Featured Planning Project

The New Fairmount Park


At 2,050 acres, East (650 acres) and West (1400 acres) Fairmount Park is the undisputed heart of Philadelphia’s park system.  Conceived as a watershed park in the mid-19th century, the park has been developed on an ad hoc basis over the intervening 157 years.  

East and West Fairmount Park is one of the greatest gifts ever given to Philadelphia, for the drinking water it protects and the beautiful outdoor space residents can enjoy as a result.  However, while park use is at an all-time high, barriers of all kinds continue to limit its potential.  In order to get more residents exploring and enjoying the park, the city is interested in creating new areas of activities and ways to get around without sacrificing the natural beauty of the park that makes it such a jewel for Philadelphia residents.

PennPraxis and the Penn Project for Civic Engagement have begun "A Community Vision and Action Plan for East and West Fairmount Park" in partnership with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, the Parks and Recreation Commission, the Fairmount Park Conservancy, and the William Penn Foundation.

Throughout 2013 and 2014, PennPraxis worked to learn what residents (especially those nearest neighbors) value about the park, how they would like to use the park, and what new improvements would allow them to do so.  Our observations and conversations led us to discover a wealth of great stories about the park, from its original identity as a water source to its variety of diverse uses today.  Based on this community input, we have crafted a vision taht provides the Department with long-term recommendations as well as short-term project ideas to create the 21st century version of our 19th century watershed park.

Click below to review the final report.