RDG in the Media: Meeting Diverse Needs in Outdoor Spaces

March 19, 2024
Landscape Architecture Sustainability Civil Engineering & Water Resources Parks & Open Space

Mike Bell, PLA, ASLA speaks with Recreation Management Magazine to share insights into how designing outdoor spaces is changing to adapt to environmental concerns.

Concerns such as climate resiliency and stormwater management are urgent; however, so is the need to provide inviting and accessible outdoor spaces that offer opportunities for leisure, recreation and entertainment for all. Recreation Management spoke to a group of landscape architect professionals including RDG Landscape Architect and Partner Mike Bell, PLA, ASLA, to share how firms are transforming the design of outdoor spaces. 

“To be truly innovative in community planning, the impact of green and blue systems on health and wellness will be a foundational criterion for future success,” said Bell. “There must be more than parks, open spaces and trails, living within a network of green and blue will help ensure a healthier society.”

The COVID-19 pandemic reminded us all to better appreciate the importance of green and blue systems to our physical and mental health, continued Bell. The basic infrastructure of comprehensive community planning and park design prioritizes these systems, and these networks need to stretch throughout the entire community, incorporating streets, housing and commercial districts. The Jester Park Nature Center in Granger, Iowa is an example of a safe and accessible venue constructed using naturally occurring, salvaged, recycled and donated materials. Working alongside the Polk County Conservation team, RDG planned a space that utilizes rain gardens, bioswales, pervious paving and more to lead to better stormwater management.

Click here to read the full article and learn more about evolving design for outdoor spaces.

Written by Erin Van Zee, Communications Director