 1 j I I I I 
< — -> Major Pedestrian Corridors 


The Design Strategy Framework emerged after extensive analysis of current conditions and development opportunities, as well as several 
community workshops to develop a consensus vision for the corridor. 


Inclusive Design Features 
and Settings 


The R Street corridor is designed to be a 
mixed-use transit hub that increases 
community connections and access, and 
celebrates its original industrial spirit. 
The community and the planning team 
determined that the new plan would be 
derived from five main design strategies: 

1. Maintaining and Enhancing Historic 

The area's interesting background and 
rich physical historic fabric provide R 
Street with a unique character and sense 
of place that should be maintained and 
strengthened. The Plan calls for these 

■ Preserve and integrate buildings that 
are historically, architecturally and 
culturally significant, such as the old 
warehouses and loading docks. 

■ Preserve and integrate the area's 
building materials and streetscape 

elements, such as cobblestone 
streets, encased railroad tracks, load- 
ing docks, wide metal awnings and 
metal sash windows. 

Respect the utilitarian aesthetic of 
the corridor by emphasizing an 
urban, industrial design language. 

Maintain a vibrant mix of uses, 
including light industry, offices, retail 

A neighborhood's industrial character can 
be maintained and enhanced as in this 
Berkeley, California, warehouse area, now 
home to a chocolate factory and restaurant. 

and housing, which will also generate 
tax revenue. 

2. Uniting Neighborhoods 

The area should unite surrounding resi- 
dential neighborhoods, providing 
amenities and acting as a connection or 
seam of the urban fabric. The Plan calls 
for these actions: 

■ Provide pedestrian-oriented design 
features on streets perpendicular to 
R Street to link north and south 

■ Build on existing neighborhood ameni- 
ties, such as restaurants, theaters, art 
galleries and neighborhood-serving 
retail that support community life. 

■ Enhance pedestrian and bicycle activi- 
ties by developing underused or 
vacant buildings and open spaces with 
pedestrian-friendly edges, by incorpo- 
rating innovative traffic calming fea- 
tures and by continuing pedestrian 
and bicycle paths through streets that 
had been blocked by railroad tracks. 


Historic loading docks, such as this one in Portland, Oregon, can be converted to retail shops an 

a cares. 


In Portland, transit-oriented development has brought new vitality to an older part of the City. 

Accommodate existing industrial uses 
that serve the central city, are compat- 
ible with residential mixed use and 
that create jobs. 

3. Creating Transit- Oriented Development 

The corridor can be transformed into a 
vital transit hub by promoting high-den- 
sity transit-oriented development. The 
light rail stations at 1 3 th and 1 6th 

Streets will be the centerpieces of the 
corridor, with warehouses, industrial 
operations, art galleries, offices and res- 
idences co-existing. The Plan calls for 
these actions: 

Improve the physical environment 
and uses at the stations with station 
plazas, canopy trees, pedestrian- 
friendly building facades, street cafes, 
convenience stores and other 
commuter-oriented retail. 

Develop safe pedestrian connections 
to the stations by improving visibility, 
installing signage, and enhancing 
pathways along major corridors. 

Use vacant buildings and underutilized 
sites to create high-density residential 
and commercial uses, especially in 
the area immediately surrounding the 

4. Reclaiming the Public Realm 

A reclaimed public realm will be a 
signature element of the R Street area. 


While cities need streets that move 
traffic quickly and efficiently, they also 
need pedestrian-friendly streets that 
create community and encourage 
gathering. R Street is that kind of street. 

The design will draw on successful 
projects in the Netherlands, Canada, 
Germany and Denmark that have 
merged architecture, urban design, 
landscape architecture and traffic engi- 
neering techniques to guide pedestrian, 
bicycle and vehicle behavior. In some 
cities planners have done away with con- 
ventional traffic measures of control and 
separation (for example, traffic signals, 
pedestrian curbs and crossings, bulb outs 
and bicycle lanes) that provide an 
illusion of order and safety. Without 
defined spaces and familiar road mark- 
ings, motorists in those cities are guided 
by design and context, instinctively 
slowing down and interacting with 
pedestrians. While vehicles move slowly, 
they do keep moving rather than stop- 
ping and starting. The result is that grid- 

Universal access in the context of a mixed mode street can mean removing curbed sidewalks 
where possible, and allowing other streetscape elements to perform the "curb" function. 

lock has been reduced, traffic accidents 
have dropped dramatically while pedes- 
trians and bicyclists freely share the road- 
way with autos. The advantage is that the 
entire roadway becomes public space 
where people safely walk and gather. 

The quality of the R Street pedestrian 
experiences will be enhanced with 

attractive, well-articulated building 
facades, welcoming building entries 
facing the street, shade and shelters, 
public art, improved pathways, 
pocket parks and plazas, cafes, and 
neighborhood-oriented retail. R Street 
offers excellent opportunities for 
transforming the public realm into 


Santana Row in San Jose, California, employs pedestrian-friendly bollards, benches, trees 
and planters to separate the street from the sidewalk and improve access. 

active pedestrian corridors. The Plan 
calls for these actions: 

■ Improve the pedestrian experience 
by creating built edges that relate to 
pedestrians, building massing that 
provides a sense of enclosure, and 
uses that activate the corridor. 

- Ensure universal access, while main- 
taining the area's historic character. 
This can mean removing curbed side- 
walks where possible, and allowing 
other streetscape elements to per- 
form the "curb" function. 

B Create a series of "activity nodes," 
major hubs of pedestrian activity, at 
the light rail stations and between 
10th and 1 1th Streets, 14th and 15th 
Streets and 16th and 18th Streets. 
The nodes concentrate activity- 
generating uses, such as high-density 
residential, restaurants, theater, art 
galleries and retail. 

■ Create a variety of open space ameni- 
ties such as pocket parks and plazas 
for residential and commercial users 







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The loading dock of this former Berkeley warehouse now serves as a lunchtime oasis for nearby office workers. What was once a parking lot is n< 
pedestrian plaza. 


Every forecourt, mid-block mew and 
passageway can potentially be pedestrian 

Pocket parks of almost any width between buildings can serve as connectors and gathering 

that complement existing parks in 
nearby neighborhoods. The network 
of parks and plazas would be linked 
by pedestrian-friendly pathways. The 
parks themselves often serve as mews 
or mid-block connectors, strengthen- 
ing universal access to the light rail 

Alleys can be designed to accommodate 
people and vehicles — like this one in 
Vancouver, B.C. 

Re-use loading docks of warehouses 
and factories. Their current form 
protrudes into the normal sidewalk 
or pedestrian pathway and creates a 


barrier. The challenge is to increase 
safe access while maintaining the 
docks. The solution for R Street was 
to expand the definition of the pedes- 
trian pathway — without confining 
pedestrians to a traditional sidewalk 
between the building edge and the 
automobile-dominated roadway. 
Instead, the areas pedestrians can use 
were expanded to include the road- 
way around the loading dock. 
Pedestrians, bicycles, wheelchairs, 
strollers, autos and trucks will follow 
new "rules of the road" with clearly 
designated areas for each. 

1 Activate the numbered cross streets 
(10th, 13th, 16th and 17th Streets) 
with infill development. Those streets 
are important connectors between 
adjacent neighborhoods, recreational 
resources and other key destinations 
both north and south of R Street. 

People and cars often coexist, separated by an industrial-style fence. 

5. Encouraging High-Density Mixed Use 

The City should develop incentives and 
streamlined regulations that can encour- 


age high-density mixed use. The Plan 
calls for these actions: 

Improve infrastructure such as sewers 
and storm drains so the lack of basic 
facilities doesn't stop new develop- 

Offer financial incentives for brown- 
field remediation to private property 
owners to encourage reuse of vacant 
lots and blighted historic buildings. 

Realign the regulatory framework to 
speed and modify preservation proj- 
ects, promote creative adaptive reuse 
of buildings, integrate universal 
access improvements that maintain 
the historic character, and explore 
creating a private maintenance dis- 
trict to maintain non-standard facili- 
ties within the City. 


The urban design concept delineates 
four separate sections of R Street, each 
with distinct uses, historic elements, 
architecture and clusters of vacant 
buildings or underused space. Future 
development should reflect the charac- 
ter of each section. 

The City of Portland is an urban laboratory of creative, adaptive reuse of industrial 


Sector D 

Project Area Buildings 

Industrial Built and Open Space Character 

Office Built and Open Space Character 
Residential / Retail Built and Open Space Character 

The final design concept for R Street reflects the predominant character in each of four sectors: Sector A is historically industrial, Sector B 
is office and mixed use, Sector C is office and Sector D is mixed use and residential. 

SECTOR A: Historic Industrial 

The western section of the corridor fea- 
tures a concentration of historic brick 
warehouses and industrial uses. Key 
destinations such as restaurants, theaters 
and art galleries already make this the 
most well known section of R Street. 
Plans for this area include new transit- 
oriented development based on the 
1 3th Street Station and strengthening 
the unrefined, industrial character 

through streetscape improvements and 
building edge articulation. 

Public Realm. The defining feature of 
this section is a unique, carefully 
marked 80-foot-wide public right of 
way shared by pedestrians, bicyclists, 
autos and trucks. This area never had 
sidewalks so pedestrians always used 
the street to get around the many 
loading docks. The plan calls for five- 
foot ADA accessible pathways along 
both sides of the street, at the same 

level and texture as the rest of the 
roadway. People in wheelchairs par- 
ticularly like this aspect of the plan 
because there are no curbs. People 
with visual impairments will find 
detectable warning strips for naviga- 
tion. Cars park parallel to the road 
around loading docks. Loading docks 
of former industrial buildings will be 
converted to retail and restaurant 
space, delineated with industrial-style 
wire railings. 


50 100 200 300 

Prepared by M!G. Inc. - October 20O4 

The R Street design concept calls for mixed-use development in Sector A, emphasizing historic preservation. 






Travel Lanes, Loading/Unloading & Pedestrian Use 
80' ROW 


Currently, Sector A's many loading docks force pedestrians into the street, with no marked 
path of travel. 


H/C ' ADA ' 
Ramp Accessible 


Travel Lanes & Pedestrian Use 



ADA I Path 
Detectable- 1 

Pedestrians currently make do with no 
clear walkways. 

Detectable warning strips will clearly 
delineate pedestrian routes. 

With the new design, pedestrians will have clearly marked paths of travel around loading docks. 


Streetscape. The gritty industrial qual- 
ity of the nearby landmark signal 
tower provides inspiration for the R 
Street detailed design palette. 
Elements include steel trellises and 
shade structures, utilitarian lighting, 
I-beam bollards that articulate a 
pedestrian plaza in front of the Studio 
Theater, wide awnings, trees dis- 
persed asymmetrically, and buildings 
made of steel, brick and paned glass. 

■ Circulation. Traffic will be restricted 
to 5 miles per hour. The mid-block 
alley between R and S streets will 
become the primary auto access 
route to parking located in the rear 
of new developments. Circulation on 
1 2th Street, currently blocked by rail 
development, will be improved for 
safe and pleasant pedestrian and bicy- 
cle access to the 1 3th Street Station. 

■ New Development. CADA's 100-unit 
residential loft and mixed-use devel- 
opment will be a catalyst to generate 
more activity in this section. New 
mixed-use development will be ori- 
ented toward the 1 3th Street Station 

A historic landmark signal tower will be retained and used as a basis for other design 
details on R Street. 


Loading docks will be spillover space and used for retail or cafes. 

A former railroad spur in the City of Emeryville, California, has been 
transformed into a shared roadway, which also serves as parking for 
businesses. On workdays, parking spaces are filled, and bollards — 
fashioned from the upturned remains of the train track — serve to 
delineate the pedestrian pathway. 

On the weekends, pedestrians use the entire width of the street. 


This is Sector A as it looks today. 

CADA's 1 0O-unit residential loft and mixed use development will be a catalyst for more 
activity in this section. 


and should be at least 3 to 4 stories 
high to maximize transit-oriented 
development potential. Unused or 
vacant buildings will be converted to 
office and retail, and vacant lots and 
surface parking lots will be devel- 
oped or become parking structures 
with ground floor retail facing the 

SECTOR B: Mixed- Use Transit Hub 

This sector runs from mid-block 
between 1 2th and 1 3th Streets east to 
1 5th Street. It contains a large cluster of 
single -story office buildings and huge, 
underused surface parking lots. The cur- 
rent low-density usage doesn't capitalize 
on the opportunities presented by a 
prime location near both the 1 3th 
Street and 16th Street light rail stations. 
This section is very auto-oriented, with 
stark building facades that are typical 
1 960s style. However, a bustling new 
restaurant and club has already activated 
part of the street and can be a catalyst 
for further development. Plans for the 


S Street 

Sector B will become a transit hub centered on the 1 3th Street Station, with high-density 
mixed-use infill development. 

section include transit-oriented, high- 
density infill development with a mix of 
uses, including live- work lofts, artist 
studios, corner cafes, ground- floor 

neighborhood-serving retail with com- 
mercial space above and light manufac- 
turing and warehouses. 

The existing 1 3th Street Station design 
allows shared use by people and transit 

Several properties surrounding the 1 3th 
Street Station present many opportunities 
for adaptive reuse and intensification. 


Public Realm. The existing 80-foot 
public right of way will be reconfig- 
ured to allow for a more generous 
accessible pedestrian pathway. In the 
long term, the sidewalks will be 
removed so the pathway is at the 
same level as the roadway. There are 
few loading docks so the pathway can 
be nine feet wide plus space for 
shade trellises and ADA detectable 
warning strips. 

Streetscape. This area will benefit 
from pocket parks and plazas for 
local residents and employees. The 
1 3th Street Station will have a new 
plaza, with the current north parking 
area renovated to allow for a land- 
scaped, tree-lined pedestrian connec- 
tion to Q Street. A pocket park just 
south of the station and another fur- 
ther west will feature groves of trees, 
seating and water features, serving as 
a green oasis and social gathering 
place for employees and future resi- 
dents. Streetscape elements are simi- 
lar to those described in Sector A. 





| Pedestrian I Existing 
Path Landscape 

Current building facades are unwelcoming with many surface parking areas and flat 
building facades. 

New pedestrian comfort features such as trellises, seating and a wider path of travel will 
enhance the street for pedestrians. 


After removing curbs, a planting strip — no 
matter how small — can further improve the 
pedestrian experience. 

Circulation. Traffic will be slowed to 
S miles per hour. Cars will continue 
to park parallel to the street on both 
sides, with 24 feet remaining for 
traffic flow. All new development has 
adequate off-street parking tucked 
away in the rear of buildings, which 
can be accessed through mid-block 

The new R Street design continues the 
area's use of the "mixed mode" street 
environment: pedestrians, bicyclists, autos 
and trucks share the roadway. 

New Development. Historic buildings 
should be converted to uses that 
support transit activity and residen- 
tial living, such as art galleries, 
artists' lofts and design studios. The 
buildings will be used with a greater 

Sidewalks in the existing public right of 
way can be removed so the pathway is at 
the same level as the roadway. 

intensity, with a minimum of three 
to four stories. Development along 


Produce shoppers can enjoy the ease of 
walking from shops to outdoor stands, all 
on the same block. 

Sector B, with its low density and auto-oriented usage, currently doesn't capitalize on the 
opportunities presented by a prime location near both the 1 3th Street and 1 6th Street 
light rail stations. 

the numbered streets will be high- 
density townhomes or apartments 
that respect the adjoining residential 
character. Because surface parking 
lots will be re-used, the plan 

proposes a new mixed-use parking 
structure that will provide residen- 
tial uses fronting the street and 
access to parking from the alley. 


Artist's rendering of Sector B Phase 2 illustrates how streetscape elements help to unify all four 





Sector C, a relatively stark area, will benefit 
from an improved streetscape and public 
art; no new development is planned. 

Existing 'pedestrian Parking 

Landscape Path 

Parking Existing Pedestrian Existing 

Landscape Path Setback 

Pedestrians are now wedged between a parking structure and offices. 

Parking ' Existing ' ADA ' Existing 
Landscape Accessible Setback 

A new 20-foot-wide pathway and art space will break pedestrians out of their current 
narrow, unattractive confines and encourage public gathering. 


SECTOR C: Art Walk 

This one-block section currently offers 
very few pedestrian amenities. It is 
mainly government office buildings, 
including one five-story office building, 
and a seven-story parking structure. 
While these tall buildings provide shade 
and a sense of enclosure, their imposing 
facades have no human-scale detail. The 
residential structures along the north 
edge of the 1 6th Street Station face the 
other direction, with their backs to the 
street, and reinforce the unappealing 
nature of the street environment at this 
point. Plans for this section include 
improving the interface between the 
existing buildings, the public realm and 
the 16th Street Station, and evolving 
this small sector into an "art walk" that 
connects activity nodes to the east and 
west. Both ground floor building facades 
and the pedestrian right-of-way will be 
transformed into a pedestrian-friendly 
space that celebrates the arts. 

■ Public Realm. An immediate improve- 
ment will be widening the northern 

edge of the current six-foot sidewalk 
to 20 feet and reducing the roadway 
to 24 feet for two lanes of traffic 
(taking away an on-street parking 
lane) . This will create space for a gen- 
erous promenade for various art 
exhibits, such as display boxes, 
murals, sculptures and space for art- 
related events and festivals. The cur- 
rent ground floor dark glass of the 
parking structure will be replaced 
with transparent glass and the edge of 
the structure will be reconfigured 
into a public gallery. The alley 
between R and Q Street, along with 
the adjacent 16th Street Station, will 
become a transit plaza with a row of 
shade trees. Seating along the tree- 
lined southern edge will be comple- 
mented with uses that serve foot 
traffic, such as temporary food and 
hawker stands. Cafes, small conven- 
ience stores and other pedestrian- 
friendly retail will activate the plaza 
around the clock. Increased numbers 
of people on the street will increase 
safety as well. 

Circulation. Traffic will be slowed to 
5 miles per hour on R Street. 1 5th 

Parking structures can give life to the street 
by providing retail space, art displays and 
other active uses on the ground floor. 


and 1 6th Streets will continue as 
major one-way arterials across R 

i New Development. This section is fully 
developed, so short-term improve- 
ments will take advantage of the 
close proximity to the 1 6th Street 
light rail station, creating an aestheti- 
cally pleasing station plaza. If any 
buildings are demolished, high- 
density, mixed-use would replace 
them, preferably with ground floor 

Temporary events and artisan stands will 
enliven Sector C on weekends. 

A building facade in this Berkeley art and theater district provides a high level of eye- 
catching detail at the street to entice pedestrians. 


Sector C is already fully developed, but lacks connections between building facades and 
pedestrian activity. 


An immediate improvement will be widening the northern (left) side of the current side- 
walk. This will create a generous promenade for art exhibits and events (artist's rendering 
of Sector C, Phase 2). 


Unique seating creates connections between 
the sidewalk, the building facade and 


SECTOR D: Market Green 

This easternmost section has the largest 
inventory of vacant and underused his- 
toric buildings and vacant brownfield 

sites. The area is now auto-dominated, 
with perpendicular parking on the 
north side and an 80-foot-wide travel 
lane for truck loading and cars. The few 

pedestrians clamber around loading 
docks in the street. The new R Street 
Market will become a key destination 
point for the surrounding community 

A dramatic increase in public open space will completely change the nature of this sector; new retail shops also will activate the area. 


with the new grocery store, restaurant 
and cafe on the ground floor with hous- 
ing above. Plans for this section include 
building on that anchor development 
and providing a signature public open 
space that dramatically reconfigures the 
current street. 

■ Public Realm. The "Market Green" is a 
shaded area with a double row of 
trees, running right down the middle 
of R Street between 1 6th and 1 8th 
Streets. It will be a vibrant, land- 
scaped, multi-use area that freely 
mixes all modes of travel and changes 
character depending on the time of 
day and day of the week. Trellis shel- 
ters, awnings and tall building on the 
south side of the street will provide 
shade during the hot summers. 
Benches and new lighting accentuate 
pedestrian-friendly spaces. During 
the week, the Green serves as a 
pocket park with limited parking. 
During weekends, it transforms into 
space for cafes, farmers markets and 
other community events and festivals. 
A public plaza at the east end of the 
corridor (fronting the mixed-use 





Travel Lanes, Loading/Unloading,& Pedestrian Use 


Currently, trucks loading and unloading, traffic and parking dominate the street. 





Ramp Accessible 

Public Open Space 

' — Detectable 


Week Day Parking 

" Travel Lane & 
Fi re Access 

Detectable - 

1 ADA 

The R Street design concept adds 5 feet of pathways plus about 1 5 feet of open space and 
1 8 feet of shared space for pedestrians. 


On weekends, Sector D will host farmers markets and other community events and festivals. 
This is Santana Row in San Jose. 

The Market Green area in the center of the 
street freely mixes all modes of travel and 
changes character depending on the time 
of day and day of the week. 

anchor development) will have a 
feature gateway similar to the historic 
signal towers at the corner of R and 
8th Streets. 

1 Circulation. Pedestrians and autos 
will share the roadway; traffic will be 
slowed to 5 miles per hour. A one- 
way, single vehicular lane will accom- 
modate slow-moving service vehicles 

and fire trucks. On weekdays, on- 
street parking is restricted to a single 
row of perpendicular parking in the 
center of the street. On weekends, 
there will be no on-street parking. All 
new development will have off-street 
parking in the rear that can be 
accessed by alleys and numbered 

1 New Development. The large parcels of 
vacant land and the unused historic 
buildings, such as the Crystal Ice 
Building, offer prime development 
opportunities for high-density hous- 
ing and other transit-oriented, 
neighborhood-scale uses. 


a. .he cor™ „, R , nd 8th s ' J",, ,,. s ' ll " *»•'"*"«•«> «» ^ve . feature gateway sirailar to the historic sign,, towers 


Streets (artist's rendering). 



All design features will reflect and 
strengthen the historic industrial char- 
acter of the area, drawing on the exist- 
ing building and streetscape elements 
as a street design language. Metal 
sashes, multi-paned industrial win- 
dows, awnings at entries and over load 
ing docks, and brick (exposed or 
painted), plastered concrete, glass and 
corrugated metal facades reflect a utili 
tarian aesthetic. 

The streetscape palette includes metal, 
steel and cobblestones. Artwork and 
gateways will also be primarily metal 
and stone. 


Streetscape elements will be consistent throughout the street; they will be made of metal, concrete and glass to reflect the historic industrial 
character of the area. 


* 4 

• * 


Eliminating sidewalks and curbs makes 
accessibility far easier for people using 
wheelchairs and other mobility devices. 
To ensure that those with visual impair- 
ments also feel comfortable, design ele- 
ments other than curbs will be used. The 
plan recommends a 5 -foot- wide ADA 
accessible path on at least one side of the 
street with detectable warning strips, 
trellises, streets lights and bollards to 
provide tactile clues. 

Detectable warning strips can be tactile 
and brightly colored to provide wayfinding 
for those with visual impairments. 


Management and 
Operational Issues 

The R Street Urban Design and 
Development Plan outlines the steps for 
directing future investment in the area, 
ensuring efficient and economical 
progress. Because improvements are 
being completed in stages, it's critically 
important that everyone involved in the 
project — for example, City planning 
staff, developers, businesses, residents, 
and Public Works staff — share the same 
vision of R Street and work together to 
solve anticipated management and oper- 
ational issues. 


Efforts to create an inviting and active 
streetscape can be undermined if 
the street isn't well maintained. 
Maintenance staff needs to understand 
the vision and goals for the area as they 
make day-to-day maintenance and repair 
decisions. All trash, graffiti, broken or 
burned out streetlights and vandalism 

need to be addressed immediately to 
maintain the look and feel of the area. 
Once the look and feel is undermined, 
the perceptions of blight and lack of 
safety quickly return. 

The City will likely not have all the 
resources to maintain the new street 
surfaces, furniture, landscaping and 
other aesthetic features, so the solution 
may be a Business Improvement District 
(BID) or Property-based Business 
Improvement District (PBID). Both are 
self-help organizations created to fund 
physical and programmatic improve- 
ments. A BID is a self-taxing, merchant- 
based organization created with the help 
of local government. They're often used 
for smaller retail-oriented revitalization 
and economic development programs, 
including farmers markets. A PBID is a 
property-based assessment district that 
supplements local government funds by 
directly assessing property owners. 
PBIDs typically help fund security, 
maintenance, marketing, economic 

development and special events. It's cre- 
ated and governed by those who pay the 


All of the public agencies and private 
businesses that play a part in R Street 
need to maintain good, ongoing commu- 
nications. A PBID can be the leadership 
organization for the R Street area, 
communicating with and coordinating 
agencies such as Sacramento City 
Planning, Sacramento Regional Transit, 
Sacramento Police and Fire 
Departments, Public Works, CADA, 
property owners (commercial and resi- 
dential) and developers. 


As new development comes into the 
area, property owners will be required 
to contribute resources to complete the 
infrastructure and ensure that new 
designs harmonize with the R Street 
development standards and design 



A unified management approach will 
help operate the street as a whole. For 
example, on weekends the east end of R 
Street becomes a gathering space for 
markets and musical events, replacing 
parking. The community, including resi- 
dents, will need to participate in deci- 
sions about issues like lighting, banners 
and use of the shared roadway. It's critical 
that community members feel connected 
to the street and that they are also stew- 
ards of the R Street environment. 

User Feedback 

Steve Cohn, City Councilmember 

"R Street revitalization is key to bringing 
the south part of mid-town back into the 
rest of the Central City. The CADA 
projects and the grocery store are show- 
ing people the great development 
opportunity this area offers. And the 
housing project at 4th and R is showing 
us what mixed-use housing, retail and 
office can offer." 

Allyson Dalton, Owner, Fox S^Goose Tub 
and Restaurant 

"This is the first cohesive vision for the 
entire corridor. My parents opened our 
pub in 1 975 and before that they owned 
an art gallery in the same building. I 
grew up on this street — this was my 
playground. My parents were visionar- 
ies for what could happen here. 

"The potential for developing this corri- 
dor is tremendous. It can revitalize all of 
Sacramento Downtown. 

"Long-term, I think the main issues will 
be ensuring that everyone shares the 
same vision and knows how to imple- 
ment and maintain it. They should set 
the architectural detail all the way down 
the corridor so the benches, lighting, 
awnings, furniture, etc., are all the 
same. It's critical that we all take 
responsibility for maintaining our areas. 
For example, plants have to be well 
maintained and graffiti has to be cleaned 
immediately or it will attract more 

"All the business owners are very 
excited. Of course, many are a little 
skeptical because we've heard there will 
be a new vision for so long. But, this is 
the closest I've ever seen it; I believe it 
will happen this time. I'd love to pur- 
chase a loft and live here myself. I'd love 
to walk, ride my bike and be part of 
helping this community grow." 

Todd Leon, City of Sacramento, 
Planning Division 

"We can change an entire strip of the 
City and do something really exciting 
with it. This old industrial area is full of 
history and surrounded by so many dif- 
ferent types of neighborhoods. Right 
now, it splits the north and the south. 
Yet, it has tremendous contextual and 
relational value. Its transformation can 
link up the two sides. 

"We're moving people away from the 
idea of separate places for offices and 
suburbs, toward the idea of what a city 
was before the car dominated our lives. 


Shared roadway and light rail, as in the 
Ankeny Burnside neighborhood, Portland, 
can reinvigorate older areas. 

The plan was originally started to stop 
the infill of large office buildings where 
everyone goes home at night. The neigh- 
borhood stepped in and said, 'No, we 
want a real neighborhood we can 
embrace.' So the primary goal is infill 
housing — we're not yet at our goal of 
3,000 units — and small shops, mixed- 
use with housing on top. The market 

had to catch up with the idea of mixed 
use, and I think Sacramento has reached 
the tipping point now. The neighbor- 
hood needs time to find the balance 
between housing, retail and office. 

"The shared roadway concept keeps the 
historical context. There are no side- 
walks here now so when people walk, 
pedestrians and vehicles already mix. 
When it's built out more, this will 
maintain the sense of place and enhance 
it. People are drawn to an area with a 
sense of place — they want the unique 
experience of being someplace that 
doesn't look like everywhere else. And 
we don't have many unique places in 

"The disabled community has played a 
big role as well. The plan provides link- 
ages and paths to all elements. It's a 
colorful plan that allows you to easily 
move up and down the corridor. We're 
creating a place that everybody will 

want to go to. And when we say every- 
body, we mean everybody. 

"There will be some infrastructure 
issues to overcome. The sewer system is 
old and complicated. Land costs are 
tricky. If the land costs too much 
because of speculation, it's difficult to 
finance a project. There are several key 
spots that are owned by large landown- 
ers. We need to show a developer who 
might be used to creating tilt-up build- 
ings that you can make money follow- 
ing this vision. Then that project can be 
an icon, a catalyst for the rest of the 

"We also have to be sure the improve- 
ments are kept up. And whenever you 
have a 24-hour city, you'll have issues of 
noise, congestion, and people on the 
streets. But we can do it, working as 
partners: CADA, the City, and the 


Paul Schmidt, Executive Director, Capitol 
Area Development Authority (CADA) 

"There aren't a lot of people living here 
now but we have a large condo project 
starting up. In fact, a main feature of the 
street is the potential to build housing. 
The Capitol Lofts projects between 
1 Oth and 1 3th Streets will show people 
the new character and life of living on 
this street, living the loft lifestyle. We 
actually got a $ 1 . 5 million grant for that 

"Funding is always a challenge. We've 
been successful in getting some grants 
to jump-start projects but we'll need a 
PBID and we'll have to sell everyone on 
that idea. 

"This is the oldest industrial corridor in 
the country and we think the historic 
look of bricks and loading docks — fea- 
tures that aren't usually found in 
Sacramento — will give us a marketing 
edge. This is an opportunity for us to 

create our own identity: it's edgy, gritty 
and industrial with a great view of 
Downtown. We think people will want 
to move here not just from Sacramento 
but also from the Bay Area and other 

Carol Bradley, ADA Coordinator, 
City of Sacramento 

"R Street is being designed to incorpo- 
rate the idea of universal design from 
the beginning — it's a benefit of having a 
slower-paced industrial area. 

"I liked the process of developing R 
Street; its community feedback helped 
architects and technical folk understand 
things like why having street furniture is 
so difficult for people with disabilities. 
We had a lot of discussions. Take 
detectable warnings for example. In 
California, if the state standard is higher 
than the federal, the state prevails. In 
California, we have to have yellow trun- 
cated domes to mark when you're 

entering a street. In other states, it just 
has to contrast. But yellow is the last 
color you see when you're losing your 
sight, so here, yellow it must be. But 
people hate the yellow; it's not 
historical and it's not aesthetic. We 
compromised. It's not an ADA path of 
travel, it's an accessible path of travel 
and it doesn't have to be yellow. But we 
increased the original two feet to three 
feet of domes. 

"Another thing that came out of all the 
discussion is moving the signage and 
furniture out of the path of travel 
entirely. Then people can follow the 
truncated domes. The curb-less streets 
were also an issue. For people in chairs, 
it's great. But if you're blind, you need 
some delineation. The design solution 
was a raised crosswalk. 

"In the final outcome, we kept the his- 
toric character and it will also be truly 
accessible for everyone." 



'One thorny issue we have is how to put an accessible link from 
the Bay up to the vista point. ...Is it worth the expense to have 
that link? The answer is, yes. We have to provide an accessible 
experience for all our visitors." 





safe and enjoyable trail and bikeway system that enhances all park users' experi- 
ences — while protecting and preserving the Presidio's natural and cultural 
resources. It's the first comprehensive trail and bikeway network for the area. The 
Presidio of San Francisco is a former Army base converted to an urban National 
Park. It encompasses 1,491 acres at the northwestern tip of San Francisco, touch- 
ing both the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay and offering spectacular vistas. 


The Presidio offers miles of trails, wide beaches and spectacular vistas. 

Located at the threshold of the Golden 
Gate Bridge, the park includes nearly 
500 historic buildings and structures 

(including historic coastal defense 
bunkers) , a national cemetery, a historic 
airfield, and miles of hiking and biking 

PROJECT Trails and Bikeways Master Plan LOCATION San Francisco, California 
DATE DESIGNED 2003 SIZE 1,491 acres CLIENT National Park Service/Presidio 

trails. Its varied natural landscape 
includes coastal bluffs and beaches, a 
saltwater marsh, dense forests and 
native plant habitats that contain endan- 
gered species. It is a component of the 
Golden Gate National Recreation Area 
(GGNRA) and a National Historic 
Landmark District. 


The Presidio offers views of the world famous 
Golden Gate Bridge, from the west and east 

Previously, there were about 1 9 miles of 
designated pedestrian and multi-use 
trails and bike lanes in the Presidio. But 
there were also many miles of additional 
unofficial trails and shortcuts that had 
been developed through informal use. 
These user-defined trails criss-crossed 
much of the Presidio, including natural 

areas and sensitive habitats. They were 
of uneven quality, confusing to navigate 
and didn't connect well to park fea- 
tures. Some trails presented safety and 
access issues. Others caused environ- 
mental degradation, increasing erosion, 
fragmenting native plant communities 
and wildlife habitat, disrupting drainage 

The City of San Francisco is developed right up to the edge of the Presidio. 









is **>$h±. £*» a &• s s" iosl**? 

patterns and even degrading historic 
coastal fortifications. 

The Plan identifies new trails, upgrades 
or modifies selected existing trails and 
service roads, and identifies unofficial 
trails that should either be closed or 
incorporated into the official trails net- 
work. The Plan improves connections 
between key features of the Presidio, 
enhances the public's exploration and 
experience of the Presidio's open 
spaces and resources, increases accessi- 
bility for people with and without 
disabilities, enhances visitor safety, and 
encourages use of alternative modes of 

With this Plan, the Presidio will have 
19.2 miles of pedestrian trails, 14.4 
miles of bike ways and 20. 1 miles of 
multi-use trails. 

The Presidio encompasses almost 1,500 
acres of varied uses, including golf, 
beaches, miles of trails, historic sites, 
offices, and access to the Golden Gate 
Bridge (at top of photo). 


The Trails and Bikeways Master Plan 
accomplished five major goals: 

■ Enhance public use of, access to 
and experience of the Presidio by 
providing logical, comprehensive and 
user-friendly connections, and a net- 
work of trails that provides a variety 
of experiences with access and 
challenge for different ages, skills 
and physical abilities. 

■ Help preserve the Presidio's valuable 
natural and cultural resources. 

m Create a system that supports 
alternative transportation, reducing 
dependence on cars, and coordinates 
with regional and national trails and 
local bicycle routes. 

■ Design an environmentally responsi- 
ble trail system that fully incorpo- 
rates the best in sustainable design 
and construction practices. 

■ Begin an ongoing process of public 
engagement in educational and 
stewardship programs. 


Multi-Use Trail 

Pedestrian Trail 

Pedestrian Secondary 


Known Social Trail 

to be Removed 

Primary Trailhead 

$|£ Overlook 

© Beach Access Route 


Pedestrian and Multi-Use Trails 

Sources: MIG, NPS, Presidio Trust 20021 f 

\ i 1 1__— — : . — — in it ii 

Disparate walks, trails and bike paths will be linked to create a unified new cross-Presidio trail, safe access to beaches below the steep 
bluffs, and become a beautiful segment of the California Coastal Trail. 


Bike Lanes on Each 
Side of Street 

Low Volume— Bike 
and Car Share Lane 

Uphill Bike Lane 

On-Street Bicycle Routes 

n n n 

On-street bicycle routes provide safe and challenging rides 



Bicyclists can take advantage of miles of 
trails and stunning vistas. 

Touring bicyclists want to see the sights and the beauty of the Presidio, sharing multi-user 
paths with pedestrians. 

The Trails and Bikeways Master Plan is a 
joint effort of the National Park Service 
(NPS) and the Presidio Trust (Trust), 
the two agencies responsible for manag- 
ing the area. It will guide management 
of the Presidio trails and bikeways for 
the next 20 years. 


The specific needs of user types directly 
affected the routing, configuration and 
design guidelines for trails and bikeways. 

■ Pedestrians 

Pedestrian users vary greatly, from those 
seeking physically challenging walks to 

those who want a convenient connec- 
tion between two activity centers. Sub- 
categories of pedestrian users include: 
recreational walkers, commuters, run- 
ners and exercisers of different abilities, 
and self-mobile wheelchair users. 


Bicycle users form three distinct sub- 

Bicycle commuters who five or work in 
the Presidio or pass through the Presidio 
want a direct, easy-to-use route to their 
workplace, and would prefer designated 
bike lanes or low-volume roadways and 
routes that minimize their travel time. 

Serious recreational cyclists who often are 
out for a long ride and are not intimi- 
dated by hills or traffic prefer wide 
shoulders or bike lanes, but the lack of 
these facilities does not affect their 
choice of a route. Unlike bicycle com- 
muters, this group puts more impor- 
tance on a scenic route where they can 
ride fast than they do on time savings. 

Family or touring bicyclists (with and 
without children) want to see the sights 
and the beauty of the Presidio. Their 
choice of routes is affected by traffic and 
hills, and just as importantly, the route's 
access to the Presidio's major attractions. 


They prefer to be on multi-use trails or 
roadways with little or no traffic. Often, 
these users don't ride unless bikeways 
meet these specifications. 

Off-trail mountain bikers were specifi- 
cally excluded. They would like to have 
single-track, off-road dirt trails, but 
park regulations and the need to protect 
sensitive habitats and other natural 
resources made it necessary to exclude 
this group. 

■ Other Wheeled Sports Users 

In-line skaters and skateboarders are the 
primary non-cyclist wheeled sports user 
group. People pushing children in 
strollers or wheelchair users are 
included with pedestrians. In-fine skaters 
and skateboarders who are out for a 
recreational skate or ride can be accom- 
modated on hardened pedestrian and 
multi-use trails. 

Wide trails can often be shared by 
pedestrians and those using wheelchairs or 

pushing strollers. 

\ ■■■-.-- m 



Access to the water's edge at high tide is possible with floating boardwalks. 


mJNv" '■ 


Not all trails can be fully accessible, but 
improvements will increase safety and 
access, while protecting resources. 


The core planning team consisted of 
NPS and Trust staff and consultants with 
experience in park planning, natural and 
cultural resources, facilities manage- 

ment, interpretation, visitor protection 
and transportation. 

The team engaged the public in identi- 
fying needs and issues, proposing alter- 
native solutions, and reviewing the Plan. 

Since the Trails and Bikeways Master 
Plan included an Environmental 
Assessment, the public involvement was 
formalized to meet requirements of the 
National Environmental Policy Act 

Boardwalks protect resources and 
provide access to sandy beaches. 




At\ ' 


' - 



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i H0* 






v - 


Multi-use trails such as the Golden Gate 
Promenade accommodate cars and bicycles, 
and often have a soft-surface pedestrian 
trail alongside. 

Raised pavement markings or raised traffic 
separators can pose hazards to cyclists of 
all abilities. Except in special circumstances, 
bike lanes should be separated from motor 
vehicle traffic by painted lane markings. 

On-street bicycle routes link major park sites. 
This cyclist is using a low-volume road with 
no bike lane. 

(NEPA).The first phase of public 
involvement included a public meeting, 
a series of focus group meetings, a 
design concept workshop, a survey of 
park users, communications with other 
agencies, and various opportunities for 
written comment. As the process con- 
tinued, other public involvement 
activities included newsletter articles, 
public presentations, on-site walks and 
rides, wide distribution of planning 
documents, open-house style displays 
in the park, and website publication of 
the Plan. 

Inclusive Design Features 
and Settings 

In special areas such as the Presidio, 
where the mandate for resource protec- 
tion is equal to the mandate for visitor 
experience, providing trails designed to 
serve all visitors is extremely challeng- 
ing. It is especially difficult to provide 
access to extraordinary visitor experi- 
ences that are by their nature not acces- 
sible. The desire for restricted access 
often competes equally with the desire 
to increase accessibility for all visitors. 

The trail system was developed with the 
following universal design principles in 

[ Consistency and continuity of trail 
design benefits all users. 

■ Trail gradients of 1 : 20 or less benefit 
recreational cyclists as well as wheel- 
chair users. 

n Safety considerations — such as 
median islands where trails cross 
roadways — aid families with small 
children and other users, as well as 
people with disabilities. 

Wide multi-use trails can accommodate 
many different types of users. 


This overlook also functions as a trailhead, providing 
wayfinding signage. 

Trail alignments take advantage of unique viewpoints. 

Trail signage can clarify a trail user's 
expectation of a trail's challenge, 
allowing design for varying levels of 

Not all portions of all trails can or 
should be fully accessible to all users, 
due to constraints of slope, natural 
resources, or the desire for a variety 
of experiences. 

A wide variety of trail types increases 
accessibility for all users, and provides 
the opportunity for equivalent expe- 


Pedestrian trails that are designed to 
be accessible require park policies 
that manage bicycle use to ensure 


Trails in the Presidio traverse a wide 
range of settings, from beaches to 
forests, from historic places to high- 
density urban development, and from 
spaces that are dark and enclosing to 
expansive vista points. Terrain varies 
from flat to very steep and trails vary 


from narrow footpaths to wide, multi- 
use paved promenades. 

Although trails and bikeways are 
designed for consistency and continuity, 
the design guidelines allow flexibility to 
respond to each unique setting to 
enhance the visitor's experience of that 
setting. Trails providing access to these 
varied settings are classified in three 
basic categories: pedestrian trails, multi- 
use trails and bikeways. 

Pedestrian Trails 

There are two types of pedestrian 
trails. Primary trails occur in the major 
trail and road corridors, and provide 
connecting routes to important 
Presidio destinations. Primary trails are 
generally wide and often hard-surfaced 
to accommodate a large number of 
trail users. 

Secondary trails provide an opportu- 
nity to experience many of the 
Presidio's less visited environments and 

the many cultural, historical, natural 
and scenic resources. Secondary trails 
are typically soft- surfaced, single-track 

Some trails have a special character, 
such as a boardwalk designed to protect 
resources or provide access to beaches 
or areas with sandy soils. Other trails 
are designed with grades ranging from 
flat to steep to provide trail users with a 
variety of challenges. 

Multi-Use Trails 

Multi-use trails provide major connec- 
tions between important Presidio des- 
tinations, entry gates and other local, 
regional and national trail systems. To 
reduce impact, they are located in pre- 
viously developed areas or on former 
service roadways as much as possible. 

Most multi-use trails have easy grades of 
less than 1 :20 (5 percent) to provide 
greater accessibility for persons with 
disabilities and recreational bicyclists. 

Trails wind through groves of eucalyptus 

The trails generally have hardened sur- 
faces, often with adjacent soft-surface 
pedestrian shoulders that can be used as 
walking or running paths. 



■ J .r 


A primary goal of the Trails and 
Bikeways Master Plan was to improve 
roadway safety for bicyclists and ensure 
that there are no gaps in the bicycle cir- 
culation network. Bikeways were there- 
fore designed to work in conjunction 
with traffic calming measures. The Plan 
addresses on-street bike lanes and 
signed bike routes where bikes and cars 
share a traffic lane. Bicycle use occurs 
on multi-use trails and on nearly all 
roadways in the Presidio. 


Trailheads typically serve as multi-modal 
transfer points, allowing users to change 
from public transit or automobile to 
bicycle or foot, or from bicycle to foot. 
Trailheads provide trail information and 
user amenities where appropriate. 

Primary trailheads at major trail start- 
ing points include automobile parking, 

wayfinding signage and amenities. 
Secondary trailheads provide a limited 
set of standard components such as 
trail information and perhaps bicycle 
parking at a footpath, but no automobile 


Overlooks allow park visitors to pause 
and enjoy a spectacular natural feature, 
observe wildlife, or take in a unique 
view of a special structure. There will 
be primary overlooks along Presidio 
roadways and in some cases an overlook 
may also function as a trailhead. 
Secondary overlooks occur on trails 
without auto access, and are designed to 
take advantage of unique viewpoints 
resulting from trail alignment and 
topography. These "off the beaten track" 
overlooks are intended as quiet places of 

Boardwalks through sensitive areas are 
designed to meander around vegetation. 



Li 1 ..* 

&> • 



-> $ 




Management and 
Operational Issues 

Providing safe and enjoyable trails 
requires an understanding of user 
requirements at the design stage, and 
appropriate management of trail use 
after construction. Management and 
operational issues fall into three 
categories: trail use policies, natural 
resource management and trail con- 
struction and maintenance. 

One measure of success will be a low 
level of user conflicts. Conflict 
between bikers and pedestrians is one 
of the most common trail issues. The 
Trails and Bikeways Master Plan 
reduces conflicts by providing adequate 
width of multi-use trails, a greater 
choice of a variety of pedestrian and 
multi-use trail routes, and by designing 
some trails for pedestrian use only. 



1 S^SSSmi 1 


Trail markers inform users which trails are 
appropriate for the experience they want... 

Natural resource management policies 
greatly affected trail planning, requir- 
ing compromises to visitor access and 
experience of the Presidio, and in a 
few instances, extraordinary design 

.through promenades... 

measures to protect sensitive habitat. 
For example, on one heavily used 
major multi-use trail, width is reduced 
from a standard 14 feet to only 6 feet, 
to protect habitat. Some areas require 

290 PRESIDIO TRAILS AND BIKEWAYS historic buildings and... 

fences or other barriers adjacent to 
trails to keep users from straying into 
sensitive habitats. 

To address on-going trail design, man- 
agement, construction and maintenance steep trails down to the Pacific Ocean. 

issues, NPS and Presidio Trust trail 
managers will follow the Park Design 
Guidelines, which are also included in 
the Trails and Bike ways Master Plan. 

