2016-2017, Summer Internship, 10 Weeks, 4 Students

The Department of Landscape Architecture (UKLA) and the CEDIK Community Design Extension Program facilitated and collaborated with the Gallatin County Collaboration for Better Health and Safety (hereinafter Gallatin Health Collaboration) from Summer 2016 to Spring 2017. The Family and Consumer Science (FCS) extension agent in Gallatin County, who is also part of the Gallatin Health Collaboration, was the key community contact for the walkability assessment as well as the trail system planning and design project which also included Riverside Park.

Gallatin Health Collaboration is a group advocating ways for people to become healthier while living and working in Gallatin County. The group has invested in a Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) process to assess their community in regard to improving the health and safety issues impacting the community. As part of the Community Health Improvement Plan, this walkability/trail project focused on increasing opportunities for physical activity in Warsaw, KY. Although Warsaw is the largest city in Gallatin County, it lacks an area for people to walk safely and participate in more physical activities within a connected system. This project aimed to identify and assess Warsaw’s walkable environment and propose walking routes of varied lengths throughout the city, primarily depending on utilizing existing infrastructure. The design research team (including three undergraduate UKLA students) assessed half of Warsaw’s sidewalk system and facilitated a community design workshop where the team facilitated activities to engage participants in identifying existing travel behaviors, foot traffic and potential wayfinding planning/design ideas for public and open spaces in Warsaw. The team trained the trainer who then led community volunteers to assess the other half of the city’s sidewalk system and then inform the design process through a series of feedback mechanisms.

Ultimately, the UKLA/CEDIK community design team provided a range of short to long walking routes that connected different areas of the community and for which the community group can further implement programs and directional/educational wayfinding features. For the short-term objective, the team proposed a walking route in Riverside Park which is expected to be accomplished in 2017. The long-term objective is to further enhance/improve the existing sidewalk conditions, and when possible seek funds to fill in and connect gaps in the sidewalk system and make it more effective and efficient for residents and visitors alike to engage in activities to improve their health and wellness.

Initial funding for this project has been supported by a Skyward Northern Kentucky LiveWell Jumpstart Grant with assistance from the Three Rivers Health District and the Gallatin County Health Collaboration. Near the end of this project, the Gallatin Health Collaboration also successfully secured $15,000 to implement an initial part of the walking trail in Riverside Park. During the final community meeting, which included the mayor and other city officials, discussion focused on strategizing ways to finish the project and continue moving the community forward.

Project Files:

[coming soon]