A Conversation About Who’s In? Who’s Out? And Who Answers Those Questions When Planning for and Designing the Downtown

  • Carol D. Barrett
Part of the Urban and Landscape Perspectives book series (URBANLAND, volume 12)


Two different incidents in the author’s life created the foundation for this conversation about the ethical responsibilities we have as design professionals when planning new spaces in a downtown. In the first instance, as a graduate planning student, the author participated on a team engaged by Atlanta (GA) parks staff to propose a redesign for a downtown park that would be unwelcoming to the homeless currently spending nights and days sleeping there. The solution involved nothing more elaborate than dirt and grass. If the site were graded into knolls, there would be places to sit and enjoy noontime park events. But these same undulating features would prove inhospitable to sleeping, especially after an evening dampening by the irrigation system. Visiting the park years later, the grassy berms are still in place. More traditional seating had been added as well, a good thing for those unable to easily sit down and get up from the grass, something the students had never considered.


Social Justice Public Interest Affordable Housing Landscape Architect Public Realm 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Community Development DepartmentCity of BurbankUSA

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