User Feedback 

Andrea Lucas 

Landscape Architect and 

Project Manager, National Park Service 

"Significant issues at the Presidio are 
balancing historical, cultural and visual 
impacts. From an accessibility point of 
view, there are issues of finding your 
way from one point to another, when 
historical issues are also important. For 
example, one of the things we wanted 
to do with the Presidio Promenade was 
to make it recognizable as a trail going 
through various sites. We talked about 
making it a consistent trail surface all 
the way through, but the Presidio Trust 
decided to make it an urban concrete 
walk through the main post area. 
Outside of the main post area it would 
then be a consistent look so it would 
be identifiable to all users as the 

trail We're trying to make a sensible 

trail system because it's so confusing 


Overlooks provide stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and coastline. 

now, with all the different walks and 
trails and routes that are possible 

"With the historic roads, we have a lot 
of issues. They have steep crowns from 

being paved over and over, and there is a 
historic drainage ditch to meet, so we 
are looking to see if it's worth the 
expense to grind the paving off to deal 
with our allowable cross slopes. 

"One thorny issue we have is how to 
put an accessible link from the Bay way 
up to the vista point near the toll 
plaza — it's a couple of hundred feet up. 
We looked at various routes and chose 


Long Avenue, which is a linking street 
that varies about 8 to 1 percent in 
existing slope and was the only one that 
was close to accessible trail standards. 
But the road is only 20 feet wide in the 

narrowest area. So we looked at having 

a single uphill bike lane two lanes of 

cars, and then a retaining wall drop- 
ping down about three feet to a four 
foot wide accessible pathway that has 
landings for rest stops per the trails 

"We've gone back and forth between 
cultural resources and natural resources 
on that road because it is in a serpen- 
tine area and serpentine is a special 
rock here at the Presidio. It is a Civil 
War-era road, so its original width is of 
interest. And evidently there are still 
some of the old granite cobbles, which 
many San Francisco streets were paved 
with, under the existing asphalt. So that 
is a very expensive trail. The question 
is, is it worth it (grinding down the 
asphalt, adding the retaining wall and 
additional trail) to have that accessible 
link? The answer is, yes. We have to 
provide an accessible experience for all 
our visitors." 

Richard De La 

Accessibility Coordinator, Golden Gate 

National Recreation Area 

"One of the big issues is that even 
though a project is designed for univer- 
sal access, it needs continual supervision 
during construction or it will not com- 
ply. It may look good on paper and meet 
code, but it's not always constructed 
correctly. The contractor often doesn't 
follow the guidelines carefully, because 
they still have the mindset of how it's 
always been done." 



'The bridge is now a meeting point. ...It's a pleasure to stop and 
meet friends halfway." 





elegant suspension bridge as the design solution for retrofitting one of the State's 

oldest steel cantilever bridges, engineers thought that the local community would be 

pleased to have a new architectural icon in their backyards. They were not. 

This is the story of how a large state agency and a small community worked together 
to build that new bridge — and how their partnership changed the dynamic of future 
transportation projects in California. Because the community was involved in the 


The Town of Crockett (top) watched as the 
new bridge (the suspension span on the 
right) joined the two earlier bridges. C&H 
Sugar is at the upper left. 




project from the beginning, the bridge 
became the means to physically and 
psychologically reconnect the Town of 
Crockett with the region. Caltrans 
made a dramatic change in the overall 
public perception of the project. 
Townspeople came to embrace the new 
bridge as their own because they were 
allowed to become a part of the process 
that created it. 

The new Alfred Zampa (Carquinez) 
Bridge (named for an ironworker who 
worked on many San Francisco Bay Area 
bridges) is 3,400 feet long, carrying 
westbound traffic on Interstate 80 over 
the Carquinez Strait between the City 
ofVallejo and the Town of Crockett, just 
northeast of San Francisco. It has four 
automobile lanes and a fully accessible 

bicycle and pedestrian lane with stun- 
ning views of the Bay — the ultimate 

Crockett is a small, unincorporated 
Town of about 3,500. It was founded in 
1 867 and became known as the home- 
town of C&H Sugar. It overlooks the 
Carquinez Strait in the San Francisco 
Bay, bordered by rolling hills and park- 
lands. It still retains its small-town feel, 
home to many families that have lived 
there for generations. 

In 1927, two businessmen built the 
Carquinez Bridge — the first of the eight 
San Francisco Bay bridges — and oper- 
ated it as a private toll bridge. After 
previously operating a ferry service, 
they were looking for a faster way to 

PROJECT Carquinez Bridge Retrofit and Replacement LOCATION California 
Interstate 80 between the Town of Crockett and the City of Vallejo DATE DESIGNED 
COST $500 million SIZE 3400 ft. length; 2400 ft. main span (world's 27th longest 
suspension span) CLIENT California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) 
DESIGN AND ENGINEERING DeLeuw Cather & Company; OPAC Consulting 
Engineers, Inc.; D. B. Steinman; Caltrans CONSTRUCTION FCI Cleveland Bridge, a 
MIG, Inc. 






-** *.. 


« iH 



transport vehicles across the strait's 
swift waters. This steel cantilever bridge 
was seen as a modern miracle. 
Governors from four different states 
attended its opening. President Calvin 
Coolidge officially opened the bridge 
from Washington, D.C., by pressing a 
button that set off fireworks. But all of 
this fanfare was overlooked by the news 
media, which instead flocked to cover 
Charles Lindberg's record shattering 
transatlantic flight completed on the 

In 1927 this steel cantilever bridge was 
seen as a modern miracle, the longest 
bridge span west of the Mississippi. 

same day. Locals were heartbroken that 
their bridge did not get the national and 
worldwide attention they felt the 
longest bridge span west of the 
Mississippi deserved. But they were 
very happy with their new bridge. 

In 1958, a second Carquinez Bridge was 
built parallel to the first to accommo- 
date increased automobile traffic in the 
region. Each bridge carried traffic in 
one direction. The new bridge mirrored 
the original in type, although made 
from stronger steel and welded together 
instead of bolted. But this bridge did 
not receive the same support from the 
community as the first bridge — and for 
good reason. The new highway align- 
ment now cut right through the middle 
of the Town of Crockett, forever divid- 
ing it and creating a "no man's land" that 
would harbor undesirable activity for 
decades to come — a not uncommon 
result of transportation projects. 
Pedestrians on one side of town had to 
brave heavy traffic to get to the other 

side. There was no public involvement 
with this project; there was only emi- 
nent domain. Homes were taken by the 
block — 1 50 in total. The construction 
team also left behind remnant materials 
too large to easily clean up. This 
unsightly mess remained in place for 
future generations to correct. Families 
with deep roots in the area lost their 
homes, but most did not leave town. 
They remained — only to see a third 
bridge rise to potentially threaten their 
homes again. 


In 1988, Caltrans was considering 
replacing the original 1927 span because 
it was nearing the end of its useful life. 
Then, in 1989, the Loma Prieta 
Earthquake killed over 60 people in the 
Bay Area when a freeway structure col- 
lapsed. One person was killed on the 
Bay Bridge when a section of steel can- 
tilever failed and sent that motorist into 
the bay. Following this disaster, Caltrans 
created a seismic retrofit program and 


began evaluating all its bridges. At this 
point, a green light was given to begin 
environmental evaluation for building a 
new Carquinez Bridge. 

Caltrans' design solution was a daring 
and quite striking suspension bridge. 
This type of bridge had not been built in 
the United States in over 30 years. In 
the Bay Area, known for the famous 
Golden Gate Bridge, it had been over 
60 years since the birth of one of these 
elegant structures. 

But Crockett residents were not 
impressed. They complained that bridge 
construction would impair access to 
their homes and disrupt their daily lives 
incalculably. They remembered the 
unhappy experience of the previous 
bridge and how it had severed pedes- 
trian connections. Many felt that 
Caltrans was unceremoniously con- 
demning a piece of history to the scrap 
heap by demolishing the original bridge. 
They also felt that a suspension bridge 
would not look good architecturally 

with the remaining steel cantilever 
bridge; they wanted to match the origi- 
nal bridge. Simply put, they didn't trust 
Caltrans and they demanded a say. 
Caltrans decided to work directly with 
the community to find solutions. 


■ Motorists and truck drivers on 
Interstate 80 

■ Bicyclists 

■ Pedestrians 

n Residents of Crockett 

■ Residents of Vallejo 


Because of the scale of the project and 
its proximity to homes in Crockett, 
Caltrans placed a Public Information 
Office (PIO) in an office in town. The 
PIO's initial objective was to inform 
the public on the progress of con- 
struction and help mitigate as many 
construction difficulties as possible. 
From this office the public would be 
informed on any local road or freeway 

A group takes a tour down the footbridge, 
while workers continue their efforts on the 
main cable. Mixing tour groups of commu- 
nity members with engineering and design 
consultants created a better overall 
understanding of the project. Various 
groups could exchange their experiences 
and expertise directly onsite. 



Engineers from other countries were guided 
over a temporary footbridge to witness 
"cable spinning." 


closures during the construction. They 
would also be kept up-to-date on con- 
struction operations that produced 
noise, dust or vibrations that could 
potentially affect them. 

It quickly became apparent that a sec- 
ondary public information objective 
would become even more important 
and demand a new approach: educating 
and involving the community in the 


So during the three years of construc- 
tion, the Carquinez Bridge Public 
Information Office became a nexus of 
communication for the public, com- 
muters, a wide variety of community 
groups, project staff, politicians, other 
government agencies, contractors, 
consultants, trade organizations, profes- 
sional associations, and media world- 
wide. The PIO office was the place to 
go for joint planning. 

Caltrans began extensive community 
outreach through the PIO during the 
preliminary engineering design and 
environmental clearance phase, holding 
community workshops in nearby towns. 
Scale models, display boards with 
graphics and information sheets were 
used to inform the local communities 
on the project. The PIO and Caltrans 
Construction developed a series of 
community and media presentations. 
Caltrans videographers captured 
construction operations and produced 
video presentations, updated at mile- 
stones and placed on the Caltrans web- 

site so the community could learn about 
the bridge at its convenience. 

The public commented on local access 
options, the on- and off-ramps align- 
ments and "leftover" spaces, and poten- 
tial effects of large-scale construction 
within a small town. Caltrans sent some 
of its best experts in noise abatement, 
hazardous materials, landscape architec- 
ture and architectural design, aesthetics, 
engineering, and construction to 
educate the community on key design 

The community involvement worked 
both ways. Caltrans worked with 
Contra Costa County Supervisor Gayle 
Uilkema to form the Carquinez Bridge 
Community Advisory Committee 
(CBCAC), a group of seven residents 
who represented the Town of Crockett. 
They met monthly with the PIO and 
Caltrans officials to work through issues. 
The CBCAC formed subcommittees 
that looked specifically at site develop- 
ment for the entry to Crockett, bridge 
aesthetics and preserving the 1 927 

bridge. Caltrans listened closely to com- 
munity concerns and implemented 
many of their suggestions. The CBCAC 
members then became ambassadors for 
the project. They took what they learned 
back to their own local civic groups and 
as people began to understand the rea- 
soning behind the project and realized 
Caltrans was Hstening to them, public 
opinion began to change. Caltrans trans- 
formed community members from 
project "victims" to project participants. 

The Carquinez Bridge Community Advisory 
Committee stops for a group picture after a 
boat tour of the site. 



Engineers from Caltrans and Japanese steel manufacturer IHI worked with the public 
information officer to talk with local school children about the bridge. This class 
participated in an art exchange with Japanese school children who live near the steel 
plant that constructed the deck of the bridge. 


The CBCAC then helped Caltrans work 
with other state and local agencies. 
CBCAC members went with Caltrans to 
make presentations for review and 
approvals, offering visible proof that 
Caltrans was working with the commu- 
nity and had their full support for crucial 
and sometimes controversial decisions. 

Because the Crockett on and off ramps 
would be closed for two years, Caltrans 
extended a nearby exit to flow into the 
Town of Crockett. Two routes were 
always maintained for motorists to 
move through the area under the 
bridges during construction. Caltrans 
also provided a shuttle service under- 

neath the bridge during some opera- 
tions to allow pedestrians safe access 
through the area. 

The site quickly became a favorite for 
educators because of the engineering 
and historic significance of this project. 
Students from the second grade through 
college visited the Public Information 
Office to learn about the building of this 
bridge. One group of girls, from 
Benjamin Franklin Middle School in 
Vallejo, followed all three years of 
bridge construction. They visited the 
site every month, took photos and met 
with Caltrans project leaders. They cre- 
ated a website that became one of the 
best sources of information about con- 
struction, visited by other students and 
engineers across the country. 

The best example of how the commu- 
nity's attitude changed to one of pride 
and cooperation is the name of the 
bridge. The new bridge was named for 
a local resident and former ironworker 


Hogan High School library media teacher Gail Allison and then-freshmen students Breyana Scales, Kayla Woodfork and Lanaudia Woodfork 
took a tour of the Vallejo side of the Carquinez Bridge construction to update their website that tracked the work on the westbound span. 



named Alfred Zampa, who passed away 
at the age of 95, shortly after perform- 
ing the ceremonial groundbreaking for 
the bridge. Al is a legend among Bay 
Area bridge workers. He worked on 
the original Carquinez Bridge — and 
every major bridge in the Bay Area. A 
fall from the Golden Gate Bridge put 
him on extended disability, but he 
returned to the work he loved and 
worked on the second bridge crossing 
the Carquinez Strait with his sons. 
His sons and grandsons are still iron- 
workers today. A grassroots movement 
began among local residents to name 
the bridge for him. The bridge, once 
considered by many to be a disruption 
to their community, was now a source 
of great civic pride; the community 
wanted the name of one of their own 
attached to it. The State of California 

granted their request — the first time a 
California bridge has ever been named 
for a "regular guy." 

By the time the bridge was ready to 
open, the local Chambers of Commerce 
had banded together to form a Bridge 
Celebration Committee to help publicize 
and celebrate the opening of the bridge. 
They raised almost $ 100,000 to sponsor 
a fireworks show and a street fair to 
complement the opening celebration 
planned by Caltrans. In a show of com- 
munity pride, the Crockett Chamber of 
Commerce recently incorporated an 
image of the new suspension bridge into 
its logo. Crockett residents believe the 
new bridge and the pedestrian and bike 
lane will put their Town back on the map 
as a place to visit, shop and enjoy. 

The new Carquinez Bridge was named for 
iron worker Al Zampa. 



Inclusive Design Features 
and Settings 


The old off ramps dumped traffic right 
onto Pomona Street, Crockett's small 
main street. Large trucks barreled up 
and down the street to get to the C&H 
Sugar refinery. The trucks completely 
changed the small-town pedestrian cir- 
culation patterns. A possible alternative 
route, Wanda Street, had such an 
extreme grade that trucks would not 
use it. 

Caltrans initially gave Crockett a 
choice: remove the on/off ramps in 
Crockett and extend a local road to the 
freeway, or replace the on/ off ramps in 
a new alignment (leaving no easy town 
access for two years) . The community 
felt that both choices were inadequate. 
Caltrans felt the community was being 

The solution came through an inclusive 
community workshop that joined 

Caltrans representatives with commu- 
nity members in small groups. All of 
the groups came up with the same 
answer independently: they needed 
both options. Caltrans then partnered 
with Contra Costa County and a local 
oil refinery that owned land needed to 
extend the local road to the freeway 
when the old access ramps were closed 
during construction. That became the 
access road during construction. 

Caltrans engineers found a way to 
realign and regrade Wanda Street, so 
heavy trucks can exit the freeway on 
Pomona and use Wanda as a bypass, 
heading back under the bridge instead 
of driving through town. This solution 
helps reconnect the portion of the 
community that was severed by the sec- 
ond bridge. With trucks now off the 
main street, pedestrians and bicyclists 
can reach both sides of town in safety. 


Land underneath bridges and over- 
passes often causes problems for com- 

munities because they attract transients 
and undesirable activities. The second 
bridge in particular created a "no- 
man's land" in the middle of town. 
Caltrans landscape architects and right- 
of-way agents worked with CBCAC, 
local county supervisors and assem- 
blypersons to find ways to reconnect 
Crockett. They developed a plan for a 
walking and bike path under the bridge 
that features low-maintenance native 
plantings, well-marked trailheads and 
parking. The paths link up with the 
pedestrian and bike lane over the 


Bicycle coalitions from around the Bay 
Area lobbied Caltrans to include an 
accessible pedestrian and bike lane on 
the bridge. The well-lit lane, separated 
from the travel lanes, provides users 
with unique vistas of the Bay. It's now a 
vital link in the Bay Trail (an effort to 
build a continuous recreational path 
entirely around the Bay) and connects 


the communities of Crockett and Vallejo 
in a way that hasn't existed for decades. 


CBCAC's aesthetics subcommittee 
didn't want the color of the new bridge 
to be overbearing; yet they wanted it to 
be distinctive. Caltrans created simula- 
tions of the bridge and identified a color 
palette that worked well with the green 
and yellow surrounding hillsides. Three 
potential colors were painted on sections 
of the old bridge so the community 
could see it in context. The final choice 
was a steel deck gray to match the con- 
crete interchange towers, and a red cable 
system (darker than the international 
orange of the Golden Gate Bridge, yet 
reminiscent of it), with a complementary 
green used on the railing and light stan- 
dards, which also provides a human scale 
to the bike and pedestrian lane. 

■'*. SKEWS' 

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Wm 1 ro'l r ** "*•■*£ at '"-'' &« y 

Children at Tsutsujigaoka Elementary School in Japan were fascinated by the large steel 
decks they saw being constructed next door at the IHI steel plant. When they discovered it 
was for a new bridge in California, they wanted to correspond with American schoolchildren 
near the bridge. Art proved to be the universal language — they created a mural on the pro- 
tective covering for a deck, which then crossed the Pacific. 



Students at Hillcrest Elementary School in Crockett and Glen Cove Elementary School in Vallejo 
received blank deck covers to create their own mural, in response, for Japanese schoolchildren. 




Children from Glen Cove Elementary School and their principal Greg Allison admire the "mural" sent as a friendship message 
to them from children in Japan. 



Pedestrians and bicyclists take their first 
stroll across the Carquinez Strait on the 
bike and pedestrian lane's opening day. 


The aesthetics committee also worked 
with Caltrans to develop an architec- 
tural lighting scheme for the bridge. 
Caltrans explained all the options and 
fixture types, and their effect on color. 
The final scheme lights up the towers 
like the Golden Gate and adds the neck- 
lace lighting of the cables like the 
Oakland -San Francisco Bay Bridge. 

CBCAC and Caltrans jointly presented 
the color and lighting schemes to the 
San Francisco Bay Conservation and 
Development Commission (BCDC), 
which has jurisdiction over architectural 
aesthetics on the Bay. It was the first 
time Caltrans had ever gone before the 
BCDC with such strong community 
support. Although BCDC strongly 
disagreed with the color scheme, the 

community stood firmly behind Caltrans 
and their plan was implemented. 


Caltrans had planned a traditional gray 
concrete retaining wall along the hilly 
approach to the bridge pastVallejo. 
Because this was considered a motorist 
gateway to the Bay, Caltrans was inspired 
to create a more decorative wall. It's a 
striking wall sculpture, depicting sail- 
boats along the strait. One sail soars 
above the top of the wall, lending a 
three-dimensional look. This was the 
first time Caltrans had ever made a 
structural element into an artistic ele- 
ment. Caltrans says this project opened 
the door for creative solutions to retain- 
ing walls in other locations as well. 

Caltrans had first created a test art wall, 
about a foot thick and 1 5 feet long. 
Workers had planned to destroy the test 
wall, but Caltrans decided to leave it to 
the surrounding community. That wall is 
now installed on the City ofVallejo 

Lighting on the bridge towers is reminiscent 
of the Golden Gate Bridge. The necklace 
lighting of the cables echoes the Oakland- 
San Francisco Bay Bridge. 



On the other side of the bridge, because 
of community involvement, Caltrans 
decided to create an architectural treat- 
ment on a highly visible retaining wall 
that covers an entire hillside in a resi- 
dential community. Designers gave it a 
rocky texture with plantings to make it 


look more natural. Retaining walls 
closer to the freeway have the standard 
Caltrans wall treatments. 


Since the 1927 Carquinez Bridge held 
such a place of pride in the Crockett 
community — and because it was the 
very first bridge over the Bay — the 
CBCAC wanted to preserve it. Although 

it soon became clear to the community 
that the bridge would have to be demol- 
ished, they identified key sections to pre- 
serve in a museum. In addition, two 
large sections will be incorporated into 
vista points that Caltrans created, one on 
each side of the Strait. In Crockett, a 
400-meter section will become the rail- 
ing of the vista, maintaining a link to the 
past for the community. 


Howard Adams, Chairman, Carquinez 
Bridge Community Advisory Committee 

"The pedestrian lane has been much 
more widely used than most people had 
ever expected. I think there is a special 
feel for connecting two landmasses— 
you get more of a sense of a geographi- 
cal connection on foot than by car. It's 
really been very useful. One Crockett 
resident has walked it over 1 30 times 
since it opened! 

"We hope our communication (with 
Caltrans) has been a two-way street . We 
certainly have learned a lot about bridge 
construction and now appreciate the 
nuances and the magnitude of it. At the 
same time, we hope that Caltrans has 
learned more about the impact of trans- 
portation projects on residential areas 
located close to projects of this size. 
OSHA standards don't really cover 
impacts on residents." 

Caltrans was inspired to go beyond the traditional retaining wall with this depiction of 
sailboats in the strait. 

nil I ll\l L/CALTRANS 


Kent Petersen, Previous Chairman, 
Carquinez Bridge Community 
Advisory Committee 

"Crockett is a small town that once 
again found itself in the way of a new 
bridge. This time, Caltrans has been 
responsive. They've listened. They've 
worked well with us. 

"People still remember, angrily, the 
extension of 1-80 that took out some 
150 homes. It cut Crockett in two. 
People weren't given fair compensation, 
they weren't given much time to leave 
and they had nowhere to go. You had 
highway departments all over the 
country running roughshod over cities. 

With flashlights to lead the way, hundreds of area residents sang Happy Birthday and cele- 
brated the Alfred Zampa (Carquinez) Bridge's first year. 



"Facing construction this time, we 
demanded a say and we worked with 
Caltrans on everything from design and 
traffic to compensation issues. Some 14 
homeowners were displaced, but they 
got fair value for their homes." 

John LaViolette, Secretary, 
Carquinez Bridge Community 
Advisory Committee 

"Caltrans has been exceptionally 
responsive to the concerns and impacts 
of construction on our small town. The 
project has been a model for partner- 
ing between Caltrans, the bridge con- 
tractors, the County and the 
community. Participation in the 
CBCAC has truly been the most 
rewarding experience in my entire 
career. I have now entered the graduate 
engineering program at U.C. Berkeley 
to conduct an investigation of the 1927 
Bridge, in order to better understand 
corrosion and fatigue of steel struc- 
tures in a marine environment." 




r . A 'A > 


-f- n w-. * J. 

The grand opening of the Alfred Zampa (Carquinez) Bridge became a major community celebration. 


Gene Pedrotti, Chairman, 

Crockett Bridge Celebration Committee 

"This represents the heart and soul of 
Crockett. (We're) really proud of this 
bridge. The walkway is as graceful as it 
is sweeping! From the center span, 
standing perhaps 1 00 feet above the 
Strait, you can nearly cast a fishing line 
or step onto the deck of a passing ship. 

And from the vista promontory on the 
north, you can feel the strength and 
power of all three Bay bridges, but espe- 
cially the towering Zampa. The views 
are breathtaking. I think in a lot of ways 
this will help put Crockett back on the 
map. This span connection is as vital to 
the Bay Trail as the first span was in 
1927 to motor traffic." 

Dennis Trujillo, Crockett Resident 

"I like that I can walk across the bridge. 
The bridge is now a meeting point, pro- 
viding beautiful views and a great place 
to get exercise. It's a pleasure to stop 
and meet friends halfway." 



"What happened completely reversed a fast-moving tide of despair and 
neglect to one of community engagement, hope, action and results." 





is largely based on how we feel about our city's central downtown. As the focal point of 

a city, great downtowns provide us with a sense of identity and remind us of what we 

have in common as a community. Great downtowns draw people, jobs and resources. 

In 1995, Downtown Spokane was bleak. Stores were closing, jobs were disappearing and 
people no longer chose to live there. Residents described a Downtown in "freefall." But 
after ten years of planning, hard work and active community participation, new invest- 
ment exceeding $ 1 .6 billion is revitalizing the Downtown with jobs, retail, entertain- 
ment, arts and housing. In 2004, Spokane earned the All-America City Award from the 
National Urban League. This is the story of remaking an American downtown. 


The Spokane River is the central identity 
for Downtown Spokane (left). The Clock 
Tower in Riverfront Park is a City icon 


It is the inherently unique character of a 
city's downtown that distinguishes one 
urban center from another. The down- 
town is a city's visual repository of 
centuries of dreams, ambitions and hard 
work. It is a living record of its society, 

culture, business, architectural styles 
and artistic innovations. 

Great downtowns must be more than 
just a retail core or a skyscraper-filled 
financial center and their success must 
be measured by more than growth 
statistics and tax receipts. Successful 
downtowns like the one Spokane has 
created are complex, multifaceted, 
diverse, colorful mixes of inter- 
connected commercial, entertainment, 
cultural and residential districts. 

This isn't the first time that Downtown 
Spokane has remade itself. 

PROJECT Spokane Plan for a New Downtown, Downtown Spokane Zoning Ordinance and 
Design Guidelines, North Bank Development Plan, Davenport District Strategic Action 
Plan, Riverfront Park Master Plan, The Great Spokane River Gorge Strategic Master Plan 
LOCATION Spokane, Washington DATE DESIGNED 1998-2005 
CONSTRUCTION Ongoing NEW INVESTMENT currently $1.6 billion CLIENT City 
of Spokane Planning Department, City of Spokane Parks and Recreation Department, 
Spokane Business Improvement District, Spokane Arts Commission, Downtown Spokane 
Partnership CONSULTANTS MIG, Inc. (project lead, land use, planning and urban 
design, design concepts, community participation, implementation strategies), Keyser 
Marston Associates, Inc. (economic analysis), Fehr & Peers Associates, Inc. (transportation . 
analysis), Jim Kolva Associates (land use planning), Robert Odland Consulting (plan 
implementation strategy), Integrus Architecture (institutional architectural consulting), 
RAMM Associates (landscape architecture), David Evans and Associates, Inc. (planning and 
urban design, design concepts, community participation, implementation strategies) 





n M n «" " • 


v v > . ' 

»v •• 

^ <•■ ' 

Native Americans first inhabited the area 
on the banks of the Spokane River, 
located at the intersection of four moun- 
tain ranges in the high desert of south- 
eastern Washington. In 1810, members 
of John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur 
Company established a trading center on 
the river. Missionaries, miners and farm- 
ers settled the region in the 1 860s, 
harnessing the river's power to run their 
flour mills and, later, to generate elec- 
tricity. The Northern Pacific Railroad 

In 1925 an Indian Congress was held at 
Glover Field on the banks of the Spokane 


reached Spokane in 1881, the year the 
City incorporated. The area bustled with 
mining, lumber and farming. The bur- 
geoning metropolis suffered its first great 
setback in 1889, when "The Great Fire" 
ravaged Downtown and destroyed 
32 city blocks. Spokanites rebuilt 
Downtown as an industrial and railroad 
center for the Inland Northwest: seven 
transcontinental railroads and 1 4 branch 
lines ran through the City, crisscrossing 
the river. And by 1909, Spokane was 

Rail bridges, such as the 1914 Union 
Pacific High Bridge, crisscrossed the river 
and the City. 

WASHINGTON, L84197.18 

thriving with a population of 14,000. But 
the Downtown river area had become a 
sprawling, ugly railroad yard — the City 
had turned its back on the river. 

In 1913, the City recognized the impor- 
tance of its river and its Downtown by 
adopting a remarkably forward-looking 
master plan developed by renowned 
landscape architects, the Olmsted 
Brothers. The plan once again centered 
the City on the Spokane River, creating 
"green" streets and trails to connect a 
series of community parks. Much of the 
plan was implemented, as Spokane 
became a modern, growing city. 

But by the 1960s, Spokane fell victim to 
the same plight as many American 
cities: an aging infrastructure and 
increasingly suburbanized landscape led 
to a decline in the downtown area as 
residents and businesses left. 

As host of the World's Fair Expo '74, 
Spokane undertook another monumen- 
tal revitalization.The City ripped out 


Old rail yards were reclaimed as a new 
Riverfront Park for Expo '74. 

the rusty railroads along the river and 
turned the jumble of tracks and out- 
dated buildings into the beautiful 
Riverfront Park. A new downtown mall 
north of the river, called River Park 
Square, was anchored by the first 
Nordstrom store outside of Seattle and 
included a movie theater and a mix of 
large and local retailers. 

After the World's Fair, the graceful Expo Pavilion and Clock Tower remained as Spokane landmarks. 


The Expo showed the community what 
the City and Downtown could be. But 
the economic base continued moving to 
the suburbs, profiting from low-cost 
development opportunities. When two 
of four major retailers left, nearly two 
entire blocks were vacant. The Down- 

town was dotted with empty store- 
fronts. The graceful Expo Pavilion and 
the Romanesque-style Great Northern 
Depot Tower with its four clocks 
remained as tributes to the past — and 
waited for a new downtown. 


Twenty years later, in the mid-1990s, 
Downtown Spokane was in real eco- 
nomic trouble. The City had invested in 
a new Downtown transit center, a public 
library and a sports arena — it was time 
to look at the Downtown in light of a 
modern economy and changing needs of 
its residents. Building on a spirit of inno- 
vation, its inherent natural beauty and its 
cultural and economic strengths, 
Spokane embarked on a plan to trans- 

form its Downtown into a thriving and 
truly modern Northwest city center. 

In 1 994, the owners of the River Park 
Square mall proposed a key first step: a 
$ 1 1 5 -million two-block redevelopment 
to stimulate the City's economy by 
increasing jobs, revenues and tourism. 
The new mall would include a reno- 
vated Nordstrom store, a 20-screen the- 
ater and specialty retail stores and 



Spokane is the largest economic center in the Inland Northwest trade area. 

restaurants — many of them locally 
owned. The City joined the developer in 
a public /private partnership to secure 
funding. That partnership sparked a joint 
effort by the City and business and 
community leaders to develop a coordi- 
nated, long-term revitalization plan for 
the entire Downtown. It was co-led by 
the City of Spokane and the Downtown 
Spokane Partnership, a nonprofit organ- 
ization that worked to build economic 
vitality through a healthy downtown. Its 
priorities were developing the conven- 
tion and visitors industry, retail and 
office offerings, arts and entertainment 
venues, emerging industries and tech- 
nologies, and parks and recreation. 

Beginning in 1998, Spokane, now a City 
of 200,000, engaged the community in 
creating a new vision and master plan for 
the City that addressed the business envi- 
ronment, housing, education, public 
space and greenbelts, transportation and 
sports, entertainment and arts venues. 
The aim was to take advantage of the 
huge investment that had already been 


made in the City infrastructure by re- 
focusing investment into the Downtown 


The Downtown area serves the larger City of Spokane. 

For Downtown Spokane, remaking itself 
has resulted in a renewed relationship 
with the river, a new convention center, 
a vibrant arts and entertainment dis- 
trict, new housing, preserved historic 
buildings, and thriving restaurant and 
retail areas. 

Over 500 new development projects 
have already redefined the Downtown 
experience. The amount of retail space 
available increased by four times 
between 1 999 and 2005 — today there is 
more total leased retail space in the cen- 
tral business district than at any time in 
the past 20 years. The office market has 
increased by 400,000 square feet, with a 
3 percent increase in overall occupancy 
rate. Revitalization has also sparked a 
surge in market rate housing, introduc- 
ing lofts, apartments and condomini- 
ums. Long-time and new residents will 
find a mix of affordable and market rate 


housing, pedestrian walkways and green 
streets as the City grows. And 
Downtown Spokane has many more 
projects on the drawing boards. 

Project Goals 

The Downtown concept focuses on 
key activity nodes, supporting uses and 

As the main economic symbol for the 
entire Inland Northwest region, the suc- 
cess and vitality of Downtown Spokane 
directly influences public and private 
growth opportunities throughout the 
region. Spokane needed to look beyond 
the Downtown alone and connect 
Downtown with its supporting neighbor- 
hoods and the region. 

The City aimed to create an engine for 
Downtown Spokane's economic 
growth — to generate new investment, 
create new jobs, and improve everyone's 
quality of life with enhanced services and 


Summit Site 


River Park Square-^ 
Retail Center 


Convention Center 
and Opera House 

To Lewis and Clark 
High School 

Major Downtown Convention Center 
Development Expansion 

Opportunity Sites 

Downtown Public Square 
Spokane needed to link the Downtown with surrounding neighborhoods 


facilities. Running this economic engine 
would require coordinating and support- 
ing both public and private investments. 
The City hoped to attract private 
investors by demonstrating its commit- 
ment to a vibrant Downtown market- 
place. Private development needed to be 
organized so that it would support public 
investment in key design projects: street 
activation, intensity of activity and the 
concentration of development in and 
around key City resources. 

To create the engine, the City focused 
on five overall goals: 

■ Catalytic Sites: Catalytic development 
sites would spur additional invest- 
ment as developers gained confidence 
in the viability of projects in the area. 
By directing new projects toward 
existing Downtown infrastructure, 
the City would provide a solid foun- 
dation for public support of the plan. 
The City's Riverfront Park, the 
"Jewel" of Spokane, served as the 
nexus for project initiatives, as devel- 

opment efforts focused on a 
Convention Center, the International 
Airport, historic buildings, and 
nearby Gonzaga University. 

Downtown / Neighborhood Connectivity: 
The City hoped to invigorate interest 
in the Olmsted Brothers' original 
"green street" vision, connecting 
high-density development and sur- 
rounding neighborhoods with 
Spokane's natural beauty and the 
river, while providing a safe network 
of scenic streets shared by pedestri- 
ans, cyclists and automobiles. 
Howard Street will be the "string" 
that connects the pearls of the 
Riverfront Park, the Downtown 
retail core, a new public square, the 
North Bank and the South Side. 

Unique District Identities: By crafting 
complementary strategies for individ- 
ual Districts within the Downtown, 
the City aimed to create Districts 
that could individually stand on their 
own, while creating a cohesive mar- 

keting and planning strategy for the 
whole City center. 

ta Reconnections with the River: The City 
aimed to enhance Riverfront Park as 
an urban refuge in the center of 
Downtown, opening new vistas and 
planning new activity centers. 

■ Preservation of Spokane's Historic Past: 
Organizing catalytic sites around 
existing City landmarks would pro- 
mote a renewed interest in Spokane's 
signature buildings — strengthening 
Spokane's identity as a distinctive 

To achieve these goals, the City devel- 
oped a series of strategic action, master 
and development plans to revitalize 
Downtown Spokane and its inter- 
dependent neighborhoods. Five of these 
Plans are discussed in this chapter: 

1 . Spokane Plan for a New Downtown 

Ultimately, the City aimed to create 
a Downtown Spokane that was "every- 


body's neighborhood" — a place that 
would generate excitement and com- 
fort for residents and visitors, night 
and day. With the primary five goals in 
mind, a series of projects included 
improving housing, retail, economic 
development, transit, accessibility, 
community connections and usable 
open space. 

Along with the Plan, design guidelines 
and a new Downtown Spokane zoning 
ordinance would enable new develop- 
ments to better respond to site-specific 
conditions and surrounding conditions 
and character. (More information 
about these types of guidelines can be 
found in Cityscapes Design Guidelines, 
page 454.) 

2. Riverfront Park Master Plan 

Riverfront Park is a 1 00-acre open 
space area in and adjacent to the 
Spokane River. The City envisioned 
it as a peaceful urban refuge in the 
heart of Downtown, operated and 

maintained by the Spokane Parks 
and Recreation Department. It's 
closely linked with the North Bank 
Development Plan (below). 

3. North Bank Development Plan 

A focused development plan for this 
region would reconnect and revitalize 
the entertainment district with the City 
core and guide major public and private 
investment entertainment projects. 

4. Davenport District Strategic 
Action Plan 

Working with the nonprofit "Friends of 
Davenport," the City hoped to establish 
this historic area as a dynamic arts, 
entertainment and creative district. 

5. The Great Spokane River Gorge 
Strategic Master Plan 

The Spokane River Gorge is the area's 
key natural treasure. Primary goals were 
to enhance public use and protect its 
natural beauty, reflecting local history 
and culture. 

User Groups 

Businesses (local, regional, national) 

Current Downtown residents 

Nearby neighborhood residents 

Regional residents who might relo- 
cate Downtown 

Outdoor recreation users (walkers, 
bikers, boaters, kayakers, etc.) 

City agencies 

Higher education institutions 

Medical /healthcare institutions 

Visitors and tourists 

Design Process 

Each of the five Plans included extensive 
community and business involvement, 
including large public meetings, small 
group discussions, and design charettes. 


Spokane's Plan for a New Downtown 
was developed by a joint public-private 
partnership between the City of 
Spokane and the Downtown Spokane 



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Large wall graphics visually assured community members that their ideas were heard and recorded, and provided a group memory of their ideas. 

Partnership (DSP), a not-for-profit 
coalition of business, government and 
community leaders. The City and DSP 
established a 2 6 -member Steering 
Committee, composed of business own- 
ers, property owners, residents and 

community leaders. The Committee 
helped formulate initial plan recommen- 
dations and guide the plan through an 
extensive community outreach program . 
To guide community participation and 
ensure feasibility of Plan recommenda- 

tions, three technical focus groups were 
convened on transportation, economic 
development and urban design issues. 

Community participation played a 
critical role and presented the greatest 


Participants used modular maps to help 
visualize the effects of land use planning 
on the City. 

challenge in the planning process. 
"Envision Spokane," a community 
newsletter designed to update citizens 
on new planning information, helped 
attract 1 ,500 attendees to five commu- 
nity meetings. The first meeting, The 
Downtown Vision Workshop, took 
place at the Spokane Convention 
Center on February 5, 1998. Broadcast 
on local television, the workshop's posi- 

tive interchange confirmed the impor- 
tance of Downtown's future and identi- 
fied key issues that later comprised the 
Vision for Downtown Spokane. 

A second workshop, the Planning and 
Design Chare tte, transformed the prior- 
ities identified in the first meeting into a 
series of "planning stations." At each sta- 
tion, participants engaged in interactive 

activities unique to specific design and 
topic areas — allowing City staff and 
steering committee members to directly 
record community feedback on emerg- 
ing concepts for the plan. 

Three more community meetings fol- 
lowed, allowing community members 
to review major plan policy elements 
and, finally, to celebrate and review the 

Community members participated in an 
outdoor festival to help plan the future of 
Riverfront Park. 

Individual booths highlighted different 
alternatives and proposals. 


draft plan. Almost all of those in atten- 
dance agreed with the Plan for a New 
Downtown and its action items. 

The breadth and success of the 
community outreach process and 
Downtown Plan earned Spokane the 
1998 Washington American Planning 
Association award. 

Ongoing Projects 
& Activities 

Stakeholder Steering Committee 
Interviews Meeting #1 


Draft Plan 

Steering Committee 
Meetings #2 and #3 

Final Plan 

Case Studies 




Stakeholder interviews played a key role 
in the gathering of public input for the 
Riverfront Park and North Bank Plans. 
Community members representing a 
diverse range of interests were asked a 
series of open-ended questions intended 
to gather opinions and solicit ideas for 
specific redevelopment concepts. 
Questions focused on key areas within 
the Park and North Bank, directing the 
resulting Plan on specific development 
areas. Four community workshops and a 
telephone survey helped develop the 
types of attractions and recreation the 
Park should offer. 

The strategic planning process for the Davenport District included artists, business owners 
and residents. 


The first planning document for the 
area was drafted in 1 990 by Friends of 
the Davenport, a nonprofit group pro- 
moting redevelopment. A group of vol- 
unteers began organizing and holding 
community meetings in 1997. They 
formed the Riverside Neighborhood 
Council and provided input to the City. 
In 1998, the City then involved those 
community members in the Plan for a 
New Downtown process — including 

local artists, business owners, the 
Davenport District Arts Board, the 
Downtown Spokane Partnership, the 
Spokane Arts Commission and the 
Business Improvement District. The 
Spokane Arts Commission and the 
Downtown Spokane Partnership gath- 
ered additional community feedback 
through an artist's focus group and by 
distributing over 500 questionnaires to 
arts and cultural organizations and indi- 
vidual artists. During three planning 
workshops, district stakeholders devel- 


oped a vision for continued revitaliza- 
tion and established priority strategies 
and actions necessary to implement the 
Davenport Plan. 


In May 2004, a 2 5 -member steering 
committee worked to identify projects 
and programs in the Spokane River 
Gorge to reacquaint local residents and 
visitors with this dramatic and unique 
natural resource. 

Led by Friends of the Falls, the Spokane 
River Gorge planning process included 
Indian tribes, residents and government 

Led by Friends of the Falls (FOF), a 
nonprofit organization dedicated to pre- 
serving the historic waterfalls and river 
gorge in Downtown Spokane, the plan- 
ning process included months of inter- 
views with government and park 
agencies, residents' boards, representa- 
tives from local American Indian tribes, 
business organizations and outdoor 
recreation groups. To better understand 
the river from varied perspectives, 
stakeholders visited river trails and 
overlooks, and even rafted through the 


g° r g' 


The City hosted an initial community 
workshop in June 2004 to gauge com- 
munity response to a Plan for the gorge 
area; about 100 people provided feed- 
back on the Plan's principles, vision and 
proposed projects. FOF hosted a final 
public workshop, generating feedback 
on the Great Spokane River Gorge 
Strategic Master Plan and its priority 
projects. The Plan was revised to incor- 
porate public comments and it was sub- 
sequently approved by the Park Board. 

Inclusive Design Features 


"Our Downtown is a mixed-use regional 
center for shopping, living, recreation and 
entertainment. Riverfront Park is the center 
of the City and Downtown. It is the 'Jewel' 
of the City. Riverfront Park is a great 
public open space in the center of a 
growing, vital and urban City." 

— Vision of Downtown Spokane 

To reinvent and revitalize Downtown 
Spokane, the City developed action 
strategies for nine elements the commu- 
nity considered crucial: 

1 . Land Use 

2. Downtown Districts 

3. Special Districts 

4. Economic Development 

5. Housing 

6. Transportation and Circulation 

7. Community Design 

8. Historic Preservation 

9. Neighborhood Economic 


For each strategy area, the City deter- 
mined key actions, a time frame to 
complete these actions, agencies 
responsible for implementation, and 
potential funding sources. In some 
instances, the City far exceeded the 
Plan's goals. In others, Plan initiatives 
are still in process. 

1. Land Use 

Using a detailed Land Use map (see 
next page), the City arranged office, 
commercial, residential, cultural, insti- 
tutional, and light industrial uses to 
create "mixed-use urban villages" and 
core retail, entertainment and office 
centers, based on current uses and 
potential for new investment. The City 
also updated the zoning ordinance to 
reflect the Plan objectives. 

A "mixed-use urban village" is a return 
to the traditional town — encouraging 
high-density development with a mix 

of housing and offices located above 
retail spaces. Housing would be 18 to 
110 dwelling units per acre (gross) 
with building heights ranging from 3 to 
13 stories. 

By integrating ground level services 
with residential and office spaces, retail 
shops and restaurants are encouraged to 
stay open on evenings and weekends to 
serve a livery, active community. The 
24-hour vitality of these villages ensures 
a safe environment and attracts visitors, 
new residents and businesses — and 

To facilitate the growth of mixed-use 
urban villages, the City: 

Classified office developments 
according to floor plate size and 
directed large office developments 
outside of the City center, into new 
Office Campus Park areas; and 

Downtown combines high rise offices with 
pedestrian level amenities. 

Distributed four types of commercial 
land uses (auto-oriented, visitor- 
serving, specialty entertainment and 
general commercial) to strategic 
locations throughout Downtown. 


0verla vs Residential 

jX/l Mixed Use (Includes retail and 


1 J Mined Use Urban Village 

I .J Medical District 

Office, Commercial, and Industrial 

| High Presidential f— ] Genera, Commercial □ Visitor-Se^ing Commercial 

J Medium Density Residential [— | Retail, Office, Residential ] Specialty Entertainment 

I | Low Density Residential I 1 Regional Retail, Entertainment, 

Community Facilities and Open Space 

~2 Cultural and Institutional 
_] Parks and Open Space 

Office Core 

Office Campus Park 


^-^ Arterial Street 

*"* Proposed New Road Alignment 

-■- Proposed Future Light Rail 

] Auto-Oriented Retail 

J Office, Light Industrial, Warehousing 
[ I Manufacturing and Warehousing 

DDDD Howard Street Pedestrian 

The City aimed to develop a fine-grained mix of uses throughout the Downtown. 


2. Downtown Districts 

The Downtown Plan identified six 
distinct Districts, each with unique 
development goals, historic elements, 
architectural considerations and popula- 
tions. For each corridor, the plan 
suggested land use goals and key oppor- 
tunity sites to stimulate growth and 
define the area's character, and succes- 
sive action plans detailed inclusive 
design features. 

Downtown Core 

The Downtown Core is the center of 
Downtown, with high-density office 
and commercial uses, as well as hous- 
ing. Successful completion of the 
Spokane Convention Center, is one of 
the plan's primary catalytic Downtown 
projects. The 100,000-square-foot 
expansion places the Spokane region at 
the forefront for attracting major 
national conventions, expositions and 

A new AMC theater at River Park Square has boosted the local economy by stimulating 
adjacent retail activity. 



The City created six distinct Districts in the Downtown planning area (within the orange line). 


trade shows. The convention center also 
hosts meetings for local organizations, 
graduations and other area events. The 
City plans to secure a location for a 
public plaza to focus potential residen- 
tial and retail investments. 

River Park Square, the project that 
started the current Spokane revival, was 
renovated in 1 999 . The basement now 
houses the Mobius Children's Museum. 
The Square features a five-story glass 
atrium housing a 20-plex movie theater, 
retail stores and bistro. Adhering to the 
City's design guidelines, the develop- 
ment includes its own parking structure 
and pedestrian-friendly window displays 
and entrances. The Square has generated 
more than 1 , 1 00 new hospitality jobs 
and provided $ 13.6 million in tax rev- 
enues to the City by 2005 . 

