How High Performing Public Spaces Generate Economic, Environmental, and Social Value


How can a park be both engaging public space and a driver of economic, environmental and social activity within the local community? High Performing Public Spaces (HPPS) perform these functions to provide a rewarding experience and a constructive model for new park development. At the 2015 Park Pride Conference, HR&A Vice-Chairman Candace Damon and Director Connie Chung sat down with David Barth from Barth Associates, and Erica Madsen from Foresite Group to discuss the unique qualities of HPPSs and the different factors that influence their planning and design.


Speaking to our innovative work on The Lawn on D in Boston, Connie highlighted the importance of High Performing Public Spaces in jump-starting a neighborhood. The Lawn on D is a 2.7 acre outdoor space in the heart of Boston’s burgeoning Innovation District. Sitting between D Street and the Boston Convention and Exhibit Center, it’s surrounded by office buildings, hotels, warehouses, and a small number of new multifamily residences. To frame the Lawn on D as Boston’s go-to destination for leisure and play, HR&A worked with the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, Sasaki Associates, and Chris Wangro to implement the Five Building Blocks of Programming:


Five Building Blocks of Programming


Since its launch in in 2014 The Lawn on D has hosted several successful events and installations including Swing Time, Punkin Fest, and the largest ice maze in the United States, positioning itself as a destination for recreation, leisure, refreshment, and innovative programming by employing this programming strategy.


See HR&A’s presentation here and learn more about Park Pride here.