Parks and Open Space Strategy
HR&A is at the leading edge of a movement to design, operate, program and fund the development of new urban open space.
HR&A has more than three decades of experience contributing to the planning and development of urban open space amenities. Our parks practice views parks both as public amenities and as catalysts of economic development. Our approach enables communities to use open space to create value through strategic connections with adjacent real estate and civic assets; to quantify that value through robust, data-driven economic models; and, where appropriate, to channel that value towards open space revitalization and maintenance.
HR&A provides three core services to ensure vibrant and self-sustaining public parks
Financing Open Space Development
HR&A works closely with public and private clients, urban design professionals, civic stakeholders, and community representatives to build a financial model for open space costs, provide advice on value for money considerations throughout the planning process, assess the opportunities and challenges of alternative park stewardship models, and examine a range of potential income sources for inclusion within a funding plan. Having planned for and implemented public space operating models in cities across the country and around the world – from better leveraging the resources of parks departments, to forming not-for-profit parks conservancies, to structuring Public Improvement Districts and developing earned income sources and retention structures – HR&A understands the best practices for and relative strengths and weaknesses of public space stewardship models and can tailor to location and mission.
Ensuring Sustainable Operations and Maintenance for Parks
It is essential for the health of urban parks to plan for the ongoing operations and maintenance of new and existing open space. Our approach to producing a sustainable Operations and Maintenance plan takes into account three perspectives: organizational vision, park activation, and existing financing. We partner with our clients to:
- Document the current stewardship model;
- Evaluate ongoing capital projects and associated costs;
- Estimate operating costs and revenue strategy; and
- Identify potential structures that could provide ongoing and reliable revenues for park operations.
Leveraging Programming to Activate Parks and Increase Value
We understand that the activation of new public spaces must leverage programming for a layered set of users, including local residents and workers in downtown, citywide constituents, and visitors from throughout the region, country, and across the world. HR&A collaborates with urban design professionals and park management to evaluate the feasibility of and integrate a range of programming elements into new and existing open spaces.
- Anacostia Waterfront Framework Initiative
- Brooklyn Bridge Park
- Downtown Cincinnati Revitalization
- Economic Assessment Of The Dallas Park System
- Game On! Programming for Water Street
- Menil Collection Neighborhood Preservation and Development
- Philadelphia’s Delaware Waterfront & Penn’s Landing
- Programming The Lawn on D
- Rebuild By Design Competition
- Revitalizing the Toronto Waterfront
- The High Line Transformation
- American Society of Landscape Architects, Award of Excellence in Analysis and Planning, Penn’s Landing Redevelopment Feasibility Study, Philadelphia, PA, 2015
- American Society of Landscape Architects, Honor Award in General Design, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority’s The Lawn on D, Boston, MA, 2015
- American Society of Landscape Architects Arizona Chapter, Honor Award in Analysis and Planning, Mesa City Center in Mesa, AZ, 2015
- American Society of Landscape Architects Arizona Chapter, Honor Award in Analysis and Planning, Hance Park in Phoenix, AZ, 2015
- American Institute of Architects, Small Project Award, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority’s The Lawn on D, Boston, MA, 2015
- American Institute of Architects Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design, Master Plan for the Central Delaware Riverfront, Philadelphia, PA, 2012
- Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence, Silver Medal, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn, NY, 2011
- International Economic Development Council Neighbourhood Development Prize, High Line Park Transformation, New York, NY, 2010
- American Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn, NY, 2009
- Urban Land Institute Award for Excellence, Daniel Island Redevelopment, Charleston, SC, 2007
- American Institute of Architects Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design, Anacostia Waterfront Initiative Framework Plan, Washington D.C., 2005