The Spokane Convention Center — being expanded to 100,000 square feet — and the Opera 
House were catalytic sites for Downtown development adjacent to Riverfront Park. 



The Downtown's former J.C. Penney Building, across from River Park Square, is reopening as "809 West Main" and incorporates ground floor 
retail with 21 loft condominiums. 



The historic Gallagher Building on Jefferson 
Street, in the west end of Downtown, was 
an abandoned warehouse for two decades. 
The building has been renamed the 
Jefferson Street Auto Lofts for the historic 
auto corridor along the Downtown railroad 
tracks. It is now office, retail and residential 

West End 

Planning activity focused on the devel- 
opment of high-density, mixed-use 
buildings with a concentration of retail 
activity along First Avenue. Key devel- 

Riverview Condominiums, a new housing 
project, may spur infill housing in the west 
side of Downtown. It follows the new 
design guidelines by incorporating low-rise 
brick facades at the street. 


opment sites on First Avenue would be 
developed with wider sidewalks and 
plazas, creating a linear pedestrian link 
from the area to the Downtown Core 
and the Davenport Arts District. 

East End 

East End development also promoted 
high-density, mixed-use office and resi- 
dential developments with ground floor 

retail, while encouraging the preserva- 
tion and active use of the area's historic 
structures. The Plan identified vacant 
and underutilized sites along Bernard 
Street for development, suggesting 
wider sidewalks and plazas to create a 
pedestrian link between the Convention 
Center and Riverfront Park. 

In accord with the Downtown Plan, the 
Community Building opened in 2001 
on West Main Street. It features an open 

The renovated Community Building, on 
West Main Street, is now home to nonprofit 
organizations involved in social justice 




The vacant 97-year-old Saranac Hotel at 
25 West Main Street will be renovated as a 
green building, providing 32,000 square 
feet of floor space for a potential ground 
floor movie theater and offices for social 
justice or environmental justice missions. 


North Bank 

The City owns a large portion of the 
North Bank, and planning efforts for 
this area are detailed in the Riverfront 
Park Master Plan and North Bank 
Development Plan. The Downtown 
Plan called for mixed uses in this area, 
including new sports, entertainment 
and recreation activities, support for 
commercial and entertainment retail 
close to the Arena and Riverfront Park, 

and medium- and high-density residen- 
tial developments around Washington 
Street, with supporting service retail. 

South Side 

Located south of Interstate 90, 
Downtown's South Side became the 
focus for large office spaces, light indus- 
trial and residential uses. The Plan rec- 
ommended retaining the area's signature 
warehouse and light industrial uses, 

floor plan, solar panels that provide 1 2 
percent of the building's power, and a 
vegetable garden. It's now home to non- 
profits involved in social justice. Tenants 
don't pay rent, but split the cost of 
operations, maintenance and taxes. The 
adjacent Saranac Hotel is now being 
redeveloped and expanded, and could 
include a smaller movie theater for 
independent films, a cafe and more 
office space. 

The Spokane Arena is a catalyst for nearby restaurants and sports venues. 


while encouraging commercial develop- 
ment near Interstate 90 directed at com- 
muters and other motorists. 

Riverfront Park 

Ambitious efforts to improve the park 
focused on a center pedestrian spine 
with increased street activity — relocat- 

The larger-than-life "Radio Flyer" sculpture 
and slide is a park favorite. 

The park offers an urban respite. 

The river even has fish! 


ing passive recreational uses to the east 
and west sides of the park. Plans for 
Riverfront Park are presented in detail 
in the Riverfront Park Master Plan. 

3. Special Districts 

The City also created an overlay of 
Special Districts, each demarcated in a 
general area of the City, to encourage 
flexible implementation strategies. 

Intended to cluster similar visitor- 
attracting and employment activities, 
Spokane focused efforts on streetscape 
projects, connecting the Downtown 
Core with the City's entertainment dis- 
trict via improvements to Post Street. 
These special districts are designed to 
create an exciting atmosphere for resi- 
dents and visitors, and allow Downtown 
establishments to coordinate marketing 
and promotional activities. 

Warm weather encourages a variety of activities in Riverfront Park. 


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> \- ■■■■■■*■ I 

^ _■■■•■•■ A/I > SECOND 

iH"" X A 1 E J 


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i Planning Area 
Mutual Influence Area 

Central Core Districts 
Special Districts 

Terabyte Triangle 
Commercial Hot Zones 

An overlay of Special Districts helps focus planning and promotional efforts. The Terabyte Triangle — a free high-speed wireless zone — has 
been a tremendous success, attracting over 1 50 new businesses. 


1 Terabyte Triangle: This is Spokane's 
successful high-speed connectivity 
hot zone. Spokane laid over 500 
miles of fiber-optic cable and created 
a free 100-block wireless (wi-fi) zone 
to foster high-tech businesses and 
attract supporting professional serv- 
ices (accountants, lawyers, video and 
music producers). The network also 
provides secure police, fire, parking 
enforcement, and other safety and 
management communications. 

Hoping to attract ten new "triangle" 
businesses a year, the City far sur- 
passed expectations — adding over 
150 businesses in five years and caus- 
ing Time magazine in October 2004 
to label Spokane "the wireless 
hotspot of the future." A June 2004 
article in Sky West magazine dubbed 
the City "a 2 1 st-century power player 
in an entrepreneurial world fueled by 
technology and innovation." And The 
Intelligent Community Forum, a 
New York— based technology think 
tank, recently identified Spokane as 
one of seven of the world's brightest 
cities for investment in communica- 

tions technologies — it was the only 
U.S. city chosen. 

Arts and Entertainment: This area later 
evolved into the Davenport District 
Strategic Action Plan, detailed later in 
this chapter. 

The Hot Zones: This area includes 
three restaurant and entertainment 
"hot zones" where new restaurants and 
entertainment are encouraged to 
locate to increase pedestrian density 
and business vitality. The zones are 
located along Spokane Falls Boulevard 
at the edge of Riverfront Park to 
strengthen the connection between 
the Convention Center and the 
Downtown retail core, along First 
Avenue in the West End to serve the- 
atergoers and the neighborhood, and 
along Howard Street north of the 
river to support the sports and enter- 
tainment uses of the North Bank. 

Opera and Convention Center: This dis- 
trict includes hotels, the opera house 
and the Convention Center. The City 
improved pedestrian connections and 
devised marketing and promotional 
strategies to attract both supporting 
services and visitors. 

■ Downtown Influence Areas: These areas 
both influence and are influenced by 
activities in the Downtown. The City 
is in the process of developing better 
physical (pedestrian and transit) and 
policy connections to the County 
Government Area, Medical District, 
Summit Area and Higher Education 
and Research District. 

■ Medical, Higher Education, and 
Warehouse Districts: These districts 
don't have rigid boundaries, but are 
designed to encourage agglomeration 
of similar institutions and supporting 
businesses. In the university area, 
campus population is expected to 
top 1 1 ,000 students by 2010 and the 
master plan calls for a mixed-use envi- 
ronment with student housing, shop- 
ping, dining and gathering spaces. 

4. Economic Development 

In one of the most successful strategies, 
Spokane paved the way for future invest- 
ment by streamlining development- 
related issues. The City added a new 
cabinet-level division — the Economic 


This project at Howard and West Main Street is characteristic of the revitalization encour- 
aged by the Economic Development Council's initiatives. 


Development Council (EDC) — merg- 
ing Spokane's planning and building 
services departments into a single 
agency to manage all development 
initiatives. The EDC: 

■ Created the Downtown Spokane 
Ventures Association, and used the 

Association's tax-exempt status to 
secure and leverage public, founda- 
tion and private funding to imple- 
ment new projects. Ventures played a 
key role in fundraising strategies, 
funding streetscape and preservation 
projects and renovations of the his- 
toric buildings. 

■ Reduced processing time for a new 
commercial building permit to just 
over one month by simplifying permit 
and development processes and pro- 
duced new educational materials, 
applications, economic incentives and 
a comprehensive website. 

■ Strengthened ties with regional agen- 
cies, collaborating on a Strategic 
Action Plan for Spokane and the 
Inland Northwest, a framework for 
delivering measurable results to both 
Downtown and regional economies. 

8 Collaborated with the Chamber of 
Commerce to change State of 
Washington constitutional provisions 
to allow the creation of tax increment 
financing (TIF) districts. TIF districts 
encourage redevelopment in depressed 
areas by allowing many project devel- 
opment costs (such as infrastructure, 
parking, streetscape, etc.) to be paid 
for by the new property taxes gener- 
ated by redevelopment. 


5. Housing 

In 1995, Downtown Spokane's housing 
stock was mostly multi-family units, 
many targeted for low-income or eld- 
erly occupants. The City hoped to 
accommodate young professionals and 
"empty-nesters" with 200 new housing 
units per year, while continuing to pro- 
vide for low-income and elderly resi- 
dents. The Plan objective was to create a 
wide range of housing, from affordable 
below-market-rate to luxury units. The 
City developed a set of strategies which 
were designed to: 

■ Create incentive programs to encour- 
age rehabs and infill projects (loan or 
grant programs in target areas); 

■ Support market-rate and high-end 

■ Work with public, private, nonprofit 
housing developers to create 
affordable housing options; 

■ Leverage public and private funds to 
renovate deteriorated buildings; 

■ Change State law to allow City 
Redevelopment powers, such as 

eminent domain, to acquire vacant or 
underused structures that can be sold 
to housing developers; 

■ Use federal and local housing district 
designations to create opportunity for 
federal housing tax credits; and 

■ Establish a consortium of local lenders 
to finance Downtown housing. 

The City also held "Quadrant Open 
Houses" to involve the community in 

updating residential development codes 
to include more housing options such as 
cottage housing, zero lot lines, accessory 
dwelling units ("granny flats"), provi- 
sions for building on smaller lots, and 
transition areas between existing and 
new developments. 

Market rate housing has increased and 
more is coming. A recent DSP study 

Vacant for the past twenty years, the Borning Building is now slated to be transformed into 
50 units of workforce housing. 



The historic Parsons Building on First and 
Jefferson was renovated as a five-story 
community for the elderly and disabled. 
The community room has a full kitchen and 
there's a rooftop garden area. Free social 
services are available on site. 


documented that a range of people- 
students, young professionals and empty 
nesters — want to move to the Down- 
town area. The study concluded that 

Downtown could support 1 ,500 new 
market-rate dwelling units over the next 
five years. Small, vacant historic build- 
ings are being renovated and entirely 
new construction is underway. A new 
ordinance allows use of woodframe 
construction in buildings up to 65 feet 
tall (50 feet was the previous limit). The 
change — worked out by the Spokane 
Fire Department, the City and the 
DSP — allows developers to add height 
to an existing building without major 
reconstruction. That directly led to the 
$ 1 8 million Havermale Park project, 
which will restore the historic Cadillac, 
Hale, Mearow, National, and Browne 
Buildings, providing 130 apartments 
and 37,000 square feet of retail space 
(including grocery store, unique restau- 
rants and boutique shops) . 

Plans have also been approved for hun- 
dreds of residential units in a mixed-use 
development on the Summit site in the 
West Central area (just outside the plan 
area) and planning began in 2005 for a 

1 7- to 20-story hotel and residential 
tower in the Downtown Core. 

The historic Parsons Building was con- 
verted from a hotel and card room into 
a community of 50 apartments for eld- 
erly and disabled residents. On the 
books is a potential rehabilitation of the 
Borning Building, which has been vacant 
for 20 years. It would provide 50 units 
of workforce housing — one- to three - 
bedroom units with various rent struc- 
tures for people who earn from 30 to 
60 percent of the median income for 
the area. 

6. Transportation and Circulation 

As Downtown Spokane becomes an 
increasingly popular destination, trans- 
portation and circulation issues will 
become critical. The City will bring 
back the green streets plan to create 
pedestrian-friendly streets while effi- 
ciently moving people into and around 
Downtown via all modes of travel. One 


through Riverfront Park 

Level I Green Street 

Level II Green Street 
(Pedestrian and Auto-Oriented) 

Level III Green Street 

Centennial Trail 
Planning Area 

The City Planned a green streets network: connected landscaped, tree-lined corridors that range from pedestrian only to auto only. (See 
"Cityscapes" in the Inclusive Design Guidelines for more information on types of streets.) 


of the more substantial strategies in the 
plan, transportation and circulation ini- 
tiatives showed private investors that the 
City supported increased density in spe- 
cific areas and provided a long-term set 
of initiatives that would progress 
according to economic and population 

Pedestrian Circulation 

Good pedestrian circulation and con- 
nections are essential to creating mixed- 
use urban villages. Spokane initially 
concentrated pedestrian improvements 
on single locations; the success of indi- 
vidual areas would then promote public 
investment in streetscape improvements 

The City reconsidered the purpose of 
specific one-way and two-way streets. 
Two-way streets can slow traffic down 
and improve pedestrian accessibility, 
which is appropriate for pedestrian- 
oriented streets. (See "Reconnecting 
with the Street: R Street" for more 

discussion about pedestrian-oriented 
and auto-oriented streets.) 

Post Street, a major artery connecting 
the Downtown Core with the new arts 
district, changed from a one-way to a 
two-way street. This, along with various 
streetscape improvements, including 
plant boxes and trees, helped fulfill the 
City's vision of "green streets" with 
pedestrian activity. By strengthening the 
enforcement of pedestrian right-of-way 
laws, the City helped redefine its image 
as a pedestrian-friendly Downtown. In 

2004, residents approved a $ 1 17 mil- 
lion, 10-year street improvement proj- 
ect to renovate 110 miles of arterial and 
residential streets. 

River Crossings 

The City completed reconstructing the 
Monroe Street Bridge in September 

2005, once the largest concrete arch 
bridge in the United States. A 1 998 
engineering investigation determined 
the bridge had as few as five years 

When it was built in 191 1, the Monroe 
Street Bridge was the largest concrete 
bridge in the country. The $20 million 
reconstruction preserved a City landmark. 
The original intricate details, such as this 
buffalo skull, were painstakingly recreated. 



The Monroe Street Bridge is an important connection between Downtown south of the river 
and the Centennial Trail north of the river. 


before deteriorating conditions might 
close it entirely. By essentially recon- 
structing the original bridge, the City 
retained its effect on Spokane's historic 
character, provided a direct connection 
to recreational opportunities in the 
Spokane River Gorge, and extended the 
bridge's life by at least 75 years. 

Bicycle Accommodations 

The City plans new bike paths and has 
added key connectivity features to the 
Spokane River Gorge. As the City 
adheres to design guidelines for new 
streets and sidewalks, improvements to 
bicycle accommodations will continue. 

Monroe Street Bridge re-opening festivities 
included a community street fair with enter- 
tainment and a nighttime gala with fireworks. 




The City added new parking structures 
to support major visitor attractions at 
River Park Square and the Davenport 
Arts District, as well as a $1.25 million 
Park and Ride station in the South Hill 
area. All new parking structures con- 
form to design specifications outlined in 
the City's "Downtown Design 
Guidelines" and accompanying zoning 
ordinance. The Downtown Spokane 
Business Improvement District (man- 
aged by the Downtown Spokane 
Partnership) completed a Downtown 
Comprehensive Parking Management 
Plan in 2005. The Plan calls for the cre- 
ation of a new nonprofit organization 
and parking manager, guided by the 
efforts of public and private stakehold- 
ers, and for a physical inventory, use 
study, and future demand projection for 
all Downtown parking. 

7. Community Design 

Community design enhances the qual- 
ity of private and public spaces by 

integrating features such as pedestrian 
friendliness, accessibility, view corri- 
dors, historic preservation, public art, 
landscape, parks and plazas. The City 
plans new plazas for public events and 
informal gatherings in the Downtown 
Core and at City Hall. 

To ensure pedestrian-sensitive develop- 
ment and cooperation between public 
and private developments, the City 
drafted the "Downtown Design 
Guidelines" and zoning ordinance detail- 
ing specific design elements to enhance 
the livability of the Downtown area. 
(Design guidelines from this document 
are featured in this book's Cityscapes 
Design Guidelines.) 

8. Historic Preservation 

Historic preservation stimulates private 
investment. One by one, local busi- 
nesses and property owners have been 
investing in renovating buildings and 
creating new housing and retail space. 
Lewis and Clark High School, built in 

The American Legion Building sat com- 
pletely vacant during the 1 980s and 
1 990s. It was built in 1 900 for the 
Spokane Club, by the same architects that 
built the Empire State Building. Renovations 
included restoring the original mansard 
roof, destroyed by a fire in 1910. 


1912, completed a major renovation in 
2001 that triggered renewal of deterio- 
rated buildings and streetscapes in a 
three-block surrounding area. 

The new Economic Development 
Division incorporates a Historic 
Preservation Department, dedicated to 
retaining historic buildings as valuable 


The strikingly renovated Courthouse features 
Gothic Revival architecture. 


Lewis and Clark High School's renovation preserved its craftsman-style woodwork interior 
and terra cotta and brick facade. 

assets that strengthen the City's unique 
character and sense of place. The City 
streamlined a set of preservation forms 
and applications for property owners. In 
2002 alone, this simplicity resulted in 
historic rehabilitation investments total- 
ing $27.3 million — almost as much as 
the rest of Washington State combined. A 
local historic tax credit, implemented to 
encourage investment in historic struc- 
tures, currently benefits 100 downtown 




!■■■■■■ 2l i:,> " 

■a«iii!S!lV ,1:i 


The Paulsen Building on the right was 
completed in 1911 using the all-steel 
construction for highrises typical of the 
Chicago School. The adjacent renovated 
Paulsen Medical/Dental Building (left), 
designed in Art Deco style, was completed 
in 1 929; its stepped crown rises to a 
set-back penthouse, a Spokane landmark. 


Built in 1905, the Beaux Arts/Neoclassical 
Holley-Mason Hardware Building was one 
of the first reinforced concrete buildings in 
Washington state. Located in the Davenport 
District, it was renovated as an emerging 
technology center — now home to bio-tech 
and software firms — and received the 2000 
Washington State Historical Preservation 


The renovated 1923 Chronicle Building in 
the Davenport District is a prime example 
of Age of Elegance architecture. 


buildings. In 2005, the momentum of 
historic preservation projects encour- 
aged Spokane to enact an ordinance 
restricting the demolition of all historic 

Other major properties renovated 
the plan's development include the 


Davenport Hotel, Montvale Hotel and 
Fox Theater (described in the 
Davenport District Strategic Plan), the 
Steam Plant, the American Legion 
Building, and the Spokane Flour Mill 
(described in the North Bank 
Development Plan). 

9. Neighborhood Economic 

Recognizing the interdependence of 
Downtown and neighborhood economic 
growth, Spokane made the economic 
development of surrounding neighbor- 
hoods a specific component of the City's 


The 1916 Central Steam Plant (above and 
at left) provided Downtown's steam heat for 
70 years, but closed down in 1 986 and 
remained vacant for more than a decade. An 
enormous restoration project turned four 
massive steam boilers into a coffee shop, 
restaurant, shop and wishing well. The 
coalbunker is now high-tech office space 
suspended from the ceiling. The restoration 
grew to include the adjacent 1 890 Seehorn 
Building and the Courtyard Building, for a 
total of 80,000 square feet, including park- 
ing. The project won a 2001 National 
Preservation Honor Award. 



A new gondola replaced the original structure and links Riverfront Park with the North Bank. 


master plan. The City and the 
Downtown Spokane Partnership 
provided leadership in the creation of 
neighborhood-specific economic 
plans — strengthening growth potential 
downtown and, more importantly, 
encouraging neighborhood residents 
and community leaders to invest in the 
planning process. 

The Spokane Community Empowerment 
Zones now cover most of the West 
Central, East Central and Hillyard 
neighborhoods. They are intended to 
stimulate economic development by 
offering sales and use tax deferrals, new 

job tax credits, and business training 
credits to companies in research and 
development and manufacturing. 


The Downtown Core contains high- 
intensity employment centers, as well as 
regional retail and entertainment cen- 
ters. Riverfront Park provides a great 
open space amenity as an urban refuge, 
as well as connections between 
Downtown and the North Bank. The 
park accommodates recreational, civic 
and cultural activities that have a broad 
community appeal. 

Spokane Falls Skyride 

A state-of-the-art gondola opened in 
September 200S on the western edge of 
the park, along the Monroe Street 
Bridge. The new gondola, with IS fully- 
accessible six-passenger cabins, is an 
update of the City's original gondola, 
designed for the 1974 Exposition. The 
closed gondolas allow the ride to oper- 
ate over a much longer season. 

The Riverfront Park Master Plan addressed 
specific needs and projects for the park. 


The Riverfront Park Master Plan also addresses the North Bank development site (large 
dotted circle at top) and the relationship to the Spokane Arena area. 

Fall foliage lines the riverside paths. 

Howard Street Corridor 

Howard Street is the main north-south 
pedestrian link, running through the 
park and linking the south and north 
banks. High-intensity activities clustered 
along the corridor will help make it a 
destination rather than just a pathway. 
Kiosks will provide interpretive infor- 
mation about the City and the park. 
Food and gift vendors will create desti- 
nation points. Design elements such as 
patterned brick pavers, landscaping, 


The south entry to Riverfront Park includes a carousel and grassy areas. 



The Rotary Riverfront Fountain, at the 
south entrance, was designed by well- 
known Spokane sculptor Harold Balazs. 
It features 1 50 jets that pump water in 
changing patterns and is lit at night. It is 
fully accessible to wheelchairs, walkers 
and strollers. 


lighting, street furniture and signage 
will create a distinctive pathway and 
enhance safety. 

A potential future project is an electric 
trolley connection on Howard Street 
that would provide both transportation 
and a fun experience — with minimal 

The entry on the North Bank will be enhanced with a plaza and seating 



Major entries will be welcoming and 
distinctive and help create community 
connections. The main south entrance 
feature is the carousel, which was 
expanded and enhanced, with a new, 
interactive water feature. The North 

Entry is a critical link between the park 
and North Bank activities, including the 
Spokane Arena and the new North Bank 
development. Landmark elements that 
identify the entry, shaded seating areas, 
and a plaza will increase community and 
group experiences. 


Pavilion Area 

The pavilion is a central element of the 
park, immediately adjacent to the river. 
However, it blocks views of the river. 

Since it was built for the 1974 Expo, it 
must be updated. One of the main 

retaining the tent covering that makes 
the facility distinctive. The structure 

improvements will be removing pieces of can be adapted to create a theater in the 

the structure to open views, while 

round with amphitheater and lawn 

The Pavilion area is one of the renovation projects identified in the Riverfront Park North Bank Master Plan. 


The existing tent structure of the park 
pavilion . . . 

Dry Wat 

Memorial \ 

Wood Panel 




Shrubs Low Enough 
Create Borrowed 
Scenery From Paved 


, and the Japanese Garden area will also be renovated. 

seating. Improved landscaping, lighting, 
sculpture and public art will enhance 
physical appearance and safety. A cafe 
with outdoor seating will also contribute 
to a more welcoming environment. 

A major renovation in the area will be 
removing the existing IMAX building 
(replaced with a new IMAX on the 
North Bank), which is underutilized. 
Instead, an entry plaza (with an attraction 
such as bocce ball courts or ice rink) and 
children's play area or lawn will open up 
the views and provide gathering space. 

East Havermale Island 

East of the pavilion area, the forestry 
pavilion and small amphitheater benefit 
from beautiful views of the river and 
the dramatic buildings on the South 
Bank, such as the opera house. The 
amphitheater will be enhanced to pro- 
vide a small venue for concerts and 
performances, benches, picnic tables 
and landscaped garden spaces will be 
added and pedestrian access improved. 
A picnic shelter and additional rest- 
rooms on the eastern edge of the island 

will enhance the area for parties and 
family reunions. 

Japanese Garden 

The garden is a quiet, contemplative 
area that will be restored as a traditional 
Japanese garden. Traditional elements 
include a wood panel fence, new 
entrance, rock garden, dry water wall 
with rocks and possibly a native plant 
interpretive center. 


Canada Island 

Canada Island is underutilized and could 
provide many more recreational oppor- 
tunities. The existing storage structure 

will be renovated as a small log-frame 
picnic shelter, with rock walls and 
totem pole. Native vegetation will be 
restored and interpretive signage will 

create an educational and interactive 
environment for park visitors. The 
entire island could be rented for private 
functions such as weddings and parties. 


Plans for the North Bank area proposed 
specific catalytic sites in the City's main 
entertainment and recreation hub. The 
primary element was a new Science 
Technology Center, supported by park- 
ing and transportation improvements 
and, eventually, a new IMAX theater. 
The Plan also called for major improve- 
ments to existing park access — improv- 
ing the park entrances on the North 
Bank and connections to the Spokane 
Arena. By successfully reorganizing the 
area's public activities and develop- 
ments, the City created greater poten- 
tial for private investment along the 
North Bank while addressing the com- 
munity's need for an urban refuge in a 
peaceful, accessible Riverfront Park. 

The Riverfront Park Master Plan proposes to revitalize Canada Island. 


The North Bank site design aims to create better links between the Spokane Arena, North Bank area, and Riverfront Park. 



The concept diagram from the North Bank Development Plan shows locations for outdoor elements, park offices, a new science 
technology center and an IMAX theater. 



Science Technology Center 

Construction of Mobius, the region's 
first science center, is scheduled to start 
in late 2007 on the location specified in 
the development plan. The 75,000- 
square-foot building will be called 

Mobius at Michael Anderson Plaza, after 
the fallen astronaut who grew up nearby, 
and will incorporate sustainable design 
and a strong tie to the river and the local 
geography. The aim is to attract children 
and ignite their interest in science. With 

Mobius at Michael Anderson Plaza is scheduled to begin construction in 2007. 


sheltered views from beneath the eaves 
of its porch and public access to a 
waterfront beach, the building will also 
serve as a dynamic civic gathering area. 
(Mobius at River Park Square, a 
Children's Museum, was completely 
renovated and re-opened in 2005 with 
16,000 square feet of exhibits focusing 
on arts, culture, literacy, math and 

Other Attractions 

To pull visitors north of the river, the 
plan calls for picnic areas and huts, out- 
door rides, a plaza, park offices, winter 
garden atrium, indoor ice rink, and out- 
door ice rink or roller rink. 

The Flour Mill, now home to bou- 
tiques, designer shops, galleries and 
restaurants, overlooks the Spokane 
River and stands as a symbol of the 
City's close ties to the agricultural 
countryside and Spokane River. A new 
$ 1 6 million Flour Mill office building is 
planned for the area, with architecture 


The old Spokane Flour Mill has been 
entirely renovated. 


in keeping with the mill. The planned 
five-story building will also include 
retail shops and restaurants. 


Spokane's Davenport District has seen 
perhaps the most dramatic revitalization 
in the City. It's home to vibrant per- 
formance venues, an emerging arts 
community, and businesses and commu- 
nity organizations that actively support 
the District's development and culture. 

Previously, the Davenport area was not 
widely perceived as a cohesive district. 
It had many single resident occupancy 
hotels, but lacked family and profes- 
sional residential housing and resident- 
serving businesses such as grocery 
stores. The City needed to increase pub- 
lic safety, access and event coordination 
to draw public and private support. The 
community wanted the area to provide 
entertainment, arts and cultural venues, 
creative businesses, affordable housing 
and live/work opportunities for artists, 
and resident- serving businesses. 

The 2002 Davenport Strategic Action 
Plan is based on three principles: 

E Concentration. Concentrate resources 
and development in the District's cen- 
ter, which will lead to further interest 
and investment in larger areas. 

■ Synergy. Create uses and activities 
that mutually support each other, 
such as entertainment, restaurants, 
galleries and locally owned shops. 

■ Coordination. Build on existing busi- 
nesses, create a District identity and 
coordinate operating hours, market- 
ing programs and events. 

The Plan identified six primary strate- 
gies for the District — each with specific 
action steps, as well as a timeframe and 
a lead agency to see each action 
through, providing quantifiable goals by 
which to measure progress. 

1 . Private Investment and Development 
A key to success is drawing private 
investment with strategic public invest- 
ment. The City set a target of 25,000 

With over 300 performances a year, the 
Met Theater helped drive the Davenport 
District's revitalization. 



I Existing Supporting Businesses 

I Existing Performance Venues/Galleries 

I Development Opportunity Sites — uj 

^^™ Planned Post Street Improvements 
^^ Phase I Streetscape Improvements 
■■ Phase II Streetscape Improvements 
Phase III Streetscape Improvements 
■■■■ ProposedTrolley Route 
1 1 1 1 ii ► listing Railtracks 

® Major Railroad Viaducts 

1/c Major New Developments 

© Transit Centers 

® Parking 

■Tl Entry Feature 

f—^-- > 



^ ■ 





The Davenport District includes about 18 square blocks in the heart of Downtown. 


square feet of artist studio space and 
50,000 square feet of preferred business 
investment each year to measure the 
Plan's success. The Plan identified 
potential catalytic sites, such as the Met 
Theater block, surface parking lots, 
vacant buildings and underutilized com- 
mercial and industrial buildings. 
Preferred businesses included four cate- 
gories that would mutually complement 
and energize each other: 

■ Cultural /Arts: Movie and live theater, 
dance studios, performance space, 
museums, galleries, art supplies, artist 
studios, live music clubs, art schools. 

■ High Tech /Professional: Software, 
multi-media, communications, 
marketing/advertising, interior 
design, architecture /landscape 
architecture, nonprofit organizations, 
graphic design, legal services. 

■ Home Improvement: Antiques, lighting, 
custom millwork, imports, custom 
manufacturing, specialty hardware, 
textiles /fabrics, designer clothing. 

A $38 million renovation of the historic Davenport Hotel spurred tremendous investment 
in the area. 


After sitting vacant for almost two decades, the Davenport Hotel now offers 280 hotel rooms 
and 25,0OO square feet of meeting space. An 18-story addition will provide 300 more 



■ Food and Beverage: Farmers market, 
culinary school, delicatessens /cafes, 
coffee bars, unique restaurants, micro - 
brewery, wine tasting, bakeries, 
butcher /seafood shops, green grocers, 
natural foods, bed and breakfasts/ 

Guided by the plan's investment strategy, 
major restoration projects added new life 
to the District's historic buildings. After 
sitting vacant for more than 1 8 years, the 
Davenport Hotel's 2002 grand reopening 
added 280 rooms and 25,000 square feet 
of meeting space to the District. The suc- 
cess of its $38 million renovation 
removed a major psychological hurdle to 
investing in Downtown and was the cata- 
lyst for a torrent of new investment. 
Between 2002 and 2004, the number of 
retail operations in the area jumped 52 

Community leaders saved the Fox 
Theater from demolition with a "Save 
the Fox" effort — drawing contributions 
of over $ 1 million from more than 

The 1930 Art Deco Fox Theater is now 
being renovated, after the community 
donated $1 million to save it. It is home to 
the Spokane Symphony. 


1 ,300 citizens. New nightclubs, sports 
bars, jazz clubs, a casino, a dinner the- 
ater, restaurants, art galleries and shops 
have appeared. Renovation of Spokane's 
historic Odd Fellows Hall includes a 
new community theater, with multiple 
stages for dinner and cabaret perform- 
ances, musical events, poetry readings, 
and rehearsal space for small and 
medium-size arts organizations. 

The renovated Odd Fellows Hall is home to 
CenterStage, a new community theater. 
Distinctive signage has become a hallmark 
of the Davenport District. 



The Big Easy is a new concert venue, dance 
club and Cajun-style restaurant. 


Art gallery openings attract collectors and artists to the Davenport District. 



2. Public Improvements and Infrastructure 
Proposed public infrastructure 
improvements were designed to attract 
private development, creative busi- 
nesses, artists and patrons. The Plan set 
street improvements on First Avenue 
(between Post and Madison) as a 
benchmark for this strategy, though 
extensive improvements were made 
throughout the District. Many of the 
streets in the area are identified as 
"green streets," emphasizing pedes- 
trian-friendly streetscapes and 
circulation. The railroad tracks became 
a unique District experience with 
improved lighting and art elements. 

The urbane Montvale Hotel is actually the oldest hotel in the City, built in 1899 and aban- 
doned since 1974. After a $3 million renovation, the hotel reopened in February 2005. 



STA plaza is the main City transit hub, with shops, events and concerts throughout the year. 


Davenport District banners help create a 
sense of identity. 

The Plan also calls for significant trans- 
portation improvements, and better 
utilization of the Spokane Transit 
Authority (STA) Transit Plaza, a hub for 
Downtown transit as well as an event 
and performance venue. 

The Davenport District Arts Board 
(DDAB) used local artists and designers 

to create banners that emphasize the 
District's identity, street art, and way- 
finding kiosks to help residents and 
visitors explore the galleries, shops, 
hotels, restaurants, theaters and clubs. 

3. Organizational Capacity To build 
the organizational and financial capacity 
of District partners, the DDAB 

embarked on a number of strategic ini- 
tiatives, including increasing DDAB's 
annual budget to more than $85,000 
and adding one full-time staff member. 
DDAB and the Arts Commission collab- 
orated on developing artist resource 
packages to help with grants, housing, 
workspace, business planning and 
patronage development. 


Brochures and a website promote 
Davenport District businesses and events. 

4. Marketing and Communications In 
fulfilling Plan action steps, DDAB and 
the Arts Commission established a visual 
identity for the District and developed 
cross-promotional activities, such as dis- 
counts for restaurants and performance 
venues. The District initiated a new 
website,, provid- 
ing a central location for information on 
events, galleries, performance venues, 
accommodations, clubs and restaurants. 

The DDAB endeavored to increase venue 
attendance by 75 percent in 2006 
through a District- wide marketing pro- 
gram that included advertising and flyers. 

5. Arts Events and Programs To animate 
the District and encourage community 
participation, the DDAB strengthened 
and promoted a number of events and 
programs for various age groups. The 
first Beaux Arts Ball in 2004 raised 
funds and promoted awareness for 
District developments. In August 2005, 
families from the entire Spokane region 
visited Davenport to enjoy the first-ever 
Chalk Art Festival, bringing the arts to 
the streets of Spokane. 

6. Regulations and Incentives The 
District developed a coordinated set of 
regulatory reforms aimed at making it 
easier to develop retail and entertain- 
ment, as well as live/work spaces and 
performance venues in under- 
utilized buildings. Building codes were 
revised to make developments less 
costly without compromising safety 

The market-rate Metropole Apartments are 
within easy walking distance of the river 
and employment areas. 

The new American West Bank, located on the 
edge of the Davenport District, won Second 
Place in the 2005 International Masonry 
Competition as a commercial building with 
intricate brickwork not commonly seen in 
modern buildings. The building faithfully 
followed the new Downtown Design 



(such as the new ordinance that allows 
use of woodframe construction in 
buildings up to 65 feet tall), and tax 
incentives and adaptive reuse bonuses 
were provided (such as an increase in 
allowable floor area ratios if property 
owners work with local arts organiza- 
tions to include performance space). 

Performance Measures 

The Plan set seven priorities with specific 
performance measures. The targets and 
measures were designed to be revisited 
and revised, based on changing economic 
conditions and further research. 


The Spokane River Gorge area is visible 
from Downtown and adjacent neighbor- 
hoods, accessible by public trails and 
bridge overlooks and adjacent to hun- 
dreds of acres of open space. The gorge 
area has the potential to increase a wide 
range of compelling recreational oppor- 

tunities, stimulate adjacent land devel- 
opment, promote tourism and visita- 
tion, enhance business development 
opportunities and restore sensitive 
habitat areas. 

The Olmsted Brothers had proposed a 
"Great Gorge Park" as early as 1 908 — an 
1 1 -mile area that would be an accessible 
greenbelt, connecting various parks on 
its banks. Over the years, the Spokane 
Park Board purchased and set aside 
riverbank land. Today, about 80 percent 
of the land identified by the Olmsteds 
for parks is maintained as open space 
and parks. 

Existing Neighborhoods 

The Plan is designed to coexist with 
current private land ownership and 
focuses on five areas: 

■ Peaceful Valley, a historic district 
along the river that has seen signifi- 
cant new investment and develop- 

The Peaceful Valley neighborhood lies 
alongside the riverbank. 

In recent years new housing, such as these 
townhomes, has been constructed in 
Peaceful Valley. 


Whitewater Park 

Boat Launch Areas 



Parking Lot 

Enhanced Pedestrian 


P8 Centennial Trail Completion throughout the Gorge 

P9 Southern Gateway Development Area 

P10 Peaceful Valley Boat Launches 

P11 Whitewater Park 

P12 Tribal Cultural Center 

P1 3 Huntington Park Improvements 

P14 Monroe Street Bridge South Undercrossing 

P15 High Bridge Park Master Plan Development 

200' 4O0' 600' 8O0 1 

The Spokane River Gorge Master Plan is seen as a tool for economic development as well as for environmental protection, conservation 
and recreation. 


Historic buildings along Broadway 
characterize the West Central Neighborhood. 

West Central, one of Spokane's 
treasures, with many historic build- 
ings and 63 acres of conservation 
land. A 77-acre area (the Summit 
site) is scheduled for residential 

High Bridge Park, a currently under- 
used 200-acre City park on both 
sides of the river. 

The Spokane River flows through the entire 
City of Spokane. 


Monroe Street Bridge, which was 
recently renovated. The Plan calls for 
pedestrian links under the bridge. 

■ Lower Falls, the center piece of the 
gorge area and sacred to many Native 
Americans, marking the transition 
between Downtown and the river. 

Friends of the Falls (FOF) and the City 
proposed improvements to the Spokane 
River Gorge that would unite the area 
with adjacent neighborhoods, concen- 
trate new developments outside the 
gorge on the periphery, increase use of 
existing parks, and protect existing 
neighborhoods and natural areas. Similar 
to the Downtown Plan, this Plan sug- 
gests that all projects value the gorge 
area's diverse history — strengthening a 
sense of place while encouraging 
uniquely related private investment, 
including recreational outfitters and 
outdoor retailers. 

The Plan integrates seven major ele- 
ments (with 1 5 priority projects) to 
create a comprehensive approach to the 
entire gorge area. 

1 . Interpretive Facilities and Program 

An extensive new signage and wayfind- 
ing program will include new overlooks 
and visitor arrival points. By coordinat- 
ing information from local tourism, 
education, tribal, cultural, historic and 

Priority Project 1 : More interpretive signage, 
such as this signage at the hydroelectric 
development, will help explain the gorge 
area's diverse natural and cultural resources. 


Priority Project 3: A North Point overlook 
would offer interpretation and panoramic 
views of the gorge and Downtown. 


business interests, the Plan envisions a 
set of wayfinding and interpretive signs 
to reinforce the cohesive identity of the 
gorge area. The Plan calls for creating 
new interpretive sites, including a 
North Point Overlook and Confluence 
Area Visitor Arrival Point. A new Tribal 
Cultural Center located near 
Downtown would provide a space for 
cultural activities and exhibits pertain- 
ing to Spokane's American Indian 

The Confluence area's (top) natural beauty 
and central location make it ideal for an 
arrival and interpretive point. It is currently 
underused (above). 

^ t»u. 

Priority Project 4: The new Confluence area 
arrival point will offer directional and inter- 
pretive signage at the south end of the 
new Sandifir Memorial Bridge. 



Priority Project 1 2: A new Tribal Cultural 
Center could replace this temporary facility, 
on a bluff overlooking the Confluence area. 

Priority Project 1 3: A pedestrian interpre- 
tive plaza could open a grand vista of the 
river, and connect Huntington Park, the 
river and the falls. 


2. Transportation, Circulation and 
Parking Improvement 

To develop accessible, ecologically sensi- 
tive entries to the gorge area, the Plan 
recommends creating a panoramic 
Spokane Gorge Boulevard along the 
north shore of the river. The Boulevard 
would include connectivity features to 

the Summit area, Spokane's West 
Central Neighborhood and Downtown. 
To accommodate varied land use and 
building densities, the Plan outlines an 
array of road configurations for pull-in 
parking at overlook sites, integrated 
bike lanes and access to hiking trails. 


Priority Project 2: A new Spokane Gorge Boulevard will be incorporated with the Centennial 
trail, offering overlook points, pedestrian amenities, multi-use roadway treatments and 
urban stormwater runoff treatments. 



At the southwest end of the boulevard, 
a gateway development would offer a 
dramatic and easily identifiable entry 
just north of the 1-90 and Highway 95 

interchange. The gateway would divert 
heavy traffic away from southern neigh- 
borhoods and invite investment oppor- 
tunities for visitor-serving amenities, 

while serving as the central parking 
hub. Shuttles would connect gateway 
parking to key sites along the river to 
reduce the impact of vehicular traffic. 


Summit Property 

f o»>. 

S p O K A N E 

Puhlir lihrnrv' 

Public Library 








n I 

High Bridge 

Priority Project 7: A new Gorge Loop Trail will link existing and new neighborhoods with Downtown and the river. 


3. Pedestrian and Bike Ways 

The Plan calls for a Great Spokane 
River Gorge Loop Trail, making a com- 
plete loop around the gorge area and 
providing a smaller loop around the 
Monroe Street Bridge to Downtown. 
The planned loop, running along the 
bi-state Centennial Trail, incorporated 
existing roads and smaller trails includ- 
ing informal pathways to provide direct 
access to the river's edge. A variety of 
proposed trail features will adjust the 
trail according to unique neighbor- 
hoods and areas with roadside ameni- 
ties. Bridge renovations will allow for 
safe crossings and leveled access on 
steep grades. 

Priority Project 8: The Centennial Trail will link Riverfront Park with Spokane Gorge Drive 
on the north side of the river; the trail actually begins in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, and will be 
fully accessible to people of all ages and physical abilities. 


Priority Project 14: A new Monroe Street 
Bridge undercrossing will provide a safe 
pedestrian connection across the street and 
will connect with the Centennial Trail. 

4. Recreation 

To integrate new recreational opportuni- 
ties, the Plan balances the goals of 
recreation enthusiasts, private investors, 
ecologists and community members. 
Three key recreation sites — Water 
Avenue, Clarke Avenue and boat 
launches and a whitewater park — were 
strategically located to provide easy, low- 
impact access at active -use entry points. 

With 15 time-limited parking spaces, 
the boat launch minimizes on-street 
parking by non-residents, provides 
evening parking for area residents and 


encourages a turnaround drop-off point 
for recreational shuttles. Basic facilities, 
including restrooms, trash receptacles 
and wayfinding signage, were designed 
to minimize impacts on nearby neigh- 

The Plan also proposes a new white- 
water park, adding various waterscape 
elements to a designated area of the 

river for use by rafters, kayakers and 
other recreational enthusiasts. The 
whitewater park's varied water feature 
heights ensure an extended kayaking 
and rafting season despite seasonal 
changes in the river levels, and provide 
a manageable focal point for recre- 
ational impact in the gorge. Park water 
features will also create deep pools that 

provide resting places for trout, and 
waterfalls that increase oxygen supplies 
to support river food sources. With the 
support of the City, the Chamber of 
Commerce and area legislators, FOF 
secured a $400,000 appropriation from 
the Washington State Legislature to 
begin construction of the whitewater 

Priority Project 1 0: The Plan concentrates 
boat entries with parking at three 
locations to minimize impacts on nearby 

Priority Project 1 1 : The character of the 
river lends itself to a whitewater park, 
which will also enhance fish habitat. 

Priority Project 1 5: The high-quality 
resources that High Bridge Park offers 
would be improved with a new master plan, 
including programming, increased trail 
access, amenities and protection for 
sensitive species in areas like Hangman 


5. Habitat Preservation and Restoration 

Preservation and restoration efforts will 
be directed at the two most damaged 
sites in the gorge: the Confluence area 
and North Point Overlook. The Plan 
calls for gradual replanting of a native 
plant palette to provide wildlife cover 
and support for the river's ecosystem 
with shade and nutrients. Planned 

interpretive elements at these sites will 
highlight cultural, archeological and 
natural history information. Short loop 
trails off the main trail are designed to 
offer interpretation of the native 
ecosystem, the significance of plants 
and water to native peoples and historic 
uses of the landscape. 

6. Economic Development 

By encouraging access and sustainable 
recreational opportunities, the Plan 
opens the gorge to a variety of out- 
door- and recreation-related private 
investment. Economic development 
efforts are focused on the Southern 
Gateway — both for its convenient 
access to regional highways and the 
river's key recreational sites. 


Priority Project 5: The Confluence area is a very sensitive ecological and cultural site that is 
constantly reforming through the river's natural processes of erosion and deposition. 

Priority Project 6: The slopes below the 
North Point Overlook were disturbed 
during construction and would be 
improved by restoring the hillsides 
with native species re-vegetation. 


The existing south entrance should signify a connection to the river while providing recre- 
ation-related retail development. 

Priority Project 9: A new Southern Gateway will become an energized recreation hub that 
announces the river and provides visitor-serving amenities, revitalizing an area in need of 

7. Green Infrastructure 

To ensure a protected natural environ- 
ment well into the future, the Plan 
established Green Infrastructure 
Zones — limiting new developments to 
strategic locations around the gorge, 
and setting guidelines to reduce their 
environmental impact. For example, 
new structures within a specified region 
are now required to effectively manage 
all storm water runoff onsite — reducing 
potential impact on the gorge. 

Design Palette 

The Downtown Spokane Zoning 
Ordinance and Design Guidelines pro- 
vide direction to developers and innova- 
tive design solutions. The guidelines are 
a collection of ideas for making great 
places, focusing on improving the social 
fabric of Spokane's urban environment 
and how people use spaces. 



Management and 
Operational Issues 


The Downtown Spokane Partnership 
(DSP), a private nonprofit organization 
composed of Downtown business, 
government and community leaders, 
initiated the planning process and 
remains the primary marketing and 
organizational force behind Downtown 
projects, coordinating efforts between 
various agencies. The creation of the 
Economic Development Council, and 
the subsequent nonprofit Downtown 
Spokane Ventures Association, enabled 
the City to organize key administrative 
and economic initiatives to streamline 
and coordinate all development-related 
issues and to provide support for public 
and private developments. 

