Last fall, Donjek was hired to support a master plan process for MacArthur Park in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas, producing findings on feasible investment models for the City and its partners to reinvent the space.
The process, led by Conway+Schulte Architects of Minneapolis, has since received two awards for the MacArthur Park District Master Plan: A Citation of Urban Design from the Boston Society of Architects, and a 2009 Merit Award from the Minnesota Society of Landscape Architects. Congratulations to Conway+Schulte and their partners at the University of Arkansas Community Design Center and Oslund and Associates.
As part of the planning process, I examined multiple park revitalizations, searching for sustainable models for renovating, operating and maintaining quality urban open space.
Pack Square Park in Asheville, North Carolina provides an example. Just over six acres, Pack Square Park is today the focus of a $20 million redevelopment effort involving the public, private and philanthropic sectors, at the helm of which is an effective conservancy. Private capital will finance half of the renovation, and the new Pack Square Conservancy is raising an endowment of $2 million to bolster ongoing maintenance by the City of Asheville and Buncombe County.
Funding the capital and operating components of open space is a key area of public finance. Open space, in turn, is a key driver for effective places and a substantial influence on surrounding property values. If your community has an underutilized space or a park calling out for reinvention, contact us.