Why inclusive cities start with safe streets

An aerial photograph of a street showing people walking, riding bikes, and driving.

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The fight for more equitable cities is taking to the streets—literally. New street design guidelines from the American Society for Landscape Architecture (ASLA) articulate why.

Last week, ASLA released universal design guidelines for neighborhoods, streets, parks and plazas, playgrounds, and gardens—a range of scales and projects for which landscape architects are regularly called upon to design. By creating this best-practices guide, ASLA is making it easier for designers from all disciplines, elected officials, and everyday people to understand what an inclusive and accessible public realm looks like. More importantly, the guidelines are a call to action.

“If we want everyone to participate in public life, we must design and build an inclusive public realm that is accessible to all,” the guidelines state. “Public life can’t just be available to the , young, or healthy.”

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