The Plan assigns all action strategies to a 
key responsible agency for implementa- 
tion and a specific timeframe for each 

action. The DSP, assigned partial respon- 
sibility in nearly all projects, ensures 
consistency and monitors progress. 
Streetscape and infrastructure improve- 
ments were assigned to the City, and 
remaining tasks were distributed among 
private property owners, developers, 
neighborhood associations, the Spokane 
Transit Authority, Chamber of 
Commerce and others. 


The Spokane Park Board controls a 
large portion of the North Bank and 
Riverfront Park. While private invest- 
ments have increased public interest in 
Riverfront Park and the North Bank, 
many of this Plan's initiatives depended 
exclusively on investment from the Park 
Board and major private investments 
(coordinated by the Downtown 
Spokane Partnership). 


The Plan includes eight case studies of 
successful arts and cultural districts in 
the United States and Canada. The 
Davenport District followed the lead of 
successful arts districts across the coun- 
try by creating a nonprofit authority to 
coordinate development efforts and 
provide marketing services. 

The detailed action steps outlined in the 
Plan include prioritization, a timeframe 
(ranging between two and ten years) , 
performance targets and the designation 

Street maintenance and grafitti removal are 
high priorities in the Downtown area. 


of a lead agency for each action. The 
lead agencies include: 

■ Davenport District Arts Board — a non- 
profit created to lead the District's 
redevelopment, the board took on the 
majority of responsibilities delegated 
in the Plan. The District channeled 
nearly all organizational development, 
communications, and programming 
strategies through the board — as well 
as various private investment and 
public improvements projects. As the 

Local artists created unique street benches 
using metal salvaged from the old steam 

central organizing agency for the 
District, the board organized a "Metal 
to Magic Auction" to kick-start infra- 
structure improvements. District 
artists sculpted cast-off metal compo- 
nents from the nearby Steam Plant, 
and the Arts Board directed revenues 
from the auction to commission 
unique benches for placement 
throughout the District. The Board 
operates an informational District 
website and manages all marketing 

Downtown Spokane Partnership — the 
DSP maintains District statistics 
and monitors plan implementation 
against performance targets. The DSP 
managed all regulation and incentive- 
related Plan actions, as well as vari- 
ous streetscape and transportation 

Spokane Arts Commission — an all- 
volunteer organization that maintains a 
local arts directory calendar and coor- 
dinates an annual awards program. The 
Plan drew on the Arts Commission's 
strengths in outreach to artists, includ- 
ing commissioned projects and the 
First Friday Art Walk program. 

■ The City of Spokane — serves as the 
lead responsibility for all transit- and 
streetscape-related projects and the 
secondary responsibility for regulatory 
reforms and other economic incen- 
tives to facilitate private development 
in the District. 


Friends of the Falls (FOF), responsible 
for initiating the Master Plan for the 
gorge area, emerged as the convener 
and coordinator for future develop- 
ments. Following the success of the sim- 
ilar Three Rivers Community 
Roundtable project (in the nearby Tri- 
Cities area), FOF recognized the need 
to establish an independent nonprofit, 
tax-exempt agency to facilitate commu- 
nication and collaboration among organ- 
izations, agencies and businesses for 
implementing the Master Plan. The 
resulting Spokane River Gorge 
Coalition (SRGC), supported and 
administered by FOF, will monitor Plan 


To accomplish this task, the SRGC 
brings together key stakeholders in 
voluntary meetings and builds strategic 
partnerships with community organiza- 
tions, neighborhood associations and 
related businesses. To maintain and 
encourage interest in the gorge area, the 
SRGC promotes annually programmed 
events and activities, including competi- 
tions and educational outings. 

As the landowner of an estimated 400 
acres of open space in the gorge area, 
the Spokane Parks and Recreation 
Department serves as the primary 
authority for new developments. By 
providing a full and complete board 
approval for all initiatives on their prop- 
erties, the department ensures continu- 
ity between new projects and decades of 
gorge area stewardship. 

User Feedback 

Kim Pearman-Gillman, Itron; 
Jormer chair, Davenport District 

"The transformation of the Downtown 
area, full of one-of-a-kind historical 
treasures, has been nothing short of 
phenomenal! As a result of the plan- 
ning. . .almost every historic property 
within the Davenport District has 
undergone an amazing redevelopment. 

"What happened completely reversed a 
fast-moving tide of despair and neglect 
to one of community engagement, 
hope, action and results. People from all 
walks of life, as well as artists, business 
owners, neighborhood groups and civic 
leaders, banded together to create a 
vision and, more importantly, a realistic 
action plan to aggressively attack the 
issues. This area of former blight is now 
a thriving center of activity. You can see 
how treasuring our unique heritage 
can actually make a community 
marketable Wc have redefined 

ourselves as 'urban chic' and done it by 
being authentically ourselves. 

"The process itself has become a model 
for our community and an example of 
what can be accomplished by dedicated 
people, when given the right tools and 
thoughtful attention to details of com- 
munity building." 

Mike Edwards, Downtown Spokane 
Partnership (Jormer president) 

"The biggest idea was to identify 
projects and put them in a sequence in 
which they become catalytic, one lead- 
ing to the next. The first project was 
River Park Square, which established 
the area as a regional center. That 
triggered interest in a new convention 
center, the largest single new develop- 
ment. That in turn led to more interest 
in office, retail and hotels, like the 
Davenport renovation. 

"Because we involved all stakeholders, 
neighborhoods were able to clearly see 


the advantage to them of helping the 
areas surrounding Downtown. A whole 
section on neighborhood economic 
development went into the Plan. That 
was a big missing piece that brought 
everyone on board. When the Plan was 
done, everyone wanted it, because 
everyone had ownership of it. 

"Spokanites have always loved their 
Downtown. Now it's become much 
more vital. It's a great place to be." 

Jim Kolva, Kolva Associates 

"The Downtown Plan was very inclusive 
and had a real sense of optimism. It had 
strong buy-in from Downtown inter- 
ests, as well as the City as a whole. It's 
been very successful. 

"With the design guidelines, the 
Downtown Plan has set a pattern for 
development of new buildings. The Plan 
recognized the importance of 
streetscape to the Downtown and the 
renovation of historic buildings as an 

asset for Downtown. People recognize 
the need and see that as positive. So 
we've had several major historic build- 
ing renovations, including the 
Davenport Hotel. Also we've had 
some buildings redeveloped for lofts 
and apartments, including the 
[ConoverBond] Havermale project, 
which is a historic rehab project. We 
have a really lively residential market. 
The City recently adopted an anti-dem- 
olition ordinance for historic buildings 
and the roots of that were in the 
Downtown planning process as well. 

"An example of a new building is the 
American West Building, which really 
followed the design guidelines and every- 
one agrees it is a successful building. 

"We still have things to do. We need to 
focus on office retention and major new 
office space. But as a user of the 
Downtown, there's a positive attitude 
that the Downtown is quite improved. . . 
it's become much more vital. It's a 
really great place to be." 

Rob Brewster, ConoverBond Developers 

"After I graduated from Lewis and 
Clark High School, Spokane wasn't very 
exciting. It was just a spot between 
Seattle and Minneapolis. From my grad- 
uating class, there are very few people 
who actually still live in Spokane. That 
was a big educational brain drain. I went 
to Washington, D.C., to enjoy being 
someplace that is something. I redevel- 
oped townhouses there and in Seattle. I 
came back here when I was 30 and 
found a Spokane that had failed to take 
care of itself. We hadn't invested in cre- 
ating environments that are unique to 
Spokane, fun, energetic and creative. As 
recently as five years ago, the area 
around the Davenport Hotel was a 
blight. Redeveloping it removed a psy- 
chological hurdle. 

"Redeveloping the Montvale Hotel was 
a kind of a metaphor for the entire City. 
It was built by a judge in 1 899 as a sin- 
gle room occupancy hotel. But later it 
became sort of a flophouse and during 


Expo, a youth hostel. And then it was 
empty for 20 years. It was old and 
decrepit, but it was irreplaceable and 
had so much potential to be a fun, cool 
place. It's about creating more of a com- 
munity and helping the City develop 
into something that's more interesting. 

"The Downtown Spokane Partnership 
study that showed a range of people 
want to live Downtown was an impor- 
tant factor in building housing too. 
Having data to demonstrate demand 
makes a big difference with lenders. 

"There have been so many great things 
happening Downtown. Market-rate 
housing is making Spokane a 24-hour 
city. It will bring needed vibrancy and 
energy and diversity of living options. 
Downtown has changed so much over 
the past few years. This is such an excit- 
ing time for Spokane." 

Susan Matteson, Peters and Son; chair, 
Davenport Arts Board 

"Taking a run-down, negative area of 
Downtown Spokane and turning it into 
the Davenport District has made an 
immense change in the area. Customers 
are filling the sidewalks in the District 
during the day and evenings. Foot traffic 
is everything to a small business like 
ours (flowers and gifts) and we would 
not have stayed in the Downtown area if 
the District had not been revitalized. 

"The Arts Board had been working on 
this revitalization for many years. When 
the DSP began the strategic plan, they 
incorporated our group and our previ- 
ous work and visions. 

"The future of the Davenport District 
looks very bright!" 

Paul Delanej, River City Runners 

"I've been involved in the river gorge 
area for almost 20 years in a whitewater 
club, but never in the planning of this 
type of project. The process was 
remarkable. . .people saw that from the 
outset. The presentations, organization 
of meetings, focus group— type situa- 
tions . . . we went from segment to 
segment and gave our input. I think 
about how all of the different facets of 
the community were brought together 
in one room and I tell you, I was 
impressed. I felt my input was heard. 

"There were areas of real concern — the 
residents of Peaceful Valley having their 
part of the world left as it has been for 
the last 100 years. So we're now work- 
ing on a whitewater rafting launching 
area that won't have an impact on them. 
The Native American population was 
concerned about protecting traditional 
gathering and fishing areas, and they 
said they've been satisfied. 


"A lot has been done to open the eyes of 
politicians and business owners — this 
has been a huge success. Over the 
course of the last three years, we've 
taken trips down the river with political 
and business leaders. I took (one busi- 
nessman) under the footbridge in the 
Riverfront Park area and he said, 'I've 
been in town for 25 years, and I'm 
embarrassed to say this is the first time 
I've seen this bridge!' It's just 10 min- 
utes from Downtown. Hoteliers went 
on a trip this year, and they just went 

gaga over the idea of being able to have 
conventioneers take a trip — they could 
get out of a meeting at 2 pm and by 
3 pm they would be on a raft. This is 
a huge selling point for us. 

"We opened their eyes to what is within 
a stone's throw of Downtown. There's 
no river anywhere in the world that 
rivals the Spokane for proximity to 
Downtown. We're finally looking at the 
river for what it offers us." 


"City design is the art of creating possibilities. ...It manipulates patterns 
in time and space and has as its justification the everyday human 
experience of those patterns!' 




This set of inclusive design guidelines is based on lessons learned from selected 
project examples. Regardless of the type of public building or space you are designing, 
reading through all of these guidelines can provide an intuitive sense of how your own 
projects can incorporate inclusive design. For example, if you're designing a school, 
you'll find helpful information in the guidelines for an institutional building and for 
parks, as well as in the guidelines for schools. It is our hope that this information will 
help you expand your own creative solutions for inclusive environments. 



These guidelines were developed for the 
Edelman Children's Courthouse. Only 
the inclusive design guidelines that can 
be extended to other settings are 
included here (ADA guidelines must 
also be followed) . 


The Court's entrance and lobby provide 
a reference or orientation point for the 

building. They create an initial image for 
visitors so it's critical that these spaces 
make a bold statement about the 
character of the building. 

The initial entry into a site, either by 
foot or by car, should have a clear view 
to the building's main entrance (Figure 
2). Easy and safe access and understand- 
able signage are key. The architecture, 

landscaping and site elements must 
clearly communicate that this place is 
about children and families. 

The entrance should be one or two 
story, with maximum natural light. The 
perceived scale of the building is essen- 
tial to creating a friendly entrance. 
Provide a transition from the drop-off 
zone into the building with outdoor 
rooms, gateways and trellises that create 

Figure 1 . The anthropometric scale for children brings buildings and furniture down to appropriate heights. 


Figure 2. The building orientation places the play area in 
the sun and ensures that the parking structure is not so 
visible from the highway. 

Figure 3. Children feel less intimidated by an entrance with more natural 
and familiar forms and plants. 

an intimate setting. Use window details, 
color, vegetation and artwork to 
enhance the intimacy (Figure 3). 
Provide numerous places to sit. 

The lobby should have a feature that 
causes people to stop and look around 
them. The feature should be symbolic or 
spiritual, providing an interpretation of 
family and the spirit of childhood. 


Dependency court buildings should 
reflect a friendly yet dignified appear- 

ance. Ajriendlj building possesses the 
following attributes: 

■ Human-scaled dimensions and propor- 
tions, especially in windows, doors, 
stairways, roofs, columns, canopies and 
ceiling heights (Figure 1 ) 

■ Continuity between elements such as 
between the building facade, 
approaches and entrance 

■ Plants and vegetation to soften build- 
ing lines and edges 

■ Warm materials such as brick, wood 
and canvas 

■ Views out of the building 

■ Daylight entering through skylights 
and windows 

A dignified building appearance can be 
achieved with: 

■ Clean, simple geometric lines 

■ Geometric, symmetrical spaces 

■ Well-defined gateway entrances 

■ Subdued colors 

■ Durable, contrasting materials such as 
marble, stone, brick and steel 

■ Proper use of symbols of authority 



Create clear orientations through the 
lobby with a brightly lit reception desk 
about 50 feet into the lobby, and infor- 
mation boards behind. Create an easy 
transition to elevators (Figure 4). If 
security is required, orient the security 
to one corner. It should be clearly visible 
so people know someone is watching, 
but should not make people feel locked 
in. Provide direct, clearly marked circu- 
lation routes between the reception 
area, waiting areas and other rooms 
(Figure 5). 


Avoid creating long, cave-like corridors. 
Break them up with windows in walls 
and doors that offer views outside or 
into other activities. Differentiate corri- 
dor segments by varying colors and 
widths (Figures 6 and 7). 


Public waiting areas should be more 
than a space for passing time; through 
proper design and management, the set- 
ting should help reduce the child's and 
family member's anxiety as they prepare 
for the hearing process. It should be a 
comfortable setting near the family 
mediation and interview rooms. 








Figure 4. The lobby area sets the tone and ambience for the entire building. 

Figure 5. Hearing rooms require support facilities including areas for waiting, interview 
rooms, reception and information materials, and play. 


Set up the area with movable furniture 
to accommodate adults and children 
in mixed and segregated groups of 
between one and five people. A group 
of semi-permanent seats in an "L" 
configuration can anchor seating clusters 
(Figure 8). Provide small, low tables and 
end stands that can hold plants, maga- 
zines and pamphlets. Seats with backs 
create spaces for quiet reading or study, 
while "bean bag" seats are ideal for 
children to relax in. 

Locate a Resource and Referral Desk 
on each floor adjacent to the waiting 
and children's play area. While parents 
are at the desk, children can play. 
Partial walls provide some privacy 
while allowing views into the play 


Figure 6. Interesting alcoves and interior windows break up long corridors. 

Figure 7. Doors with windows 
break up corridors and provide 
additional security. 

Figure 8. An "L" configuration anchors seating clusters. Movable furniture lets groups and 
individuals arrange their own space. 


Figure 9. Parents and staff can consult at the Resource Desk while 
children play. 

Figure 10. Each hearing room requires its own support facilities with 
separate entries. 

area (Figure 9). Provide a special 
"trouble area" near the hearing rooms 
and the security desk to separate con- 
tentious adults from each other and 
from children and their caregivers. 


The hearing room must be designed to 
serve its function as effectively as possi- 
ble, while protecting and respecting the 
child's special interests and needs. 

Provide a central entry to the hearing 
room to create a greater sense of for- 
mality. The Judge should enter directly 
out of the Judge's Chambers. Staff 
should have separate entries that can 
also double as the entry for children in 
dependent care (Figure 1 0) . Consider 
providing separate entrances and exits 
so that families do not exit directly into 
the waiting area and instead can transi- 
tion into another area to calm down 
after a hearing. Provide a small ante- 
room as part of the entry to create a 
transition from the informal waiting 
area to the dignified hearing room. 

The furniture should be modular so each 
Judge can rearrange as needed, and regu- 
lar office size, not monumental in scale. 
Place clear signage on each desk so 
children know the role each person is 


Figure 1 1 . The design and layout of Shelter Care facilities should allow for a free choice of activities. 

playing. Provide natural light if possible, 
or at least indirect light and natural color. 
Carpet the rooms and provide a thick 
pad for sound absorption. State flags can 
be effective decorative elements. A state 
seal can be displayed as a piece of art. 

Create a dignified, yet friendly appear- 
ance in each room. Basic functional 

criteria include clear sight lines, flexibil- 
ity to allow the child a choice of where 
to sit and where to testify, and clear 
visual and physical access for the Bailiff 
(see Configurations 1 through 4, pages 
40-1-1 in "Helping Children Heal: 
Edelman Children's Court" for sample 
room configurations). 


Shelter Care sets the tone of the entire 
court experience for detained children 
and youth. As with any physical setting, 
it is influenced by the program of 
activities within it, the management 
policies that govern its use and the 
attitude of the people who staff the 
facility. The physical environment must 


respond to the needs of the children it 
serves by providing a range of experi- 
ences. But strong, positive experiences 
can only be created by a well-structured 
program of activities and quality staff- 
child interaction. All three aspects 
of the facility — physical setting, 
programs and management — must 
work together to create a truly child- 
sensitive environment. 

Structure the environment so that rules 
of behavior are clearly communicated in 
the spatial layout and through provision 
of "props" (play and recreation items, 
reading materials, etc.) rather than 
through heavy-handed adult instructions. 
A carefully structured environment 
will allow a good measure of personal 
responsibility and control, reducing feel- 
ings of powerlessness and expressions of 
frustration. Design spaces to accommo- 
date fluctuations in the number of 
children (70—120) and age distribution. 
Provide separate primary areas for 
children (5—12) and youth (13-17), 
subdividing each area into a variety of 
activity zones (Figure 11). 

Children and youth entrance. Provide 
a separate, smaller children's entry that 
is distinct from the main entry so chil- 
dren do not have to interact with the 

Figure 1 2. The eating area separates age groups, yet is also a common place to meet. 

public or their family if they don't wish 
to. The approach and entry should 
emphasize inviting views of child- and 
youth-related activities that create a 
friendly feeling rather than intensifying 
a fear of walking into the "unknown." 
Window details, color, vegetation and 
artwork also add warmth. The recep- 
tion area should provide a space for 
children and youth to check in and 
become oriented to the space. There 
should be easy physical and visual 
access to outdoors. 

Primary areas. Subdivide the primary 
care area into different activity zones 
so children and youth can choose the 
area in which they feel most com- 
fortable (Figure 11). Children's zones 
can include small gathering areas, 
manipulative play and building, wall 
areas with felt or magnetic boards, 
games, resting, movie corner, art 
center, dramatic play (with props and 
costumes), science area and animal 

care (with small animals such as ham- 
sters, guinea pigs, fish and turtles). 

The youth area should look different, 
with different management policies 
so youth don't feel that they're being 
treated as children. Youth who come 
to court are fighting for independ- 
ence, yet may be scared, confused 
and angry. The physical environment 
must support their basic needs for 
comfort, privacy and interaction, and 
offer high-quality programs and 
plenty of adult support. Zones can 
include music and dance, games, 
study and resting, telephone, conver- 
sation "pit," multimedia studio, and 
personal care and make-up areas. 

Eating areas. Arrange the area as a 
flexible, multiple-use space adjacent 
to "home bases" for children and 
youth so siblings can choose to meet 
and eat with each other (Figure 12). 
An outdoor eating area can double as 


a gathering spot and a transition 
between indoor and outdoor areas. 

Outdoor play areas and nature areas. 
(See "Trail Settings" and "Play Areas" 
for more details on outdoor areas.) 

Family visiting rooms. Visiting rooms 
can be located near the Shelter Care 
facility so "detained" children can have 
a monitored visit with their families. 
The rooms can also become interview 
rooms for attorneys to meet privately 
with children before hearings. Rooms 
should be set up like a family living 
room with a variety of movable furni- 
ture (Figure 13). The room should be 

large enough to accommodate six 
people. Interior windows and angled 
corridors seem less formal and pro- 
vide good sight lines for security. The 
security desk should be positioned to 
provided unobstructed visual and 
physical access to both the rooms and 
the private entrance to Shelter Care 
(Figure 14). 

Time-out areas. Create special quiet 
areas for children who are anxious, 
tense and unable to handle their emo- 
tions outside main rooms and out of 

sight of other children (Figure 15). 
Provide visual access, and if possible, 
direct access from the quiet area to 
natural elements. Filtered, natural 
light, views of greenery and the sound 
of running water can help calm emo- 
tions. A rocking chair and hammock 
offer seating with relaxing movements. 

Restrooms. Provide appropriately 
scaled toilets for children that are 
separate, single toilet rooms, opening 
directly into the activities area. Each 

Figure 1 3. An informal "family room" with 
table and movable chairs provides a homey 


Figure 1 4. The home-style windows of the family visiting rooms add a familiar feeling 
and provide clear sight lines for security. 


room should have a door with a 
window starting at three feet off the 
ground (head height when seated). 
This provides privacy and visual 
access. Door levers should be six 
inches lower than standing height. 
Doors should be slow closing with 
locks that can be opened from the 
outside with a key. 

For youth, provide toilets in individual 
rooms with a sink and mirror. Locate 
the rooms so they open into the main 
activity room. All doors should have 
locks with a key on the outside, not 
latch locks. Do not put windows in 
the doors. 


Interview rooms, located near the 
hearing rooms, are for attorneys to 
meet privately with parents before 
hearings. They should be large enough 
for a round table and four chairs — 80 
square feet minimum (Figure 16). 
Furnish with wood furniture and paint 
walls in warm tones. Provide a carpet 
with a deep, warm color. Each room 
should have a window looking into the 
waiting area, with thick enough glass 

to serve as a sound barrier (Figure 17). 
This makes the room seem larger and 
friendlier and provides visual access for 
security. Provide enough interview 
rooms to meet demand (six to eight 
per waiting area). 

Figure 1 6. Interview rooms should be large 
enough to accommodate all parties that 
need to meet. 

Figure 1 5. Time-out areas should be very informal to induce calmness. 

Figure 1 7. Windows help create a human 


Figure 18. Round tables are conducive to socializing while plant dividers provide a 
sense of privacy. 


Design the eating area with individual 
tables and chairs that can be moved to 
accommodate different size groups and 
opened up to create a larger room for 
large groups. Create intimate indoor 
eating areas by providing task lighting 
over tables, warm colors, vegetation 
(with large plants as dividers), children- 
created artwork and movable tables 
(Figure 18). Outdoor eating areas should 
be located adjacent to the indoor areas 
and visible from the inside (Figure 19). 

Provide large doors that can be opened 
in warm weather to increase the con- 
nection to the outside and provide an 
open, sunny feeling inside. Provide 
picnic tables with shade outdoors. 


Several design amenities can make a 
building a friendlier place for staff and 
other professionals who use the building 
every day. 

■ Ad hoc work space. Provide a hierar- 
chy of spaces (ideally on every floor) 
that are flexible and usable by differ- 
ent professions: rooms separate from 
the interview rooms where attorneys, 
social workers and police can meet or 
work; a number of small workspaces 
next to waiting areas and hearing 
rooms; and rooms equipped with 
desks, storage, book cases and privacy 

■ Employee childcare center. Provide 
for children of employees: a quality 
childcare center can increase morale 
and peace of mind, and decrease 

■ Staff gym . Provide an exercise facility 
with shower for staff. Exercise before 
work, at lunchtimc or after work 
reduces staff stress levels. 

Figure 1 9. Outdoor vegetation visible from 
indoors adds a human touch to rooms. 



Effective communications links between 
the hearing room and the other areas of 
the courthouse keep operations flowing 
smoothly. Communications can be audio 
or visual. 

Chambers to hearing room. Children 
testifying in chambers should be seen 
and heard in the hearing room so 
testimony doesn't need to be reread. 

1 Hearing room to waiting room. The 
bailiff needs to easily inform people in 
the waiting room of the next case so 
people can be prepared when it is 
their turn. 

■ Hearing room to attorney's offices. 
Direct phone links and quick transit 
routes reduce the amount of time 
needed for attorneys to reach the 
hearing room. 

■ Court office to DCS field staff. A 
direct phone link between the court 
officer's desk in the hearing room and 
relevant field staff offices can help 
contact staff quickly. 

■ Court Clerk to other court staff. 
The Court Clerk needs to quickly 
communicate with staff elsewhere to 
access files and documents needed in 
the hearing room. 

Bailiff to Shelter Care and jail. The 
bailiff needs to quickly communicate 
with Shelter Care and jail facilities to 
request individuals needed in the 
hearing room. 


Lighting reinforces the social character 
and importance of space. Light con- 
tributes to the spirit of an activity and 
affects people's feelings of spaciousness 
or enclosure. It can also affect people's 
attention and behavior in an environ- 
ment. In a courthouse: 

Maximize natural light through use of 
windows and skylights. 

c Provide electric lighting that emulates 
the qualities of natural light (warm, 
soft, diffused). 

Allow user control of lighting to the 
extent feasible. 


Whenever possible, provide windows 
that can be opened. 


Create a calm ambience in each space by 
providing good acoustic control. Use 
sound playfully or as an orientation tool. 
Wind chimes, bells or flapping banners 
can create pleasant and calming effects. 
Minimize any traffic noise through 
special treatments of windows that face 
highways. Pay particular attention to 
noise levels if a play area is located out- 
doors; install a sound wall if needed. 




Both interior and exterior areas can be 
wonderful learning environments. These 
guidelines emphasize basic planning and 
design, assuming that designers will 
meet building codes, ADA requirements 
and safety laws. 

Most of the current accessibility guide- 
lines and regulations are based on the 
anthropometrics of adult wheelchair 
users. When designing spaces for chil- 
dren one must consider an additional 
set of dimensions because children have 
smaller, shorter bodies and less strength 
and coordination than adults. They may 
have more trouble maneuvering with 
wheelchairs or mobility aids and more 
difficulty seeing or reaching for certain 
objects (see Dependency Courts Design 
Guidelines, page 388, for an anthropo- 
metric chart for children) . 


The outdoor settings of the school 
should be considered as extensions of 
the classroom — places where children 

can exercise their bodies and minds. 
Outdoor school settings should be 
designed for four purposes: 

■ To allow movement and gatherings of 
large groups. 

■ To be used by teachers as outdoor 

■ To provide quiet, green "respite" 

■ To provide areas for recreation and 
sports activities. 


Schools should have an organized, 
welcoming entry that appears secure 
and friendly. Entries serve as gathering 
areas where parents and community 
members become oriented to the 
school. Both parents and children often 
wait there during drop-off and pick-up 
times. Entry areas should be large 
enough to accommodate a small group 
of people and provide some seating (a 
minimum of 625 sq. ft.). Seating can be 
sculptural with tiles or murals to add an 

artistic element. Other aspects of the 
entry include: 

■ Signage with school name (on or near 
the building), orientation sign, regu- 
latory signs 

■ Information kiosk and school bulletin 

3 Seating for parents and students using 
benches or a seat wall 

■ Perimeter fencing that is 6' to 8' high 
(often depending on size of school- 
yard — a higher fence will keep in 
bouncing balls). If funding is an issue, 
an ornamental metal fence can be 
selected for the entry and chain link 
for the perimeter. A see-through fence 
is desirable. 

Attractive, colorful and fragrant plant- 
ing announces the entry and adds a 
warm, homey touch. Planting should 
also be provided along the perimeters of 
the site. Planting should be low enough 
so that the playground is visible from a 
car driving by on the street. 

SCHOOLS (K-12) 399 


From the main entry, the route to class- 
rooms and offices should be clearly 
stated in multiple languages and /or 
graphic symbols. Pedestrian walkways 
can be opportunities for artwork, such as 
impressions in the pavement or painted 
patterns on pavement for games. People 
regularly move through walkways and 
corridors so they are good places to 
locate core messages, school philosophies 
or themes to inspire people. 

Roads around and within a school site 
need to take into account a relationship 
with pedestrians at heights that are 
lower to the ground because small chil- 
dren walking or persons using wheel- 
chairs can be difficult to see from a 
driver's point of view. Ideally, circula- 
tion should allow vehicles to drive 
through the loading zone by means of a 
circular route, so they can enter and 
exit without having to back up. Additional 
design elements to consider: 

■ Keep plantings low (2'— 3' maximum) 
at median islands, corners and pedes- 
trian crossings to provide clear views 
(see Figure 20). 

■ Locate crosswalks convenient to areas 
where children congregate such as 
loading zones or entries. 

Crosswalks should be clearly visible 
to both pedestrians and vehicles with 
identifying marks such as striping and 
signage. Add flashing lights and 
chirping sounds at signals to aid 
individuals with hearing and visual 

Crosswalk surfaces should be stable 
and non-slippery when wet. 

If additional speed enforcement is 
needed, post signs or install traffic 
calming measures such as speed 
bumps, textured pavement or road 
narrowing to serve as visual cues to 

Bulb -outs at corners or protected 
median islands assist those with limited 
mobility who may need additional 
protection when crossing the street. 

Figure 20. Keep plantings low at pedestrian 
crossings to provide clear views. 

■ Install bicycle paths next to the side- 
walks adjacent to schools. These paths 
should have a level surface, be well lit, 
and have signs and clearly identifying 
pavement markers. 


Parking is typically on the street or at a 
nearby parking lot. Parking should be 
convenient to school entries but should 
not have a dominating visual presence. 
It should be safely separated from 
pedestrian walkways and from drop-off 
and pick-up zones. Bike parking should 
be separated from vehicle traffic and 
convenient to school entries. Permeable 
durable surfaces are friendlier to the 
environment than paving and asphalt. 
Shade trees can mitigate unsightly 
expanses of paving and parked cars. 
Ground cover and low shrubs should be 
planted below the trees in islands and in 
perimeter areas. 

Schoolyard Settings 


The classroom patio is a paved, outdoor 
multi-purpose area adjacent to or 
attached to each ground floor class- 
room. The patio is an extension to the 


classroom area and offers a transition 
zone between the playground and the 
classroom, as well as a place to do 
messy projects. Where possible, provide 
one per classroom, about 300 square 
feet in size. 

Provide movable work tables and seat- 
ing: one picnic table per patio with two 
benches (or seat wall) per patio. For 
this area, concrete paving works best. 
Outdoor elements can be playful and 
educational, while softening the pave- 
ment. For example, bright windsocks, 
weather vanes or tile work on seat walls 
can be made by children as class proj- 
ects. Surrounding each patio with shade 
trees and plantings, even in containers, 
provides privacy between classrooms 
and a more natural setting. 


The multi-purpose outdoor classroom is 
a laboratory space to practice project- 
based learning that expands the class- 
room curriculum. This area is designed 
to be flexible, supporting a variety of 
curriculum activities including those 
related to science, environmental educa- 
tion, art and social studies. They can be 
large enough to accommodate several 

classes at the same time. For example, 
to accommodate 50—75 students, about 
900—1 ,200 square feet should be pro- 
vided. They should be located in areas 
where they are accessible from more 
than one classroom. 

Where possible, include a platform or 
stage area, power outlets, water and 

As with the small patio areas, provide 
movable worktables and seating to 
accommodate different size groups. 
Concrete paving for the main areas can 
be softened with soft surface pathways, 
shade trees and plantings (that also help 
divide up the area). Include playful art 
elements created by children. 


The garden outdoor classroom expands 
the classroom and provides an area for 
outdoor curriculum projects related to 
science and art. The area should have a 
central, prominent location to encour- 
age visibility and use. It should be near 
the kitchen if possible to encourage 
food preparation activities. An area 
about 50' x 50' would be ideal with 
additional room for expansion. Students 
can create playful and educational 

Figure 21. Multi-purpose outdoor classrooms 
can also serve as a stage or group project 

elements such as birdhouses and sun- 
dials, and decorated fences. Some site 
elements to include are: 

■ Secure storage for tools and project 

■ Compost boxes and soil bins 

■ Raised planter boxes for accessible 

■ Shade 

■ Site drainage as required 

■ Ornamental plants at the community 
edge of the site 

■ Movable worktables and seating 

■ Potting table 

■ Fencing (4—6' high woven wire 
fences to allow views to planting) 

■ Trash receptacles 


Figure 22. Outdoor gardens are multi- 
sensory learning environments. 

Gardens must have a steward. This can 
be a classroom teacher, specialized 
teacher or community member. Basic 
infrastructure should be provided with 
the expectation that the garden stewards 
will further develop the garden. 


The natural area outdoor classroom 
serves as a teaching station for science 
and ecology studies as well as an area 
for student projects and outdoor 
instruction. It is a protected area of pri- 
marily native vegetation that supports 
habitat, controls storm water run- off, 
and stimulates play and learning. This 

area is optimally located near a natural 
area adjacent to the school such as a 
creek, hillside, park, rock outcropping 
or grove of trees (Figure 22). It can also 
be integrated with a natural play oppor- 
tunity. Areas for observation and an out- 
door classroom support science studies. 
Ideally, provide a water element such as 
a simulated stream segment or natural 
drainage of sufficient size to foster a 
habitat attractive to insects and other 
wildlife. Provide plants that support 
occasional harvesting such as reeds, 
willow, grasses and bamboo. 

Informal seating such as boulders, logs 
and tree stumps work well with wood 
tables. Provide accessible pathways made 
of wood fiber or decomposed granite 
(bare soil is not accessible to all users). 

Natural areas need to be about 50' x 50' 
to provide enough area for habitat. The 
area does not require fencing, though 
some separation from the schoolyard at 
large is desirable. Low fencing and /or 
shrub plantings can serve this purpose. 
Views into the area allow for supervision. 

Natural areas must have a steward. This 
can be a classroom teacher, specialized 
teacher or community member. Basic 
infrastructure should be provided with 

the expectation that the natural area 
stewards will further develop the envi- 
ronment over time. 


The outdoor eating area is a shaded out- 
door eating facility for use during lunch, 
group picnics and other activities during 
non-school hours. The area may also be 
used as an outdoor classroom or gather- 
ing area. The surface should be concrete 
paving, with shade trees. This area also 
provides an excellent opportunity for 
art projects, poetry reading and games. 
Design should take noise, circulation, 
light and air circulation into account. 

Site elements include: 

■ Tables and seats for 120—150 students 

■ Shade (steel or wood arbor shade 
structure — not an impervious 
cover — for locations away from the 

■ Trash receptacles 

■ Trees 


The large gathering area is a 2,000— 
3,000 square foot assembly area for the 
staging and viewing of outdoor programs 
and events that can accommodate 
approximately 100—150 children, parents 


and staff. It can also be used after school 
hours. The area should have a central, 
prominent location to encourage visibil- 
ity and use, but should be located away 
from the most active play areas. It needs 
accessible pathways and seating, in addi- 
tion to lawn seating. Noise, circulation, 
light and air circulation should be given 
careful consideration. 

Site elements include: 

■ Stage or raised platform 

■ Provisions for simple stage sets 

■ Shade for viewers 

■ Formal seating with benches, movable 
chairs or seat walls and informal 
seating such as a lawn area 

■ Trash receptacles 


The small gathering area is a 300—700 
square foot shaded area for small group 
instruction, reading and storytelling, or 
quiet space for students during recess. It 
is separated from other activity areas by 
planting with seating for S— 12 students. 

Site elements include: 

■ Small stage presentation area 

■ Seating (benches without backs or 
seat walls) 

■ Work table or game table 

■ Shade 

■ Planting 


The hard courts are large paved areas 
that support the physical education cur- 
riculum during school; they could also 
be used by the community during non- 
school hours. They also serve as gather- 
ing and waiting spaces before and after 
school. The courts are secured with high 
perimeter fencing (8' at street edge) and 
gates to accommodate maintenance and 
emergency vehicle access. A pedestrian 
gate will provide access during non- 
school hours. Perimeter planting and 
shade trees create a more inviting court 
area. Each school community should 
determine the appropriate mix and 
configuration of courts. 

Site elements include: 

Basketball half- court 
a Basketball full court 
Basketball standards 

■ Ball wall 

3 Running track and lanes 

■ Compass rose (painted) 

■ Circles, 30" diameter each (painted) 

■ Foursquare and other school games 

■ Mazes (painted) 

■ Benches 

■ Tetherball 

■ Hopscotch 

■ Trash receptacles 

■ Drinking fountain 
n Lighting 

■ Lockable storage 


The turf field is a multi-purpose play 
field with well-drained and easily main- 
tained turf. Fields are usually located 
next to the hard courts and should be 
sized so that they meet the requirements 
for children's community and local 
sports field user groups. They could also 
be used by the community during non- 
school hours. The courts are a secured 
space with 6' high perimeter fencing and 
gates to accommodate maintenance and 
emergency vehicle access. A pedestrian 
gate will provide access during non- 
school hours. Turf fields require a struc- 
tured management program that 
includes field maintenance and manage- 
ment of field use. A heavily used field 
will require a shutdown period for 
renovation at least once a year. 

SCHOOLS (K-12) 403 

Site elements include: 

H Benches and /or bleachers 

■ Equipment storage 

H Portable goals and back stops 

■ Trash receptacles 


Play equipment areas include age-appro- 
priate play structures and equipment 
settings for social play and exploratory 
learning and physical development. Play 
equipment should also provide upper 
body strengthening activities. 

The area should be a minimum of 
40' x 40' in a central location that is 
easily supervised. It should offer com- 
munity access during non-school hours. 
The ground surface can be wood fiber 
or synthetic rubber safety surfacing. 
Adult yard supervisors should be 
present to ensure safe behavior and to 
ensure that the proper age group is 
using the play equipment. 

Site elements include: 

■ Manufactured play equipment with a 
variety of components for climbing, 
swinging, crawling, socializing, 
sliding, etc. 

E Safety surfacing such as modular 
tiles, wood fiber safety surfacing with 

drainage blanket or poured-in-place 
synthetic safety surfacing 

■ Sub-surface drainage inlet (connect- 
ing to the site storm drain system) 

■ Concrete curb to contain safety 

■ Access ramp 


The play area is a multi-purpose, out- 
door play and outdoor classroom area 
for children between the ages of 3 years 
and 5 years. The area must be fully 
enclosed and secure; a waiting area for 
parents should be located directly out- 
side. The area should be sized to allow a 
minimum of 75 square feet per child. 
There should be a minimum 3 '6" fence 
or wall around the yard, with gates to 
the main schoolyard and to the commu- 
nity. The ground surface should be 
asphalt or concrete paving, turf and sand, 
with synthetic safety surfacing at play 
equipment areas and decomposed granite 
paths. Staff supervision and daily site 
inspection and maintenance should be 

Features and activities should support a 
learning-through-play approach. Site 
elements include: 

Play equipment (linked play structure) 

Ball play area (paved) 

Painted wheeled toy path 

Sand and water play with sand cover 

Gardening area with planter boxes 

Display area 


Tricycle storage 

General storage 


Small stage 

Movable picnic and work tables and 

Trash receptacles 

Interior Settings 


The classroom plays an essential role in 
providing accessible education. The class- 
room environment influences personal 
attitudes, levels of participation and 
quality of work. People are more atten- 
tive and productive when they are physi- 
cally comfortable and can clearly see, 
hear and be directly engaged with the 

Classrooms should be arranged so that 
students have an unobstructed view of 
the instructor, audiovisual screens and 


demonstration areas. To make exhibits 
and demonstrations clearly visible, con- 
sider using movable desks and tables 
with an adjustable mirror over the 
demonstration table. 

Desks should be arranged so that there 
is clear, adequate aisle space for children 
with mobility aids to circulate freely 
about the classroom without having to 
ask others to move their chairs, desks or 
personal belongings. 

Work areas should be comfortable and 
adjustable to meet individual needs and 
preferences. Tables with adjustable 
heights allow users to modify the height 
to meet their physical needs and the 
activity at hand. For example, activities 
requiring fine motor skills (such as 
writing or drawing) should be per- 
formed with the desk or tabletop at 
elbow level. Activities that are more 
physical and require some degree of 
force (such as molding clay) should be 
performed approximately 1 inches 
lower than the elbow to ease the effort 
required . 

Movable furniture allows instructors 
flexibility to rearrange the classroom to 
meet the changing needs of a particular 
curriculum or the students. Furniture 

should be stable and firmly situated on 
the ground so that when people lean on 
the table for assistance in getting up, it 
resists firmly without wobbling. Tables 
with raised leaves will help accommo- 
date people who use wheelchairs with 
high armrests. All furniture in the class- 
room should respect knee and toe clear- 
ances for wheelchair users. 

Work surfaces should be smooth with a 
matte finish to minimize glare. Items 
that are used frequently, such as writing 
materials and art supplies should be 
placed within a child's range. This will 
enable the child to work more inde- 


Floor coverings and surfaces should be 
selected to promote wheelchair mobil- 
ity and minimize tripping hazards. 
Walking and wheelchair surfaces should 
be slip-resistant and firm, level and easy 
to maintain. Carpets should be low pro- 
file, tightly woven and secured firmly to 
the floor. Carpet pads that add spongi- 
ness and height to the carpet profile 
should be avoided if possible; they can 
hinder wheelchair users and create 
problems for people with weak lower 

In general, floor patterns should be 
muted. Complicated or high-contrasting 
patterns can decrease the functionality 
for those with vision impairments or 
diminished depth perception. 


In some cases color can serve as a visual 
cue for demarking hazards, such as 
stairs, or offer orientation and direc- 
tional guidance, such as marking entries 
or different parts of a room. 


Provide general light and enough elec- 
trical outlets around the room (or at 
desks) so that individual "task lights" can 
be provided at desks or tables to assist 
in individual work if supplemental light 
is needed. Those outlets will also be 
useful for personal readers, recorders or 
listening devices. 


Exposure to natural light is necessary 
for physical and emotional health. 
However, the amount of light entering 
the room should be controlled (through 
curtains, blinds or other window treat- 
ment) because direct sunlight can cause 

SCHOOLS (K-12) 405 

glare and visual distractions. Windows 
that open with a twist, slide or push 
motion are easier to open than tradi- 
tional double -hung windows that open 
and close by a push-up and pull-down 


Provide adjustable elements so that indi- 
viduals can modify the workstation to 
meet their physical needs (the type of 
chair, monitor height, knee space and 
other assistive devices). 


The art room should be designed so that 
all students can participate actively in all 
art processes to the fullest extent of 
their skills and abilities. All art rooms 
should have ample lighting (and task 
lighting), good ventilation and storage, 
sinks and display areas. 

Storage should be provided at a variety 
of heights. Peg boards for hanging tools 
and shelves and cupboards for general 
storage should be accessible to persons 
in a wheelchair or with limited reach. 
Provide adjustable height wheelchairs 
and printing presses or tables that can 
be raised or lowered. 

Provide extra- wide drawing implements 
or holders for chalk and pencils that 
offer gripping assistance. Lightweight, 
easy to maneuver rolling carts can help 
students with mobility difficulties trans- 
port art supplies from storage areas to 
art tables, drying areas or display cases. 


Music classes are an opportunity to 
develop both individual skills and to be 
with others in a group setting. Students 
who have limited verbal abilities can 
participate in classes that engage multiple 

Access to performance areas and tiered 
seating must be provided. Additional 
lighting at music stands may assist those 
with visual impairments. Provide 
secure, accessible lockers near the music 
room for storage of instruments and 
equipment so that students do not have 
to carry them throughout the day. 


Home economics classes teach life skills 
such as cooking and sewing that will 
help students lead more independent 
lives. These classrooms generally contain 
work tables or counters, storage areas 
and various appliances. 

Work tables should have clearance as 
required by code. Pedestal-type tables 
eliminate the obstruction caused by 
table legs and allow many users to sit 
next to each other in either standard 
chairs or wheelchairs. Portable raised 
table leaves also enable a person with a 
larger wheelchair to sit as part of a 
group at the same table (Figure 23). 

The room environment should have 
good ambient light and task lights avail- 
able for handwork such as sewing and 
other detailed work. 

The activities associated with home 
economics, such as students working in 
groups and operating appliances, can 
generate noise that may be distracting 
or disturbing to some students. To miti- 
gate, provide acoustic treatment such as 
fabric wall hangings, acoustic panels and 
window treatment to help absorb noise. 

If there is a living room or lounge 
associated with the home economics 
room, armchairs should be provided for 
students with weak muscle tone or for 
those who need leverage assistance to 
stand up from a sitting position. 



Stovetops should be mounted on a low- 
height counter so that seated individuals 
can participate fully in the activity. This 
range should be flush with the adjoining 
counter so students can slide pots and 
pans safely from the range to the adja- 
cent surface. The stove appliance should 
be selected for safety considerations of 
those who may be seated. An appropri- 
ate appliance would have staggered 
burners so a person can use the back 
burners without reaching over the front 
ones, and front or side controls so a 
person can reach them without reaching 
over the front burners. 

Ovens should have side hinges and a 
pull-out board beneath the oven to rest 
hot or heavy dishes. Exhaust fans should 
be located on the counter apron so that 
seated individuals can access them. 

Serving and eating utensils should be 
selected for ease of use by students with 
limited motor control or weak grasp; 
they should be symmetrically designed 
for use by right- or left-handed people. 
Consider providing large-diameter 
handles on silverware, textured glass- 
ware, large and easy-to-grasp handles, 

Figure 23. Work tables with pedestal-type 
bases allow students to sit next to each 
other in either standard chairs or wheel- 

and small, but lightweight containers 
(such as pitchers or serving dishes) . 

Fire extinguishers should be centrally 
located. Portable, lightweight extin- 
guishers can be provided in more than 
one location including near workstations 
for easy access. 


