Public Places for the 21st Century Using Green Space to Reach the Triple Bottom Line

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Public Places for the 21st Century Using Green Space to Reach the Triple Bottom Line

Good afternoon and welcome to today’s Local Government Education webinar provided by University of Illinois Extension my name is Lisa Merrifield and I am currently an community and economic development specialist with Illinois Extension for sound quality we will mute microphones during the presentation use the chat space to send questions to the speakers if you have any problems connecting add those questions to the chat space I will monitor the chat space and pose questions and comments to the speakers at the end of the presentations today’s webinar is part of our sustainable community series and is on designing public places for the 21st century using green spaces to reach the triple bottom line today’s recorded webinar will be made available on our Local Government Education website and on our Youtube channel our presenters today are Katy Kraszewska who is a designer in residence with the Department of landscape architecture at the University of Illinois and Layne Knoche who is a landscape design contractor with Korean Associates Engineering Incorporated this time I’ll turn it over to our presenters but thank you very much Lisa as Lisa mentioned I’m a designer and resident with the department of landscape architecture and my talk today is going to focus on aesthetics and design and the principles for eco urban application and kind of cover a couple of case studies that have implemented these and some of the concerns facing designers today my research currently is focused on the agricultural environment and how to integrate some of the design practices that we use in the urban landscape and connect with the larger ecology and design concerns of the agricultural landscape and I’m also teaching a design class on the natural precedent and planting so ways in which we can use native plants more effectively and achieve some of our aesthetic goals in our design process so today I’m going to cover two parts first is to discuss the eight basic design guidelines that many designers use when working with the landscape and some of the applications for these design and ways in which we can achieve a more triple bottom line approach to landscape design and what are the challenges that these designs face so to begin with the eight basic theories or guidelines have been taken from how we read art and art history how we translate landscape from our interaction with design and these eight basic theories include unity, simplicity, balance, color and natural transition, line, proportion and repetition so as I said that eight basic theories or guidelines for design within the landscape include these eight basic principles and these principles are ways in which we can describe aesthetics in the landscape they aren’t ways in which how we necessarily interpret beauty or how we agree or disagree with whether beauty or aesthetics are present these are simply tools in which designers and artists have used to achieve aesthetics in the landscape some of the sources that I’ll be driving from in both parts of my talk have come from Piet Oudolf and his work planting a new perspective also the research done by Stuart Echols and Eliza Pennypacker with Penn State and their artful rainwater design research they’ve done in a wonderful job in which they’ve looked at Natural Resources as a way to incorporate art into the landscape rather than hiding these natural resources also the work planting in a post wild world has been formative in which landscape architects use plants in the landscape and the historically relevant work of ornamental grasses brought to us by Wolfgang Oemhe and how he has taken this new texture that ornamental grasses and ornamental plants in the landscape introduced a new aesthetic so to begin with the first principle unity it should be one of the main goals in any design landscape and the reason that I’m introducing these eight basic principles is more than anything to help you the viewer and the user of landscape read the space that you’re in and see where you can find these patterns and whether you think they’ve been successfully implemented or not so for example more London the City Hall Park planting done by Town Center and landscape architects has a ground plane that is treated with a single material throughout the entire scheme and it provides a unified background in which buildings and elements are placed and unity is actually a way in which all of the seven other principles are combined in the landscape so you can see here simplicity, line, balance and color etc. used in this design the second principle simplicity speaks for itself but a way in which

it’s often used and achieved in the landscape is where two or three colors or or patterns are used and repeated throughout the landscape simplicity is often achieved through repetition which is another principle this case study that takes place in Portugal Tagus linear park the goal of this design was to maintain the essence of the space and the essence of the space was a very simple plant palette simple materials and simple texture that was used in which Tagus Landscape Architecture created a space that serves a variety of functions and uses and and could have a tendency to get muddied and complicated but because of their simple material and plant palette choice which takes place mostly native plant species it’s a very simple and welcoming landscape the third principle balance can refer to whether a space has a symmetrical or symmetrical and it speaks for itself as far as how it’s laid out this site the park at