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Designing an Inclusive Outdoors with Keith Christensen

Designing an Inclusive Outdoors with Keith Christensen In-Person

Part of the 2022 Thinking Globally Acting Locally Speaker Series, presented by the Wood River Land Trust and The Community Library.

The Wood River Valley is an outdoors mecca – with world class mountain biking, amazing skiing, and miles of phenomenal trails to run, it’s hard to imagine that there are residents who live here who can’t take advantage of all this Valley has to offer.  But, according to census data, there are approximately 2,200 people living in Blaine County with a disability that prevents them from using traditional outdoor infrastructure.  This is also the only protected class that anyone can enter at any time – often in the blink of an eye.

In this talk, Keith Christensen, Department Head for the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at Utah State University, will discuss the intersection of smart growth planning and designing an inclusive Wood River Valley. As the Wood River Valley continues to grow, age, and expand, understanding where to plan for universally accessible spaces is a critical part of the planning process. Following Keith Christensen’s talk, Wood River Land Trust’s Community Lands Steward, Hannah Meenach, will discuss specific examples of where to find inclusive trails on the Wood River Land Trust’s Preserves, and will open up the discussion to the community and audience members.

Space is limited, so register to save your seat. The program will also stream on the Library's Vimeo and be available to watch live or later. Watch here on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 24, 2022
6:00pm - 7:00pm
Time Zone:
Mountain Time - US & Canada (change)
John A. and Carole O. Moran Lecture Hall
The Community Library
  Lectures & Conversations  
Registration has closed.

Keith Christensen has immersed in these discussions around creating inclusive outdoor spaces.  As a scholar in both the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning and the Center for Persons with Disabilities, Keith engages in meaningful scholarship which is both emancipatory and empowering for disadvantaged populations’ integration in community life.

At Utah State University, Keith’s research is at the intersection of landscape architecture and disability studies. This blending is based on understanding disability through a social constructivist perspective as the limiting of opportunities to take part in community life because of physical and social barriers. Keith's research emphasizes inclusive design and planning practices which support participation in community through the removal of environmental barriers to social access, rather than the regulatory aspects of site specific design. 

As such, his scholarly efforts stress macro-level environmental factors and spatial processes (i.e. suburbanization, transportation patterns, segregate planning strategies, recreation amenities, etc.) which contribute to social disparities among individuals with disabilities and other disadvantaged populations.

Event Organizer

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Martha Williams