Science lessons and demonstrations are 
significantly enhanced by hands-on activ- 
ity and experiments. However, much of 
the equipment in a lab poses safety risks 
such as fragile glassware, open flames 

and hazardous chemicals. Design work- 
spaces to allow students to work as inde- 
pendently as possible with the lowest 
potential for accidents. 

Equipment and supplies should be 
stored within a variety of reach ranges 
and all equipment should have large on- 
off indicator lights so people with visual 
or hearing impairments can easily deter- 
mine when equipment is on. 


Accessible lab stations should be located 
as close as possible to the accessible path 
of egress so that individuals with disabili- 
ties may be assisted in case of emergency 
evacuation. Placement of accessible lab 
stations should allow easy access to 
shared equipment and should minimize 
conflicts with circulation patterns in the 
room to facilitate wheelchair maneuver- 
ing and pedestrian activity. 

A drop-leaf in a section of the accessible 
workstation will allow wheelchair users 
to access the workstation (see Home 
Economics Room for additional ideas 
about work tables). 

Sinks and storage areas should be 

SCHOOLS (K-12) 407 


All users should have access to safety 
equipment such as first aid kits and fire 
extinguishers. Emergency procedures 
and instructions are mandated by fed- 
eral standards. Provide instructions in 
multiple languages using graphic and 
accessible formats. 

Provide protective eyewear for all stu- 
dents. Heavy rubber aprons for protec- 
tion from spilled chemicals should be 
made available for seated individuals and 
those with sensory limitations. 

Provide an eyewash station, and addi- 
tional eyewash solution at the lab areas 
of students who cannot easily reach or 
access the station. Flexible hoses can 
also be used to dispense solution. 

Accessible lab stations should be located 
near emergency showers or near 
another means of "hosing down" in case 
of spills. A pull-chain for operation 
should be provided within easy reach. 

Building and fire codes regulate the 
location and placement of fire extin- 
guishers in a room. In addition, light- 
weight portable extinguishers should be 
provided at lab stations or worktables. 

Gas jets often have a "hissing" sound 
when turned on. Consider adding an 
odorant to the gas supply so people 
with hearing impairments can detect 
the presence of gas. 

In case of power outages, emergency 
lighting is helpful for people with hearing 
impairments who rely on visual cues. 


School auditoriums and other assembly 
areas are places for people to come 
together for special gatherings and 
performances. Assembly areas, dressing 
rooms, backstage and ticket booths 
must be accessible to accommodate 
audience members, speakers and 
performers. Audience members need 
adequate seating and aisle circulation, 
views of the stage and assistive listening 
systems when necessary. 

Ideally, wheelchair seating should be 
integrated into areas of fixed seating in a 
variety of locations with equivalent 
viewing. Wheelchair seating should be 
located along an accessible route and in 
close proximity to a means of egress. 

Adequate stage lighting assists persons 
with hearing and sight limitations to 

read lips, facial expressions and body 
language. Special attention should be 
paid to avoiding shadows on hands, faces 
and torsos. Provide proper, non-glare 
lighting on the sign language inter- 
preter. The sign language interpreter 
should be located to the side of or 
directly behind the person speaking. 


The gymnasium often serves a double 
purpose as an assembly and perform- 
ance area. All areas should be fully 
accessible to performers and audience 
members. Special consideration may be 
needed to ensure that the sound system 
is of good quality (to obtain a static-free 
sound). Provide bleachers with gradual, 
accessible slopes and handrails, and slip- 
resistant floor coverings. 

The height of athletic equipment such as 
basketball hoops should be adjustable if 
possible to allow persons in wheelchairs 
to participate in games. 


Cafeterias are multi-purpose spaces, 
serving as dining rooms, gymnasiums, 
study halls and assembly and meeting 


Aisles, food service lines and circula- 
tion, counter tops, tables and vending 
machines should all be accessible. Every 
opportunity should be made to achieve 
equivalent experiences. The accessible 
entry should provide the same decor 
and services as the rest of the area and 
be usable by the general public. 

To promote interaction with the entire 
school community, accessible seating 
should be provided throughout with a 
mix of seating options. This may include 
tables of a variety of shapes, sizes and 
configurations with fixed and removable 
seats or no seats for wheelchair access. 


Libraries offer a variety of books, com- 
puter programs and audio-visual materi- 
als that allow people to engage fully in 
learning. The design of these spaces 
must accommodate a variety of users. 

Many of the required elements have 
been discussed previously. Although 
library collections are mostly catalogued 
now on computer, for facilities that have 
a card-catalogue system, a lateral filing 
system is preferred because the backs of 
card catalogues are easier to reach by 

those seated. For catalogues on com- 
puter, auditory and large-print direc- 
tions should be available on request. 

Other Site Elements 


Landscape can be functional as well as 
aesthetic. Lawns, shrub borders and 
trees can be designed to promote play, 
socialization, relaxation or other learn- 
ing experiences. These elements can 
also be used to define areas, provide 
shelter and shade, and reduce back- 
ground or traffic noise levels. 

Landscape areas can serve as buffers that 
separate pedestrian traffic from vehicu- 
lar traffic, creating a safe zone for 
pedestrians. Additionally, they provide 
locations for signage with a natural 
buffer around the pole, so persons with 
limited vision or attention span are less 
likely to bump or walk into the pole 
(Figure 24). 

Select, locate and maintain plants and 
trees to minimize protruding objects and 
maximize lines of sight. For example, 
trees should be located 3'— 4' from a 
walkway. Branches should be pruned so 

they do not hang lower than 80" above a 
walkway as they pose a danger to people 
with limited or no vision. Walkways 
should be swept regularly to remove 
fallen debris such as leaves, seedpods, 
twigs and small branches. 

Earth berms should not be more than 3 
feet high so a seated person (such as in a 
wheelchair) can see over them. 


Raised edging along walkways, espe- 
cially between the walkway and a soft 
surface such as grass or landscaping, can 
help keep wheelchairs from slipping off 
the walk. 


Ensure that barriers are clearly visible. 
Chains should not be used adjacent to 
landscape areas because they are diffi- 
cult for those with limited vision to see 
(due to the lack of contrast), and are 
not easily detected by a cane. 


Place site furniture next to walkways. 
Turnouts with a space adjacent to a 
bench allow for wheelchairs to move 
subtly off the path and transfer onto the 

SCHOOLS (K-12) 409 

Figure 24. Landscaping serves as a 
protective buffer around a sign pole or 
tall tree. 

bench or sit next to a friend who is on 
the bench. 

Seating (benches or chairs) should be 
located so there is clear space in front of 

the bench to accommodate people's feet 
without impeding the adjacent walkway 
and path of travel . 

Pavement that surrounds site furniture 
should be accessible: smooth, yet 
slip -resistant. The pavement could be 
designed with a different color to alert 
people with limited vision that furni- 
ture or other elements are located in 
this area. 


Lighting helps increase safety and 
security on school sites and provides 
illumination for evening events. Along 
pedestrian walkways, light fixtures 
should be located to provide even illu- 
mination rather than pools of light with 

dark stretches between. Lighting is 
especially critical in these areas: 

■ Entrances 

■ Locations where there are abrupt 
changes in grade or levels 

■ Areas where there are automobiles 
such as driveway entrances, parking 
lots, transit stops and loading zones 

■ Circulation routes such as pathways, 
ramps, walkways, crosswalks and 
curb ramps 



Autonomous visits to museums are 
made possible by the simplicity and 
precision of the directional information 



Simplicity is the key to a successful 
tactile visit through a museum as is the 
case for any large facility. Reduce the 
number of navigational decisions to a 
minimum. For example, a straight line 
is easy for visitors to follow, but an 
itinerary with sculptures placed in a 
"treelike" pattern, especially involving 
more than one room, is difficult. 

If the museography can be redone, 
arrange the art pieces in straight rows. 
If the art cannot be moved, select 
pieces for the tactile itinerary that will 
allow visitors to follow a simplified 
route if desired. Use a tactile map, as 
shown in the Valenciennes case study, 
(see "Rediscovering the Touch of Art: 
Musees des Beaux Arts," page 105) and 

Braille instructions, as well as audio 
information that all visitors can use. 


Three navigational elements should be 
used at the entrance to each gallery: 
tactile maps, Braille signs and audio 

Be precise about how to move through 
the room by describing the number of 
paces and angles. Explain angle orienta- 
tion with the times on a clock face (e.g. , 
2 o'clock, 3 o'clock, etc.). Present 
distances in paces. For example: "The 
elevators are straight ahead, ten paces." 
If possible, use a continuous handrail 
and send visitors from the rail to the art 
pieces, stating exactly how many paces 
to take and whether they should turn. If 
a continuous rail is not feasible, simplify 
the tactile itinerary route as much as 


Tactile floor markings are an excellent 
method for directing people with 
visual impairments. They can be made 
of different materials than the floor, 
such as fiberglass or granite, with a 
rugged surface or a raised edge, and 
when possible, they can be in bright or 
contrasting colors. Marks should be 
about six inches apart so people can 
follow them or tap them with their 


ADA regulations in the United States 
include signs that identify permanent 
spaces such as stairways and room 
numbers. To achieve a truly unified 
system, every sign in the facility must 
be considered, including the means by 
which people are directed to reach the 
signs. Children, the elderly and people 


41 I 

in wheelchairs need to be able to move 
up next to the sign to touch or read it, 
without being in the way of traffic or 


Pedestals with signage not only enhance 
the sculpture, but also facilitate their 
discovery. The pedestal height must be 
adapted to the scale of the artwork, but 
ideally, the height should be no lower 
than 32" and no higher than 48". To 
eliminate the challenge of searching for 
information on an adjacent wall, the 

Braille and text should be incorporated 
into the pedestal design. The informa- 
tion should be presented on a slanted or 
horizontal surface, as reading Braille on 
a vertical surface is uncomfortable for 
the wrist. The text color should contrast 
with the background, which must be a 
non-glaring surface. Tactile signs take 
longer to read than Braille, so the words 
must be short so readers don't lose 
their place. Typeface size should be at 
least 24 point. 



Three overall design parameters relate 
to children's zoos in general, as well 
as to other types of non-formal educa- 
tional institutions that also target 
children and families (such as botanical 
gardens and children's museums, if they 
have a central focus on nature and 
learning) . 

A children's zoo is about immersion in 
nature. This means literally being sur- 
rounded and engulfed by touchable, 
smellable, visible, audible nature. This is 
the crucial motivational dimension for 
children. To be active and rewarding, a 
zoo must be a place for hands-on 
experiences with nature. 

A children's zoo is a non-formal educa- 
tional facility. Its environment must 
express and reinforce the zoo's educa- 
tional mission and means of delivery. 
The Hamill Family Play Zoo (see 
"Growing Caring Children: Explore! A 
Child's Nature," page 111) has an exten- 
sively researched and well-articulated 

educational mission, which is to foster a 
love for animals and nature in children 
early in life. The chosen strategy is man- 
ifested through play in a nature-rich, 
playful environment facilitated by 
trained play staff. Other children's zoos 
may choose different strategies; how- 
ever, given the wealth of research about 
nature and children, it is difficult to 
imagine any strategy being effective in 
an environment where live nature is not 

A children's zoo contains a mix of indoor 
and outdoor spaces. These can take many 
forms according to the size and shape of 
the site, whether the facility is new con- 
struction or a renovation (or both) , 
budgetary constraints, and other factors. 
The normal distinction between indoors 
and outdoors is whether or not the 
space is air-conditioned. This leaves out 
a realm of intermediate space that is 
neither fully outdoors nor indoors. 
Examples include pavilions, gazebos, 
covered decks and porches, open 

corridors, walkways, pergolas — spaces 
that accommodate activity settings, pro- 
vide gathering areas, make transition 
zones between indoors and outdoors, 
and increase the feeling of being 
immersed in nature. To design effective 
environments in these terms, close col- 
laboration between architects, landscape 
architects and other design disciplines is 
required. This is fundamental to success. 


A children's zoo should contain a vari- 
ety of relationships between indoors and 
outdoors to: 

m Increase climatic adaptability and 
usability year-round 

■ Increase activity options for a broader 
range of user groups, particularly 
those who must rest frequently in the 
shade, cool or warmth because they 
have a low tolerance for extreme 
weather conditions and /or a low 
threshold for fatigue 


: Increase program flexibility by provid- 
ing ad hoc activity stations 

Increase closeness to nature by provid- 
ing a "fine grain" mix of indoor, out- 
door and intermediate spaces 


A children's zoo is likely to be part of a 
larger facility, typically developed as a 
low -density site with relatively large 
spaces between indoor facilities. Visitors 
will approach the children's zoo facility 
from a distance. As they approach: 

The feel of living nature must be 
dominant, ideally achieved by a vari- 
ety of plantings or trees, perennials 
and possibly annual plantings. 

: Messages about the mission and /or 
themes of the children's zoo should 
be presented in a friendly style using 
a variety of means (banners, boards, 
flags, paving inscriptions, archways, 


A children's zoo entry should feel 
friendly, inviting and fun. 

■ Design elements such as gates, 
arches, pergolas and ticket counters 
should be child-scale. 

m Clearly detailed wayfinding should be 
provided to ensure that visitors of all 
ages are made aware of the choices 
that lie ahead. 

c Motorized vehicles and vehicle spaces 
(except visitor shuttles) should not be 
present in the facility entry zone. 


Similar to the facility entry, the building 
entry should be inviting, friendly and 
easily accessible. 

If ADA ramps are required, they 
should be designed as an integral 
part of the entry landscape and not 
perceived as a separate element. 

If possible, providepower doors for 
ease of ingress and egress for care- 
givers with hands full and for young 
children unable to open heavy doors. 

~ In cold climates, provide an airlock 
with a double set of power doors. 

s Provide stroller parking, preferably 
just before the building entry in a 
covered area or just after the building 

■ Lockers and /or clothes hooks should 
be provided to leave unwanted per- 
sonal possessions such as clothing 
during the visit. 


Wayfinding should be considered an 
integral part of the design. 

■ It should be executed via a primary 
circulation system (accessible route) 
with a simple form (e.g., circular or 
linear), limited branching (not more 
than 4-way at any primary node), and 
cul-de-sac settings (entry and exit at 
the same point). 

Use a system of landmarks (e.g., 
totems, signage, repeated design 
feature such as seating, etc.) to mark 
major and minor nodal points and 
setting points of entry and exit. 

Wayfinding signage should follow a 
graphic standard and consistent 
location within the facility — inside 
and outside. 

Place names indicating different 
settings within the zoo may use 
customized type faces. Titles should 
function as visual landmarks: type 
should be bold, with strong figure/ 
ground contrast, and contain no 
more than three words per title. 

c Create aural, tactile and olfactory 
cues, for example, by using chimes, 
bells, gongs, etc., and variations in 
paving textures and patterns, hanging 
textiles, fragrant plants, etc. 

■ Locate windows to exhibit particular 
views and outdoor view frames to 
direct attention. 



The structure of the circulation system 
and pathway hierarchy mirror and sup- 
port clear wayfinding. 

■ Indoors, the primary circulation 
should follow a clearly and consis- 
tently identified spine (accessible 
route). In the Hamill Family Play Zoo 
and Play Gardens (see "Growing 
Caring Children: Explore! A Child's 
Nature"), the circulation system was 
extremely simple — a loop around the 
central mountain, with individual set- 
tings immediately off it — like stores 
on an airport concourse. In another 
facility, the next level of complexity 
could be several such "loops," always 
returning to a central meeting point. 
The most important principle for 
user comfort is that the geometry 
should have a cognitively memorable 

■ Outdoors, the same principle applies, 
that is, a primary circulation (accessi- 
ble) route should connect directly to 
all activity settings, ensuring that the 
whole site is accessible. Primary path- 
ways should have a strong identity 
through consistent visual treatment 
such as tinted concrete, inlaid animal 
footprints or other appropriate deco- 
rative motifs. 

As primary pathways are designed to 
take the highest traffic, especially on the 
busiest days, they should be the widest. 
They should have shady seating oppor- 
tunities such as benches, sitting walls 
and tree stumps at frequent intervals. 
Lighting levels should be the highest. 
Drinking fountains should be located on 
primary pathways. They can be associ- 
ated with sitting areas as landmarks. 

Outdoors is a more extensive environ- 
ment than indoors and therefore 
provides opportunities for secondary 
and even tertiary pathways. Often, 
secondary pathways are necessary to 
connect subsettings or to provide access 
within the subsetting (e.g., the walkway 
though the Play Zoo Bug Walk). 
Secondary pathways should be wheel- 
chair accessible if possible. 

The tertiary pathways in the Play 
Gardens are designed as "secret path- 
ways" — small loops connected to a 
primary or secondary pathway. The 
narrow, woodchip-surfaced pathway 
through the forest maze is an example 
of a natural path that can still be accessi- 
ble to a manual wheelchair user with 
help, although it does not meet the 
ADA requirements. 


Ensuring that there is sufficient space, 
but not too much, for visitors within 
settings is a challenging issue. There is a 
tendency in the design of children's 
environments to oversize them by over- 
estimating the space required for chil- 
dren's activities or by assuming children 
need lots of space because they are 
going to be running around. But this 
does not happen if children are 
engaged, i.e., if the exhibits are 
designed to respond to their interest. 
Play does not need to be boisterous to 
be effective. 

A key issue is to ensure sufficient space 
for periodic wheelchair users or a 
permanent staff wheelchair user. The 
most effective strategy is to ensure 
flexibility by designing as many 
elements as possible to be movable. 
Spaces can be reconfigured or adjusted 
to accommodate wheelchair space. 
Reach range is not such an issue since 
the reach of young children and wheel- 
chair users is similar. 


Depending on the setting, universal 
design considerations may be major or 


minor issues. Topographic change in 
level can be challenging. Sometimes an 
asphalted path up a hill would be too 
expensive and result in erosion and 
drainage issues. Try a decomposed gran- 
ite, woodchip or dirt trail. This type of 
trail is not ADA compliant, but with 
help, manual chair users can get to the 
top of a hill, while power chair users 
can make the trip independently. 

Water features designed at ground level 
can be problematic for wheelchair 
users. Parts of a stream can be elevated 
to enable wheelchair users to make 
contact with the water and possibly to 
transfer to get their feet into it. 
Elevated or partially elevated water 
features are more universal as they 
allow young children to play in the 
water with their hands, even when the 

weather is not warm enough to get wet. 
Elevation also makes it much easier for 
caregivers to join in the play. 


In the context of a facility such as a play 
zoo, shade is a subtle universal design 
variable. Visitor comfort and protection 
from the sun must be balanced with full 
sun requirements of many of the most 
vigorous, showy perennials that are 
there to attract visitors. Large shade 
trees usually cast shade over too wide an 
area, which reduces the diversity of 
understory plantings. 

Small pockets of shade or semi-shade 
work best, so full exposure to the sun is 
not long enough to raise visitor body 
temperatures to uncomfortable levels. 

Shade relief is always just a few steps 
away. This is especially important for 
individuals who must walk slowly (eld- 
erly, sight impaired, walker users) or 
manual wheelchair users. Shade pockets 
can be provided by small trees, large 
shrubs, trellises, pergolas, arbors, and 
bowers or manufactured shade struc- 
tures. A wide variety of attractive textile 
shade structures are available. They can 
be installed as a temporary measure 
until natural shade is established or 
designed as permanent features. 

Install water misters in several locations 
for use during the hottest time of the 
year. Kids love to stand under them, and 
even adults find relief from the sun. And 
for the landscape, they can supplement 
irrigation quite nicely. 



A quality play area is more than just a 
collection of play equipment. It is a 
place for play and learning — a place 
where children develop essential 
physical, social and cognitive skills, 
where different generations share 
common experiences, and where com- 
munity members gather and build 

Play areas should support a range of 
both mental and physical challenges. 
Well-designed play areas provide access 
for a person to physically arrive at a play 
element, interact socially and choose 
whether to do an activity on or at the 
play element. 

Play areas are heavily regulated by 
safety and accessibility codes. The 
guidelines described here emphasize 
inclusive planning and design principles 
based on the assumption that compli- 
ance with all applicable codes and regu- 
lations will be achieved. 


Public park design must consider the 
needs of children with and without 
disabilities, adults with disabilities and 
the elderly. Site analysis and planning 
should include surveys to identify any 
physical and perceptual barriers to 

m Community workshops that bring 
together a park's various constituent 
groups can help assess needs and 
involve people in the design process. 
First, ask the group to define the term 
"people with special needs" so that 
everyone understands the variety of 
abilities and disabilities, and the level 
to which people's needs are being 

■ Second, ask the group to walk the 
park site, using maps to identify 
opportunities and constraints for 
accessibility. Individuals should 
observe and note physical accessibility 
(i.e., slope, path width, drop-off area, 
proximity to restrooms, access to 
equipment, activity and natural areas, 

etc.), program accessibility (for use by 
people with a range of abilities) and 
communication accessibility (i.e., 
maps and signs, telecommunication 
devices for the hearing impaired and 
wayfinding) . 

Discussion at community meetings may 
also lead to the identification of place- 
based themes when held in the early 
stages of the planning and design 
process. Designers should ask about the 
historical, cultural and natural elements 
that are meaningful to people and that 
invoke pride of place. The theme can be 
developed using these aspects of a 
community, helping to make the park 
distinctive and, at the same time, pro- 
viding an ongoing education about the 
place in which people live. For example, 
at Ibach Park in Tualatin, Oregon, the 
play environment draws on the natural 
and cultural history of the area by 
including a Mastodon rib cage climber, a 
climbing meteor, Native American 
Indian petroglyphs carved into the sand 
play area, and a stylized river that runs 


through the park — historical elements 
that have been adapted and interpreted 
for this contemporary setting. 


A children's design workshop is an 
excellent way to gather information 
directly from one of the primary users 
of the park, especially regarding the 
imaginative play opportunities that pro- 
vide the context for manufactured play 
equipment. Children's ideas can be 
drawn out creatively by asking kids to 
build models or draw pictures of an 
ideal park (Figure 25), selecting their 
favorite idea using photos of different 
environments or telling a story to a 
"park reporter." 

To recruit children who use or may use 
the park, post flyers or set up a booth at 

Figure 25. Children can construct simple 
models using preconstructed elements to 
convey their ideas for a park's design. 

the park itself, make announcements at 
nearby schools or local youth groups, 
and authorize youth to invite or speak 
to their friends. If an event is not possi- 
ble, questionnaires or surveys can be a 
good, quick way to get input on what 
children would like or dislike in a park. 


Play areas must make the social experi- 
ence accessible to all. Children, includ- 
ing those with disabilities, can interact 
in many ways. Placing less challenging 
activities next to those that are more 
physically challenging encourages inter- 
action across all ability levels. Providing 
access to a featured play structure by 
using synthetic or rubberized safety 
surfacing allows a wheelchair to roll 
right up to, through and underneath the 
structure so that a child can be in the 
center of action. 


An accessible route should connect 
every activity and accessible play com- 
ponent in the play area. The route 
provides children with an opportunity 
and allows choice and integration with 
others. It can be designed to be a play 

experience in itself, such as a pathway 
that supports wheeled toys, 
games and exploration. 



Provide a variety of settings and diverse 
play opportunities within the settings. 
Inclusive design addresses a variety of 
interests, senses and skills. Settings 
should incorporate a diversity of ele- 
ments so children have choices. Provide 
a range of settings that address func- 
tional needs as well as play opportunities 
as described throughout this section. 


Entrances help orient and inform play 
area users, introducing them to the site. 
Entrances are transition zones, places 
for congregating and areas for posting 
local information. 

The entrance should convey the 
message: "All users are welcome." 


Pathways can be designed to create 
different play behaviors and experi- 
ences. Consider pathways as play 
elements, supporting wheeled toy 


activity and running games, as well as 
opportunities for exploration. Pathway 
patterns set the tone: they can be wide 
with small branches, long and straight, 
or circuitous and meandering. They 
can wind through trees or lead directly 
to a primary destination. A pathway 
can be enhanced for play if it has 
unique items embedded into it such as 
colorful mosaic tiles, stamped animal 
tracks, leaf impressions, letters or 
numbers. Access throughout the area 
must be provided for all children with- 
out creating hazards (for example, 
don't design access ramps that double 
as skateboard ramps). Synthetic surfac- 
ing will allow wheelchair access along- 
side, under and through equipment 
and different areas. 


Boundaries are not only safety devices; 
they differentiate the children's play area 
from other areas within a park or urban 
area. They help children orient them- 
selves to the places designed for them. 
Fences and enclosures can be used to 
define spaces, protect planted areas or 
fragile environments and define path- 
ways. Fences and enclosures can also 
enhance social settings (Figure 26): a 

Figure 26. Fences can define areas for 
social interaction. 

nook in a fence creates a small gathering 
space; a hole in a fence creates a 


A combination of text, color, form, pic- 
tures, graphics and tactile qualities make 
signs — and the park — more accessible 
(Figure 27). Graphics and tactile infor- 
mation, such as Braille, should be placed 
at a child's level. For young children, 
tilted signs should be approximately 
24—30" above the ground, or if vertical, 
about 36^-2" high. Consider anthropo- 
metric data for the primary user. For 
example, average eye level for a stand- 

Figure 27. Informational and identification 
signs should be placed at a child's level. 

ing six year old in the U.S. is about 41 ", 
and about 38" for a five year old in a 


Play equipment offers unique experi- 
ences such as swinging and sliding, and 
activities that require large -muscle 
coordination. Equipment also supports 
nonphysical aspects of child develop- 
ment. It allows children to experience 
height and can serve as wayfinding and 
landmarks for orientation. Equipment 
also becomes a gathering place for social 
interaction — a place to display skills, 
hide, chase and practice sharing. The 
small, semi-private places on or under 
equipment and themed elements such 
as steering wheels, windows and 
counter tops encourage a quieter social 
and dramatic play. Allowing children 


with disabilities to get into the middle 
of the action is as important as being 
able to reach the highest point. 


Flat open spaces, either a hard court or 
soft groundcover such as turf, are valu- 
able spaces for large group games, ball 
games and team sports. Hard surfaces 
also accommodate wheelchair access 
very well. 


Topographic variety stimulates imagi- 
native and creative play. Children use 
hills to create hide and seek games, 
develop orientation skills, roll, climb 
and jump. High points or summits 
should be made accessible to wheel- 
chairs and provide support to children 
with other disabilities. 

Figure 28. A small grove of trees becomes a "forest" for children's play. 


Vegetation and trees provide sensory 
stimulation that cannot be replicated by 
manufactured materials. Children use 
natural materials as backdrops and 
props in fantasy play (for example, trees 
become a magic forest and sticks 
become horses), and in cognitive activi- 
ties (for example, counting and compar- 
ing, etc.). If trees and vegetation are 
used as a specific play feature, provide a 
means of access to and around the natu- 
ral elements (Figure 28). Tree grates 
and other site furniture can support and 
enhance use by persons in wheelchairs 
and those using other mobility devices. 


Gardens enhance the multi-sensory 
experience in a play area through the 
visual, scented, sound, taste and tactile 
qualities of the plantings. Gardens 
should be made accessible by providing 
at least one garden bed in an area that is 
raised above the ground surface with 
adequate circulation around it. This not 
only makes it so that persons in wheel- 
chairs can garden, it's good for teachers 
and adults who have trouble bending 
over and reaching down. 



Children develop responsibility by 
caring for other living things. Often, 
children in urban areas haven't had 
much contact with natural animal habi- 
tats. Plantings, feeders and birdhouses 
can attract insect and bird life. Contact 
with or observation of wildlife and 
domestic animals produces a therapeutic 
effect and offers learning opportunities. 
Animal habitats should offer adequate 
protection for the animals and all users. 


Water is a universal play material 
because it can be manipulated in so 
many ways. Children can splash and 
pour it, float objects in it, and use it to 
mold dirt or sand. At least a portion of 
water play areas must be wheelchair 

accessible. Water sources and courses 
can be raised to allow children to roll 
up to and access the water (Figure 29). 


Children will play in dirt wherever they 
can find it; a sandbox, essentially a 
structural version of plain old dirt, 
works best if it retains some natural dirt 

play qualities including small rocks and 
twigs. Sand play areas can be made 
accessible through raised areas so that 
wheelchairs can roll up to the sand and 
children can place their hands in the 
sand's surface (Figure 30). If children 
are allowed to get into the sand with 
their whole bodies in a digging area, a 

Figure 29. Water tables provide access for 
children using wheelchairs; there are many 
design alternatives. 

Figure 30. Elevated sand areas allow children in wheelchairs to play. Natural elements such 
as logs and boulders add interest and aid in transfer into sand play area. 


Figure 31. A defined space with a wall and 
seating can become a stage for dramatic 


transfer system should be provided so 
that children can get down into the sand 
for play. A place within the sand area 
should be provided so a person can rest 
or lean against a firm, stationary back 
support in close proximity to the main 
activity area. 


Children love to manipulate their envi- 
ronment. Being able to do so builds 
fine-motor, social and cognitive skills, 
and provides opportunities to practice 
independence, self-control and manage- 
ment. Found objects such as stones, 
sticks, bottle caps and popsicle sticks 
and plant parts, and larger manufac- 
tured items such as blocks, dress-up 
clothing and wheeled toys can enhance 

play and social interaction. These items 
are relatively accessible. 


Gathering places should be designed to 
promote social interaction and accom- 
modate various size groups. A portion 
of gathering places within a play area 
should be located adjacent to an accessi- 
ble route with an accessible ground 
surface. Elements within the gathering 
space should offer variety (in type and 
arrangement) and support for play, eat- 
ing, watching, talking or congregating 
for an activity. Some of the seating 
should be without backs, and tables or 
game tables should include an accessible 
space on one side. 


An informal stage can provide a place 
for storytelling, impromptu perform- 
ances or group productions, adding 
another dimension to play, and often 
serving as a focus for community 
gatherings (Figure 31). Provide a well- 
defined stage, which may be slightly ele- 
vated, and if possible an adjacent "prep" 
space. An accessible route to the stage 
area and the elevated stage itself, as 
well as accessible audience seating is 
required. Designing the space for 

multiple uses extends its value and inte- 
grates activities in the overall setting. 


Storage facilities for play equipment, 
loose parts and maintenance tools should 
be provided. Users, including employees 
and children, should have easy access to 
these facilities. 


Soft and hard play surfaces support dif- 
ferent types of activities. Consider how 
the ground covering and safety surfacing 
can support the play area's theme. Turf 
and natural ground covers support run- 
ning games, provide contact with nature 
and may encourage some amount of 
wildlife. Safety surfacing comes in many 
color variations, which could be used to 
interpret thematic elements such as 
water, lily pads or planets. Rather than 
simply providing access up to a piece of 
equipment, the surfacing could expand 
to create forms that inspire dramatic 
play. Engineered wood fiber, an accessi- 
ble, shock-absorbing safety surface with 
a natural appearance, could be used to 
support settings with outdoor themes. 



Inclusive design seeks to make quality 
space for everyone. The following 
guidelines can be applied to retail plazas 
and urban parks. The goal is to create 
public spaces that speak to a wide 


■ Use landscape to soften the edges of 
buildings and street; landscaping pro- 
vides a friendly feeling. 

■ Provide lawn areas for sitting with 
adequate drainage. 

■ Use plants that have seasonal color 
and interest. 

■ Use deciduous shade trees in the pub- 
He areas (to allow for winter sunlight) . 

3 Use a variety of plants. 

■ Place plantings at different levels so 
all can touch, smell and experience 
the landscape. 

■ Install quality plant materials to give 
a subtle message that the space is 

■ Locate planters so they create space 
and enclose or direct movement. 

■ Use tree grates in paving to reduce 
soil compaction and increase the 
usable walking surface without com- 

promising tree health and longevity 
(grates must be accessible). 

Provide a landscape maintenance man- 
ual to ensure that the intent of the 
design is maintained over time. 


Provide a combination of movable 
and permanent seating. 

Provide seating with and without 
backs and arms to increase choices 
and accessibility. 

Use durable and well-finished surfaces 
for seating (e.g., colored concrete 
seatwalls, metal or teak chairs, etc.) 
and ensure that wheelchair users can 
congregate as part of a group. 

■ Locate seating so that there is always 
some in the shade. 

■ Arrange some seating at right angles 
to facilitate conversation. 

■ Locate seating along the edges of 
activity areas and settings. 

Q Allow lawn areas to be used as 
impromptu seating. 


■ Use artificial or natural elements to 
mark entries into the space. 

■ Locate signage at entry ways. 

■ Use an entry or gateway feature to 
direct people from one space to 

■ Use changes in paving color and tex- 
ture to mark change from street edge 
to interior walks. 

Use a change in paving material and 
color to mark major entries. 

Make wide pedestrian passageways for 
people to safely pass each other, includ- 
ing strollers, toddlers, the elderly, and 
people using mobility devices. 

r Locate paths in a route that helps to 
organize the space. 

■ Denote the hierarchy of path systems 
by changes in material and width. 

B Provide space at pathway intersections 
for people to gather without blocking 


■ Locate sufficient bike parking adja- 
cent to main entries. 

■ Connect bike lot to main pedestrian 
path system. 

■ Provide enough bike racks for bike 
security and to control illegal bike 


Use landscaping to partially screen 
bike lots from main activity areas. 

Provide lighting and shade at bike 
parking areas. 

Provide two entries into bike parking 


■ Provide sufficient on-street parking, 
in addition to any parking structures 
to accommodate people with limited 
mobility so they can park close and 
travel with relative ease. 

B Shade the parking lot; about 50 per- 
cent shade is ideal. 

h Design the parking lot so that it does 
not hinder safe pedestrian travel. 

m Use raised pedestrian crossings to 
slow traffic in the parking lot and 
driveway traffic and to connect 
pedestrian corridors, without creat- 
ing barriers to access. 

■ Use barrier plantings to deter pedes- 
trians from walking through parking 
medians and between cars. 


r ! Provide positive outdoor spaces (pos- 
itive spaces are partly enclosed — they 
seem bounded even when sides are 
open). People tend to feel safer when 
they are partly surrounded and their 
backs are protected. 

■ Surround each space with wings of 
buildings, trees, hedges, fences, 
arcades and trellised walks. 

■ Provide a space large enough for 
community events, rallies, musical 
performances, etc. 

■ Provide spaces where parents can let 
their children run around and play 
without disturbing shoppers. 

3 Incorporate a "stage" area into the 
plaza paving. 

a Provide quieter, smaller spaces. 

a Create positive spaces around the 
buildings, using trees, seat walls and 
hedges to create a sense of enclosure 
and safety. 


The intangible qualities of spaces are 
often what makes an open space 
unique. "Proximity of uses" addresses 
the physical arrangement of inside and 
outside spaces; "sacred spaces" recog- 
nize the importance of the commu- 
nity's memory and tradition. 


Urban parks are often bounded by 
major traffic spines that link one major 
land use, such as a city hall or retail 
area, with another. Successful down- 
towns locate retail, restaurants, copy 

shops, banks, offices, churches, daycare 
and housing in close proximity. This 
same concept can be applied to the lay- 
out of activities in a park or plaza. A 
central lawn can be the spine, with dif- 
ferent "rooms" and paths located on its 
edges. This proximity of uses, both on 
the exterior and the interior, makes a 
place for everyone. It creates excite- 
ment, encourages social interaction, 
and makes the place a community 


A sacred space lives in the hearts and 
minds of the community. It's a place 
where people go for renewal, commu- 
nity, connection and memory. It's 
important to recognize the significance 
of that space, even if it is not unique in 
design: it may be as simple as a grove of 
trees or a fountain. The challenge is to 
recognize the qualities that make the 
space sacred and incorporate these into 
expanded designs without altering their 
fundamental nature. The community 
itself will often provide the essential 
direction. Keep spaces simple and flexi- 
ble; be careful not to overbuild, and 
keep the sacred space intact. 



For the most part, trails designed for the 
Presidio of San Francisco are similar to 
back country settings and were designed 
to comply with Federal Access Board 
(Regulatory Negotiation Committee 
1 999) guidelines for accessible trail 
construction and trail rehabilitation, 
rather than the ADA Accessibility 
Guidelines (ADAAG) that are 
applicable to buildings and facilities 
(see "Connecting Urban and Natural 
Settings: Presidio Trails and Bikeways"). 
A major difference is that steeper slopes 
are allowed because of the constraints 
posed by the natural environment and 
different expectations of trail users. 
Since natural settings often have a dual 
mission of enhancing access to natural, 
cultural or historic resources and at the 
same time protecting those resources, 
special techniques are often required. 

These design guidelines supplement 
local design standards, such as those 
published by transportation agencies for 
bikeways and the Access Board guide- 

lines. They are intended for back coun- 
try, informal, park-like settings where 
the natural environment predominates 
in rural, suburban or urban areas. The 
guidelines provide trail design and con- 
struction techniques that promote 
resource conservation, enhance trail 
sustainability and maintainability, 
increase trail safety, and minimize user 
conflicts. They are not only sound con- 
struction practice, they also enhance 
trail access for people of all abilities. 


It is not realistic, or desirable from a 
visitor experience point of view, to 
make all trails accessible to all users. 
Increasing accessibility would not be 
appropriate if doing so would: 

■ Cause substantial harm to cultural, 
historic or significant natural features 
or characteristics 

■ Substantially alter the nature of the 
setting or the purpose of the trail 

s Utilize construction methods or 
materials that are prohibited by law 

D Require technically infeasible 
solutions due to terrain or prevailing 
construction practices 

If a trail cannot meet the guidelines 
because of any of the above exceptions, 
efforts should be made to ensure that as 
much of the trail is as accessible as 
possible. In locations where trails 
are not accessible, ensure equivalent 
accessible trail experiences. 


Providing variety and choice increases 
access for people of all abilities. A 
system that provides both primary and 
secondary trails, for example, allows a 
non-athletic wheelchair user or a pedes- 
trian who wants an easy stroll to enjoy 
an excursion on a moderately wide, 
gentle path, while a more adventure- 
some person would try a narrower, 
steeper trail. 


Accessible portions of pedestrian trails 
should comply with Access Board guide- 
lines for outdoor developed areas. One 
of the chief distinctions between 
recreational trails and a path of travel 
governed by ADAAG criteria for build- 
ings and facilities is slope. No more than 
30 percent of the total length of a 
designated accessible trail should exceed 
a running slope of 1 : 1 2 (8.3 percent) or 
have a cross slope greater than 1 :20 (5 
percent). In general, the running slope 
of an accessible trail should be less than 
1 :20 (5 percent). However, steeper 
trails could be considered accessible in 
the following conditions: 

a Maximum "running slope" (in 
the direction of travel) of 1 : 1 2 
(8.3 percent) for 200' with 
resting intervals 

■ Maximum running slope of 1 : 1 
(10 percent) for 30' with resting 

o Maximum running slope of 1 : 8 
(12.5 percent) for 10' with resting 
intervals (Figure 32) 


Multi-use trails should meet all the 
special requirements of pedestrian 
trails. Although steeper grades are per- 








Figure 32. Cross slopes can reach a maximum of 5 percent in areas to increase drainage. 

mitted, easy grades of less than 1 :20 (5 
percent) are recommended to provide 
greater accessibility for persons with 
disabilities and recreational bicyclists. 

Typically, multi-use trails are a mini- 
mum of 8' wide. This allows bike lanes 
with a minimum of 4' in each direction. 
Depending on the number of people 
using the trail, the width could be much 
greater (Figure 33). 

To increase accessibility for runners or 
the elderly who desire softer surfaces 

that minimize impacts on bone struc- 
ture, provide soft surface pedestrian 
shoulders on one or both sides that can 
be used as walking or running paths. 

A typical multi-use trail corridor might 
then be a minimum of 1 2' wide, assum- 
ing a minimum width hard surface and 
2'- wide soft surface shoulders in each 
direction. If the multi-use trail is to be 
used by maintenance vehicles, a 
minimum lO'-wide hard surface is 


Figure 33. Multi-use trails can range from 6 to 10' wide, plus shoulder width for runners 
and other users. 

Hardened surfaces are usually asphalt or 
granular aggregate material stabilized 
with a binder. Soft surface portions can 
be fine granular stone (crushed rock or 
decomposed granite). Trails for skaters 
should have a smooth, paved surface. 

Tread obstacles such as steps or water- 
bars should be avoided on multi-use 
trails. Drainage grates generally should 
be located outside the trail, or designed 
with small openings perpendicular to 
the path of travel for wheelchair and 
bicycle safety. 

Figure 34. If width is a constraint, give 
preference to uphill bicycle lanes, while 
downhill bikers share the road with cars. 


Road width constraints and volume of 
traffic are the primary determinants for 
the type of on-road bikeway provided. 
Where possible, provide striped bike 
lanes on both sides of major roads. 
Where road width is a constraint, 
priority is given to uphill bike lanes 
(Figure 34). 

Although the American Association of 
State Highway and Transportation 
Officials (AASHTO) minimum width 
for bikeways is 4' , the recommended 
minimum width for marked bike lanes 
on each side of the roadway should be 5' 
to accommodate a wider spectrum of 
cycling skill. Even wider lanes of 6' or 
more should be considered in those 
areas where recreational cyclists 
predominate to allow two cyclists to 
ride side by side. 

Some roadways and service roads have 
low traffic volumes with low speeds. 
If the roads are appropriately signed, 
bicyclists and autos can share them 
safely without marked bicycle lanes. 

Most bikeway grades are the same as 
existing roadway grades, which vary 
from nearly flat to very steep. 


Therefore, when designating bikeways, 
roadway topography should be reviewed 
and routes chosen with gentle grades, 
preferably 1:20 (5 percent) or less 
where possible. Where roadway grades 
are steep, off-road bikeways should be 
considered that permit gentle slopes. In 
areas such as large parks where a range 
of visitor experience is important, bike- 
way routing should offer a range of 
difficulty, from easy to challenging. 

Bicycle Lane Markings 

Bikeways should be signed to indicate 
appropriate usage for cyclists and 
motorists. For example, where autos 
and bicycles share the road, it is impor- 
tant that both drivers and cyclists be 
alerted to the conditions. 

Raised pavement markings or raised 
traffic separators can pose hazards to 
cyclists of all abilities. Except in special 
circumstances, bike lanes should be 
separated from motor vehicle traffic by 
painted lane markings. 

Conflicts and safety concerns often 
occur at intersections or where trails or 
bikeways cross roadways. A number of 
improvements or traffic calming tech- 

niques can increase safety and accessibil- 
ity for all users. 

a Crossing islands or medians decrease 
the distance across a wide or heavily 
trafficked roadway. To maximize 
accessibility, crosswalks should cut 
through crossing islands or medians at 
the same elevation as the roadway. 

■ Curb extensions or bulb-outs can narrow 
the roadway and increase safety at 
points where trails cross streets. Curb 
extensions should not extend into 
travel or bicycle lanes. This may 
require that traffic and bike lanes be 
narrowed at the intersection. 

■ Curb radius reduction is particularly 
effective in improving pedestrian 
safety at crossings by slowing right- 
turning vehicles, reducing crossing 
distances, and improving visibility 
between drivers and pedestrians. 

■ Raising an entire intersection or crosswalk 
is an effective means of encouraging 
motorists to yield the right-of-way to 
pedestrians. Tactile warning strips at 
edges enable people with visual dis- 
abilities to detect the crossings, and 
also alert sighted people that they are 
entering a roadway. Since raised cross- 
ings are effectively speed bumps that 
also slow down emergency vehicles, 
their placement should be limited and 
their location should have adequate 
sight distances. Depending on traffic 

volume, textured warning strips for 
approaching vehicles or other devices 
such as flashing lights should be con- 

■ Textured crosswalks can be visual and 
tactile markers for pedestrian traffic, 
and also can provide aesthetic 
enhancement. However, crosswalks 
should not be constructed of materials 
that create unsafe or inaccessible con- 
ditions for bicyclists or people with 
disabilities. Since textured paving is 
uncomfortable for some wheelchair 
users, use a pattern that includes a 
smooth crossing path. 


Trailheads, at a minimum, should pro- 
vide orientation, a place to meet or wait 
for others, and a place to rest. These are 
the required elements: 

■ Standard trail signs with information 
regarding trail conditions and degrees 
of difficulty 

* Places to sit, including space for 
wheelchairs and companion seating 

Trailheads also function as links to other 
modes of transportation. Therefore, 
where appropriate, include: 

n Convenient access to shuttle and/or 
transit stops 


■ Automobile parking, including parking 
spaces reserved for persons with dis- 

■ Secure bicycle parking (racks or 

To create "full service" trailheads, also 
include as many as possible of the fol- 
lowing elements: 

■ Wayfinding kiosks, with orientation 
and interpretive information (see 
Wayfinding below) 

■ Drinking water 

■ Trash receptacles 

■ Restrooms or directions to restrooms 

■ Scenic viewpoints or overlooks 

■ Staging or gathering spaces 


Most overlooks can be accessible to all 
visitors. Minimum considerations 

■ Interpretive signage, accessible to 
people in wheelchairs, including 
Braille and possibly other languages 

■ Places to sit, including space for 
wheelchairs and companion seating 

■ Places outside the circulation path for 

If viewing places are provided, each area 
should have at least one wheelchair 
maneuvering space with a firm and stable 
surface a minimum of 5' in diameter, 
and typically 1 :50 (2 percent) slope in 
any direction. Although the Access Board 
guidelines permit slopes of 1 : 33 (3 per- 
cent) as an exception to ensure proper 
drainage, it is not recommended. 

Overlooks should provide at least one 
unrestricted viewing opportunity for 
each distinct point of interest at a height 
between 32" and SI". Railings or safety 
barriers should not intrude on the 
viewing "window." 

Successful primary overlooks will also 
include such facilities as: 

■ Automobile parking, if the overlook is 
also adjacent to a roadway, including 
parking spaces reserved for persons 
with disabilities 

■ An accessible route to site features 
associated with the overlook 

Other amenities, such as trash recep- 
tacles and bike parking 

Secondary overlooks, intended as places 
of rest or quiet sanctuary, should only 
include accessible places to sit, since 

other features might distract from the 
purpose of the overlook. 