Lakeshore East in Chicago done by the office of James Burnett this is a study of form and geometry as the plaza continues the form and language of axial connections that extrude into the third dimension through the additional of precast concrete seat walls the very simple color choice of trees and shrubs that are repeated over and over again in the landscape but it’s done in a very symmetrical way and it’s a modern interpretation of how if you think back to some of the more Renaissance Gardens were done in the past they’re very geometric and mirror each other on both sides this one is a more of an abstracted geometry and symmetry in the landscape but it still serves the purpose and function of moving people throughout the space. The fourth principle is color and it’s obvious in its application but what we see happening now in a current trend is using color to invite or to welcome people into a space but also how we use seasonal interest in our plants so for example bright colors like reds and yellows and oranges and either a plant choice or the surrounding architecture or the materials advance you towards a space and can actually make an object or a space seem closer and more intimate whereas cool colors like greens and blues move away from you and can make an object seemed further away so the example that I have here designed by Piet Oudolf and his masterwork of plant materials and Maximilian Park his color choice within a space is highlighting the seasonal interest of a landscape but it’s also designed to meet the landscape scale of the user who’s moving through it and towards it and to have each different season have a specific color interest that you use and interact with in a space. The fifth one principle is natural transition and this can be done from a site design scale or from an urban design scale in which it’s illustrate in terms of plant height or color and it can also be applied to the elements such as the texture, foliage, shape, size of plant materials etc. Peter Fudge is an Australian site designer and many of his designs focus on plants and material so selection that create a natural transition in spaces and seek to create designs that would not be compromised by the need to capture the outside views but rather to create a garden or a landscape that preserves views from within and and has the landscape stand on its own and you can see here in this image the natural transition is achieved through seating structures through walkways spaces through stairs but it also connects into the vegetation of the smaller scale shrubs the larger trees and then the overhead tree canopy all of it is done for the user scale of the person interacting with the space. The sixth principle is line and again it speaks for itself but it’s the most structural of all the principles that we see and it’s usually the first one that when design begins it’s when pen hits paper its line is the first one that goes down it’s mostly related to the ways in which the user uses the space so reinforced by walkways or entryways move and flow the most iconic one for America in my opinion is the High Line in New York City which takes a post-industrial line created through a railroad and has that informed the character and space and use of science a line begins with a function and ends with a philosophy and a theory within the landscape it informs

the way in which seating is used and it also informs the way in which vegetation blurs lines and and and creates an intentional space and then a more of a natural gentle space even though the orientation for the geometry of the space is very symmetrical proportion is one that’s a little bit trickier to achieve because it depends on the existing features of a site so whether the surrounding architecture is urban in nature and so you’re trying to balance this large proportion and bring it down to a human scale and it can be scaled to create different types of rooms in a design and the goal is to create a pleasing relationship among the three dimensions of length width and depth and height and this is where I feel most designs are shown to be the most successful is when they take proportion into account in the many different layers in which it occurs so whether it’s another example right here with Peter Fudge creating an intimate space in a larger open landscape so there’s a variety of proportions that take place and how the user feels when they’re interacting with it whether they feel safe or whether they feel open to all the surrounding views and opportunities repetition is the eighth and final one and it’s the ways in which much of unity and balance and color and proportion is achieved so it’s obviously that the term speaks for itself it’s repeating objects or elements and the tricky problem that people come up against when designing with using repetition as a principle is that it can create this fine line of too much repetition makes a site feel uninteresting and boring or too little makes the site feel sparse or empty and unity is often achieved by using several different elements repeated over and over again so the example here I’ve given is the Nasher Sculpture Center design the PWP you can see the repetition of vegetation and the repetition of the fountains over and over again the repetition of materials and colored choice actually enhances the abstract forms of the sculptures that are in the landscape and complements them and makes them stand out on their own in a different type of symmetry in form within the landscape so repetition can be an also a way of creating a different type of transition or a different type of interaction and use of the space so now that we have a foundational understanding of the types of ways in which aesthetics are achieved in the design