Robby Layton, FASLA, Ph.D. Candidate and Design Concepts’ Principal is speaking at the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) conference Thursday May 19 in Raleigh, NC from 8:30-10 am. Along with Teresa Penbrooke of GreenPlay LLC, their presentation will discuss access to parks and other greenspace features and how it has been shown to be correlated with improved health and well-being. While traditional measures of access have been based on distance and/or travel times, access is actually a more complex concept, involving cultural and socio-economic variables as well as proximity. One aspect of access that is often overlooked is awareness that a park, greenway, or open space even exists. Recent studies indicate that awareness of the presence and location of parks and programs available within one's local community is surprisingly weak among the general public. 

Robby shares “This presentation will frame the issue of awareness and discuss methods by which agencies can improve the public's perception of what is available and motivate participation, which in turn can lead to greater return of value from investment in greenspace features and programs.” 

EDRA has been the international leader for design research on all environments. This year’s EDRA conference “Innovation: Shifting Ground” features educational sessions and keynote speakers discussing transitions in the design industry affecting values, methods, and practices of both research and design practices.