This in-progress project addresses the social, environmental, and economic role of large urban parks in the 21st century. While parks of any size can bring significant performance benefits, urban parks and natural resource areas with footprints larger than 500 acres (large parks) may have oversized impacts on metropolitan communities and ecosystems. Through a survey of more than 50 large urban parks, this initial research identifies key potential performance factors including size, shape, and proximity to an urban core. Moving forward in collaboration with a landscape ecologist, this project aims to study the links between these spatial factors and their potential benefits in terms of climate change adaptation, community resilience, and biodiversity.


Anya Domlesky and Jonah Susskind, XL research and innovation Lab at SWA
Kapp Singer, SWA


Gerdo Aquino and Sean O’Malley, SWA