or in urban planning or in any landscape that we interact with the question is how do we apply these to some of the more functional concerns and goals of our of our time so aesthetics is important now more than ever due to the nature of the highly functional goals that we put on our landscapes so whether it’s creating a bridge between Ecology and the Urban Environment to drive to design for climate control, flood prevention some of the social justice issues of creating green space in underserved areas and all of these functions are very very tall order and aesthetics tend to be one of the last things that come to the table of a designer but it’s one of them the equally important concepts that need to be considered because that’s what makes the landscape last that’s what makes it want to be used by those that are using it so what are some of the ways in which the goals of our time have what are the tools in which we’ve used to achieve aesthetics or how have we made aesthetics harder to achieve and so these challenges the three that I present here today are the use of native plants and ornamental grasses the dated design conundrum of plant materials and other landscape use materials and then what are some of the 20th century alternatives to aesthetics that are being incorporated and in your opinion what is the longevity and future you see for them so I’ll begin with talking a bit about native plants and ornamental grasses some of the Arts and challenges that designers use is how do we avoid unsightly dated and temporary landscapes and we design with native plants and ornamental grasses and how do we provide ecological benefits and resilient water management while still maintaining an aesthetic appeal and when I say dated landscapes I hearken back to the 1970s and the overuse of junipers and how these Juniper plants were chosen for a variety of different landscapes because they were Hardy because they had very little

maintenance associated with them because they served a number of different ecological functions and keeping erosion at bay breaking through some compacted soil they’re very very tough hardy plants and they have year-round interest they’re evergreens they’re green year-round we see many small-scale sites and urban sites using a lot of junipers in a variety of form so we have these single pallet monoculture landscapes that are lacking the form that they were originally seeking to bridge we also see certain material choices use that are trendy or stylish at the time that now may make some of us cringe when we look at them in the hopes of creating a landscape that serves a seasonal purpose or the multi seasonal purpose rather we are pigeonholing ourselves into designs that we may want to remove in 50 years rather than designs that may last and stand the test of time and serve multiple functions we also see just bad applications of good design principles so we see here is an example of repetition and simplicity but it’s not something that maybe is considered athletically pleasing to put it politely and inviting the user into the landscape and so how this is these challenges of functional reform and form over function are often very difficult for designers to achieve and the way in which we solve these problems create a dated landscape so from much of the 80’s and 90’s we looked at landscape as turf hardscape and then woody shrubs and trees and so these this middle ground this natural transition as I mentioned before is lost and a middle ecological service is lost because we’re not designing with a variety of different plant materials or hard scape materials or user spaces that bridge this gap of plant choice and grouping so the design interventions that are currently being proposed for our time is one native plants and two ornamental grasses and as I mentioned before the work of Wolfgang Oemhe in the 1980s he brought about this new texture that had otherwise not often been seen in an urban and suburban landscape choice which were these ornamental grasses and these more sculptural structural plants and and brought about this new aesthetic that now we’re taking in applying native grasses to also meet this desired aesthetic in the native grass approach by Piet Oudolf that we see in maximilian park and the Lurie gardens in Chicago he is as I said before a master in understanding the different colors and textures of native plants and and ornamental grasses and how to create spaces that are very very visually appealing with one material multiple options of that material being plant choices but one material alone creates a variety of color and texture that that’s very very unified and visually appealing also native plants and ornamental grasses have a variety of functional benefits so they they are trying to bridge that world of form with aesthetics and texture and also function in that they provide phytoremediation benefits so storm water contamination removal and flood control and prevention with increased infiltration rates and some many native grasses provide ecological habitats and bridges this dead ecological zone with more plant diversity it revitalizes pollinator pockets and increases the flora and fauna habitats opportunities by creating corridors and connectivities with more of the natural spaces and natural zones and again as I mentioned before it provides a new type of texture that has otherwise not been implemented into design and so anytime something is new it invites a sense of curiosity and interaction with the space and one of the more fundamental ones is structures so we look at some of the larger ornamental grasses such as pampas grass here we see that designs can reach full maturity of plant growth in a much shorter period of time than was otherwise to achieve through shrubs and through trees and so when a design was put into place it took many years in order for it to reach its full potential in its full peak when when discussing plant materials whereas now using some of these more ornamental grasses or native grasses we can have a new shade and new structure relatively quickly if not absolutely quickly when we put our designs into

place so that leads me to this term I’m calling the dated design conundrum is we’re using all of these new plant species and all of this new texture and material that is very functional and it serves it meets a number of the concerns and goals of our time and it provides this new and exciting aesthetic but are we creating the next Juniper swaths of landscape are we putting ourselves into a time frame where our designs are going to be removed in 50 years because they’re visually no longer appealing or they’re dated and they make us cringe right now we may enjoy looking at some of these landscapes and we may really find a lot of pleasure and the beauty and the texture that they provide but is is it not a balanced approach into the materials that we are proposing are these strictly form driven landscapes where they’re not meeting the the longevity goals can we strive for timelessness when it comes to plant materials and these are some of the questions that we’re asking ourselves as designers on a regular basis how do we create a landscape that serves the test of time that that bridges those trends with a longer wider serving audience how do we meet that triple bottom line if you will so what are some of these growing trends in the 21st century that are trying to address these dated design concerns first of all which is trying to enhance the perception of green infrastructure to something that is multi-layered so not only is it an educational landscape but it’s an interactive space and it’s changing the way that we look it for here for example in Adams at an elementary rain garden the way that we look at rain is something that we want to interact with rather than something that we run away from and hide and put in pipes and and take out of our environment but right rather we want to have it be something that we interact with where landscapes that serve to infiltrate rain water again or storm water when they’re not infiltrating stormwater they’re also interactive natural playscapes how do we make water that is considered a flooding concern into something that is a sculptural element that again when it rains we want to see this landscape in its peak performance but when it’s not raining it also serves a very strong aesthetic interactive space so some of the methods for alternative aesthetics if you will is looking at a landscape from a from a working perspective so it’s aesthetic this is a part of making it a successful working landscape so here we have a stormwater planter that has native plant species so it’s bridging that ecological concern it’s creating this artistic interactive space but it’s also creating an element that bridges social concerns with ecological concerns again ornamental stormwater instead of having these ornamental planters where the plant materials that we use are temporary and served simply an aesthetic function we choose plant materials that also serve a more practical formal function creating micro Ecology’s if you will in our landscapes that also integrate some of these design principles that I previously mentioned and just stepping away from the single function of design and creating design alternatives that meet a multitude of goals within our landscape approaches and creating artistic interpretations of landscape in the movement of space and time and water especially here for example the historic Fourth Worth Park in Atlanta Georgia looks at ways in which water was typically piped and moved out of a landscape now we see it carving its way through a very geometric shapes we see a balance here again of symmetry and a symmetrical design and also natural textures and more typical hardscape textures to create a very cohesive design so overall we look at somewhere like out washbasin at MIT designed by OLIN our landscapes are trying to serve multiple functions but they’re also trying to bridge these aesthetic goals of line, unity, balance, color, repetition USCG headquarters in Washington DC designed by HOK is another way in which we look at this natural ecological function and this more modern approach to landscape but also trying to bridge some of the traditional aesthetic design goals so with that I would like to turn it over to Layne who has a current real-world application of some of these

design principles and how these goals is the 21st century design are being achieved I will turn that over to Layne right now hi everybody first I’d like to thank the Illinois extension for hosting this webinar and for inviting me to speak about the project that I’ve been involved with over the past few months I’d also like to thank everyone who signed on to the to listen to this presentation I hope you all find it to be insightful and helpful my name is Layne Knoche I’m a landscape design contractor with Korean Associates Engineers out of Nashville Illinois hey Lane yep we’re not we’re still seeing Katie’s presentation okay let me see thank you for telling us that how about now can you see it now perfect thank you okay great the ongoing project which I will be explaining today is happening in my hometown of Gillespie Illinois just to give you a little background on Gillespie it is a small rural town located about halfway between Springfield Illinois and St. Louis Missouri Gillespie was established in 1863 and like many other small towns across the region and it was established as a mining town historic