Signs that provide visitors with informa- 
tion about directions, trail conditions 
and trail locations, as well as specific 
accessibility information serve trail 
users and visitors of all abilities. 
Multiple languages, including Braille, 
may also enhance accessibility for a 
wide range of users. Signage will need 
to comply with the standards of the 
agency having jurisdiction. 

Trailhead Signs 

Signage at trailheads should provide 
information about trail conditions for all 
visitors, so they can judge any difficul- 
ties the trail might cause. Locate trail- 
head signs at the starting points of trails 
and at key intersections of major trail 
corridors. Designated accessible trails 
should display the international symbol 
of accessibility. If the trail is not accessi- 
ble, it should be signed "Not Accessible" 
at the trailhead. Trailhead signs should 
provide as much as possible of the 
following information: 


a Name of the trail 

■ Direction and distance to points of 

3 Trail elevation change 

■ Trail surface characteristics 
Running and cross slope 

■ Clear tread width 

Trail Markers 

Trail markers identify each trail along 
its entire route, providing signage that 
helps trail users navigate the entire 
length of trail. Trail markers provide an 
opportunity to create a distinct visual 
identity for each trail, contributing to 
wayfinding and a sense of place. Each 
marker should include the trail logo, a 
symbol indicating permitted trail use 
and a directional indicator. 

Trail Guides 

Although not a part of trail construc- 
tion, trail guides may be developed to 
supplement park signage, and con- 
tribute to greater accessibility for all. 
Possible topics include a general trail 
guide, children's guides, guides for 
historic loops and ecology guides. 


Outdoor Recreation Access Routes and 
Beach Access Routes are two special 
categories of an accessible trail system. 
The first is a continuous, unobstructed 
path designed for pedestrian use, con- 
necting accessible elements at picnic 
areas, campgrounds, designated trail- 
heads and designated overlooks. 

Beach Access Routes link nearby main 
trail routes to the water's edge. Since 
access to water is so important to 
human enjoyment, make every effort 
to exceed the Access Board's minimum 
requirements. For example, while 
recognizing the maintenance issues, 
providing a means to safely reach (and 
retreat from) points of low water levels 
vastly increases enjoyment of tidal areas 
or rivers and reservoirs with fluctuating 
water levels. 

In general, guidelines for outdoor access 
routes and beach access routes are very 
similar to, but slightly more restrictive 
than accessible trail requirements. The 
Access Board guidelines should be con- 
sulted for exceptions. 


Edge protection has two purposes: to 
protect the trail and adjacent resources, 
and to protect the user. Conditions must 
be examined on a case-by-case basis to 
determine whether edge protection pro- 
vided for one purpose does not in fact 
create a hazard for another user. 

Clearly defined edges help keep users 
of all types on the established trail 
surface and help protect natural 
resources. Properly constructed edges 
also protect trails from water damage 
and erosion. Edge protection such as a 
3" or higher curb can increase trail 
safety by helping a person using a 
wheelchair keep on track. A lower 
edge might not be obvious or 
detectable to people with limited 
vision who use canes. Natural objects 
such as logs also work well. 

Since vertical objects constitute a 
potential hazard for cyclists, curbs or 
railings should not be used within 2' of 
a bikeway or paved portion of a multi- 
use trail. 



Drainage control measures on trails, 
such as waterbars and drain channels, 
often create obstacles to accessibility. 
However, two methods can both control 
drainage and aid accessibility: outsloping 
and rolling grade dips. 

Outsloping is slightly elevating the 
uphill edge of a trail. This encourages 
water to flow evenly across the trail 
surface and reduces the potential for 

Rolling grade dips are short sections of 
trail that channel water off the trail sur- 
face (Figure 35). Grade dips work best 
on trails with slow, steady grades and 
are best placed at naturally occurring 
drainage-ways. Increasing the trail 
cross-slope at the point of the grade dip 
provides better drainage. Approaches to 
grade dips should be about 4 to 6' long 
to eliminate abrupt grade changes that 
may be barriers to access. 








Figure 35. A rolling grade dip can control drainage and aid accessibility. 


Trail users of all abilities generally try to 
avoid wet patches on trails by walking 
to the sides, causing destruction of adja- 
cent vegetation. However, relocating 
these trails to higher or drier ground 
may not be the answer if the existing 
trail location provides special benefits to 
users or if rerouting the trail would 
disturb sensitive habitat areas. Providing 
a hardened trail surface in the current 
trail alignment, designed to accommo- 
date the water, may be the best choice 
for resource protection, maintenance 
and visitor enjoyment. 

Surface Reinforcing 

Placing flat stones or cobbles on the 
trail surface, especially in combination 
with geotextile fabric, is an aesthetically 
pleasing way to provide a more stable 
trail surface in wet areas. If carefully 
installed with narrow joints and main- 
tained, this technique can improve 
accessibility while retaining a natural 
appearance. A short section paved with 


permeable concrete, or paving with 
deep grooves to allow passage of water, 
would be even more accessible for peo- 
ple using wheelchairs. 

Boardwalk Bridge 

Trail structures such as bridges help 
maintain drainage patterns. To remain 
accessible, approaches to trail structures 
need to be at grade, and raised edges 
will likely be required (Figure 36). 

Drainage Lens 

A drainage lens can help manage low- 
volume water flow on trails caused by 
ephemeral springs or seeps (Figure 37). 
Fill the area beneath the trailbed with 
progressively smaller quarry rock, then 
cap it with fine aggregate or suitable 
native fill . Sandwiching the rock lens 
between two layers of geotextile 
material provides a more stable base, 
and prevents rock from mixing with 
surrounding soils. 


Since trails exist in dynamic environ- 
ments, it is not always possible to keep 
them clean and dry, especially on 

primarily level terrain. Without proper 
drainage, trails on level ground tend 
to pond and collect debris, creating 
obstacles for all users and eventually 
degrading the trail. Elevating the 
trailbed or providing a boardwalk can 
provide a firm, stable, slip-resistant 
surface that is free of ponding. 




Above-Grade Trail 

A trail that is raised 3"— 6" above 
surrounding grade, with drainage swales 
on each side, will improve access for all 
users (Figure 38, page 434). To provide 
additional subsurface drainage, use a 
coarse gravel bed to elevate the trail or 





Figure 36. Boardwalk bridges improve accessibility in sensitive or sandy areas and encour- 
age people to stay on the trail. 













j>K?- ° x - ° - " °- °°^ ' ° 







Figure 37. A drainage lens helps keep trails free of water from seeps and springs. 

provide a drainage lens to facilitate 
water movement. An elevated trail 
offers a more convenient pathway for 
users during wet periods, provides the 
greatest degree of accessibility, and may 
require less maintenance. Variations of 

this technique are sometimes called 
"turnpikes" in trail construction jargon. 


Boardwalks provide an accessible trail 
surface and are often the most appropri- 

ate solution on erosion-prone soils, such 
as sand or other loose, uncompacted 
soil, or across wetland areas (Figure 
36). They also protect natural or historic 
resources by encouraging people to stay 
on the designated trail. 

An important consideration in board- 
walk design is to ensure that two people 
using wheelchairs can pass each other. 
Providing pullouts or overlook alcoves 
increases accessibility by allowing rest- 
ing or observation without impeding 
the movement of other trail users. 
Boardwalk decking installed perpendi- 
cular to the direction of travel is best for 
visitors in wheelchairs or pushing 
strollers. In most cases, a raised curb at 
the edge will be required. 


It is difficult to maintain a stable trail 
surface in areas with sandy soils. 
Reinforcing the trail base or providing 
trail structures can improve usability for 
many different park visitors. 

Subsurface Geogrids 

Geogrids or geocells, when used in 
combination with geotextiles, provide a 







Figure 38. Above-grade trails, often in combination with drainage lenses, are designed to 
be firm, stable and slip-resistant. 

relatively unobtrusive means of stabiliz- 
ing sandy trails (Figure 39). The geogrid 
confinement chambers prevent lateral 
displacement of sandy soils, distribute 
trail tread loads over a greater area, and 
reduce settling — all of which help keep 
trail surfaces intact, in place and dry 
The geotextile material can provide sep- 
aration between saturated soil and the 
tread fill or increase containment over a 
sand base. Permeable tread fill can 
improve drainage; however, in areas of 
sensitive natural habitat, imported soils 
may be restricted. 

B ^Eatu GR/ D0^ 


Above- Grade Trail Structures 

Boardwalks are often used for access 
across sandy soils. Another option is 
textured panels with drain holes, which 
are installed directly on the leveled sur- 
face without substantial subgrade exca- 
vation. These panels meet current 
accessibility guidelines and can be relo- 
cated. They may require additional 
maintenance, such as sweeping and 
readjustment of linked panels to provide 
a uniform surface. 


Figure 39. Subsurface geogrids can stabilize sandy soil. 


* *- 



These guidelines apply to open space 
elements that taken together create an 
overall system within a city: parks, 
connecting green corridors, staging 
areas, activity nodes and small neighbor- 
hood greens. The aim is to enhance a 
community's use of trails, greenways 
and outdoor spaces, improve how those 
areas complement or supplement a 
city's park system and natural areas, and 
make a city more walkable. See Trail 
Systems Design Guidelines for more 
specific details, including ADA require- 

Open space systems must meet the 
needs of individual people in their daily 
lives; guidelines can ensure that the 
open space system actually provides the 
expected benefits. The guidelines will 
assist in designing open space systems 
that meet individual human, biological, 
social and cultural requirements. 

Figure 40. An open space system connects green corridors, gathering areas, trails and parks, 
as well as amenities such as commercial areas and schools. 


Open space elements include: 

■ Parks. Parks provide space for people 
to come together across cultural and 
socio-economic lines to enjoy recre- 
ational activities, appreciate nature, 
relieve stress, learn about the natural 
environment and feel a sense of iden- 
tity and connectedness to nature and 
their community. Park design should 
provide activity settings that take into 
account the site's physical, social and 
cultural conditions. (Also see the Play 
Areas Design Guidelines, page 417, for 
more detailed information about 
designing areas for children.) 

! Regional Trails. These multi-use facili- 
ties are the backbone of open space 
connections throughout a community. 
New developments should be required 
to extend or connect to a regional 
trail system. The goal is to allow a 
person to travel or commute safely 
from one side of the community to 
the other, without leaving a city's open 
space network. (Also see Trail Systems 
Design Guidelines, page 425, for more 
detailed information about trails.) 

Green Infrastructure. Development 
sites often have public facilities that 
should be incorporated into the site 

design, such as drainage channels and 
utility corridors. Public infrastructure 
should be developed for multi-use, 
thus adding neighborhood and 
community connectivity. 

1 Greenways. These smaller-scale linear 
corridors are pathways within or 
between developments. They are 
generally linear in nature and connect 
different site locations, encouraging 
walking or biking between them. 
Greenways should terminate at a 
regional trail, a park or a major 
activity node such as a town center. 

Figure 41. Utility corridors can provide multi-use open space, strengthening community connectivity. 


i Neighborhood Greens. These small open 
space areas (sometimes called pocket 
parks) should be dispersed throughout 
neighborhoods and within close prox- 
imity to residential units. They should 
provide opportunities for passive or 
small-scale active recreation (for exam- 
ple, play equipment) and staging for 
activities within the green way system. 
(Also see the sections on Plazas and 
Gathering Spaces in the Cityscapes 
Design Guidelines, pages 463^-64, for 
more urban- style open space.) 

Open Space Framework 

These general site design guidelines are 
for open space amenities within green- 
field and infill developments. 

1 . Variety: Provide a wide variety of 
usable open spaces that connect 
major community destinations (such 
as community parks, neighborhood 
parks, pocket parks and commercial 
plazas) through open space connec- 
tors (such as greenways, trails, etc.). 

2. Location: Every residential unit in a 
planned new development should 
be within 1 /4 mile (or 5 minutes or 
less walking distance) of a park or 
neighborhood gathering place. 

3. Accessibility and Connectivity: Access 
to parks, open space areas, different 
land use types and community 
amenities (schools, playgrounds, 
community buildings, transit stops, 
etc.) should be enhanced with a net- 
work of open space connectors, 
thereby enhancing the desirability 
of using alternative methods of 
transportation (e.g., walking and 
bicycling). These connectors should 
link residential units, parks, 
commercial areas, schools and other 
areas to provide a comprehensive 
open space network. 

4. Relationships: The location and config- 
uration of regional trails, greenways 
and neighborhood gathering places 
should complement existing and 
proposed schools, libraries, city parks 
and commercial developments. 

5 . Block Size: Provide walkable and 
bikeable neighborhoods by limiting 
the size of residential blocks and 
creating a network of multi-use 
non-vehicular pathways in the new 
development. For blocks longer than 
600', intersperse mid-block pedes- 
trian pathways to create smaller 
blocks. Uninterrupted blocks or 
portions of blocks generally should 
be no longer than 400'. 

6. Multi-Use Utility Corridors: Use 
major utility corridors (e.g., storm 
water drainage, underground and 
overhead utilities, etc.) to also pro- 
vide usable open spaces consistent 
with their utilitarian function. 

7. Sustainability: Where feasible, main- 
tain and respect all natural features 
of the site, including the natural 
drainage of the land, natural 
preserves and habitat areas. 

8 . Safety: Enhance safety by minimiz- 
ing at-grade crossings of arterial 
roads that interrupt major pedes- 
trian-friendly pathways connecting 
to parks and schools. When open 
space trails intersect with roadways 
at grade, street widths and pedes- 
trian crossing distances should be 
kept to a minimum. Arrange build- 
ings to provide for visibility and 
surveillance opportunities. Locate 
and design buildings to allow open 
space areas to be viewed from inside 
residences and other buildings. This 
allows open space areas to be 
watched over by neighborhood 
residents and discourages anti-social 
and illegal activities. 



The diagrams at right illustrate a 
systematic process for creating an open 
space framework for new developments. 

Figure 42. 

a. Identify existing natural features on 
development sites, preserve significant 
features and create new naturalistic 
features to enhance projects. Provide con- 
nections for regional trail routes. Connect 
the open space network on individual 
developments to the citywide network. 

b. Locate at least one major non-vehicular, 
multi-use corridor. The pedestrian spine may 
be located along a natural feature such as a 
natural drainage corridor. Landscape the 
pedestrian corridor to provide summer 
shade and create a sense of identity and 
cohesion to the entire development. 

c. Locate major built amenities (neighbor- 
hood commercial areas, schools and 
community parks) along the regional trail or 
greenway system. The trail system should 
also connect residential areas to employment 
or commercial areas. 

d. Locate parks such that all individual 
residential units are within 1 /4-mile 
walking distance of a city park or 
neighborhood gathering place. 

e. Create a network of pedestrian and bike 
connectors, such as trails and greenways, 
to connect all the built and open space 
amenities. All residential units and 
commercial areas should be within 
1/8-mile walking distance of a connector. 

f. Organize street networks, neighborhood 
blocks and lots in combination with open 
space elements to tie into surrounding 
developments and link with natural 
amenities of the site (access to nature, 
views, sun, wind, etc.) 

a. Identify roads, trails and existing natural features. 


d. Ensure that all residential units have open space access 
/ within 1/4-mile walking distance. 


b. Provide a major bicycle and pedestrian corridor 
/ through the site. 

c. Locate major amenities along the pedestrian/ 
/ bicycle corridor. 


f. Connect the new development to surrounding commercial and 
employment areas as well as other develop 



"Placemaking" is an approach to creating 
public spaces that are intentionally 
designed for social interaction and com- 
munity identity, and results in parks that 
are not just public places but community 
places. Community parks should not all 
look alike. High-quality, distinctive parks 
can be designed with different features, 
activities and identities to reflect unique 
cultural, historic or environmental quali- 
ties of an area or community. Facilities 
that support the activities should be 
grouped or combined to create activity 
settings for a wide range of experiences. 
In other words, a ball field must be more 
than a ball field. For example, any large 
patch of grass can be used to play ball, 
but to be a complete activity setting — a 
place for the entire community — the 
field should be designed in combination 
with a shade structure, picnic area, young 
children's play area, a gathering and 
game-watching area, a small cafe or 
coffee bar, as well as supporting rest- 
room, drinking fountains, storage and 
parking. To make the area distinctive, 
one or more of these elements can be 
designed to reflect something about the 

Place-based park design provides activity 
settings where people of all ages and abil- 
ities share experiences with each other 
and their environment. To provide users 
with meaningful or special experiences, 
each setting should be context-specific: it 
should take into consideration the site's 
physical, social, and cultural conditions. 
For example, the ball field can be 
combined with other settings such as a 
library, farmer's market, or water play 
area to create multiple reasons for the 
community to gather. This type of design 
has a higher probability of resulting in 
"community" places that are equitable 
and usable by a wide variety of people. 


1 . Park types should be geographically 
dispersed throughout the community. 

2 . Every residence should be within a 

1 /4 mile (or 5 minutes walking dis- 
tance) of a park. 

3. Every park should be connected to 
every other park by a "green" circu- 
lation system of trails, streets and 

4. No park should be located in isola- 
tion from other community-serving 
facilities or residences. Locating 
parks near adjacent gathering places 
will help activate the park, support 

neighboring facilities and generate 
customers for nearby businesses. 

5 . Facilities or activities in and around 
the park should provide a reason for 
the community to gather and interact. 
The facilities selected for a particular 
park should reflect a set of activities 
specific to that park and should be 
grouped into settings that help define 
the park and create an identity. Each 
park should have unique features that 
are appropriate to the park function 
and neighborhood context. 


The following design criteria will help 
ensure that each park fits its context 
and functions effectively in connecting 
community members to one another 
and their environment. 

1 . Every park should be designed to fit 
a specific site, with its own charac- 
ter, and have features that make it a 

2 . Parks should be designed around 
activity settings. The number and type 
of settings will be determined by park 
location, park size, park function, 
adjacencies and community need. 

3 . Parks should be designed with com- 
munity involvement. In the case of 
new parks in new neighborhoods, 
some parks will be designed based 


Figure 43. Placemaking features in parks should reflect the culture, values, history and social 
needs of the local community through landmarks, water features, art, special facilities and 
layout. For example, a play structure made to look like large mastodon bones is designed for 
an area where these prehistoric animals once lived. 

on overall community need as 
determined by a parks and recre- 
ation master plan. Some neighbor- 
hood parks or mini-parks will be 
designed after the neighborhood is 
occupied, so the community can 
participate in their development. 

4. Placemaking features in parks should 
reflect the culture, values, history 
and social needs of the local commu- 
nity through landmarks, water fea- 
tures, art, special facilities and 
layout. These features can be layered 
throughout the design to create 
meaning and community connection. 

5 . Design should also build on existing 
environmental conditions or re-create 
previous environmental features that 
define the area. The result will be a 
park design that will also function as a 
teaching tool for learning about the 
local or regional environment and 

may offer opportunities for environ- 
mental restoration as well. 

6. Parks should use high-quality, 
diverse and long-lasting building 
materials, and have a variety of 
well-considered landscape details. 

7. Art can be integral and functional to 
the setting and not just a stand- 
alone element. Benches, bridges, 
lights, signs, water, walls, planters, 
and shade structures can all be 
works of art. 

8. Incorporate materials and facility 
maintenance standards and require- 
ments as part of the design review 

9. Incorporate both capital and opera- 
tions and maintenance costs in the 
design process so that a complete 
financial understanding of each 
design evolves as design decisions 
are made. 

10. Take into account that neighbor- 
hood needs change over time; build 
flexible space into every project to 
allow for adaptation as the commu- 
nity grows and changes. 


Well-designed park systems incorporate 
different types of parks: small, medium 
and large neighborhood parks; commu- 
nity parks; central parks; regional parks; 
sports parks; and destination parks. 
(Neighborhood greens can also function 
as parks — see Neighborhood Parks 
sections below for more details.) 

Small Neighborhood Parks 

Small neighborhood parks range from 2 
to 5 acres in size and emphasize small 
group settings, with a minimal number 
of sports activity settings (primarily 
informal) . Balance these high-intensity 
activity areas (large groups, lots of noise 
and energy) with low-intensity settings 
(small groups and quieter activity) . 
Locate the high-activity areas to mini- 
mize impacts on low-activity areas and 
adjacent residences. Include a minimum 
of four activity settings that can be used 
by all age groups. Elements should 



J L 

^ r 

1 . Multi-use field (Bantam soccer/ 5. Dry creek or 
softball) bio-swale 

2. Neighborhood gathering space 6. Restroom 

3. Small group picnic area 7. Parking 

4. Natural play area 

Figure 44. A sample layout for a 2- to 5-acre small size neighborhood park includes an informal active play area. 

J I 

~~i r 

1 r 

1. Soccer (Bantam) 

2. Soccer (Regulation) 

3. Neighborhood gathering space 

4. Small group picnic area 

5. Small play area 

6. Restroom 

7. Basketball court 

8. Parking 

Figure 45. A sample layout for a 5- to S-acre medium size neighborhood park includes formal as well as informal play areas. 


include open space and gardens, small 
gathering and seating areas, picnic tables 
(1 per park acre), paths and walkways 
(connected to the local greenway sys- 
tem), and play areas (built and natural). 
They can also include areas for informal 
sport activities such as half-court bas- 
ketball or multi-use turf areas. Shade 
structures should be provided if there 
are no mature trees, and restrooms may 
also be included. 

Medium Size Neighborhood Parks 

Medium size neighborhood parks are 5 
to 8 acres with an emphasis on settings 
for small groups, with space for limited 
sports activities. They should follow the 
same general guidelines as for small 
parks, but include a minimum of six 
activity settings that can be used by all 
age groups. They should provide every- 
thing contained in a small park plus mul- 
tiple small group picnic areas and sports 
options such as baseball and softball 
practice fields, full-size outdoor basket- 
ball courts, bantam and regulation soc- 
cer fields, multi-use turf areas, 
horseshoe /bocce courts, skate /BMX 
features, and water play areas. 
Supporting facilities such as restrooms 
and parking should also be provided. 

Large Size Neighborhood Parks 

Large neighborhood parks are usually 8 
to 20 acres. Again, follow the same gen- 
eral guidelines as for small parks, but 
include a minimum of eight activity set- 
tings. They should include everything in 
a medium park plus options that the 
community can determine, such as sand 
volleyball courts, dog parks, water fea- 
tures, and large group picnic and large 
multi-use turf areas. They should also 
provide restrooms, concessions and 

Community Parks 

Community parks are about 20 to 1 00 
acres and designed to accommodate a 
wider variety and higher intensity of 
recreational uses than neighborhood 
parks. They should be adjacent to 
schools, nature preserves, or other 
community-serving institutions, such as 
libraries, service centers or commercial 
areas, especially areas with coffee shops, 
cafes, or other food service. They may 
have amenities such as unique natural 
features or special use facilities (for 
example, a community center or aquatic 
center, cafe and major food concessions) 
or publicly accessible natural preserves. 
Because of its greater size, the commu- 
nity park should have more expansive 

open space areas. Each park should also 
be accessible via both the greenway sys- 
tem and a major road. Community 
parks include a minimum of ten activity 
settings. In addition to all of the activi- 
ties at neighborhood parks, community 
parks can include lighted baseball and 
softball practice and playing fields for 
youth and adults, soccer practice and 
playing fields of all sizes, amphitheater, 
community marketplace, disc-golf 
courses, handball courts, tennis courts, 
ponds and reflecting pools, community 
center, aquatic center and destination 
play areas. They should also provide 
larger restrooms, concessions, storage, 
and parking. 

Sports Park 

These parks should be a minimum of 
40 acres, with facilities for sports 
leagues that are integrated with areas 
attractive for the whole family, such as 
picnic and play areas. These high-activ- 
ity areas should be located to minimize 
impacts on adjacent residences. The 
sports park may be adjacent to a com- 
munity park, with a road separating the 
two, and it should also be adjacent to 
other community-serving institutions, 
such as service centers or commercial 
areas. Because the park could include 


1. Girls' Softball fields 

2. Restrooms/concessions 

3. Group picnic area 

4. Destination play area 

5. Waterspray 

6. Restroom 

7. Outdoor amphitheater 

8. Lake 

9. Community center 
10. Parking 

1 1 . Soccer (Regulation) 

12. Basketball 

1 3. Little League fields 

14. Community gathering space 

Figure 46. A sample layout for an 8- to 20-acre large neighborhood park includes a minimum of eight activity settings. 



1. Multi-use field 

2. Tennis courts 

3. Community center 

4. Aquatics center 

5. Basketball 9. Soccer (Regulation) 13. Parking 

6. Bocceball 10. Natural play area 14. Open space with greenway connection 

7. Destination play area 11. Softball/Little League fields 15. Adjacent school facility 

8. Group picnic area 12. Restroom/concessions/storage 

1 -acre 

Figure 47. A sample layout for a 20- to 100-acre large community park includes settings for major sports activities as well as non-sport activities. 



adult beverage service, it should be 
located away from incompatible uses, 
such as schools or other child-focused 

Regional Parks 

Regional parks support multiple juris- 
dictions. They are usually developed 
around a highly desirable natural 
amenity such as a mountain, forest, lake, 
river or ocean shore. The activities at the 
park should also reflect the character of 
that natural resource. Regional trails 
should also connect to the regional park. 

Central Parks 

A central park is the place where the 
community celebrates, honors and com- 
memorates its city. It is centrally 
located, ideally adjacent to government 
and commercial centers, sized to 
accommodate civic gatherings and 

Regional Trails 

Regional trails are major corridors with 
few interruptions. They should span an 
entire city and connect major open 

space amenities and locations (e.g., 
rivers and creeks, preserved open 
spaces, city parks, commercial centers 
and other cities) . They provide non-car, 
multi-use environments for people to 
walk, hike, jog, bike, roller blade and 
ride horses, while also creating oppor- 
tunities for people to relax and picnic. 
While not all uses can be accommo- 
dated on every regional trail, the 
emphasis is to serve a variety of user 
groups while minimizing user conflicts. 

While the preferred alignment for 
regional trails is along the perimeter 
of parks and nature preserves, some 

.- ^-^>~. — ^ -..-,~- -■ -~r^-^ -~ 










Regional Trail 

provide opportunities for social interaction for nearby residents. 

Open Space 


Planting Buffer of Shrubs 
Over Grassy Mounds 


Jogging Lane 










Street Right-of-Way 

Multi-Use Regional Trail 

Resting Area with Shaded Seating 
and Explorative Viewing 










Area with 

Natural Preserve 



Multi-Use Regional Trail 
Figure 49. Trails can be sited to take advantage of natural preserves. 



portions of regional trails may be sited 
adjacent to streets and /or regional 
facilities such as utility corridors. 

1 Trails should relate to natural features 
and lands set aside as preserves. They 
should vary in width and follow natu- 
ral topography to reinforce their 
relationship to parkland and wildlife 

i Trail settings should be comfortable, 
inviting and safe. Shade trees should 
be planted generously and amenities 
such as benches and occasional drink- 
ing fountains should be incorporated 
along the corridor. Signage, lighting 
and other features should be incorpo- 
rated into the design. 

Trails should be visible and easily 
accessible from adjacent land uses for 
security and to create activity. 

Frequent connections should be pro- 
vided to the trails, either through 
activity nodes and neighborhood gath- 
ering areas along the trail, or through 
connecting neighborhood greenbelts. 
Connections should include staging 


■ Trails can be programmed with annual 
walking, running and biking races that 
increase usage and visibility. 

Basic Guidelines 

1 . Create unencumbered hard-surface 
multi-use pathways for movement 

of pedestrians, recreational bicycles, 
people in wheel chairs, etc., and a 
soft-surface pathway for runners 
and joggers. Provide shade for the 
trail with deciduous trees, generally 
on both sides of the pathway. 

2. Provide a wide "green" buffer con- 
sisting of trees, shrubs, ground - 
cover, etc., between the multi-use 
pathway and edge of trail . This 
buffer may also accommodate an 
equestrian trail. 

3. Consider use of bio-swales if appro- 

4. Maintain safety and security of the 
trail by providing adequate lighting 
and allowing visual and physical 
connections between the trail and 
adjacent built and open space uses. 

5 . Celebrate key entrances to trails and 
trailheads with appropriate signage, 
parking, restrooms, etc. 

6. Provide rest areas along trails every 
half-mile. All nodes should have a 
seating area and drinking fountain. 
Rest areas should have other ameni- 
ties, including restrooms, bike racks, 
picnic tables and trail information. 

7. Provide separation from adjacent 
roadways using a green buffer, 
change in grade or landform. 

8. Regional trails should have easy 
grades. Minimum running slopes for 

multi-use trails (no more than 1 :20 
or 5 percent) provide greater acces- 
sibility for persons with disabilities 
and bicyclists. Where feasible, cross 
slopes should be kept to a minimum 
(1 :50 or 2 percent), unless a curve 
requires super elevations for safety 
or to ensure proper drainage. 

Green Infrastructure 

Drainage corridors, detention and 
retention basins, and regional utility 
corridors can function as multi- 
purpose "green infrastructure." 

■ Ensure that infrastructure and utili- 
ties within project sites are integrated 
into site design in an aesthetically 
pleasing manner (e.g., chain-link 
fences without landscaping should be 
avoided) . 

■ Use required infrastructure facilities 
for multiple purposes (e.g., a power 
line corridor can double as a linear 

■ Create comfortable, inviting and safe 


Figure 50. Utility corridors and drainage channels can become elements of a green 
infrastructure network. 

Basic Guidelines 

1 . Provide a green corridor along or 
within utility infrastructure areas. 

2. Create unencumbered pathways 
within drainage corridors for move- 
ment of pedestrians, people who 
use wheel chairs and bicyclists. 

3. Provide a green buffer consisting 
of trees, shrubs, perennials and 
groundcover between the multi-use 
pathway and edges of the green 

corridor. Provide shade trees along 
the entire length and on both sides 
of the pathway. 

4. Maintain safety and security of the 
trail by providing adequate lighting 
and allowing visual and physical 
connection between the trail and 
adjacent built and open space uses. 

5 . Ensure that all retention and 
drainage basins are designed by an 
experienced and qualified multi- 
disciplinary team of biologists, hydrol- 
ogists, storm water engineers and 
landscape architects to ensure that the 
requirements for wildlife, plant life, 
hydrology and human interaction are 
effectively addressed. 

6. Ensure that newly created storm 
water drainage corridors follow the 
natural drainage slope of the land. 
Avoid drainage corridors at the edge 
of new developments along arterial 

7. Incorporate existing natural features, 
such as vernal pools, woodlands, 
hillsides and other natural site 
features in new developments. 
Where possible, new trails and 
other connectors should enhance 
existing natural habitats. 


Barrier Fencing 

Height Varies Per 

Type of Drainage Way 

y y 


y Varies Der Technical 

Arterial or 

Landscaped i 




Design Requirements 
Drainage Way 

. Adjacent 

Collector Street 1 


f Landscaped Buffer 1 


Figure 51. A drainage corridor becomes an element of green infrastructure in a built area. 

8 . Use maintenance practices that 
effectively support the corridors as 
habitat for local wildlife. 

9. Provide interpretive opportunities 
throughout the corridors in order 
to provide the community with a 
greater understanding of the natural 
systems, flood management, and 
technological infrastructure that 
support their daily lives. 

10. Encourage creation of homeowner 
associations or volunteer organiza- 
tions to help with maintenance. 



Neighborhood greenways are linear sys- 
tems that connect residences to the 
regional trail and park system and to 
community-serving facilities such as 
schools, parks and village greens. They 
provide car-free, pedestrian-friendly 
environments for people to walk, bike 
or otherwise travel without a vehicle 
from one place to another, as well as 
places to pause, sit and relax. 

Provide a continuous connection to a 
regional trail, park or other destina- 
tion to tie into the overall community 
open space system. A person should 
be able to walk out a front door and 
easily find a greenway within close 

Create comfortable, inviting and safe 
settings. Trees and landscaping should 
be planted generously to provide 
shade and a pleasant environment. 
Provide amenities such as benches, 
lighting and signage. 


Green Buffer 




Natural Drainage 


Front Porch of 

, Front Porch of 

Residential Unit 


andscaped Corr 



Residential Unit 


Figure 52. A greenway can link the front porches of residential units. 

■ Greenways should be visible and easily 
accessible from the front doors, win- 
dows and porches of adjacent buildings 
for security and to create activity. 

Basic Guidelines 

1 . Provide generous landscaped 
buffers. Greater widths allow 
greenways to be used as spaces for 
social interaction. 

2. Create unencumbered multi-use 
pathways for movement of pedes- 
trians, bicyclists, etc. 

3 . Provide a green buffer consisting of 
trees, shrubs, groundcover, etc., 
between the multi-use pathway and 
greenway edge. Provide shade trees 
on both sides of the pathway, if 

4. Maintain safety and security of the 
greenway by providing adequate 
lighting and allowing a visual and 
physical connection between the 
greenway and adjacent built and 
open space uses. 

5. Where yards face greenways, 
provide fencing that is semi- 
transparent to allow visual access. 

6. Encourage creation of homeowner 
associations or volunteer organiza- 
tions to regularly manage and 
maintain the greenway. 

7. Depending on the location of the 
greenway, program the open space 
with community gardens, art and 
other creative uses. 

8. Encourage celebrations, block 
parties and other festivities to take 
place on greenways. 






Settings Area 
(Like Multi-Use Play Turf Area) 

T Planting f Multi-Use '" 




Open Space 
(Front Yard Only) 

Pocket Park/Plaza 

Figure 53. The open spaces in front of alley-loaded residential units become potential outdoor gathering places. 

Open Space 
(Front Yard Only) 

Neighborhood Greens 

Neighborhood greens (also called 
pocket parks) are intimate neighbor- 
hood-scale spaces, about 1/4-acre to 2 
acres in size, that supplement the tradi- 
tional city park system. Bounded by 
public and private built spaces and 
streets, they provide a place for relax- 
ation and play areas for children. These 
gathering spaces enhance community 
life and create a unique sense of place 
by providing small park-like spaces 
close to residential units. 

Allow for multiple activities such as 
playing, relaxing, etc. 

Provide comfortable spaces through 
the use of trees, landscaping and hard- 
scape elements. 

Ensure that spaces are visible and 
easily accessible from the front doors, 
windows and porches of adjacent 
buildings and from adjacent streets to 
create activity and enhance security. 

Ensure that the size of neighborhood 
gathering places in individual develop- 
ments reflects the character of housing 
(a larger or more complex gathering 
place may be more appropriate where 
there is a higher ratio of people or 
homes per acre) . 

Basic Guidelines 

1 . Provide a minimum of three set- 
tings: a young children's play equip- 
ment area (for children 2 to 5 years 
old), a gathering place for parents 
and children to meet, picnic, etc., 
and a multi-use play area, preferably 
turf, which could include paved 
areas, grassy mounds, water 
features, etc. Other settings could 
include a sand play area with a water 
source and themed gardens. 

2. Profide generous widths so the 
gathering place can provide multi- 
use paths, natural drainage corridors 
and landscaped planting strips along 
the setting area. 


Park Signage/ 
Entry Element 


Settings Area 

Pocket Park/ 


Setback from 
Street Edge 




Figure 54. A neighborhood street can be designed to accommodate outdoor gathering areas. 

3. Provide multi-use paths that create 
unencumbered movement of pedes- 
trians, bicyclists, etc. 

4. Provide a landscaped area between 
settings and the multi-use path on at 
least one side of the pocket park. 

5 . Provide a setback from the edge of 
the street right-of-way to provide 
adequate space for a landscaped 

6 . Encourage a sense of arrival for the 
park at its key entry locations through 
signage, groves of trees, etc. Provide 
each park with a unique sense of 
identity by creative use of materials, 
plantings, art and water features. 

7. Provide shade on the multi-use 
paths and other parts of the park by 
providing deciduous trees. 

8 . Create a sense of enclosure for the 
park through the use of trees, verti- 
cal entry features and the mass of 
adjacent building elements fronting 
the park. 

9. Maintain safety and security of the 
park by providing adequate lighting 
and allowing visual and physical 
connections between the greenway 
and adjacent built and open space 

10. Where private residential open 
spaces face the pocket park, provide 

fencing that is semi-transparent to 
allow visual access. 

1 1 . Discourage locating the backyards 
of public and private developments 
at park edges. 

12. Provide on-street parking along at 
least one side of the park. 

13. Encourage creation of homeowner 
associations or volunteer organiza- 
tions to regularly manage and main- 
tain the pocket park. 

14. Encourage celebrations, block 
parties and other festivities at 
pocket parks. 



Design guidelines for urban areas 
address the physical aspects of buildings, 
sites, landscaping and circulation. They 
are essential for improving quality of 
life, economic vitality and a positive 
image for a city. Guidelines should 
encourage variety and creativity and 
suggest design solutions for making 
great places and great spaces, taking 
into consideration the social, cultural 
and economic fabric of the community 
and how people actually use spaces. 
Master plans, specific plans and zoning 
ordinances spell out permissible land 
uses and the quantitative development 
measures that must be met. Design 
guidelines are used to maintain the 
integrity of areas that have special char- 
acter or significance, protect public and 
private investment, provide design 
direction to designers and decision mak- 
ers, conserve existing properties by 
showing how they can be altered, and 
describe how new developments can be 
designed and constructed to be compat- 
ible with the existing urban character. 

Each city has its own unique character, 
so no single set of guidelines will be 
appropriate. The following guidelines 
have proven successful in urban environ- 
ments and can lead to more inclusive 
downtowns and cities. 


Building Edges 

Building edges help define street and 
sidewalk areas as active public spaces. 
Historically, downtown buildings cover 
the entire lot with no front, side or rear 

- Parking should be provided within 
the building, below grade, or at a 
separate parking structure so as to 
minimize disruption to pedestrian 
circulation areas. 

■ Locating building entrances so they 
open onto the street helps maintain 
visual surveillance of the street and 
sidewalk areas and activates the 
pedestrian zone. 

- When feasible, new construction 
should provide appropriate side set- 


Figure 55. Side setbacks can provide 
opportunities for entry features, patios 
and service access, and help preserve 
natural light. 

backs to adjacent existing buildings 
that have windows facing rear and side 
yards, allowing for light, air and usable 
space between the buildings. 

Outdoor Areas 

All site spaces should be improved for 
uses and activities to provide more 
attractive and functional spaces that help 
reduce vandalism and increase safety. 
Sites should be designed with attention 


Figure 56. Cut-away corners create "defensible space" because they increase visual access 
for pedestrians. 

to visual surveillance, lighting and safe 
circulation. The rear portions of many 
commercial buildings often face alley- 
ways that are dark, underused and 
uninviting — and attract trash. 

Use controlled access points, good 
lighting and cut-away corners to pro- 
vide "defensible space." 

Use well-lighted rear-yard areas and 
alleyways for service access, which 

will preserve pedestrian-friendly 
public street fronts and increase 
safety in those areas. 

■ Where appropriate, provide small 
outdoor dining areas, patios and gar- 
dens on the public sidewalk immedi- 
ately adjacent to buildings or in 
rear-yard areas. 

Building Heights 

Building heights often vary in different 
downtown districts. Tall buildings shape 
the skyline and create strong visual 
landmarks. Tall buildings on corner sites 
can serve as anchors for the block. 

■ The tallest buildings should be con- 
centrated in the downtown core, with 
decreasing size and intensity as one 
moves away from the downtown core. 

Figure 57. Small, outdoor dining areas add 
life and energy to pedestrian areas. 






Figure 58. Building heights should decrease as one moves closer to a natural landmark, 
such as a river, or away from the downtown core. 


Buildings should decrease in size as 
one moves closer to a natural land- 
mark such as a river. 

■ Maintaining the alignment of cornices, 
rooflines and building lines of new 
buildings with existing buildings pre- 
serves architectural continuity. Match 
cornice lines and step back upper 
floors of tall buildings that are above 
average building heights in the area. 

■ Matching heights at the ends of 
blocks on adjoining corners creates a 
unified architectural character. 

■ In the odd-shaped and "leftover" areas 
near freeways, all types of building 
heights can be appropriate. Those 
areas can be appropriate for a wide 
variety of freeway-oriented businesses. 

Parking Lot Placement and Design 

While parking is an obvious need in a 
downtown environment, surface parking 
lots destroy the pedestrian character of a 
downtown and preclude retail activity 
and public gathering spaces on the 
street. Too often, they create the appear- 
ance of a vacant, underused and unsafe 
downtown that deters visitors and shop- 
pers. Lots in front of buildings increase 
the walking distance to the establish- 
ment and discourage foot traffic. 

Figure 59. Designing seating and other 
amenities near parking lot screening walls 
contributes to a comfortable pedestrian 

Parking lots should not intrude on 
the urban character and pedestrian 
quality of downtown. 

Large expanses of paved parking lots 
should be sited to the rear of build- 
ings away from major pedestrian 
commercial streets with access from 
side streets and alleyways. 

Use perimeter landscaping to screen 
cars from public view along sidewalks 
and soften the edges of expansive, 
paved areas. Decorative fences with 
narrow landscape buffers and trellis- 
type structures also provide an attrac- 
tive barrier. Use semi-transparent 
screening materials with appropriate 
planting heights to maintain visual 
access for safety. 

■ Design parking in parking garages 
below or above street level or com- 
mercial uses. 

■ Seating, lighting, trash receptacles, 
telephones and other pedestrian 
amenities can be designed into screen- 
ing walls and landscape areas to make 
a more comfortable human-scale 
pedestrian environment. 


Building guidelines usually address only 
the exterior of buildings and the rela- 
tionship of buildings to the surrounding 
setting and the street. Building design 
decisions need to balance many factors, 
including economic constraints, pro- 
grammatic needs, functional require- 
ments and aesthetics. For most 
downtowns, two major design princi- 
ples should be considered: contextual fit 
and pedestrian-friendly streets. 

Contextual Fit 

Contextual fit is how well the proposed 
building fits into the urban setting. That 
requires building designers to evaluate 
the existing buildings on the block and 
determine the major reoccurring design 
elements that contribute to the charac- 
ter and image of the downtown. These 
elements can include: setbacks, heights, 


form, rhythm of openings and horizon- 
tal building lines, color, materials, tex- 
ture, and building styles and design 
elements. A new building does not need 
to match every other building in order 
to "fit." Elements of the new building 
should be related in some way to 
achieve a harmonious result. 

In some cases, the opposite may be 
appropriate: for example, the creation 
of a landmark or signature building. 
These buildings stand out because of 
their unusual and innovative design. 
However, too many signature buildings 
within one district creates visual confu- 
sion. Landmark buildings may be 
created for civic uses, such as museums, 
churches, schools and major recreation 
facilities, or in areas where there are 
relatively fewer older buildings that 
form a historical context. 

Pedestrian-Friendly Streets 

Building design can contribute to creat- 
ing an active, urban pedestrian street 
life. The primary concern is the street 
level that is visible to pedestrians — and 
those in cars who may be tempted to 
get out of their cars. The types of design 
elements that contribute to this include: 
street-level activities, building to the 

edge of sidewalks, windows and open- 
ings at the ground floor level, awnings 
and canopies over window displays and 
entries, pedestrian amenities along the 
street and extensions of building activi- 
ties into the sidewalks (such as outdoor 
seating, dining and sales displays) . 

Proportion of Openings 

Building openings, windows, doorways 
and entries contribute to consistent 
urban character. Often, older buildings 
have narrower, vertical window open- 
ings with regular spacing, while newer 
buildings have continuous horizontal 
ribbons of windows that wrap the build- 
ing with no spacing between them. 

E Building widths and historic propor- 
tions, as well as the spacing of build- 
ing openings should be maintained at 
least at the lower levels of buildings. 

■ Building openings at the pedestrian 
level may vary and incorporate mod- 
ern styles and materials. 

Horizontal Rhythms 

Older buildings often have a distinct 
horizontal rhythm of openings along the 
street using common building materials. 
Repetition of these elements creates a 
continuous band along a block. Usually, 

the common band is the division 
between the storefronts on the street 
level and upper facades of buildings. 
Maintaining a strong horizontal band 
within the range of human visual per- 
ception creates a sense of enclosure, 
reinforcing pedestrian activity at the 
street level and unifying each block. 
Individual landmarks, such as churches 
or a public institution can gracefully 
interrupt the rhythm. But too many 
interruptions disrupt the overall unity 
of the urban streetscape. 

■ The horizontal rhythm in new build- 
ings can be reinforced by using a 
similar alignment of windowsills, 
building lines, floor lines, cornices, 
rooflines and floor-to-floor spacing. 

■ Cornice lines, floor canopies and 
awnings, overhangs and windowsills 
help maintain a clear visual division 
between street level (ground floor 
retail uses) and upper floors (office or 
residential uses) . 

Building Form 

In many downtowns, buildings in the 
urban center are rectangular forms over 
two stories covering entire lots. This 
building shape creates a regular rhythm 
of building mass and edge along com- 
mercial streets. The mass is articulated 


with building details, commercial win- 
dow displays and entries at street level. 
In recent years, buildings have increased 
in size and scale, with taller buildings 
covering larger areas, including entire 

■ Newer buildings can maintain a 
pedestrian scale through window 
openings, ornamentation, cornice 
lines, signage, awnings and canopies, 
and articulated wall surfaces that are 
sized to be proportional to the 
human body. 

■ Avoid uninviting and unattractive 
blank walls on the ground floor of 
street frontages. Commercial and 
office building frontages should 
feature display windows and entries. 

■ High-quality materials and architec- 
tural ornamentation at the street 
level of buildings accent buildings and 
provide visual interest. 

r If the form and mass of existing build- 
ings are rectangular, avoid adding 
curving, undulating or diagonal build- 
ing forms. 

Building Styles 

Downtowns usually have buildings rep- 
resenting several historical periods and 
many different architectural styles. New 
buildings don't need to replicate one 
specific architectural style, if the overall 
design objective of creating an urban, 

pedestrian-friendly setting is met. 
Buildings should draw on the materials 
and details reminiscent of the styles that 
are already present in order to support 
continuity in downtown architecture. 
Evaluating site context, architectural 
styles and the character of adjacent 
buildings can help determine the appro- 
priate style for a new building. The 
architectural styles described in the table 
on the following page are represented in 
many downtowns across America. 

Roof Forms 

Roof shapes should reflect the urban 
character of a downtown. Taller build- 
ings also contribute to an attractive and 
interesting skyline. While flat roofs with 
parapets are typical of urban commer- 
cial buildings, some buildings have 
unique elements such as towers, spires 
and special cornice designs. 

■ Special roof shapes on corner locations 
can help accent corners of blocks. 

E Articulated and varied roof shapes on 
taller office and residential towers 
add interest and serve as reference 
points. Stepped building setbacks, 
unique rooftops and varying building 
materials also contribute to light pen- 
etration and interest. 

a Pitched roofs, especially on one-story 
buildings are more typically suburban 

styles and not appropriate for down- 
towns. Other inappropriate roofs 
may include slope shapes on one- 
story buildings, gable-end, single 
pitch (shed), false mansard and 
curving roofs. 



A major difference between urban and 
suburban streets is the quality of the 
pedestrian environment. Downtown 
streets should accommodate the move- 
ment of people and goods by all modes 
of travel (foot, car, bus, bicycle and 
light rail); provide orientation, safety 
and comfort; encourage a sense of 
community and place; foster a sense 
of neighborly ownership and responsi- 
bility; avoid disturbing nuisances; and 
enhance the economic value of adjacent 
properties. Urban streets should also be 
designed to support social interaction 
and enhance the pedestrian experience 
between buildings and travel lanes. 
They should be well-landscaped corri- 
dors for both vehicles and pedestrians. 

Pedestri an-Ori en ted Streets 

These streets encourage walking and 
shopping at the street level and provide 
pedestrian connections within the 


BUILDING STYLES: Commercial Buildings & Warehouses 


From the early 1 800s to 
the early 1 900s, buildings 
are typically of brick, 
stucco or stone in a style 
recalling the past. Among 
the major styles are: Greek 
Revival (bold, simple mold- 
ings, symmetrical windows, 
low-pitched roofs, heavy 
cornices, columns and wide 
friezes); Gothic Revival 
(arched windows, steep 
rooftops and decorative 
ornamentation reminiscent 
of medieval times); Second 
Empire (simple, symmetri- 
cal blocks, heavy window 
molds, bays); and Italianate 
(flat roofs, corniced eaves, 
Corinthian columns and 
pilasters). By the late 
1800s and early 1900s, 
styles include Queen Anne 
(balconies, projecting bays, 
terra cotta patterned brick- 
work, stone, corner turrets, 
towers, dormers); Richard- 
sonian Romanesque 
(monochromatic, red brick 
and terra cotta, rusticated 
stone, horizontal lines, 
classical decorative fea- 
tures); and Neoclassicism 
(Beaux Arts styles) which 
again revives Greek, Roman 
and classical styles. 

Chicago School 

The development of steel- 
frame construction 
heralds the first skyscrap- 
ers. Louis Sullivan's 
Carson, Pirie, Scott and 
Company Building in 
Chicago exemplifies the 
principles of combining 
form with function. 
Modular construction is 
openly expressed in the 
upper stories while intri- 
cate ornament, in terra 
cotta, animates the lower 

Carson, Pirie, Scott 
and Company Building, 
Chicago, Illinois 

Art Deco/Art Moderne 

The 1925 Exposition 
Internationale des Arts 
Decoratifs and Industriels 
Modernes in Paris marks 
the onset of Art Deco/ 
Art Moderne. These twin, 
progressive movements 
anticipate the future but 
also revive the past: Art 
Deco is notable for its 
revivals of Egyptian and 
Mayan motifs; Art Moderne 
incorporates Bauhaus and 
other modern styles and 
anticipates the International 
Style. Both the Machine 
Age and the Jazz Age show 
their influences in such 
building details as rounded 
corners and zigzags. 
Building decoration con- 
sists mainly of low-relief 
geometric designs, often in 
vivid colors in the form of 
straight lines, zigzags, 
chevrons and stylized floral 
motifs. Materials include 
tiles, terra cotta and glass. 

Kansas City Union Station, 



Department store, 
Pasadena, California 


International Style 

Modern structural princi- 
ples and materials such 
as concrete, glass and 
steel drive the 
International Style. 
Nonessential decoration is 
eliminated and the skele- 
ton frame of construction 
is revealed. Ribbon win- 
dows are a hallmark, as 
are corner windows. High- 
rise buildings are 
designed as one large 
office placed on top of 
another. By the late 
1960s the International 
Style evolves into a style 
of economic efficiency 
and functionality. Built 
almost strictly of glass 
and steel, buildings are 
devoid of all ornamenta- 
tion, usually in the form 
of a simple box with 
ribbon windows. 

Office building, 

Los Angeles, California 


From the late 1 970s 
through the present, 
Postmodernism emerged 
in American architecture 
as a reaction to 
International Style's lack 
of ornamentation. 
Postmodernist buildings 
use an eclectic array of 
details from historical 
architectural periods. 
Oversize design elements 
from the past are quoted, 
and columns, cornices 
and oversized parapets 
become common features. 
While the facades are 
often ornate, the interiors 
remain simply large floor 

businesses along 
International Drive, 
Orlando, Florida 





Figure 60. Bulb-outs at corners slow traffic and help pedestrians cross streets safely. 
Decorative crosswalks extend the sidewalk experience into the street. 

downtown and surrounding neighbor- 
hoods. They are typically two-way 
streets with wide, well-maintained side- 
walks and pedestrian amenities. Traffic 
should flow slowly. 

■ Bulb-outs at corners slow traffic and 
encourage safe pedestrian street 

a Enhance street activity by creating 
"active street edges" with windows 
and entrances opening onto the 
street, outdoor retail activity, street 
cafes and restaurants. 

■ Invite pedestrians to pause by provid- 
ing street furniture such as fountains, 
benches and art. 

■ Use decorative crosswalks to extend 
the sidewalk experience into the street. 

■ Streets can be made into "places" 
through strong spatial definition and 
distinctive design. To maintain a 
human scale, street width should be 
sized in proportion to the height of 
buildings — wider streets with taller 
buildings and narrower streets with 
smaller buildings. 

Improve interface between buildings 
and sidewalks with awnings and out- 
door displays. 

Pedestrian and Vehicle Streets 

These streets are boulevards and 
avenues that move both pedestrians and 

vehicles into and around downtown. 
They can also provide major pedestrian 
connections to surrounding neighbor- 
hoods, districts, parks and open space. 

■ Create an appropriate width of side- 
walk and buffering from traffic. A 
continuous row of trees close to the 
edge of the sidewalk offers a sense of 
safety and comfort to pedestrians. 

■ Provide convenient connections to 
public transit. 

■ Orient land uses to the street to 
increase pedestrian activities and create 
visually interesting sites for car users. 

Vehicle-Oriented Boulevards 

Designed to move vehicles through the 
downtown, these streets should never- 
theless project a distinctive urban char- 
acter. They provide vehicle connections 
to parking and adjoining uses. They can 
also be improved with street trees and 

■ Simplify street circulation and access 
and improve traffic flow by consoli- 
dating driveways and parking entries 
whenever possible and by using 
shared entry and exit points. 

■ Reduce the number of signs on 
buildings and the site, creating a 
more attractive and consistent image 
along the boulevard; reduce clutter. 


■ Install landscaping and trees along side- 
walks — between the on-street parking 
and moving lanes and the building 
edge — to help define the pedestrian 
zone and create a safer pedestrian 
walkway along the boulevard. 

■ Use attractive street lighting and 
pedestrian amenities along the street 
(such as benches, trash cans, news- 
paper boxes, etc.) with a similar 
design to create a coherent and 
consistent character. 

Pedestrian Circulation 

Pedestrians need the same type of 
continuous travel corridors linking 
major destinations as do vehicles. Good 
pedestrian circulation serves local land 
uses by providing access to commercial 
and residential buildings, transit and 
transit facilities, open space and public 
outdoor activity space. The system 
requires attention to safety, as well as 
comfort and ease of access. Adjacent 
buildings also form the pedestrian 
environment, so providing strong 
spatial definition through building 
fronts and tree canopies adds to a 
distinct urban character and helps create 
a "sense of place" that also enhances 
property values. 

s Divide sidewalks into functional zones. 
The minimum sidewalk width should 

Figure 61. Pedestrian-oriented streets can accomodate one lane of traffic with parking 
areas that can be used for outdoor events on the weekends and evenings, such as farmers 
markets and community festivals. 

be 12'. Widths of 15'— 20' along major 
commercial streets are preferred so 
two people walking together can pass 
others without making abrupt changes 
in direction. Wider sidewalks can 
accommodate intensive pedestrian 
traffic along with retail uses. For 
example, areas of the sidewalk should 
accommodate persons walking, win- 
dow shopping, bicycle parking and 
street furniture, as well as outdoor eat- 
ing and displays. 

Mid-block pedestrian crosswalks can 
be added where blocks are too long to 
reasonably expect pedestrians to use 
corner sidewalks. They should only be 
added where traffic speed and sight 
lines allow for safe crossings. 

Decorative paving treatments can 
help separate the pedestrian zone 
from the street travelways at inter- 
section crossings. 


Wherever possible, new projects and 
renovations of existing sites should 
close the gaps between pedestrian 
connections by providing sidewalk 
improvements along major arterial 

■ Bulb-outs at street corners help reduce 
pedestrian travel time and increase 
safety. They also provide additional 
space for street furniture, landscaping 
and signage. 

Street furniture, utility poles, trees 
and signage should be positioned to 
not obstruct movement from a street 
parking space to a building entry or 
prevent car doors from opening at the 
sidewalk edge. 

In general, sidewalks and bike ways 
should be separate unless they are 
designed as a multi-use path separated 
from the street. 

■ Create universal access pathways on 
both sides of the street, at least 5' 
wide. Provide a 2'3" wide detectable 
warning strip of yellow truncated 
domes between the ADA pathway 
and the rest of the roadway and 
before all street crosswalks and mid- 
block crossings. 

In some historic districts, there may be 
no sidewalks. The pedestrian pathway 
then needs to be clearly marked so 
bicyclists and vehicles remain separated. 
Pathways should be a minimum of 15' 
to 20' wide. 

On-Street Parking 

On-street parking helps create an active 
street life, offering additional parking 
and access to commercial and residen- 
tial uses and a buffer zone between the 
pedestrian sidewalk and travel lanes in 
the street. It also decreases the capacity 
of adjacent travel lanes by up to 30 per- 
cent, depending on the number and 
width of travel lanes and the frequency 
of parking. 

Through traffic and local access 
requirements should be balanced when 
deciding where to provide on-street 

On slower, pedestrian-oriented 
streets, angled on-street parking can 
increase the number of parking 
spaces while maintaining a functional 
level of vehicle circulation. On major 
arterials, parallel parking will likely 
work better. 

On-street parking areas on pedes- 
trian-oriented streets can also serve 
as outdoor eating and retail display 
areas during special events or special 
evening hours. 

Entire pedestrian-oriented streets can 
be blocked off to vehicles for special 
events, such as farmers markets or 
street fairs. 


Bicyclists also need continuous travel 
corridors providing connections to 
major commercial and residential desti- 
nations, transit, open space and parks. 
Bicycle circulation can be provided 
through bike lanes and bike paths. A 
lane is a portion of a roadway desig- 
nated for exclusive or preferential bicy- 
cle use. A path is generally separated 
from the roadway and may be shared 
with pedestrians. 

Provide secure bicycle parking on 
development sites and at transit stops. 
Bicycle parking can also be on side- 
walks or on the street instead of auto 

Bike lanes should be well-signed and 
well-maintained. Pavement conditions 
should ensure a smooth, clean travel- 
way by eliminating height differences 
between gutter pans and asphalt and 
between driveway curb cuts and the 
travel lane. 

Bike lanes should be one-way in the 
same direction of travel as vehicles. 
One-way streets can allow for opposite 
direction lanes separated from vehicle 
traffic by a barrier or other separation. 

Bike lanes should avoid streets with 
diagonal parking. 



Gateways tell visitors they have entered 
the downtown. They serve as landmarks 
and should be visible to vehicular, bicy- 
cle and pedestrian traffic. They should 
be designed to create a high-quality 
visual experience; they can provide an 
opportunity for architectural features, 
monuments, public art, signage and 

Gateways should be located at major 
access routes. 

Signage should be civic; no commer- 
cial or tenant names should be printed. 

Illuminate gateways at night and 
ensure that they are visible to passing 


Street Trees 

Street trees are one of the least expen- 
sive ways to create a more pedestrian- 
oriented street. Trees also improve air 
quality, reduce water runoff and 
improve property values. A continuous 
canopy of trees defines the pedestrian 
space along sidewalks, provides shade 
and generally improves a street's 

Select urban street trees carefully 
according to geography and climate. 

Provide large, wide canopy trees about 
10—25' apart along the street. 

Provide adequate growing conditions. 

Select trees that are easy to maintain, 
with roots that minimize sidewalk 

Consider using structural soil. 
Designed to be load-bearing for use 
under pavements, structural soil allows 
deep root penetration. 

Prune trees to maintain a clear space 
between the lower branches and the 
sidewalk to provide clear views of 
building signage, maintain street-level 
displays and activities and provide 
accessible routes. 

Use special treatments such as a 
double row of trees to differentiate 
areas of emphasis. 

Landscape Elements 

Planters, shrubs, ground cover and water 
elements create soft, colorful pedestrian 
settings that contrast with the hard physi- 
cal elements of an urban environment. 

Select plant materials with low water 
consumption to lower costs. 

E Use relatively high-maintenance 
annuals and perennials selectively and 
only as landscape accents. 

Hardscape Elements 

Well-designed and lighted pedestrian 
kiosks, benches, bus shelters, newspaper 
racks, trash cans and cafe tables increase 
opportunities for people to socialize and 
spend time outdoors along public 
streets. However, large front lawns and 
landscaped front setbacks are not in 
keeping with a high-intensity urban 

Consider adding small entry plazas, 
seating alcove areas and other 
pedestrian amenities in the design 
of buildings. 

Fit the pattern and texture of ground 
paving materials into the existing 

Ensure that hardscape materials are 
high-quality, functional and able to 
endure weather conditions and 

Provide public art such as wall murals 
and sculptures where appropriate. 
These elements can also serve as inter- 
pretive elements that describe the 
history of the area. 


Public gathering spaces add to the social 
quality of the downtown. Parks, plazas 
and promenades can preserve historic 
character and increase the amount of 
usable open space. 


Pocket Parks /Plazas 

Pocket parks and plazas provide a valu- 
able gathering and relaxing area for 
residents and visitors, and some respite 
to the continuous built environment. 
Each park should have a distinct iden- 
tity, compatible with the character of 
the surrounding neighborhoods. 

Replace asphalt or concrete with 
decorative paving. 

Add shrubs and flowering plants to 
enhance visual appeal. 

Add trees along edges for shade and a 
sense of enclosure. 

Provide a grove of trees along one 
edge that will serve as an identifying 
vertical marker. 

■ Provide seating and recreational 

Maintain existing entries to buildings 
from the park. 

■ Consider the use of water features to 
enhance serenity. 

Figure 62. Pocket parks between buildings provide valuable gathering areas and respite 
from the continuous built environment. 

Public Promenades 

Promenades provide a unique, flexible 
open space that can be used for multiple 
purposes. They can provide a spillover 
space for adjacent cafes and restaurants, 
on-street parking during office hours, 
an exhibition area for public art, open 

space for farmers markets and other 
neighborhood events. 

Replace asphalt with decorative 

Provide a IS'— 20' wide single, slow 
moving auto travel lane. 

Provide an 8' ADA accessible pathway 

along one edge of the street and 
create angled parking (30—90 
degrees) on the other side. 

Provide a double row of trees in the 
middle of the right of way for shade. 

Include shade trellis canopies, seating 
and complementary directional 


Transit Plazas 

Light rail stations and key bus transfer 
points can be important neighborhood 
activity areas. A well-articulated transit 
plaza around the station can enhance 
civic character and sense of place. 

■ Provide additional amenities to tran- 
sit users, including shade structures 
that provide weather protection, 
better seating and rows of trees. The 
hardscape elements should continue 
the character of the streetscape 
elements in the area. 

■ Plant double rows of trees to provide 
a sense of enclosure. 

■ Integrate an open space plaza with 
any adjacent alleys by using the same 
paving material and pattern. 

■ Ensure that all building edges 
fronting the plaza help activate the 

■ Improve wayfinding strategies with 
maps that highlight key activity nodes 
around the station and tell the story 
of the area. 

■ Activate plazas with temporary food 
facilities or stalls. 

■ Activate plazas with cafes, convenience 
stores, small retail stores and commer- 
cial space with well-articulated, 
pedestrian-friendly storefronts and 
display windows. 


Building Identification Signs 

Signs should be designed as an integral 
part of the project site and building 
architecture. Merchants can create their 
own unique signs that represent their 
businesses. Attractive, artistic and well- 
coordinated signage creates an identity 
and a positive shopping experience. 

ffi Place signs in relation to building ele- 
ments and avoid obscuring windows, 
cornices or decorative details. 

■ Ensure that sign materials comple- 
ment building facades and relate to 
other shop signs in a single storefront 
in design, size, color, lettering style 
and placement. Chain stores may 
need to adapt their graphics to meet 
local guidelines. 

■ Maintain a minimum clearance above 
the public right-of-way for signs that 
project from a building. 

■ Firmly anchor signs that project from 
the building to the building facade with 
attractive, non-corrosive hardware. 

■ Use darker letters against a lighter 

■ Avoid signs that protrude above 
rooflines, eaves or parapets — they can 
detract from the architectural quality 
of the building. 

Flush-Mounted Signs 

Flush-mounted signs are signboards or 
individual die-cut letters placed on the 
face of a building, usually in a recess 
or horizontal molded band on the 

B Size signs to fit within the propor- 
tions of the building facade so they 
do not crown the top of a building 
wall or parapet. 

■ On a historic storefront, locate signs 
along a first floor cornice line, above 
the awning or transom windows. 

* Center signs within storefront bays; 
avoid extending them beyond the 
limits of the storefront or over ele- 
ments such as columns, pilasters or 

■ Encourage die-cut letter signs made 
from materials consistent with the 
downtown and mounted directly on 
the building. 

Hanging or "Blade" Signs 

Hanging signs mounted on the building, 
perpendicular to the sidewalk are effec- 
tive because they are near pedestrian 
eye level. 

■ Maintain a minimum clearance above 
the sidewalk. 


Window Signs 

Ensure that window signs do not 
exceed 20 percent of the total 
window area. 

Use high-quality materials such as 
paint or gold leaf, or etch into glass. 

Icon or Graphic Signs 

Use icons to illustrate the nature of 
the business. They are creative, easy 
to read and well suited to pedestrian 
and vehicular traffic. 

Provide graphic imagery with attrac- 
tive and informative text. 

Lighted Signs 

For internally lit signs, use black or 
dark colored backgrounds with light 
lettering to make distant reading 

L Contain light within the frame of 
externally lit signs to accentuate the 
message and reduce glare and light 

Orient and shield spotlights so the 
light source is not visible, focusing 
attention on the sign and thus prevent- 
ing light pollution. 

Neon and Bare Bulb Signs 

^ Consider use of neon and bare bulb 
signs in entertainment areas such as 
restaurants, dance clubs and bars. 

Use pictorial images related to the 

Awning Signs 

Painting signs on the valence of an 
awning is an inexpensive and simple 
signage method that can be distinctive. 

Limit text on awnings to no more 
than 1 square feet to maintain 

H Limit signage on a sloping surface to 
small graphic symbols or logos to 
prevent the information from becom- 
ing too cluttered. 

Directional Signage for Parking Lots 

Limit directional signs marking entries 
and exits to no more than one com- 
mercial image, logo or message. These 
signs should be subservient to text 
identifying "customer parking." 

Limit each driveway to no more than 
one directional sign near sidewalks. 

Banner Signs 

Temporary banner signs for special 
events add color and create a festive 

■ Attach signs to light standards or 
project them from building facades. 

■ Locate banners at least 8' from grade 
or within 1 ' of the edge of the curb 
when projected vertically. 

Remove signs after the event, or when 
they show signs of fading or wear. 

Inappropriate Signs 

While every downtown will be differ- 
ent, there are some types of signs that 
are generally not appropriate for a 
pedestrian-friendly urban environment. 

Building signs that advertise products 
and vendors rather than businesses 
and services 

Flashing, animated, blinking, fluores- 
cent, rotating, reflecting and revolving 

Changeable copy signs, other than on a 
movie marquee 

Chalkboards or blackboards, other 
than for a restaurant or cafe 

Portable signs, such as A-frame types. 

Freestanding commercial signs, such as 
for parking 

Off- site and general advertising signs 
and billboards 

J Advertising on the sloping surface of 
an awning, other than graphic symbols 
or logos 

Signs on vacant or closed buildings, 
other than real estate notices 


- Temporary signs and promotional 
decorations, other than seasonal 
(which should be removed promptly) 

■ Signs on privately owned benches 
■--' Private signs on public property 


Awnings and Canopies 

Canopies, arcades, awnings and over- 
hangs provide shade and weather protec- 
tion and enhance the street level 
pedestrian environment. They also help 
articulate building facades, creating 
variety and interest. They come in many 
shapes, styles and colors. In general, they 
should fit in with the historic character 
of the building and be well maintained. 

■ Locate these elements over window 
displays and entries to fit within indi- 
vidual bays rather than extending 
beyond a single bay to enhance archi- 
tectural styles. Poorly placed awnings 
can cover historical ornaments and 

■ Use retractable awnings in darker 
areas or north-facing facades of 
historical storefronts. 

While a variety of brightly colored 
and striped awnings are available, 
remember that canvas will fade over 
time. Uncolored or light canvas in 
darker areas allows daylight to filter 

Figure 63. Awnings should be of high-quality material with short identifying text and logos. 

Second-floor and upper-floor 
awnings that complement the ground 
floor create a consistent design image 
for the building. 

Use glass canopies, especially in 
darker areas. 

Limit use of vinyl, plastic and alu- 
minum. These materials look flimsy 
and out of place. Fixed awnings or 
canopies that simulate mansard roof 
shapes often detract from the urban 
design vocabulary. 

Use of Color 

Color is a sensitive subject in guidelines. 
Using only pre-approved colors can lead 
to a dull streetscape that lacks distinc- 
tion and interest. In general, the princi- 
ple is to be a good neighbor; coordinate 
with other buildings on the block. 

1 Ensure that color selection takes the 
orientation of buildings into account. 
Colors on south- and west-facing 


facades often appear warmer than 
colors on north and east sides due to 
sun exposure. 

■ Use subtle colors on large building 
surfaces to create a more pleasant 
street environment. 

■ Avoid a multitude of strong, vivid 

1 Choose paint colors in relation to the 
materials used in the building design, 
such as brick, stone, tiles and terra 

■ Use contrasting accent colors for 
architectural details, awnings and 

Building Materials 

Building materials add to the overall 
character of the downtown, especially 
on the ground floor where most 
people come into contact with the 
building's edge. While structural con- 
struction materials vary, the public face 
and finish materials of buildings should 
be consistent. For example, some 
downtowns traditionally use brick, 
others use stone. Materials such as 
terra cotta, glass, ceramic tiles, 
masonry, corrugated metal and steel 
are also used. 

■ Avoid use of materials such as artificial 
stone, mirrored or opaque glass, 

untreated wood, diagonal wood, 
rough- sawn wood and horizontal wood 
siding on large building surfaces. 

■ Use wood and other nontraditional 
materials to identify special uses and 
activities within a building. For exam- 
ple, Japanese restaurants traditionally 
use wood and stucco materials. 

B Use high-quality facing materials to 
add to the richness of the pedestrian 

Avoid mirrored glass on the ground 
level (especially on pedestrian- 
oriented streets) . It creates an 
unfriendly environment and limits 
visual access. Translucent surfaces at 
the street level (windows, doors and 
entry features) create a welcoming 
and safe environment. 

Areas for Service, Loading and 
Mechanical Equipment 

While service areas, loading docks, 
delivery areas and mechanical equip- 
ment are all necessary functional ele- 
ments of a downtown, they often detract 
from the pedestrian experience and the 
visual urban environment. 

■ Give functional areas the same design 
attention as more public spaces. The 
materials and finishes do not need to 
be the highest quality, but elements 
should be carefully placed and 
screened to reduce visual blight. 

■ Whenever possible, locate loading 
areas to be accessible from alleyways, 
side streets, back parking lots and 
interior parking garages rather than 
from the front of buildings. 

■ Erect substantial and attractive fences 
or walls to screen dumpsters and 
mechanical equipment such as HVAC, 
meters, transformers, pipes and ducts. 

In some downtowns, historic loading 
docks are no longer used as loading 
docks and can instead become public 
areas such as outdoor cafes, entry 
porches and small plazas. 

■ Use permeable railings such as metal 
and wire, rather than solid boundary 
walls, and avoid use of cyclone fences. 

■ Adapt loading docks with ramps, 
railings and markings to provide 


The color, amount, intensity and types 
of lighting have a dramatic effect on the 
mood and urban character of a site, as 
well as on pedestrian safety. 

Building Lighting 

■ Integrate lighting into the design of 
wall features and facade design. 
Relate building lighting to the style 
and character of lighting in the area. 


Match lighting with the history of the 

Use modern or historic styles to fit 
the urban character and image of the 

Maintain the same type, color and 
family of fixture styles for all lamps 
used in both building and parking 

Use special lighting for building fea- 
tures, entries, building towers and 
architectural ornaments or pilasters. 

Light pedestrian areas with pole or 
bollard type fixtures (typically not 
more than 16' high or 3' for bollards) 
in scale with pedestrians. 

Ensure lighting fixtures do not pro- 
duce excessive glare or trespass into 
residential areas. On-site lighting 
should be designed, installed and 
maintained to direct light onto the 

Attach appropriate shields on street 
lighting fixtures to minimize glare 
and night sky pollution. 

Use a minimum of different types of 
lamps and fixtures to reduce mainte- 
nance costs and provide a consistent 
character to a site. Double-head 
fixtures can illuminate both sidewalks 
and travel lanes. 

Use building-mounted downlights to 
illuminate building service areas 
without causing glare and spillover. 

h Illuminate building entries and other 
areas with high levels of pedestrian 
activity. Allow interior light to illumi- 
nate through glass entry facades and 
display windows. 

■ Use neon and other specialized 
lighting to enhance downtown 
commercial streets, restaurants and 
entertainment venues. 

n Use decorative up-lighting to 
enhance landscape features and build- 
ing architecture as long as it does not 
compete with street lighting. 

■ Use specialty lighting in trees particu- 
larly in outdoor patio areas to create a 
livery and festive setting. 

Street Lighting 

1 J Maintain a consistent appearance of 
all decorative street lighting fixtures, 
street poles and bases. 

H Use modern or historic styles to fit 
the urban character and image of the 

■ Design special styles of fixtures and 
poles to mark special streets. 

■ Ensure that fixtures provide light for 
both pedestrians and vehicles. 

a Place light standards symmetrically 
along opposite sides of a street to 
produce a pleasing, well-lit street. 

; Add midblock lighting to enhance 
illumination on long streets. 


Changes to existing buildings are part of 
the evolution of a downtown. New addi- 
tions and alterations should respect the 
original period and style of the building. 
But creating a false original can lessen 
the impact of true historical buildings. 
All additions do not need to replicate 
the historic original, especially if the 
original building is of marginal historic 

■ Encourage restoration of original 
building facades. 

D Preserve historic materials and 

a Avoid additions to historic building 

- ! Use building finishes on new 
additions that are similar in material, 
quality, color and dimension to those 
used on existing structures. 

Make the scale of additions compatible 
with the original building. 



The Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines Tech Sheet Series (1994—95), by 
Ron Mace (Raleigh, NC: Barrier Free Environments). 

A Case Study Method Jor Landscape Architecture, by Mark Francis (Landscape Journal 19, 2: 
15-29), 2001. 

Childhood's Domain: Plaj and Place in Child Development, by Robin C. Moore (Berkeley: 
MIG Communications), 1990. 

The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects, by Lewis Mumford, 
(New York: Harcourt, Brace & World) 1961. 

The Death and Life of Great American Cities, by Jane Jacobs (New York: Modern Library), 

Great Streets, by Alan Jacobs (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press), 2003. 

Housing As If People Mattered: Site Design Guidelines for Medium-Density Family Housing, by 
Clare Cooper Marcus with Wendy Sarkissian (Berkeley: University of California Press, 
Reprint Edition), 1988. 

Livable Streets, by Donald Appleyard, (Berkeley: University of California Press), 1981. 

Natural Learning.The Life History of an Environmental Schoolyard, by Robin C. Moore and 
Herb H.Wong (Berkeley: MIG Communications), 1997. 

People Places: Design Guidelines for Urban Open Space, by Clare Cooper Marcus with Carolyn 
Francis (eds.) (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Second Revised Edition), 1998. 

Play for All Guidelines: Planning, Design and Management of Outdoor Play Settings for All 
Children, edited by Robin C. Moore, Susan M. Goltsman and Daniel S. Iacofano 
(Berkeley: MIG Communications, Second Edition), 1992. 

47 I 

The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces, by William H.Whyte (Washington, D.C.:The 
Conservation Foundation), 1980. 

A Theory of Good City Form, by Kevin Lynch (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press), 1981 . 

Universal Access to Outdoor Recreation: A Design Guide, by PLAE, Inc., in conjunction with 
other public and private partners (Berkeley: MIG Communications), 1993. 

Urban Open Space, by Mark Francis (Washington, D.C.: Island Press), 2003. 




Susan is a founding principal of Moore, Iacofano, Goltsman (MIG), Inc., who specializes in 
planning and designing environments for children, youth and families, as well as community 
outreach and education. Her projects range from schools and community parks to zoos and 
museums. She applies social science to design, creating environments that respond to the 
community organization, user needs, the functions of the facility and the context. Susan has 
served on regulatory committees of the U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers 
Compliance Board (ATBCB), developing accessibility guidelines for recreation and outdoor 
environments. She also served on national committees to adapt the Uniform Federal 
Accessibility Standards to children's environments and create guidelines for play areas. She has 
taught at Stanford University and served as an advisor to UC Davis, UC Berkeley Extension, San 
Francisco State University, the San Francisco Exploratorium and the Adaptive Environments 
Center. Susan is the author of several books, including Play Jor All Guidelines, a groundbreaking 
presentation of universal design and accessibility in children's play environments. Her projects 
have won awards from the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, the Center for Universal 
Design, the American Institute of Architects, the American Planning Association, the American 
Society of Landscape Architects, The National Endowment for the Arts and the California Park 
and Recreation Society. Susan holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Parson's School of Design and 
the New School of Social Research in New York, a Master of Science in Environmental 
Psychology from the University of Surrey, England, and a Master of Landscape Architecture 
from North Carolina State University. 


Daniel is a founding principal of MIG, and internationally recognized as an innovator in strategic 
planning, urban planning, transportation planning, watershed and river planning, and public 
participation and outreach. He has consulted with over 100 cities, agencies, educational institu- 
tions and private companies to develop strategic plans and has led hundreds of successful urban 
planning and design programs with communities, business leaders and staff to support land use, 
urban design, economic revitalization and transportation projects. Daniel is a highly skilled 
facilitator and consensus builder and is often asked to lead difficult and complex negotiations 


involving major planning and development projects. His publications include Play For All 
Guidelines, Public Involvement as an Organizational Development Process and Meeting of the Minds, 
which shares his innovative approach to meeting facilitation. His projects have won many awards 
from professional associations and organizations, including the National League of Cities, the 
International Downtown Association, the American Planning Association, the American Society 
of Landscape Architects and the Association of Environmental Professionals. Daniel received 
a Bachelor of Urban Planning from the University of Cincinnati, a Master of Science in 
Environmental Psychology from the University of Surrey, England, and a PhD in Environmental 
Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. 


Andy is the former Chief Executive Officer of the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation, a 
public /private partnership to help plan the future of this Washington, D.C., area. Previously, he 
was the Director of the Washington, D.C., Office of Planning, which based a complete revision 
of the city's comprehensive plan on a new vision, called "A Vision for Growing an Inclusive 
City." Andy served as the Director of City Planning for the City of Oakland, California, and the 
plan he developed there received the California Chapter American Planning Association Award 
for Best Comprehensive Plan. He was previously the special assistant to the administrator of the 
Community Redevelopment Agency in Los Angeles and a special assistant to Los Angeles Mayor 
Tom Bradley. He has been awarded various fellowships, including the Loeb Fellowship of the 
Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and has served at the Massachusetts Institute of 
Technology as a visiting lecturer on city planning. He is currently with Lubert-Adler in New 
York City. Andy holds a Master Degree in City Planning from MIT and a Bachelor of Arts in 
Geography from Temple University. 


Rosemary brings together the skills and perspectives of an urban designer, analyst and commu- 
nity builder. She began her career with an Albuquerque -based design-build firm. Her experience 
in domestic and international sustainable community planning and revitalizing urban neighbor- 
hoods led to work in economic revitalization, historic preservation, environmental restoration 
and transit-oriented development. Rosemary has worked on planning projects for the cities of 


Denver, Anchorage and Spokane, and for the American River in Sacramento. Rosemary received 
a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley and a Masters of 
City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 


Stan is head of the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Oregon, 
specializing in landscape technologies, urban and community design, and design studios. His 
focus is equity and justice within the urban environment — how public spaces and management 
processes can be configured to increase "meaningfulness" and sense of ownership in an 
inequitably served, multicultural society. Stan received a B.S. degree from the University of 
Miami, Ohio, a B.S. in Landscape Architecture from the University of California, Davis, and 
dual Masters in Landscape Architecture and City Planning from the University of California, 


Joan has a long history of involvement with the Independent Living Movement and is cur- 
rently Director of Financing for the Ed Roberts Campus. Joan previously served as president 
of the World Institute of Disability, which she co-founded with Ed Roberts and Judy 
Heumann. From 1977 to 1983 Joan was the Assistant Director of the California Department 
of Rehabilitation and prior to that she was Assistant to the Director for the Center for 
Independent Living. She has also worked as a journalist and editor. In 1995, Joan co-chaired 
the group of community leaders that developed the concept of the Ed Roberts Campus, 
becoming Finance Director in 1997. 


Mukul's professional emphasis in the U.S. is designing livable communities through innovative 
land use planning and pedestrian-friendly streetscapes. He was a senior architect in New Delhi, 
India, managing the design processes for institutional and industrial buildings. He received 
awards in the National Architectural Competition for the design of the Shri Shirdi Saibaba 
Mandir Complex Development in Bombay and in the Low-Cost Housing Design Ideas 


Competition in New Delhi. Mukul received a diploma in Architecture from the Sushant School 
of Art and Architecture in Gurgaon, India, and a Master of Urban Design from the University of 
California, Berkeley. 


Sally is director of Parks and Recreation Planning for MIG and a principal of the firm. She 
focuses on parks and recreation master plans, recreation programming, facility design, strategic 
planning and communications. Her extensive experience emphasizes involving diverse commu- 
nity members in creating livable neighborhoods, from seniors to children to people with disabil- 
ities. Sally co-authored the Vision Insight Planning (VIP) for the California Parks and Recreation 
Society, a groundbreaking strategic plan for the advancement of the parks and recreation profes- 
sion. Her work on open space issues involves creating design guidelines and open space system 
standards for high-density neighborhoods, specific area plans and regional plans. Sally received a 
Bachelor of Arts degree from San Francisco State University in 1982. 


Susan's practice focuses on collaborative design and planning efforts for school site and park 
design with an emphasis on incorporating art into public projects. She has broad experience in 
landscape architecture, leading projects through conceptual design to implementation. While at 
The Architects Collaborative, Inc., she was the project designer for many projects, including the 
Bechtel Building Poetry Garden in San Francisco. She received a BA degree in Art from the 
University of California, Berkeley and is a licensed landscape architect. 


Robin is a founding principal of MIG and an internationally recognized authority on the ecologi- 
cal design of children's play and learning environments, participatory design programming, and 
user needs in public open space design. He is professor of Landscape Architecture, College of 
Design at North Carolina State University, Raleigh. Robin has consulted extensively worldwide, 
serving as a consultant on urban parks for the Chilean government and directing the Argentine 


segment of the UNESCO study: Growing Up in Cities. He has won numerous awards for his 
contributions to the field of design and has written many books on the topic, including Natural 
Learning, Plants Jor Play, Childhood's Domain: Play and Place in Child Development and Playjor 
All Guidelines. He was chair of the Environmental Design Research Association and president of 
the International Association for the Child's Right to Play. Robin holds degrees in architecture 
from London University and in city and regional planning from the Massachusetts Institute of 


Bart specializes in community participation in transportation and infrastructure planning. As 
MIG's Public Information Officer, he directed the California Department of Transportation 
(Caltrans) public outreach program for the Alfred Zampa (Carquinez) Bridge and for the recon- 
struction of the San Francisco Bay Bridge, connecting the East Bay and San Francisco. Bart 
received a BS degree in Urban Planning and Real Estate Development from the University of 
Southern California. 


Coco is an internationally known expert in environmental graphics, architectural and industrial 
design and universal design. Her firm, Coco Raynes Associates, Inc., produces programs for 
public spaces, airports, universities, hospitals, transportation facilities, parks, museums, hotels, 
restaurants and visitor centers. The firm's unique accessibility solutions include tactile maps on 
glass and the Raynes Rail, a Braille and multilingual audio handrail system. Coco's work has 
been honored by the Industrial Designers Society of America, the Society for Environmental 
Graphic Design, the United States Access Board, the Art Directors Club of Boston and the 
American Institute of Graphic Arts. 


Cheryl's work often emphasizes using plants and natural formations to engage the user with sur- 
rounding spaces. Her landscape architecture and land planning experience includes urban design 


and streetscapes, park and bikeway master plans, commercial and residential developments, and 
riparian systems. Cheryl's award-winning projects include Central Park in Davis, California, and 
the Putah Creek Corridor Conceptual Master Plan. Cheryl received a degree in Landscape 
Architecture from the University of California, Davis. One of her first projects was the Davis 
Central Park. 


Larry creates outdoor environments for people of all abilities, from recreation facility assess- 
ment, trails and open space planning, to design guidelines and detailed design of award-winning 
children's play and learning environments. His experience includes natural resource assessment, 
National Historic Landmark issues, environmental planning studies and impact analysis, and 
watershed management. Larry received a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the 
University of Oregon and a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of California, 
Berkeley. He is MIG's Director of Design and a past president of the Northern California 
Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. 



Note: Illustrations are indicated by boldface type. 

access, 11,22-23,24,25 

See also accessibility issues; transit-oriented 
development; transportation 
accessibility issues 

autistic access, 147 

bridges, 305, 306, 311 

children's zoos, 147, 414, 415-16 

downtowns, 63, 222, 224, 247, 267, 464 

mixed-use facilities, 63, 64, 68, 71, 179, 
184,185, 186-87 

museums, 41 1—1 2 

parks, 159, 164, 165, 166 

play areas, 418, 419, 420,421, 422 

plazas, 423 

regional open spaces, 283, 284, 285, 287, 
293, 375 

school exteriors, 30, 399, 400, 409-10 

school interiors, 399, 405, 407, 408, 409 

special schools, 82, 92—93 

trail systems, 425, 426, 427, 431-33 

visually impaired, 98-99, 100, 101, 102, 
103, 106-7 

See also inclusive design project guidelines; 
specific projects by name 
acoustics, 398 
activity areas 

dependency courts, 394—95 

Hamill Family Play Zoo and Play Gardens, 

landscaping, 420 

St. Coletta of Greater Washington, D.C., 

82-83, 86-93 
Tule Elk Park Child Development Center, 

62, 63, 64, 68-72 
See also Chase Palm Park; gathering places; 
play area guidelines 
ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), 
98-99, 123-24 
See also accessibility issues 
ADA Accessibility Guidelines, 425 
adventure play. See Hamill Family Play Zoo 

and Play Gardens 
affordable housing. See housing 
Alfred Zampa Bridge. See Carquinez Bridge 

Retrofit and Replacement 
Altman, Andrew, xii— xv, 474 
American Association of State Highway and 
Transportation Officials (AASHTO), 
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 
98-99, 123-24 
See also accessibility issues 
Anacostia Waterfront, 1 
animal habitats, 421 

Carquinez Bridge Retrofit and 

Replacement, 306, 308-9 
Chase Palm Park, 163, 169-70 
Davis Central Park, 204-5 
Ed Roberts Campus (ERC), 30 
Edelman Children's Court, 46 
Edison School /Pacific Park, 181, 187, 188, 

events, 367 

galleries, 364 

Musees des Beaux Arts (Valenciennes and 
Calais, France), 96-109 

R Street Corridor, 259-60, 261 

St. Coletta of Greater Washington, D.C., 
83-84, 88 

Tule Elk Park Child Development Center, 
64, 70, 72, 73 
Art Deco (building style), 459 
Art Moderne (building style), 459 
Art Walk Sector (Sacramento, California 

R Street Corridor), 258-61 
assembly areas (schools), 408 
audio commentary, 99, 102—3 
auditoriums, 408 
autism, 147 
automobiles. See cars 
awning signs, 466 
awnings, 467—4-68 

Backyard, 145-47 

banner signs, 466 

barriers, 409 

BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) ,21-22, 

Bay Area. See Berkeley, California; Carquinez 
Bridge Retrofit and Replacement; Ed 
Roberts Campus (ERC); Emeryville, 
California; Oakland, California; Presidio 
Trails and Bikeways Master Plan; San 
Jose, California; Tule Elk Park Child 
Development Center 


Bay Area Economics, 230 

Bay Area Outreach & Research Program 

(BORP), 19 
Bay Area RapidTransit (BART), 21 , 22, 

Beach Access Routes, 430 
Beaux Arts (building style), 459 
Berkeley, California, 15, 23, 26, 238, 243, 


Carquinez Bridge Retrofit and 

Replacement, 305-6, 308 
Davis Commons, 217, 218, 223-24 
Ed Roberts Campus (ERC), 29, 30 
lane markings, 428 
parking, 423-24 
plazas, 423-24 
Presidio Trails and Bikeways Master Plan, 

277,278,279,280-81, 288 
R Street Corridor, 229-30 
safety measures, 427—28 
Spokane Plan for a New Downtown, 345 
urban environments, 462 
See also shared roadway concept 
bikeways, 427-28 

blind people. See accessibility issues; Ed 
Roberts Campus (ERC); Musees des 
Beaux Arts (Valenciennes and Calais, 
boardwalks, 432, 433 
BORP (Bay Area Outreach & Research 

Program), 19 
boulevards, 460—61 

See also cars; pedestrian issues; streets; 
Braille, 98-99, 102, 103 

See also accessibility issues; signage; 

bridges. See Carquinez Bridge Retrofit and 
Replacement; Monroe Street Bridge 
(Spokane, Washington) 
Brookfield, Illinois. See Hamill Family Play 

Zoo and Play Gardens 
Brookfield Zoo. See Hamill Family Play Zoo 

and Play Gardens 
Brookfield Zoo Southeast Section Planning 

Team(SES), 118-19 
Brossard, Alan, 62, 65, 75 
brownfield remediation, 246 

construction materials, 468 
contextual fit, 456-57 
design elements, 456—58 
edges, 454 
exteriors, 388-89 
form, 457-58 
heights, 455-56 
lighting for exterior, 468—69 
roof forms, 458 
signage, 465—67 
styles, 458,459 
urban environment, 468—69 
urban styles chart, 459 
See also historic building renovation 
Business Improvement District (Spokane), 

CADA (Capitol Area Development Authority, 

Sacramento), 230, 235—36 
cafeterias, 408-9 

California Department of Rehabilitation, 17 
California Department of Transportation 

(Caltrans). See Carquinez Bridge 

Retrofit and Replacement 
Caltrans (California Department of 

Transportation). See Carquinez Bridge 

Retrofit and Replacement 

Canada Island (Spokane), 356 

canopies, 467 

Capitol Area Development Authority 

(CADA), 230, 235-37 
Carquinez Bridge Community Advisory 

Committee (CBCAC), 301-2 
Carquinez Bridge Retrofit and Replacement, 

accessibility features, 305—6, 311 

art, 306, 308-9 

background, 295-96, 298-99 

bypasses, 305 

community outreach, 299-304, 306, 307, 
308-9, 310 

design features, 305—9 

design goals, 298-99 

design process, 299—304 

historic aspects, 309 

history, 296, 298, 304, 310 

lighting, 306, 308,311 

on /off ramp alignments, 305 

opening celebration, 304, 310, 311 

pedestrian issues, 305—6, 31 1 

streets, 305 

user feedback, 309—1 1 

user groups, 299 
cars, 229-30 

See also parking; sidewalks; traffic 
catalytic sites, 321, 329-32, 356 
CBCAC (Carquinez Bridge Community 

Advisory Committee), 301—2 
Center for Accessible Technology (CforAT), 

Center for Independent Living (CIL), 19 
central parks, 446 

See also Davis Central Park 
Central Steam Plant (Spokane), 349 
CforAT (Center for Accessible Technology), 

19, 33 
Chalk Art Festival (Spokane), 367 

480 INDEX 

charettes, 25 

See also community participation (in design 
Chase Palm Park, 154-71 

accessibility issues, 159, 164, 165, 166 

art, 163, 169-70 

construction completion, 156 

construction cost, 156 

credits, 156 

design features and settings, 1 59—66 

design goals, 156 

design process, 158 

as event center, 156 

history, 155—56 

lighthouse, 166—67 

management issues, 168—70 

mural, 163 

nautilus, 154, 157, 161 

ocean pathway, 159—60 

operational issues, 168—70 

particulars, 156 

play village, 160, 161, 163, 165 

programs and activities, 158 

shipwreck playground, 158, 164—65 

size, 156 

starfish, 160, 162 

theme, 156, 157, 158, 159-60, 162, 168 

tide pool experience, 154, 160, 161 

user feedback, 170—71 

user groups, 156 

water elements, 156, 159, 160, 161, 164, 

whales, 159-60, 161,168 

wooden pole forest, 165—66, 168 

See also open space guidelines 
Chicago School (building style), 459 
children. See Chase Palm Park; children's zoo 
guidelines; Davis Central Park; Edelman 
Children's Court; Edison School /Pacific 
Park; play area guidelines; school 

(K-12) guidelines ;Tule Elk Park Child 

Development Center 
Children's Institute International, 35 
children's zoo guidelines, 413—16 
approaches, 414 
circulation and pathways, 415 
design parameters, 41 3 
entrances, 414 

indoor activity settings, 415—16 
indoor /outdoor relationships, 413—14 
outdoor activity settings, 415—16 
sun /shade balance aspects, 416 
way finding, 4-14 — 1 5 
See also Hamill Family Play Zoo and Play 

Chronicle Building (Spokane), 348 
CIL (Center for Independent Living), 19 

children's zoos, 415 
dependency courts, 390 
pedestrian, 461—62 
plazas, 423 
schools (K-12), 400 
See also traffic 
cityscape guidelines, 454—69 
design details, 467—68 
gathering spaces, 463—65 
landscaping, 463 
lighting, 468-69 
overview, 454 
signage, 465—67 
site design and layout, 454—58 
transportation and circulation, 458, 

See also Davenport District Strategic Action 

Plan; Downtown Spokane Zoning 

Ordinance & Design Guidelines; 

R Street Corridor; Spokane Plan for a 

New Downtown 

classrooms, 404—8 
computers, 406 
flooring and surfaces, 405 
lighting, 405 
safety equipment, 409 
special subject area, 406—8 
visual cues, 405 
windows, 405—6 
See also Edison School/ Pacific Park; school 

(K— 12) guidelines; St. Coletta of 

Greater Washington, D.C. 

