Park and Open Space Planning

The concept of an Urban Cultural Parkway is a city wide effort to link historic treasures, natural features, cultural destinations, and the fabric of a city through multi-modal systems and enhanced sidewalks and streetscapes that promotes walking and experiencing both the small things and the hard to uncover delicacies of the city.

City of Chicago

In 1997, the City of Chicago Parks District hired LA to facilitate a city-wide parks master plan who’s purpose was to set a budget for a 10-year capital improvement program focused on ecological restoration, historic preservation and expansion of active recreational areas in each park.

LA was selected for this project for two reasons. One is because we were not a Chicago firm and considered to be neutral to local politics and outside influences. Reason two, LA demonstrated the capability to rationalize priorities needed in the parks and devise a master plan to appropriate budgeted moneys to each park restoration project which totaled $250 million.  

LA used experience in historic park design, with practical knowledge of ecological systems and expertise in park programming to stitch together a plan that got built.

Looking back 15 years later the following illustrates the ripple of good design that came from other Chicago landscape architecture firms born from the initial strategic plan.

LA was hired to perform specific design and site engineering for the first restoration project – McKinley Park. The above photo shows the completed restoration project that has to date stood the test of intense urban use.    

Below are examples of pond restoration construction techniques:

LA continued specializing in city-wide park and open space planning projects as follows.

City of Kenosha

City-wide Parks Master Plan

LA determined the active and passive recreational needs and those new projects recommended to satisfy both the public demand, the budgetary constraints, and the conflicting visions for Kenosha's next 20 years. An examination today reveals several major projects, both designed and planned by LA built according to the master plan.

Prairie Springs Park was built to satisfy the demands of the region and includes a YMCA, baseball complex, community beach, bike trails, and the preservation of wetlands and conservancy areas.

A second baseball complex, built in phases, is following a ten year build-out plan. 

Dane County Parks

The Battle Lines of Open Space Planning are drawn.

Donald Park, a 600 acre regional park, was the trail head for mountain biking trails, equestrian trails, cross country ski trails, and hiking trails.

The master plan sorted through the priorities of each user group and solved the complex nature of creating an environmental laboratory while allowing gun and bow and arrow hunting, camping and organic farming.

City of Franklin

Park and Open Space Master Plan

Lions Legend Park was the result of Franklin's citizens park planning committee working with Landscape Architects, Inc. The park was built and completed in 1996.


Meyer Community Park, Plymouth Wisconsin

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