route 66 runs through our downtown it also acts as sort of a hub for several of the small communities around it is that it’s home to the community school district the police and ambulance services and many obviously our local businesses as a 2010 the population is about 3,300 which is down from over 5,000 back in the 1930s here’s a map just to give a little more context to Gillespie’s location and as you can see Gillispie is a town mostly surrounded by corn and soybeans which is basically typical for small town Midwest and the downtown business district is shown here in the red box it’s about five blocks of historic route 66 which is now Route four this is the city’s TIF district which I will touch on a little more later and this is where the majority of the design work will be done these next few images are of the downtown district as it exists now many of the brick facade buildings that you see they date back to the late 1800s quite a few are empty storefronts there are businesses that continue to do well here including a couple of restaurants some pharmacies an appliance store a toy store and so on however if I were to describe the overall atmosphere of this area I’d call it stagnant it just doesn’t really seem to be going anywhere it’s not really welcoming enough to encourage people to to walk or to enjoy a meal outdoors with a group of friends or stroll down the street to get some shopping done the out-migration of young people from the community is alarming there are quite a few issues that have become apparent in the past few years and that need to be addressed and they need to be addressed quickly and that is where Grow Gillispie comes in so grow Gillespie with help from the Illinois Extension is the committee formed back in 2017 that consists of area residents and several city officials to reawaken our historically vibrant community with enhanced quality of life and expanded economic recreational and cultural opportunities for its residents the committee is divided into five working groups including streetscape which I am most heavily involved with basically in short dealing with the aesthetic and functional workings of our downtown business development which includes the expansion improvement in creation of existing and potential businesses in downtown marketing which will include the dispersal of information relating to the Grow Gillespie initiatives to the entire community tourism which will include the development and expansion of area tourist destination including Gillespie Lake which is located about five miles away and historic route 66 and finally an arts and entertainment committee which will focus on the improvement retention and development of

community and visitor engagement activities festivals and experiences so what makes a district like this possible well first of all when planning for a project like this remember that the downtown district can’t necessarily thrive on its own attention has to be given to places even outside of that area for example how do people get there if they’re walking from the school or a park or a specific neighborhood unfortunately I don’t really have time to go into those examples but I will explain some of the concepts we hope to achieve in downtown Gillespie so obviously we want to revitalize the downtown TIF district which encompasses about the five blocks which you’ve been introduced to we will introduce stormwater best management practices to better deal with excessive rainfall and provide much-needed green space while doing so we want to improve the ADA accessibility of parking and sidewalks throughout downtown introduced more new and more efficient LED lighting increase the number of parking spaces to be used by customers and especially event parking create a corridor that can be barricaded for those special events identify a few potential locations for small pocket parks within the downtown and then of course the sort of accessories on top of all of that such as the benches the trash cans the murals and so on now the question is how can a project like this be achieved in a small seemingly stagnant rural community well several years ago the city took steps to develop and expand the tools it would have available to stimulate economic growth and community development to that end the city applied to the state of Illinois and subsequently created a tax increment finance district or TIF district an enterprise zone and a revolving loan fund so why are we starting in downtown with a streetscape design well TIF funds can only be spent on projects within the TIF district additionally Idot grant funds are available for streetscape projects as our MFT and USDA Rural Development funds we can also look at the visibility of a place like this nearly ten thousand people per day drive down this portion of downtown and I know there’s some people probably from Chicago who think that’s just a drop in the bucket but for a small town that’s really a lot of people it’s the first impression that many visitors have to our city additionally the sales tax is collected by businesses located in the downtown area account for about 20% of the city’s fiscal budget and in particular it’s the primary source of revenue through which Gillespie funds the police department each step of the plan is drawn from fundamental research of our trade area and a critical appraisal of our capabilities each component is based upon proven Community Development concepts and techniques developed analyzed and time tested by the National Main Street Center the rural partners Illinois route 66 and the National Trust for Historic Preservation Committee members have also traveled to a number of communities and talked to many people with similar project aspects who achieved