Balance, Inclusive Design and the National Park Service Experience: A Universal Design Approach

Registration Eligibility
Open to ASLA Members who attend the INASLA Annual Meeting
Start Date
End Date
The balance of protecting natural and cultural resources, along with providing an inclusive visitor experience, is not a new challenge within the National Park Service. As society evolves and becomes more inclusive for people with disabilities, how is the National Park Service responding to this evolution and need? How is the role of landscape architecture leading this change and providing critical technical and institutional solutions that will affect generations to come?
David Thomson will give an overview of landscape architecture National Park Service park projects throughout his career at Rocky Mountain National Park, Glacier National Park, Grand Teton National Park and the Alaska Region. Thomson will discuss design challenges and consideration in these unique environments.
Thomson will also discuss current challenges and program goals as the Midwest Region Accessibility Program Manager for the National Park Service. Beyond the physical needs and access routes, how can landscape architects think holistically about the human experience for everyone? How can universal design approaches influence the end result and build foundations for future positive impacts? How can landscape architects lead diverse teams to create innovative solutions for the entire family and people with disabilities?
Finally, Thomson will discuss current trends and initiatives that National Park Service landscape architects and planners are currently immersed in. How is the National Park Service continuing to build relevancy? Through programs like the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program, how are National Park Service professionals assisting communities across the United States? Thomson will showcase the unique efforts of the National Park Service landscape architects, urban planners, and community planners that are leading this effort in a wide range of communities across the Nation.
Indianapolis, IN
Distance Learning
Course Equivalency
Parks & Recreation
Health, Safety and Welfare
Learning Outcomes
Attendees will learn:
1. What unique design challenges and considerations the National Parks present
2. How Landscape Architects can think holistically about the human experience within the National Parks, utilizing universal design approaches
3. How the National Parks are remaining relevant in today’s society
4. How the National Park Service landscape architects, urban planners and community planners are leading the effort to assist communities across the Nation
David J. Thomson
Website Registration
Course Codes
Indiana Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects

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