I trust we have the ability to live more gently on the land, and I aspire to design the paths to do so. As a landscape designer, I seek to positively affect both our natural and built environments. I strive to create works which: benefit a wide range of people, are context sensitive, and positively affect public health, social interactions and our quality of life. I work for Alta because Alta plans and designs environments that are ecologically sustainable as well as socially responsible.
My passion for the creation of livable places has been influenced by the following experiences: living car-free in the middle east and central America, completing several century bike rides, mixing public transportation with a dance party, as well as the random chance encounters made possible every minute that I do not sit in a car.
Karen Vitkay has been with Alta since 2005. She is a Registered Landscape Architect in the state of Oregon (#698). Ms. Vitkay has a passion for enhancing opportunities for walking, bicycling and providing equal access. She brings strong skills in site analysis and evaluation, conceptual and schematic design, creative solutions, implementation, digital and hand graphic techniques. Her experience spans a wide range of project scales and scopes, from master planning a national bicycle plan for the country of Qatar to developing construction details for a 500 foot long section of multi-use pathway along a creek in her backyard.
- Springwater Trail Implementation (Clackamas County, OR)
The Springwater Trail is a significant regional multi-use trail along a former railroad corridor within Northwest Oregon. Karen is managing the development of construction documents to implement a 2.2 mile portion of the trail which will connect downtown Portland to the Mt. Hood National Forest and the Pacific Crest Trail. Issues addressed within the documents include sensitive wetland areas, the reuse of a former rail bridge, roadway crossings, and context sensitive design.
- Tahquitz Creek Trail Conceptual Design (Palm Springs, CA)
Karen worked with the City of Palm Springs to develop a master plan for the Tahquitz Creek Multi-use Trail System. The plan establishes new linkages for pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians while seeking to restore and beautify the creek from its current channelized state. The design process included three key tasks: assessing opportunities and constraints, building community and stakeholder consensus around design concepts and permit approval processing. The plan draws from the area's rich historical, cultural and natural identity, with creative interpretive and design elements.
Dubai Bicycle Master Plan (Dubai, U.A.E.)
The Regional Transport Authority of Dubai, United Arab Emirates contracted Alta to develop a Bicycle Master Plan suited to the unique conditions of this rapidly expanding metropolis. Karen’s responsibilities included development of creative design solutions and preparation of graphics for a series of demonstration projects which assess the viability of the proposed bicycle network. Karen also contributed to subsequent work on Dubai’s Pedestrian Master Plan.
- Alta Planning + Design, 2005-Present
- Landscape Designer - Drachman Institute for Regional Development and Land Planning
- Research Associate - UA Office of Arid Lands Studies, Sustainable Development of Arid Lands Project
- Research Assistant - Harvard Forest, Harvard University
- Research Assistant - Ben Gurion University, Israel