successful results this is a number of the communities in which we have visited so what Grow Gillispie’s revitalized downtown look like this is Gillespie as it appears now it’s worth noting here that the street is 74 feet wide it’s a massive amount of pavement that’s because for many many years a railroad ran down the center of the street when the railroad left town it gifted the city ownership of the right-of-way with the exception of the 30 feet of State Highway down the center basically the city owns the 45 degree parking areas on both sides of the street which you see here this is what we hope to achieve with the design implementation as you can see the addition of green space instantly creates a more welcoming and more inviting environment this is made possible by adding very specific species of street trees as well as utilizing what is currently unused pieces of pavement near intersections which lay outside of the required ADA off loading zones these landscaped curb extensions planted with drought tolerant low-maintenance natives serve many purposes as for green infrastructure these features allow for infiltration and cleansing of stormwater runoff into the soil instead of just running the

stormwater into the storm sewer the example here which is from a Georgetown article is very similar to the concept in Gillispie but with parallel parking rather than the 45-degree parking which we will be retaining these extensions also reduce the the crosswalks from 74 feet down to 46 feet a substantial amount which will help create a better pedestrian safety this is a view of Gillispie 100 years ago following the end of World War one at our Labor Day celebration here you see it today and here’s what we hope it will look like in the near future I will note that in this image I took a little artistic license to imagine what the building at the center of your screen could look like with with help from a facade improvement grant given by the city which is an aspect of the project that the business group of Grob olicity has been working on a few months ago we met with route 66 executives to discuss this project some potential sources of funding and ways to draw people into the town and interact with Gillespie as a historic route 66 community after that meeting we identified a number of locations for murals on blank business walls and here you can see an example of such Mural here’s an image from a little above the street before and after this image gives a good example of how we want to improve the ad a accessibility from the street to the sidewalk with a ramp from the front of the offloading stall directly to the sidewalk here’s another before image and after notice that in the after image there are no overhead wires these wires will be moved underground improving the aesthetics and decreasing the chance of storm interruptions also take note of the new lighting existing streetlights cost the city about seventy thousand dollars a year by switching to LED lights and potentially even utilizing targeted solar we improved reliability and cut cost by over ten thousand dollars a year granted that includes the entire community but the existing downtown lighting is a big consumer of that power the building here at the center of your screen response at Bank building it is now home to Gillispies developing Illinois coal museum here it is before and after with this image you can see another example of a facade improvement grant as well as another mural location this time using an old postcard of downtown is the inspiration Chestnut Street which is seen on the right side of the building here is will hopefully be designed in a way that can be that it can be easily barricaded off for special events such as a farmers market or an Art Fair a community block party and so on I think it’s also important to think about how these spaces can be activated at night whether it is simply adding additional decorative lighting to create a more exciting place to spend time or adding that famous route 66 neon to the blank facade of this building the downtown doesn’t necessarily have to go to sleep with the Sun this is just a close-up of the mural that I had just mentioned looking at Chestnut Street again this time from the other side of the block we can see the condition of some of the streets the side streets near downtown which I’m sure that a lot of the small towns can can sort of relate to remember that one of the concepts we hope to achieve with grow Gillespie is to create a corridor that can be used for special events with that in mind this is what we hope Chestnut Street could become the can of Theatre which you can see in the middle of your screen is a historic theater that is currently in the early stages of being restored to its original grandeur the theater hosts weekly movie nights which are well attended by the community as well as a number of festivals that attract people from from far away by making this block of Chestnut Street one-way street parking is increased from what is currently seven spaces to seventeen the city of Gillespie also owns the lot which you see just to the left the theater this lot will hopefully

