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RTS Arts Plan

Brian Borrello

King County Regional Trails System

A creative plan for King County’s trails aims to make them destinations unto themselves.

Brian Borrello. Arts Master Plan: King County Regional Trails System, 2014. King County, WA. Photo: Eli Brownell

The King County Regional Trails System (RTS) extends more than 175 miles from Bothell to Auburn and Seattle to the Cascades.

Brian Borrello spent a year in residence with King County Parks developing a comprehensive vision for the creation of public art and integrated design features that will make the trail system more distinctive, attractive, and unique. To understand the identity of 18 individual trails, he conducted extensive research, visiting sites on foot, skates, and horseback, as well as by bicycle and automobile, examining them under different seasonal, light, and weather conditions. He scoured maps and aerial photography. He interviewed RTS staff and other key stakeholders.

Borrello used what he learned to craft an Arts Plan and framework for shaping the trail system over the course of 10 years. The plan not only provides a guide for 4Culture, Parks’ planners, artists, and community members who are creating and stewarding art and design effects, it also defines a unified aesthetic for the trails and an ethos for enhancing the way people experience them. In it, Borrello returns consistently to themes of connection and nature, physical and psychic well-being, history and culture, and environmental sustainability. He writes of cultivating the trails as a social space and natural public commons.
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Brian Borrello. Arts Master Plan: King County Regional Trails System, 2014. King County, WA
Brian Borrello. Arts Master Plan: King County Regional Trails System, 2014. King County, WA
Brian Borrello. Arts Master Plan: King County Regional Trails System, 2014. King County, WA