Edelman Children's Court, 47 
Edison School /Pacific Park, 190, 191 
R Street Corridor, 266 
St. Coletta of Greater Washington, D.C, 

urban, 467-68 
communications links (interior), 398 
community centers. See Davenport District 

Strategic Action Plan; Davis Central 

Park; Davis Commons; Edison 

School/Pacific Park;Tule Elk Park Child 

Development Center 
community parks, 443, 445 

See also Chase Palm Park; Davis Central 

Park; Edison School /Pacific Park 
community participation (in design process) 
Carquinez Bridge Retrofit and 

Replacement, 299-304 
Chase Palm Park, 158 
Davenport District Strategic Action Plan, 

Davis Central Park, 200-201 
Davis Commons, 217—18 
Ed Roberts Campus (ERC), 25-26 
Edelman Children's Court, 38 — 43 
Edison School/ Pacific Park, 181 , 184-86 
The Great Spokane River Gorge Strategic 

Master Plan, 326 

INDEX 481 

Hamill Family Play Zoo and Play Gardens, 

118-19, 121-22 
Musees des Beaux Arts (Valenciennes and 

Calais, France), 98-100, 104-5 
North Bank Development Plan, 325 
Presidio Trails and Bike ways Master Plan, 

R Street Corridor, 235-37 
Riverfront Park Master Plan, 325 
Spokane Plan for a New Downtown, 

St. Coletta of Greater Washington, D.C., 

Tule Elk Park Child Development Center, 
Computer Technologies Program (CTP), 19 
computers, 406 

connectivity (downtown/neighborhood), 321 
See also housing; neighborhoods; North 
Bank Development Plan; Riverfront 
Park Master Plan; Spokane Plan for a 
New Downtown 
context sensitivity, 6 

See also specific project examples 
contextual fit (buildings), 456—57 
Contra Costa County, California. See 
Carquinez Bridge Retrofit and 
cooking areas (classroom), 407 
corridors (exterior). See R Street Corridor; 

streets; traffic; transportation 
corridors (interior), 390 
courtrooms. See hearing rooms 
courts. See Edelman Children's Court 
courtyards, 29 
creeklets, 163—64 
Crockett, California. See Carquinez Bridge 

Retrofit and Replacement 
CTP (Computer Technologies Program), 19 
cultural meaning, 11-12 

cut-away corners, 455 
cyclists. See bicycles 

Dardik, Calib, 1 6 

Davenport District Arts Board (DDAB), 325, 

366, 367, 380 
Davenport District Strategic Action Plan, 

American West Bank, 367 

art galleries, 364 

arts events and programs, 367 

background, 338 

Davenport Hotel, 362, 363 

design guidelines, 367 

design process, 325—26 

Fox Theater, 363 

housing, 367 

management issues, 379—80 

marketing and communications strategies, 

Met Theater, 360, 362 

Montvale Hotel, 365 

Odd Fellows Hall, 363 

operational issues, 379—80 

organizations, 325 

performance measures, 368 

preferred business categories, 362—63 

private investment and development, 360, 

regulations and incentives, 367—68 

restaurants and entertainment, 364 

Spokane Transit Authority Plaza, 366 

See also cityscape guidelines 
Davis, California. See Davis Central Park; 

Davis Commons 
Davis Central Park, 192-209 

art, 204-5 

carousel, 205—6 

children's play areas, 205—6, 208 

collaborative nature, 200—201 

design features, 201—8 

design process, 200—201 

farmers market, 195, 196, 197 

functions and purposes, 197—99 

garden, 206, 207 

grove, 194, 206 

history, 193-95 

landscaping, 194, 198, 202, 204, 206, 207 

management issues, 208—9 

multi-use aspects, 199, 200-201 

operational issues, 208—9 

user feedback, 209 

user groups, 200 

See also cityscape guidelines; open space 
Davis Commons 

accessibility features, 222, 224 

background, 211—12 

design process, 215, 217—18 

history, 211-12 

housing, 212, 217 

landscaping, 213, 215, 218, 219-23, 225 

management issues, 225—26 

mixed-use aspects, 212, 214, 217, 226—27 

operational issues, 225—26 

parking, 217, 218, 223, 224-25, 226 

site plan, 216, 217 

traffic, 218, 223-24 

user feedback, 226—27 

See also cityscape guidelines 
Davis Education Association, 205 
DDAB (Davenport District Arts Board), 366, 

367, 380, 383 
decentralization, xi 
defensible space, 455 
Demonstration Lawn, 146 
Department of Rehabilitation for the State of 

California, 17 
dependency court guidelines, 388—98 

acoustics, 398 

482 INDEX 

amenities, 397 
building appearance, 389 
circulation, 390 
communications links, 398 
corridors, 390 
eating areas (public), 397 
entrances, 392, 394 
hearing rooms, 392—93 
inclusive design guidelines, 388—98 
interview rooms (family), 396 
lighting, 398 
lobby, 389, 390 
shelter care, 393—96 
ventilation, 398 

See also Edelman Children's Court 
design charettes, 25 

See also community participation (in design 
design guidelines. See design guidelines and 
process under each specific project 
name; inclusive design project 
developers, 12 
directional signs, 466 

See also signage; wayfinding 
directories, 105—106 
See also wayfinding 
Disability Rights Education and Defense 

Fund(DREDF), 19, 33 
downtown /neighborhood connectivity, 321 
See also R Street Corridor; Riverfront Park 
Master Plan; Spokane Plan for a New 
Downtown Seattle Association, 8 
Downtown Spokane Partnership (DSP), 
322-323, 325, 340-41, 380, 381-82, 
Downtown Spokane Ventures Association, 

Downtown Spokane Zoning Ordinance & 

Design Guidelines, 322, 346 
Downtown Vision Workshop, 324 
Downtowns, 321, 324 

See also cityscape guidelines; Davis 

Commons; Downtown Spokane Zoning 

Ordinance & Design Guidelines; 

R Street Corridor; Riverfront Park 

Master Plan; Spokane Plan for a New 

drainage control, 431 
DREDF (Disability Rights Education and 

Defense Fund, 19, 33 
DSP (Downtown Spokane Partnership), 

322-323, 325, 340-41, 380, 381-82, 

Dudley, Rosemary, 474-^1-75 

Earth Play Garden, 147 

East End District (Spokane), 333—34 

East Havermale Island (Spokane), 355 

ecological requirements, 4—5 

Economic Development Council (Spokane), 

economic development fundamentals, 10 
Ed Roberts, 15-17, 16 
Ed Roberts Campus (ERC), 14-33 

community participation, 25 

design charettes, 25 

design process, 22—25, 32 

early iterations, 25 

entrances, 23, 24—25 

floor plan entrance detail, 28 

funding, 25—26 

inclusive design features and settings, 

international aspects, 21 

landscape buffer, 31 

lobby, 21, 29 

location, 21 

model, 26 
opening, 19 

partner organizations, 19, 21 
plaza, 20, 26, 27, 29 
purpose, 21 
requirements, 19 
site plan, 27 

transit access orientation, 21—22, 29—30 
University of California, Berkeley, 2 1 
user design input, 22—25, 32 
user feedback, 32—33 
user groups, 19 
EDC (Economic Development Council) 

(Spokane), 338-339 
Edelman Children's Court, 34 — 59 

as catalyst for functional change, 55, 57 

challenges, 36 

child-friendly design principles, 38—39 

design mission, 36 

design process, 38—43 

entrance /lobby, 43—47 

exteriors, 43, 48 

family visiting rooms, 49—50 

function, 35—36 

hearing room design iterations, 40—41 

hearing rooms, 50—51 

interview rooms, 49 

management issues, 55, 57 

mediation rooms, 49 

operational issues, 55, 57 

outdoor area, 56—57 

Shelter Care area, 51 , 52—53, 54, 55 

user feedback, 57—59 

user groups, 36, 39 (table) 

user groups and survey methods (chart), 

waiting areas, 36, 37, 48-49, 51 , 52-53, 

wayfinding, 47^-8 
See also dependency court guidelines 

INDEX 483 

edged walkways, 409 

Edison School /Pacific Park, 172—91 

accessibility features, 179, 184, 185, 

art, 180, 181, 188, 191 

buildings, 174, 175, 181, 185, 187-88, 

collaborative nature, 181, 184-86, 191 

community center, 1 74 

design features, 1 86—89 

design goals, 175—79 

design process, 181,1 84-86 

environment, 177 

functions and purposes, 173, 175 

interiors, 177, 179, 184, 187-88 

landscaping, 176, 180, 182-83, 184, 186 

library, 174 

management issues, 189—90 

master plan, 177 

mixed-use aspects, 177-79, 188-89, 191 

operational issues, 1 89—90 

population served, 175 

school facilities, 175 

user feedback, 1 9 1 

user groups, 179 

See also open space guidelines; school 
(K— 12) guidelines 
education, 9,11 

See also Edison School /Pacific Park; 
Musees des Beaux Arts (Valenciennes 
and Calais, France); Tule Elk Park Child 
Development Center 
Edwards, Mike, 381-82 
Emeryville, California, 251 
enclosures, 419 

See also activity areas; landscaping; play 
area guidelines 

children's zoos, 414 

Davis Commons, 222—23 

dependency courts, 388-89, 392, 394 
Ed Roberts Campus (ERC), 23, 24-25 
Edelman Children's Court, 43 — 47 
The Great Spokane River Gorge Strategic 

Master Plan, 378 
Hamill Family Play Zoo and Play Gardens, 

12, 124-26, 125,127 
Musees des Beaux Arts (Valenciennes and 

Calais, France), 102 
play areas, 418 
plazas, 423 

Riverfront Park Master Plan, 353 
Envision Spokane ( community newsletter), 

equitable impacts, 6—7 

See also specific project examples 
ERC. See Ed Roberts Campus (ERC) 
Explore! A Child's Nature. See Hamill Family 

Play Zoo and Play Gardens 
exterior environments. See connectivity 

(downtown / neighborhood) ; entrances ; 
landscaping; parks; specific projects by 
name; trail system guidelines 

fareless public transit zone, 8 
FCI Cleveland Bridge, 296 
Federal Access Board (Regulatory 

Negotiation Committee 1999), 425 
Federation du Nord de la France des Societes 

d'Amis des Musees, 100 
fences, 419 
flooring and surfaces 

Chase Palm Park, 159-60 

classrooms, 405 

Hamill Family Play Zoo and Play Gardens, 

hardscape, 463 

markings, 41 1 

play areas, 422 

trails, 426-27 

See also accessibility issues; wayfinding 
Flour Mill buildings (Spokane), 359-360 
flush-mounted signs, 465 
FOF (Friends of the Falls, Spokane), 326, 

371, 380 
France. See Musees des Beaux Arts 

(Valenciennes and Calais, France) 
Friends of the Davenport, 325 
Friends of the Falls (FOF), 326, 371, 380 
Fruitvale Transit Village, 7 
functionality, 5—6, 7 

See also specific project examples 

dependency courts, 391, 392, 395, 396 

exterior, 410 

school classrooms, 404, 405, 406, 407, 

Gallagher Building (Spokane), 333 
gardens, 401-2, 420 

See also Davis Central Park; Davis 

Commons; landscaping; Riverfront Park 
Master Plan; Tule Elk Park Child 
Development Center 
gateways, 463 
gathering places 

Davis Central Park, 192-209 
Davis Commons, 210—27 
Edison School /Pacific Park, 172-91 
fundamental principles and aspects, 1 2 
play areas, 422 
schools, 402-3 
urban, 463—65 

See also performance places; plaza guide- 
lines; promenades 
Glendale, California. See Edison 

School /Pacific Park 
Goltsman, Susan M., 473 

484 INDEX 

Gothic Revival (building style), 459 

graphic signs, 466 

Graves, Michael, 78, 84 

The Great Spokane River Gorge Loop Trail, 

374, 375 
The Great Spokane River Gorge 
Strategic Master Plan, 368-78 

bicycle features, 375 

Centennial Trail, 375 

Confluence Area Visitor Arrival Point, 372 

connectivity with neighborhoods, 371 

description, 368 

design process, 326 

economic development, 377, 378 

entrances, 378 

environmental impact aspects, 377 

Green Infrastructure Zones, 378 

habitat preservation and restoration, 377, 

High Bridge Park, 371 

history, 368 

interpretive facilities and program, 
371-72, 373 

Lower Falls, 371 

management issues, 380—81 

Monroe Street Bridge, 343^-5, 371 , 375 

Native Americans, 371, 372, 383 

neighborhoods, 368, 371 

North Point Overlook, 372 

operational issues, 380—81 

organizations, 326 

Peaceful Valley neighborhood, 368, 383 

pedestrian features, 375 

recreation aspects, 375—76, 383—84 

signage, 371—72, 373 

Spokane Park Board, 368 

transportation improvement, 373—74 

wayfinding, 371—72, 373 

West Central neighborhood, 371 

See also open space guidelines; trail system 

Greek Revival (building style), 459 
green infrastructure, 436, 448—50 
Green Infrastructure Zones, 378 
green streets network (Spokane), 341, 342, 

greenways, 436, 450—51 
ground covering, 422 

See also flooring and surfaces; landscaping 

guidelines. See design guidelines under 

each specific project name; inclusive 

design project guidelines 
gymnasiums (school), 408 

habitat protection, 11—12, 377 
Hamill Family Play Zoo and Play Gardens, 

autistic access, 147 

Backyard section, 145—47 

design goals, 118—19 

design process, 119—22 

design requirements, 122—24 

entrances, 124—26 

greenhouse gardens, 1 37—39 

indoor pedestrian settings, 126 

management issues, 148—49 

master plans, 114, 115 

mission, 111 

operational issues, 148—49 

Parent Resource Areas, 1 39^-0 

Play Partners, 146, 148, 149 

prototyping program for developing, 

quiet alcoves, 140 

settings charts, 120 

signage, 124 

size, 1 1 2 

special communication tools, 147 

user feedback, 111, 151—53 

user groups, 1 18 

wayfinding, 1 26—29 

Zoo-At-Home, 135-37 

Zoo Play Gardens, 140 

Zoo-Within-A-Zoo, 130-34 

See also children's zoo guidelines 
hanging or "blade" signs, 465 
hard court areas, 403 
hardscape elements, 463 
Hattie Weber Museum, 199 
hearing rooms, 40-41, 42^-3, 50-51 , 

High Bridge Park (Spokane), 371 
high-density residential, 8—9 

See also housing 
high-speed connectivity hot zone, 338 
historic building renovation 

American Legion Building (Spokane), 346 

Davenport Hotel (Spokane), 362 

Fox Theater (Spokane), 363 

Holley-Mason Hardware Building 
(Spokane), 348 

Lewis & Clark High School (Spokane), 
346, 347 

Montvale Hotel (Spokane), 365, 382-83 

Odd Fellows Hall (Spokane), 363 

Old Spokane Flour Mill (Spokane), 359, 

West Central neighborhood (Spokane), 
historic character enhancement, 238, 246—52 

See also historic building renovation 
Historic Industrial Sector (Sacramento, 

California, R Street Corridor), 247—52 
historic preservation, 321 

See also Davenport District Strategic Action 
Plan; historic building renovation; 

INDEX -485 

R Street Corridor; Riverfront Park 
Master Plan 
history (leading to inclusive design 

principles), 1—4 
home economics classrooms, 406—7 
horizontal rhythms (building design 

element), 457 
"hot zones" (Spokane), 338 

builder fees, 8 

Davis Commons, 212, 214, 216, 217 

downtown connectivity, 321 

Fruitvale Transit Village, 7 

fundamentals, 10 

Oakland, California, 7 

principles, 10 

R Street Corridor, 234, 240-241 , 247, 

Seattle, Washington, 8 
Spokane Plan for a New Downtown, 327, 

328,332,333,340-4-1, 351-53 
University of California in San Francisco 

project, 9—10 
Vancouver, BC, Canada, 8—9 
Howard Street Corridor (Spokane), 351, 353 

Iacofano, Daniel, 473—74 

icon signs, 466 

identities (for districts), 321 

IMAX theater (Spokane), 355, 356 

inappropriate signs, 466—67 

inclusive city 

context sensitivity and, 6 

definition of, xi 

design project guidelines for, 12—13 

ecological requirements of, 4—5 

economic imperative of, xii 

entrepreneurial models for, xiii 

equitable impacts in, 6—7 

framework for, xiv 

functionality and, 5—6 

need for, xi 

planning considerations for, 4—7 

policy framework for, 10—12 

project design criteria, 5—7 

urban exclusivity and segregation reality, 
xi— xii 

See also specific projects by name 
inclusive design, 10-13, 116-18, 387 

See also community participation (in design 
process); inclusive design project guide- 
inclusive design project guidelines, 1 2—1 3, 

children's zoos, 41 3— 16 

cityscapes, 454—69 

dependency courts, 388—98 

museums, 41 1 — 1 2 

open spaces, 435—53 

play areas, 417—22 

plazas, 423-24 

schools (K-l 2), 399-410 

trail systems, 425—34 

See also specific projects 
Independent Living Movement, 15, 16—19 
industrial area conversions 

Berkeley, California, 238, 243, 260 

Emeryville, California, 251 

encouragement policies, 246 

Portland, Oregon, 239, 240, 241, 246 

R Street Corridor, 232-35, 237, 238, 245, 
247, 248 

San Jose, California, 242, 264 
industrial areas, 228, 232—35 

See also industrial area conversions 
industrial building renovation, 333 

See also historic building renovation; indus- 
trial area conversions 
International (building style), 459 
Interstate Highway system, 2, 9 

interview rooms, 396 

Jacobs, Jane, 3 

Japanese Garden (Spokane), 355 

Jones, Stanton, 475 

Jordan, Susan, 163 

Juarez, Lynn, 62 

Juvenile Dependency Court for the County 

of Los Angeles. See Edelman Children's 


"Kid's Council," 121 

kindergarten and pre-school areas, 404 

See also play area guidelines 
kiosks, 351 
Krumholz, Norman, x 

lab stations (classroom), 407 
land forms, 420 

See also landscaping 
landscaping, 31, 409, 410, 423, 463-65 
See also gardens; gathering places; parks; 

public open space 
large size neighborhood parks, 443, 444 
Leon, Joan, 475 

library/media centers (schools), 409 
The Death and Life of Great American Cities 

(Jacobs), 3 
light rail, 233-34 
lighted signs, 466 
lighting, 45, 398, 410, 468, 469 
Lions Club International District, 1 00 
lobbies, 43-^-5, 388-89 
Long Beach, California, 9 
Los Angeles County, California. See Edelman 

Children's Court; Edison School/Pacific 

Lower Falls (Spokane), 371 
Lynch, Kevin, 1, 3, 6, 387 


Malhotra, Mukul, 475-76 

Market Green sector (Sacramento, California 

R Street Corridor), 262—65 
Mclntyre, Sally, 476 
McKay, Susan, 476 

medium size neighborhood parks, 442, 443 
Met Theater (Spokane), 360, 362 
Michael Graves, architect, 78 
MIG, Inc. 

Carquinez Bridge Retrofit and 

Replacement, 296 
Chase Palm Park, 156 
Davis Central Park, 194 
Ed Roberts Campus (ERC), 16 
Edelman Children's Court, 36 
Edison School /Pacific Park, 174 
Hamill Family Play Zoo and Play Gardens, 

Presidio Trails and Bikeways Master Plan, 

R Street Corridor, 230 
Spokane, Washington projects, 314 
St. Coletta of Greater Washington, D.C., 

Tule Elk Park Child Development Center, 
mixed-use facilities, 177 

See also pedestrian issues; specific projects 
Mixed-Use Transit Hub Sector (Sacramento, 
California R Street Corridor), 240, 
241-4-6, 247-48, 252-56, 257 
"mixed -use urban village," 327 
mobility, 1 1 

See also accessibility issues 
Mobius at Michael Anderson Plaza 

(Spokane), 359 
Mobius Children's Museum (Spokane), 331 
Monroe Street Bridge (Spokane), 343, 
343-345, 371,375 

Monterey Park, California. See Edelman 

Children's Court 
Montvale Hotel (Spokane), 365, 382-83 
Moore, Rex, 212 
Moore, Robin, 476-77 
multi-use. See mixed-use facilities; specific 

Mumford, Lewis, 3 
Musee des Beaux Arts (Valenciennes, France) 

design features and settings, 105—6 

design process, 104—5 

directory, 106 

map, 105 

purpose, 104 

signage, 105, 107 

staircases and floor markings, 107 
Musee des Beaux Arts et de la Dentelle 
(Calais, France), 100-103 

audio commentary, 102—3 

descriptive information, 103 

design process, 100 

entrance, 102 

inclusive design features, 102—3 

plan, 101 

wayfinding, 102 
Musees des Beaux Arts (Valenciennes and 
Calais, France), 96-109 

design goals, 98—99 

operational issues, 107 

user feedback, 107—9 

user groups, 99 
"Museum at Your Fingertips" program, 

museum guidelines, 411—12 

See also Musee des Beaux Arts 
music rooms (school), 406 

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 

National Park Service (NPS), 280 

National Park Service /Presidio Trust, 274 
Native Americans, 371, 372, 383 
navigational aids, 41 1 

See also accessibility issues; signage; 
NEC Foundation of America, 26 
neighborhood/downtown connectivity, 321 

See also North Bank Development Plan; 
Riverfront Park Master Plan; Spokane 
Plan for a New Downtown 
neighborhood greens, 437, 452—53 
neighborhood unification, 238^40 
neighborhoods, 10 

See also housing 
Neoclassicism (building style), 459 
NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act), 

New Urbanism, ?>—\ 
Ney, Bart, 477 

North Bank Development Plan (Spokane), 

concept diagram, 358 

design process, 325 

Flour Mill buildings, 359-360 

management issues, 379 

Mobius at Michael Anderson Plaza, 359 

operational issues, 379 

outdoor attractions, 359—60 

overview, 322 

purposes, 356 

Science Technology Center, 356, 359 

site design, 357 
North Bank District (Spokane), 334 

See also North Bank Development Plan 
North Point Overlook (Spokane), 372 
NPS (National Park Service), 280 

Oakland, California, 7 

Odd Fellows Hall (Spokane), 363 

Old Spokane Flour Mill (Spokane), 360 

INDEX 487 

Olmsted Brothers, 316, 368 

on-street parking, 462 

open areas. See gathering places; open space 

guidelines; parks 
open space guidelines, 435—53 

accessibility, 437 

block size, 437 

connectivity, 437 

corridors, 437 

elements, 436—37 

framework, 437—38 

green infrastructure, 436, 448—50 

greenways, 436, 450—51 

location, 437 

multi-use corridors, 437 

neighborhood greens, 437, 452—53 

overview, 435 

parks, 436, 440^-6 

pattern for framework creation, process, 

regional trails, 436 

relationships, 437 

safety, 437 

sustainability, 437 

variety, 437 
opening proportions (buildings), 457 
The Organization Alan (Whyte), 2 
outdoor areas. See children's zoo guidelines; 
gathering places; landscaping; open 
space guidelines; parks; trail system 
outdoor classrooms (schools), 401—2 
outdoor eating areas (schools), 402 
Outdoor Recreation Access Routes, 430 
outsloping, 43 1 
overlooks, 429 

Pacific Park. See Edison School /Pacific Park 

palette. See color 

Parent Resource Areas, 1 39-40 


bicycles, 423-24 

buildings, 454 

lot placement and design, 456 

on-street, 462 

plazas, 423-24 

schools (K-l 2), 400 

signage, 466 

urban, 456, 462 

Chase Palm Park, 154-71 

Davis Central Park, 192-209 

Davis Commons, 210—27 

Edison School/ Pacific Park, 172-91 

general design criteria, 440-41 

general system guidelines, 440 

park types, 441—46 

See also Hamill Family Play Zoo and Play 
Gardens; open space guidelines; Tule Elk 
Park Child Development Center 
pathways, 415,418-19 

See also The Great Spokane River Gorge 
Strategic Master Plan; Presidio Trails 
and Bikeways Master Plan 
Paulsen Building (Spokane), 348 
Peaceful Valley neighborhood, 383 
Pearl District (Portland, Oregon), 230 
pedestals, 412 
pedestrian issues 

accessibility, 222, 230, 247, 249, 259 

bridges, 305, 308 

circulation, 223, 264, 373-74, 461-62 

landscaping, 219 

links, 333 

mixed-use streets, 264, 265 

pedestrian-friendly streets, 24-1 — 45, 255, 

reclamation of neighborhood streets, 

safety, 419,460 

street orientation, 458, 460 

trails, 425-27 

transit-oriented development, 240, 260 

See also bicycles; mixed-use facilities; 
Presidio Trails and Bikeways Master 
Plan; shared roadway concept 
people with disabilities. See accessibility 
issues; ADA (Americans with 
Disabilities Act); Ed Roberts Campus 
(ERC); Independent Living Movement; 
Musees des Beaux Arts (Valenciennes 
and Calais, France) 
people with visual impairment. See accessibil- 
ity issues; Ed Roberts Campus (ERC); 
Musees des Beaux Arts (Valenciennes 
and Calais, France) 
performance places, 422 

See also gathering places 
physical planning models, 3, 4 
Pioneer Courthouse Square (Portland, 

Oregon), 8 
play area guidelines, 417—22 

accessibility issues, 418, 419, 420, 421, 

animal habitats, 421 

child design participation, 418 

entrances, 418 

equipment, 419—20 

fences and enclosures, 419 

gardens, 420 

gathering areas, 422 

ground covering and safety surfacing, 422 

loose parts, 422 

multipurpose, 420 

overview, 417 

pathways, 418-19 

performance places, 422 

public participation in design, 417—18 

sand play, 421—22 

settings, 418 

488 INDEX 

signage, 419 
social accessibility, 418 
storage, 422 
topography, 420 
vegetation, 420 
water play, 42 1 
wheeled toys, 418, 422 
See also Chase Palm Park; children's zoo 
guidelines; Davis Central Park; Edelman 
Children's Court; Edison School /Pacific 
Park; Hamill Family Play Zoo and Play 
Gardens; Tule Elk Park Child 
Development Center 
play equipment, 419—20 
Play Partners, 116, 117, 146, 148, 149 
playgrounds. See parks; play area guidelines 
plaza guidelines, 423—24, 464 

See also gathering places 
pocket parks, 464 
policy framework, 10—12 
See also specific projects 
Portland, Oregon, 8, 230, 239, 240, 241, 

Postmodern (building style), 459 
pre-school and kindergarten areas, 404 

See also play area guidelines 
preservation (of historic sites.) See Davenport 
District Strategic Action Plan; The Great 
Spokane River Gorge Strategic Master 
Plan; historic building renovation; 
Riverfront Park Master Plan 
Presidio Trails and Bikeways Master Plan, 
accessibility, 283, 284, 285, 286, 287, 293 
aerial view, 276—77 
background, 274-75, 277 
bikeways, 279, 288 
design features, 285—89 
design goals, 277, 288 
design process, 283, 285 

historic aspects, 274, 291—93 
location, 273-74, 275, 286 
overlooks, 274, 280, 286, 288, 292-93 
site plans, 278, 279 
trailheads, 288 
trails, 278, 286-87 
user feedback, 291—93 
user groups, 280—81 

See also open space guidelines; trail system 
Presidio Trust, 280-81 
promenades, 464 
public open space, 9, 1 16 

See also Davis Commons; gathering places; 
The Great Spokane River Gorge 
Strategic Master Plan; landscaping; 
mixed use facilities; open space guide- 
lines; parks; plaza guidelines; Presidio 
Trails and Bikeways Master Plan; 
public realm, 11-12, 240-46, 247 
public transit, 8 

See also transit-oriented development 

Queen Anne (building style), 459 
Quiet Alcoves, 139-140 

R Street Corridor, 228-71 
accessibility, 267 
Art Walk sector, 259-61 
bicycles, 245 

corridor sector design concept, 247 
design goals, 238 — 46 
design palette, 266 
design process, 235—37 
Design Strategy Framework, 237 
historic character enhancement, 238 
historic industrial sector, 247—52 
historical significance, 232—33 
infrastructure development, 268 

location, 230, 231 

management issues, 268—269 

Market Green sector, 262—65 

mixed-use aspects, 240, 24-1 — 43, 245^1-6, 
247, 248 

multi-use nature, 232, 233—35 

neighborhood unification, 238^-0 

operational issues, 268—269 

pedestrian issues, 240-45, 249, 251 

program management, 269 

project goals, 232—35 

public agency /private business 
cooperation, 268 

public realm reclamation, 240—46 

size, 230 

street maintenance, 268 

streetscape elements, 266—67 

traffic, 241-4-2, 245 

transit hub sector, 252—56, 253, 254, 255, 

transit-oriented development encourage- 
ment, 240 

universal design elements, 267 

user feedback, 269—270 

user groups, 235 

See also cityscape guidelines 
R Street Urban Design and Development 

Plan. See R Street Corridor 
Raimo, Sharon, 80, 95 
Raynes, Coco, 477 
Raynes Rail, 99, 102 
recreation, 9 

See also Chase Palm Park; Davis Central 
Park; Presidio Trails and Bikeways Master 
Plan; Spokane, Washington projects; Tule 
Elk Park Child Development Center 
regional parks, 446 
regional trails, 446-^1-8 
reinforcement (surface), 431—32 
residences. See housing; neighborhoods 

INDEX 489 

restrooms, 395—96 
Revival (building style), 459 
Richardsonian Romanesque (building style), 

river crossings, 343—45 
River Park Square, 317, 318, 329, 331 
Riverfront Park district (Spokane), 335—36 
Riverfront Park Master Plan, 350-56 

Canada Island, 356 

design process, 325 

East Haver male Island, 355 

entries, 353 

gondola, 350 

Howard Street Corridor, 351, 353 

MAX building, 355 

Japanese Garden, 355 

kiosks, 351 

management issues, 379 

operational issues, 379 

Pavilion area, 354—55 

purposes, 350 

signage, 353 

site, 351 

south entry to park, 352 

Spokane Falls Skyride, 350 

wayfinding, 351, 353 

See also cityscape guidelines; open space 
Riverside Neighborhood Council (Spokane), 

River view Condominiums (Spokane), 333 
road sharing concept, 285 

See also bicycles; pedestrian issues 
rolling grade dips, 43 1 
roof forms, 458 
Rotary Riverfront Fountain (Spokane), 353 

Sacramento, California. See R Street 

Sacramento Regional Transit, 233 
sacred spaces, 424 
safety equipment, 408 
safety surfacing, 422 

San Francisco, California. See Presidio Trails 
and Bikeways Master Plan;Tule Elk Park 
Child Development Center 
San Francisco Bay Area. See Berkeley, 

California; Carquinez Bridge Retrofit 
and Replacement; Ed Roberts Campus 
(ERC); Emeryville, California; 
Oakland, California; Presidio Trails and 
Bikeways Master Plan; San Jose, 
California; Tule Elk Park Child 
Development Center 
San Jose, California, 242, 264 
sand features, 421—22 
Santa Barbara, California, 154—71 
Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation 

Department, 158 
San tana Row (San Jose, California), 242, 264 
Saranac Hotel (Spokane), 334 
Save Open Space (SOS), 195 
school (K-12) guidelines, 399-4-10 
accessibility issues, 399 
assembly areas, 408 
auditoriums, 408 
cafeterias, 408-09 
circulation (building), 400 
exterior environment, 399 
garden outdoor classrooms, 401—2 
interior settings, 404—9 
landscape elements, 409—10 
libraries /media centers, 409 
outdoor environments, 400^1-04 
overview, 399 
parking, 400 
science labs, 407—8 

site access, 399 

See also Edison School /Pacific Park; 
St. Coletta of Greater Washington, 
D.C.;Tule Elk Park Child Development 
schoolyard settings, 400-404, 409-10 
classroom patios, 400-401 
eating areas, 402 

garden outdoor classrooms, 401—2 
gathering areas, 402—3 
hard court areas, 403 
kindergarten and pre-school areas, 404 
multi-purpose outdoor classrooms, 401 
natural area outdoor classrooms, 402 
turf fields, 40 3-4- 
Science Technology Center (Spokane), 356, 

sculpture. See art 
seating, 423 

See also furniture; waiting areas 
Seattle, Washington, 8 
Second Empire (building style), 459 
service equipment, 468 
shared roadway concept, 254, 255, 258, 263, 
264, 265, 460 
See also accessibility issues; bicycles; pedes- 
trian issues 
Shelter Care, 393-96 
sidewalks, 230 

See also accessibility issues; bicycles; pedes- 
trian issues; wayfinding 

banners, 366 

children's zoos, 414 

The Great Spokane River Gorge Strategic 

Master Plan, 371-72,373 
Hamill Family Play Zoo and Play Gardens, 

112,119,124, 128,129,139 
lighted, 466 

490 INDEX 

museums, 41 1—12 

play areas, 419 

Presidio Trails and Bikeways Master Plan, 
286, 290 

Riverfront Park Master Plan (Spokane), 

schools (K-l 2), 399 

trail systems, 429—30 

urban, 465—67 

visually impaired, 107 

See also wayfinding 
Sky West magazine, 338 
slopes, 426 

small neighborhood parks, 441—43 
social planning model, 3 
SOS (Save Open Space), 195 
South Side district (Spokane), 334—35 
spatial organization, 41 1 
Special Districts (Spokane), 336—38 
Spokane, Washington projects, 312—84 

achievements, 319 

background, 318—19 

City of Spokane, 380 

colors, 378 

component plans and projects, 314 

Davenport District Strategic Action Plan, 

design features, 326—50 

design process, 322—26 

Downtown Spokane Zoning Ordinance & 
Design Guidelines, 322 

goals, 320-22 

The Great Spokane River Gorge Strategic 
Master Plan, 368-78 

history, 313-17 

investment amount, 3 1 4 

management issues, 379—81 

operational issues, 379—81 

palette, 378 

Riverfront Park Master Plan, 350-56 

specific area plans, 321—22 
Spokane Plan for a New Downtown, 

statistics, 319 
user feedback, 381-84 
user groups, 322 

See also specific component projects 
Spokane Plan for a New Downtown, 326—50 
action strategies and elements, 326—27 
bicycles, 345 

community outreach award, 325 
community participation, 323—25 
design process, 322—25 
districts, 329-36, 330 
Downtown Core district, 329—32 
East End district, 333-34 
economic development, 338—39 
green streets network, 342 
historic preservation, 346 — 48 
"hot zones," 338 
housing, 340-41 
land use, 327, 328 
management issues, 379 
neighborhood economic development, 

348, 350 
North Bank district, 334 
operational issues, 379 
organizations, 338—39 
overview, 321—22 
pedestrian circulation, 343 
river crossings, 343-45 
Riverfront Park district, 335—36 
South Side district, 334-35 
Special Districts, 336—38 
technology zone, 338 
Terabyte Triangle, 338 
transportation and circulation, 341—46 
vision statement, 326 
West End district, 333 
See also cityscape guidelines 

Spokane River Gorge Coalition (SRGC), 

Spokane Transit Authority (STA) Plaza, 366 
sports parks, 443, 446 
sprawl, xii, 2—3 
SRGC (Spokane River Gorge Coalition), 

St. Coletta of Greater Washington, D.C., 

accessibility features, 82, 92—93 

art, 83,88,95 

building elevations, 91 

campus overview, 89 

classroom environments, 80, 81, 82, 84, 

community involvement activities, 88 

community relations, 77—81 

construction completion, 78 

construction cost, 78 

curriculum, 80-81, 87-88 

design process, 81—82 

exterior view, 85 

functional purposes, 79—81 

history, 77-80 

inclusive design features, 81, 82—93 

management issues, 93 

mission statement, 77 

multi-functional nature, 82—83 

operational issues, 93 

original vision, 78 

outdoor environment, 84, 85, 86, 87—93, 

site elements, 83—84 

statistics, 79 

student activities, 78, 79, 93 

transit aspect, 79 

user feedback, 95 

user groups, 81 

village green, 86 

See also school (K— 1 2) guidelines 


street trees, 463 

streets, 457, 458, 460-61 , 469 

See also bicycles; parking; pedestrian issues; 
traffic; transit-oriented development 
subsurface grids, 433—34 
suburbs, 2—3 
Sullivan, Cheryl, 478 
surface reinforcing, 431—32 
surfaces, 431—34 

See also flooring and surfaces 
sustainable design, 30—32 

tactile program, 97—98 

Tauscher, Ellen, 22 

tax service, 1 

"Technology and Universal Design 

Assessment of the Ed Roberts Campus 
(ERC)" (NEC Foundation of America), 
teen centers, 203-4 

Terabyte Triangle (Spokane, Washington), 338 
A Theory of Good City Form (Lynch), 1 , 3 
Through the Looking Glass (TLG), 19, 33 
Time magazine, 338 

TLG (Through the Looking Glass), 19, 33 
topography, 420, 427-28 

See also landscaping 
traffic, 240^5 
trail edge protection, 430 
trail guides, 430 
trail markers, 430 
trail systems guidelines, 425—34 

above-grade trails, 432—33, 435 

accessibility issues, 425 

bikeways, 427-28 

drainage control, 431 

grades, 427-28 

multi-use, 426^1-27 

obstacles, 427 

other access routes, 430 

overlooks, 429 

parking, 429 

pedestrian, 425—26 

sandy soils, 433—34 

slopes, 426 

surfaces, 426^1-27 

trail edge protection, 430 

trailheads, 428-29 

wayfinding, 429—30 

wet areas, 431—32 

See alsoThe Great Spokane River Gorge 
Strategic Master Plan; North Bank 
Development Plan; Presidio Trails and 
Bikeways Master Plan; Riverfront Park 
Master Plan 
trailheads, 428-29 
transit. See public transit 
transit-oriented development, 21—22, 240 
transit plazas, 465 

transportation, 341-4-6, 373-74,458, 

See also public transit; transit-oriented 
development; transit plazas 
trees, 463 

See also green streets network (Spokane, 
Washington); green ways; landscaping 
Tribal Cultural Center, 372, 373 
Tule Elk Park Child Development Center, 

accessibility features, 63, 64, 68, 71 

amphitheater, 69 

art, 64, 70, 72, 73 

construction area, 70 

construction completion, 62 

construction cost, 62 

credits, 62 

design process, 67—68 

dining area, 72 

function and purposes, 61 , 63, 64 — 67 

garden areas, 63, 66, 69—70, 69 

indoor/outdoor transition patios, 68 
management issues, 72, 74 
multipurpose nature, 64, 65—67, 69, 72, 

operational issues, 72, 74 
original vision for, 61 
particulars, 62 

play areas, 62, 64, 68, 70-71 , 72 
site plan, 62 
size, 62 

user feedback, 75 
See also school (K— 12) guidelines 
turf fields, 403^4- 

UC Berkeley (University of California, 

Berkeley), 15, 17,21 
UC Davis (University of California, Davis), 

UC Davis Office of Development, 2 1 2 
UCSF (University of California, San 

Francisco), 9—10 
Universal Design Tool, 26 
University of California, Berkeley (UC 

Berkeley), 15, 17, 21 
University of California, Davis (UC Davis), 

University of California, San Francisco 

(UCSF), 9-10 
urban building materials, 468 
urban color usage, 467—68 
urban outdoor areas, 454—55 
urban renaissance, xi 
Urban Renewal, 3 
urban transportation, 458, 460—61 
See also transit- oriented development; 

U.S. Department of Transportation, 21 
U.S. House of Representatives Committee 

on Education and the Workforce, 22 

492 INDEX 

U.S. House of Representatives Committee 

on Transportation and Infrastructure, 22 
user survey methodologies, 39 (chart) 

Vallejo, California. See Carquinez Bridge 

Retrofit and Replacement 
values, xii 

Vancouver, BC, Canada, 8—9 
ventilation, 398 

"Vision for Growing an Inclusive City," 1 
visiting rooms, 395 
visual cues, 405 

waiting areas, 37, 38, 390-92 

walking. See accessibility issues; bicycles; 

pedestrian issues; wayfinding 
warehouses. See industrial area conversions 
Washington, D.C., 10 
water features, 416, 421 

children's zoos, 414, 415 

directories, 105 

Ed Roberts Campus (ERC), 29 

Edelman Children's Court, 47 — 48 

The Great Spokane River Gorge Strategic 

Master Plan, 371-72,373 
Hamill Family Play Zoo and Play Gardens, 

Howard Street corridor (Spokane, 
Washington), 351, 353 

kiosks, 351 

museums, 41 1—1 2 

Presidio Trails and Bikeways Master Plan, 

trail systems, 429—30 

trailheads, 428-29 

visually impaired, 102 

See also accessibility issues; signage 
West End, 333 
wheel channel, 30 
Whirlwind Wheelchair International (WWI), 

Whyte, William, 2 

WID (World Institute on Disability), 19 
Wight, Lawrence, 478 
Williams, Anthony A. , xiii 
windows, classroom, 405—6 
World Institute on Disability (WID), 19 
WWI (Whirlwind Wheelchair International), 

Zampa, Alfred, 302, 304 

See also Carquinez Bridge Retrofit and 

zoning laws, 2 
Zoo Play Gardens, 140 
Zoos. See children's zoo guidelines; Hamill 

Family Play Zoo and Play Gardens 

INDEX 493 

out the editor 

Susan Goltsman (FASLA) is 
internationally renowned for 
applying social science to 
design, creating unique 
environments that respond 
to the community, the 
organization, user group 
needs, building function and 
site context. Her projects 
>m the American Zoo and 
Aquarium Association, the Center for Universal 
Design, the American Institute of Architects, the 
American Planning Association, the American 
Society of Landscape Architects, The National 
Endowment for the Arts and the California Park and 
Recreation Society. Susan has taught at numerous 
universities and colleges and is the author of many 
other books and articles. 

aniel lacofano (PhD, FAICP, 
iSLA) is recognized interna- 
onally as an innovator in 
ommunity-based urban 
lanning and design, 
orking with hundreds of 
ities and agencies to 
nplement land use, urban 
design, economic revitaliza- 
tion and transportation projects. His projects have 
won many awards from the National League of 
Cities, the International Downtown Association, the 
American Planning Association, the American 
Society of Landscape Architects and the Association 
of Environmental Professionals. His publications 
include Play For All Guidelines, Public Involvement 
as an Organizational Development Process, and 
Meeting of the Minds, which shares his innovative 
approach to meeting facilitation and consensus 

. * 

MIG Communications 

510.845.7549 I 


utions for 


neighborhoods and urban 



"Every once in a while, a truly 'big idea' comes along — this book articulates with passion and 
persuasion the notion of the inclusive city. It advocates a downtown that truly becomes the heart 
and soul of the entire community. " 

Dave Feehan, President, International Downtown Association 

"In this book and in their work, Daniel and Susan redefine the term 'planning.' The inclusive city, 
built on openness to new ideas, people and thought, is the platform upon which our new society 
will be built. " 

Michael M. Edwards, President, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership 

"Downtowns across the country are making a comeback. However, if cities are to succeed in 
the 21st century, we must address the challenges and disparities within our communities. This 
exciting vision of what our cities can be is a 'must read' for all those who help shape the future 
of their cities. " 

Beverly O'Neill, Mayor, City of Long Beach 

"The powerful message here is that places created using the book's design criteria invite every- 
one to participate in the environment. The participatory inclusive design process embodies social 
justice, ensuring that the people who use a space help create it... and in the process they 
empower themselves." 

Elaine Ostroff, Honorary AIA and Founding Director 
of the Adaptive Environments Center 

ISBN-13: 978-0-944661-31-4 

9 780944"661314 

"It is rare to see projects entirely designed with the community — rather than for the community. 
This exciting series of projects and places will challenge how we approach design and planning 
in the future. " 

Fred Kent, President, Project for Public Spaces 

"This book provides a desperately needed framework to provoke us, teach us and stimulate our 

work: the building blocks, principles and guidelines that can inspire us. It is a toolbox to bridge 

the gap between theory and action." 

Andrew Altman, former CEO, the Anacostia Development 
Corporation, Washington, D.C. 

Printed in China