Landscape Architects Design Parks for Pets

Pet ownership in the U.S. continues to hit record levels, and with the increasing interest in city living the number (and variety of designs) of dog runs in city parks has increased. Designers are utilizing a dog's-eye-view to serve their clients.
August 30, 2012, 8am PDT | Andrew Gorden
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With seventy-nine out of every hundred households containing pets, more emphasis has been placed in recent years on designing open-space for our best friends in the animal world. "The growing urban population is embracing dog runs as an important component to the recreational quality of a park," says Metropolis Mag's Lisa DuRussel. "In addition to giving their pets a place to romp, city parks also bring dog owners together."

"Most dog parks evolve around a simple idea: find an open space, fence it in, let dogs run." Despite that simplicity, some jurisdictions are going above and beyond, specifically designing places for the enjoyment of the animals. "Drawing on design inspiration from our four-legged friends, the team felt it was important to design through the primary user's eyes," states DuRussel. This includes designing pavement colors and textures compatible to the limited color perception of our canine friends, while reducing pavement temperature and abrasiveness.

Some successful elements that have been integrated into parks include "dog-activated water features, themed drinking fountains, and boulders of various sizes for play."

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Published on Wednesday, August 29, 2012 in Metropolis Mag
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