Navigation Links
Landscape architect designs toolkit to make cities inclusive of adults with autism

MANHATTAN Kansas State University landscape architecture student Elizabeth Decker has a goal for her master's research: help professionals create urban environments that are inclusive of her younger brother, Marc.

Marc has autism and will soon reach adulthood. Decker, Lansing, who will graduate May 16 with a Master of Landscape Architecture degree, developed a toolkit for her master's research report that helps designers and planners make cities more inclusive for adults with autism.

When Marc becomes an adult, he likely will live semi-independently, Decker said. Her project, "A city for Marc: An inclusive urban design approach to planning for adults with autism," proposes knitting together urban opportunities such as public transportation and affordable housing.

"Through this project, I really want to understand my brother," Decker said. "I want to see him go out in the real world and be successful. This project was a way for me to research more about autism and learn more about people like my brother. It helped me figure out how we can design for a group of adults that is getting bigger."

One in 68 children are diagnosed with autism, Decker said. As the generation of diagnosed autistic children ages, it is important to find ways to help adults with autism.

The National Institutes of Health has identified six needs for adults with autism: vocational training, life skills, mental and physical health support, employment, public transportation and affordable housing. Decker's urban toolkit addresses these needs because many cities do not have adequate services for adults with autism.

"The focus of the project is inclusive urban design," said Katie Kingery-Page, who is Decker's adviser and an assistant professor of landscape architecture/regional & community planning. "Elizabeth's project is about connecting the dots. While many different aspects exist in an urban environment, she is looking at how future planning and design changes can help connect everything in a way that works and is inclusive of a particular group. We want to allow people to function fully in an inclusive environment."

For the project, Decker conducted a literature review and interviewed adults including an adult living with blindness, an adult living with autism and an adult living with Asperger's syndrome to better understand their needs in an urban environment. The adults stressed the urban needs for public transportation, training services and access to health support.

Decker used Nashville, Tennessee, as a test city for the urban toolkit. Nashville uses form-based zoning code, which focuses on buildings' physical form instead of only land use. The city also offers residential services, a strong job market and good transportation as well as the Vanderbilt-Kennedy Center, which offers adult services and vocational services, Decker said.

Although she looked at Nashville, many of Decker's suggestions can apply to cities across the country. Throughout her research, she saw opportunities with vacant lots or underused areas. For example, if a vacant lot was adjacent to a gym, Decker has suggested redeveloping the lot to address physical health needs of adults with autism.

Decker also has developed 3-D models of areas throughout the city. Her designs involve more affordable housing locations that connect with a proposed corridor of autism services. She has provided links to healthy food areas and has recommended placing vocational training facilities near civic or institutional programs. She proposes preserving and strengthening green space in downtown Nashville to offer areas for sensory relief from urban conditions.

Decker also has addressed employment for adults with autism and has marked job opportunities including craftworkers, service, professional, administrative work throughout the city.

"My project views cities from a larger perspective and demonstrates that cities lack connection of services for autism," Decker said. "It is not enough to view a city within a few blocks and suggest placing a building or park; without seeing the vision of an inclusive city as a whole, the design falls short of successfully connecting the needs of adults with autism. Though this project is not typical of landscape architecture, it portrays the discipline's range of scale and thinking, revealing the spectrum of what landscape architects can do."

"Elizabeth has been able to use a systems approach," Kingery-Page said. "She looked at a whole system of needs with this toolkit. It is important to think systematically to shape an urban environment."

Decker's master's report committee included Kingery-Page as chair; Marilyn Kaff, associate professor of special education, counseling and student affairs; and Jason Brody, assistant professor of landscape architecture/regional & community planning. Both Kingery-Page and Kaff are a part of an interdisciplinary autism research team at Kansas State University.


Contact: Katie Kingery-Page
Kansas State University

Related medicine news :

1. Landscape architecture study places value on Klyde Warren Park, other urban spaces
2. CountryFocus: Healthcare, Regulatory and Reimbursement Landscape - UK
3. PharmaLeaders: CRO Benchmark Report - Financial Performance Benchmarking & Competitive Landscape Assessment of Leading CROs
4. CountryFocus: Healthcare, Regulatory and Reimbursement Landscape - China
5. Brock Educational Seminar Brings Experts in Injury Prevention, Sustainability and Landscape Design Together to Discuss Building Safer, More Eco-effective Playing Fields
6. Future of the UK Defense Industry - Market Attractiveness, Competitive Landscape and Forecasts to 2017
7. Health landscape in 6 global regions reveals rapid progress and daunting challenges
8. Eighth Annual Bladder Cancer Think Tank Set to Move Research Forward to Improve Treatment Landscape
9. Protecting Landscapes from Wildlife Damage
10. 2013 Is the Year of Mobility in Government: Study Shows Media Landscape Shifting in Government Sector
11. Imprelis Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Indiana Country Club, Alleging That Imprelis Use Seriously Damaged the Club’s Landscape and Profits, Reports Wright & Schulte
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Landscape architect designs toolkit to make cities inclusive of adults with autism
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes ... important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. ... his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in ... to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a ... such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain ... following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 ... ... CitiDent, is now offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive ... self-ligating Damon brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The ... recognize Dr. Barry M. Weintraub as a prominent plastic surgeon and the network’s ... the world, and the most handsome men, look naturally attractive. Plastic surgery should ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ... (Organic Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, Glycerin), Inorganic Chemical), Functionality (Filler, ... Global Forecast to 2021" report to their offering. ... pharmaceutical excipients market is projected to reach USD 8.1 ... the forecast period 2016 to 2021. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. ... company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization ... in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne clinical trial (Halt ... its 24-patient target. Capricor expects the trial to ... 2016, and to report top line data from ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... and INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, 2016 ... Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is any indication, the ... announced today online at by the ... diabetes stand in the way of academic and community ... Foundation,s scholarship program since 2012, and continues to advocate ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: