This trail strategy serves as a guide to establish design principles that integrate sustainable and universal designs that highlight the unique character of the surrounding neighborhoods.
The project integrated low impact development (LID) features in tandem with recreational aspects. The LID Design Toolkit provides recommendations for designs for rain gardens and swales, as well as pollinators and species of trees to integrate along the trail.
The trails system was divided into distinct “Character Areas” and envisioned as not only a recreational feature, but intersecting seams of neighborhoods. Distinct designs for shade structures, bike racks, and other elements were produced influenced by the surrounding communities.
The project envisioned trails as serving multiple users and functions, including accessible and inclusive recreation, regeneration and support of the surrounding natural systems, and mitigation of urban heat.
While the current system already includes 65 miles of trail segments following four principal creekways though and around the city, with 8 additional miles of trail currently under construction and 40 miles in planning and design, the system needed standards to make it a truly signature feature of the city for residents and tourists alike. With over 1,450 acres of creekway lands acquired for the trail system at project kickoff, the system was in vital need of standard features and sustainable design principles that both facilitate new trail projects and make the system more cohesive.
Asakura Robinson’s scope included regional analysis and context research; development of a set of typical trail sections; identification of unique character areas on the trail; and, a design toolkit with site furnishing items focused on unifying the aesthetic identity of the trail, green infrastructure features focused on enhancing the ecology and connection to nature on the trail, and placemaking and infrastructure recommendations that further the City of San Antonio’s goals to unify the aesthetics, ecologies, and communities connected to the greenway system.
View the final plan here.