receive some much-needed attention and a lot could be used by theater goers and potentially even for downtown overflow parking this is what I imagine Chestnut Street could look like during one of those special events and with the theater in mind this space could be used as a festival reception space outdoor movies on route 66 and the list can go on and on for that finally at one of the gateways into downtown this is what you’d expect to see now and in the future again the addition of green space is important in developing a more inviting image the intersection currently holds a number of objects including some route 66 information signage a city yard sale board and a bike rack the plan is to keep all of these elements but to give them more of a home by constructing a landscape around them the grow gillespie committee firmly believes that an architecturally attractive naturally colorful and well lit downtown that has improved walkability more parking better drainage and improved traffic flow is a basic foundation upon which to build a vibrant commercial district and provide a strong anchor for the community as a whole thanks all right Thank You Layne and Katy at this point we can take some questions and it looks like we have one that has just come in for Lane Lane what is the time frame for this change you’re proposing so that’s a long story Gillespie is about to go on to undergo a massive waterline replacement project the bids for that project are going to be opened within the next few days and that project will start hopefully at the very end of this year or the beginning of next year that is a long construction project that will be happening not just in the downtown but across really the entire community so it’s really dependent on when that project is in the final stages tentative we were looking at next fall as sort of a start date to implement what you’ve seen here and that project itself could last potentially a full year all right thank you another question Katy as you have been introducing these ideas of incorporating native plants and some structural and rain elements are you finding resistance or people generally interested in these kind of avenues I think there’s a perception on both sides so there’s a perception from the design standpoint that these native plants are beautiful on their own and and that’s the beauty that we’re trying to incorporate into the landscape as their texture and then on the other side they’re conceived as weeds and so we’re having to sell them the design community is having to sell them from their functional standpoint and not necessarily from their aesthetic standpoint and so it’s all a matter of communicating what’s valuable in the design and trying to bridge both worlds with form and function taking place our next question is or four-lane what’s been the reaction of the townspeople are they uniformly supportive any opposition so I’ve been using the number of about 80% to 85% positive feedback I think that you know with with any kind of big project like this especially not necessarily just in small towns but but really everywhere that there will be a percentage that have negative feedback a lot of the negative feedback that we’ve heard so far has been about issues that were in the early phases of design work for this project and a lot of those issues have actually been addressed with the updated designs there are still some people who are sort of against having that change but but overall the the majority of people in Gillispie and the surrounding area are strongly for a project like this to revitalize their downtown great next question is when should you think about those I I’m sorry when you think about those ideas for street scape design are you considering rebuilding infrastructure so okay this

sort of ties back into the water line project that that I had just mentioned the water lines run underneath some of the sidewalks and so the sidewalks in downtown will be replaced the street itself we will not be changing that we won’t be repaving that it’s just simply not in the budget that’s a very expensive sort of aspect to tackle so and and then as far as even the infrastructure of the buildings I had mentioned the the facade grant improvements that were working on that we’re working on getting from the city for a couple of these businesses to improve their facades does that answer the question I think so but the person who posted it if it doesn’t feel free to add a follow-up our next question is it is an interesting one and one that we in the office talk about a lot it’s about maintenance and in person says I appreciate the plants but you know in the 70s and 80s caretakers staff pay education has not made it to today’s landscapes do we see that gap decreasing and if so what are some tips to keep to keep the appearance up what do you anticipate as best management practices for keeping these kinds of landscapes maintained that is a great point and I think a lot of times maintenance reflects design style so as I seen before with the type of design that has a lot of turf our maintenance design and technology evolution has evolved to incorporate that and so we see a lot of lawn mowers becoming these high-tech wonderful space spaceships but we also see that turf is becoming less and less desirable from a water resource standpoint the need for that type of maintenance is changing and the need for maybe more educated garden and plant identification is growing and and I’d say yes it is changing I’d say we’re on the brink of change right now I haven’t noticed that there has been much training I think a lot of the landscape architects have had to educate those that maintain the landscapes during the design process itself but I think it’s becoming more and more common and I think that goes through comes from the fact that we’re acknowledging a different type of type of texture of plants as beautiful so grasses that would once have been weeds to be pulled or now textures that are weeded around to be enhanced and influenced so I think again it’s that changing perception of aesthetics that I see influencing maintenance more than the other way around all right like to add to that our our local community college is working with the water environment federation on a green infrastructure certification for landscape professionals than townspeople so I