March 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 6

P E R S P E C T I V E S A M E S S A G E F R O M N R P A' S L E A D E R S

Park Design and Planning Should Fully
Engage Our Communities
The development of the
Parks & Recreation design
issue always inspires me.
Design-thinking, after all, is
about using solution-oriented
approaches to solve what park
and recreation professionals
are faced with every day -
complex problems. The complexity ranges from how to
design cost-effective programs
that benefit the wide range of
ages and interests represented in a community to how to
design parks that deliver on
a multitude of benefits, from
passive to active recreation
spaces to environmental services and climate resiliency. Most in our field look to
system master plans and strategic plans to guide overall
thinking and look to community engagement design
processes to tackle individual park and program challenges. And even these efforts have evolved to reflect
the complex society that we are living in.
In the face of all this complexity, I want to remind
our entire park and recreation community that we have
had a couple of touchpoints available to us since the
1990s, and I invite you to revisit these in your planning and design efforts. The first is the Ethical Principles in Planning (tinyurl.com/yy386o9h), adopted by
the American Planning Association in 1992. This set
of principles is directed at " all who participate in the
process of planning as advisors, advocates and decision
makers, " which unquestionably includes park and recreation professionals. The beauty of these principles is
that they stand the test of time and remind us of the
" rights of citizens to participate in planning decisions, "
that choice and opportunities should be oriented to
all, particularly to meet the needs of the disadvantaged, that the " integrity of the natural environment "
should be protected, and that we should " pay special
attention " to " long range consequences. " Inherent to
these ethical principles are a look toward unintended
consequences of our decisions and the need for active
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community engagement, open communication and
information flow.
Another touchpoint is the 7 Principles of Universal
Design (tinyurl.com/y5j5f47q), developed in 1997,
which guide design processes of products and environments - again, highly relevant to park and recreation professionals. In these principles, the focus is on
human-centered design that allows for things such as
equitable use for people with diverse abilities; flexibility
for a wide range of preferences and abilities; and design
that is easy to understand, regardless of experience,
knowledge or language skills.
As we look to make the most of our limited resources in the coming years, let us make sure that we are
staying true to universal design and ethical planning
principles, so that the programs and parks we manage,
improve and create are designed to benefit all members of our communities. Thinking back, in 2014, the
RAND Corporation's report of park usage found that
seniors, who represent 20 percent of the population,
only reflected 4 percent of park users. A more robust
application of these principles might very well increase that number.
And, as we look toward putting into use the fully
funded Land and Water Conservation Fund and continue to advocate for full access to resources for state
and urban assistance programs, let's make sure that our
planning for these funded projects reflects the best and
most holistic planning practices possible. Let's make
sure that our planning fully engages with our communities and co-creates parks that will live up to their full
potential - providing multiple health, social and environmental benefits to all they serve.

KRISTINE STR AT TON
President and CEO


http://www.tinyurl.com/y5j5f47q http://www.tinyurl.com/yy386o9h

March 2021 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of March 2021 - Parks & Recreation

March 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
March 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
March 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 1
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March 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
March 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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