Landscape Arch. Professor Receives Honorable Mention for EDRA Great Places Award

Dr. Sarah Little, an Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, was recently recognized alongside her co-editors – Janet Loeback, Adina Cox, and Patsy Eubanks Owens – by the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) for their work on The Routledge Handbook of Designing Public Spaces for Young People: Process, Practices, and Policies for Youth Inclusion. The book was selected as the 2022 Honorable Mention of EDRA’s Place Book Award.  

The EDRA is a global interdisciplinary community of educators, professionals, and students who are interested in the links between people and their built and natural environments. The EDRA’s Great Places Awards seek to recognize work that combines expertise in design, research, and practice, and contributes to the creation of dynamic, humane places that engage attention and imagination.  

The Place Book Award is open to books that are primarily about the experience, design, or understanding of place. The award recipients illustrate a mature research agenda that is informed by place-people centered theories and literature, communicate a sound approach, and inform of compelling outcomes. The EDRA Great Places Awards were presented at EDRA53 in Greenville, South Carolina.  

The Routledge Handbook of Designing Public Spaces for Young People was edited by Sarah Little, Janet Loebach, Adina Cox, and Patsy Eubanks Owens. The book is a thorough and practical resource for all who wish to influence policy and design decisions in order to increase young people’s access to and use of public spaces, as well as their role in design and decision-making processes. 

The ability of youth to freely enjoy public spaces, and to develop a sense of belonging and attachment to these environments, is critical for their physical, social, cognitive, and emotional development. Young people represent a vital citizen group with legitimate rights to occupy and shape their public environments, yet they are often driven out of public places by adult users, restrictive bylaws, or hostile designs. It is also important that children and youth have the opportunity to genuinely participate in the planning of public spaces, and to have their needs considered in the design of the public realm. 

The handbook provides both evidence and tools to help effectively advocate for more youth-inclusive public environments, as well as integrate youth directly into both research and design processes related to the public realm. It is essential reading for researchers, design and planning professionals, community leaders, and youth advocates. 

To read about and purchase The Routledge Handbook of Designing Public Spaces for Young People, click here.