so I hope that things like that will help will help us maintain these kinds of landscapes yeah I would I would definitely agree that I think that that as the design evolves maintenance involves behind it in the need for these mass mowers and these mowing arcs in design that I’ve had a lot of recommendations for I think that’s changing it because I think that we’re just not finding the use for lawn in every landscape as relative lawn in landscape is important but maybe not in every single one and maybe we see different design opportunities arise that potential maintenance on permeable pavers and permeable pavement that needs more maintenance than other pavement that that’s changing and that’s an educational curve that follows design and it takes a while absolutely okay our next question is what are some compelling factors that are contributing to change in action in communities well that’s a great question I think that if if we look at Gillespie as an example a lot of the of the older generation who still lives in that town and and many of them who have lived in that town forever have seen a drastic change from what they grew up with I was just speaking with someone yesterday about this when when she was young every single building in that town had its own profit of profitable business each place

you know had a necessity that everyone in the community need and and those people didn’t need to leave the community to get a pair of shoes or to get you know clothing and things like that so I think it when when especially the older generation looks at Gillespie as it exists now which is nowhere near what it had been in the 1950s the 1960s they want to see it sort of go back to what had been now I don’t think that it’s it’s reasonable to say that Gillespie is gonna have a hat shop again because that’s just not something that is sustainable you know really in a small town like that but I think that you know in many ways a large majority of those places is looking for some sign of life to come back to their small town and and really that’s what the project as a whole is that’s sort of the goal of it great next question is are there any efficiencies to be gained by doing streetscaping at the same time as a modern line replacement project so to answer that question the the money a big portion of the money that we have available to do the implementation of this project has to be spent within a certain amount of time I think that and I’m not 100% sure on this I think Dan Fisher might be on line here you can send him some questions but the the money from the TIF district has to be spent within a certain amount of time and we’re approaching the end of that period it just so happens that the water line project and the end of that cycle are coinciding and so with the water line project the sidewalks that will be replaced because of the lines that run underneath being replaced the water project will actually pay for the for the new sidewalks so since that is happening we sort of decided to to approach the the project as an entire streetscape design since one major aspect of it being the sidewalks will be happening in the next coming months all right and then I think we unmuted you if you have any additional comments but the next question is does the goal of minimizing or eliminating vehicular traffic in city centre as we’ve recently heard of in places in Spain ever become part of your design so this is Katie that the question is specific to Katie do you talk about designs that eliminate the vehicles make more pedestrian friendly spaces yes no I think that there’s a balance between that that is it’s unrealistic if there isn’t another existing infrastructure to fall back on so if there’s not bike corridors and you know walking trails that are safe and easily accessible than removing vehicular access is gonna create a more harm than good but I think it also depends on the scale of the city to like certain suburban cities that rely heavily on commuter support for their infrastructure having roads roads removed or any type of impact on the efficiency of vehicular communication or connection is very negative to the the growth of that community or to the sustainable development of that community so I think there’s a fine balance I think with with cities that are heavily walkable and able to ride removing roads wouldn’t have as much of an impact because of the existing infrastructure but if there isn’t public transit or other ways in which communica munity movement can fall back on then I don’t know if it’s in the near future for other communities that are still working on developing their green infrastructure all right and I think we’ve got one last question and I believe the poll just went up so if you take a second to answer that our last question is for Katie again what do you recommend for a timeless design mixing grasses and evergreens or are there just some some basic take-home messages yes I would say that the 70/30 rule applies very nicely to evergreens or natives and non-natives I personally have a very deep attachment to evergreens just because so many Midwestern and Western landscapes are and eastern landscapes are lacking that green texture and also that structural

habitat and vibrancy that evergreens offer but I think it’s like a pendulum it can swing too far one way or the other and I feel like any time there’s a 70/30 combination it seems a lot more towards the middle of success rather than any 50/50 design could alright thank you all for participating in today’s webinar a video recording of the webinar will be available probably early next week and I hope you’ll consider joining us for next month’s webinar on November first we will be talking about managing public and private water supplies