RDG In the Media: Shope Shape in Landscape Architecture Magazine
Created for the publication’s April 2021 issue, RDG’s poem, “Re-Tale Fulfillment” addresses how the design of public spaces impacts our relationship with those environments.
Before the pandemic, many retail companies were shifting from emphasizing products to selling experiences, but, like so many aspects of “normal life,” that evolution vaporized in March 2020 with the onset of COVID-19. Today, the retail street is struggling. Online commerce has accelerated under the pandemic, and many small businesses have not survived the year without a steady ﬂow of customers.
In response to this shift, at the end of 2020, Landscape Architecture Magazine asked ﬁve landscape architecture ﬁrms to reimagine, in the biggest way, the next world for retail. Each ﬁrm was asked to choose a street they knew well, quickly sketch out a few ideas of what that retail street might become and write a short statement. No constraints were placed except that the street should appeal to the same constituency that it currently serves, doing so without displacement and without the use of big-box retail. The results, including RDG Planning & Design’s submission, “Re-Tale Fulfillment,” encompass the magazine’s feature, “Shop Shape,” and help chart a way forward.
Working together, an interdisciplinary team of landscape architects, architects and urban planners, created a poem that serves as RDG’s submission. The poem explores several key concepts around equity, accessibility and connection to public spaces and how the design of our environments impacts our relationship with those spaces.