The College of Architecture and Planning is home to several programs, research projects, and policy centers that partner with organizations in the community to create a P-20 connection. Descriptions of these programs are accompanied with website and/or contact information in the following list. Please feel free to contact us to add to this list.
Website: Learning Landscapes
In 1998, Lois Brink, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, developed a plan to have graduate students in UCDHSC’s College of Architecture and Planning plan and design playgrounds for Denver Public Schools’ elementary schools. Working with DPS, she formed a public-private partnership and raised the funds needed. Dr. Brink and her students began with the most underserved of neighborhoods. By 2005, the Learning Landscape Initiative had designed and helped redevelop more than 30 school grounds in Denver’s “focus” neighborhoods, serving more than 14,000 students, 92% of whom qualify for free and reduced-price Federal lunch programs, and representing an investment of more than $15 million. Dr. Brink now has a grant to conduct quantitative research on the results. Her preliminary findings indicate an increase in physical activity among the schoolchildren, increased attention in the classroom among the children after they have been outside in the learning landscapes, and reduced vandalism to the schools. Also underway are a technical assistance program to teach the communities how to sustain the projects, and a program for teachers to incorporate the learning landscapes into their curriculum.