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Park Master Plan
348 acres
Philadelphia, PA

WRT has recently completed the FDR Park Plan: A Resilient Vison for a Historic Park. Working with the Fairmount Park Conservancy and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation the master plan offers a once in a generation opportunity to reimagine a historic Olmsted park to serve 21st Century Philadelphians. This plan leverages the power of parks to provide access to recreational opportunities, spur local economies, and protect Philadelphia from climate change. It presents an ecologically resilient, community-supported vision for the future of FDR Park and positions it as a critical piece of civic and public health infrastructure. 

FDR Park Master Plan

The FDR Park Plan brings nature, water and human activity into balance in one unified system. To achieve this vision, the team developed three master plan goals:  

Restore the Function
The Plan utilizes nature-based solutions to  maximize the benefits for the park and to measure the park’s health and resiliency. The plan aims to mitigate the impacts of development around the site by increasing biodiversity, restoring the ecological and hydrological function of the landscape, and improving the efficiency of park operations. 

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Reclaim the Vision
The FDR Park Plan reclaims the original vision for the park for a modern audience by working within the original framework and design intent of the Olmsted Brothers. The proposed plan does not try to replicate the original design, but rather take cues from it and honor its significance and impact. 

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Renew the Impact
The Plan renews the park’s impact by nurturing a sense of ownership that encourages a new generation of park stewardship. The FDR Park Plan is driven by the knowledge that strategic investments in our civic assets can connect people of all backgrounds, cultivate trust and counter the trends of social and economic fragmentation in cities and neighborhoods. 

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Engagement was critical in educating park users about the park’s role in community resiliency, and to building a strong vision that will mobilize the community to make the plan a reality.

During the year-long planning process, the project team engaged over 3,000  community members. 

With FDR Park being the most heavily used park in South Philadelphia, the master plan process was structured to ensure that all the park’s diverse users and communities were involved. A comprehensive engagement strategy was created with special focus given to reaching underserved populations including recent immigrants, non-English speaking communities, youth, and seniors by partnering with trusted community-based organizations. 

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