The Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is embarking upon a long-range planning effort to guide the development and growth of Austin’s park system. PARD’s Long Range Plan for Land, Facilities and Programs (LRP) is developed every 10 years and provides a blueprint to guide land acquisition, capital improvements and the development of programs and new amenities. The theme of this Long Range Plan will be Our Parks, Our Future 2018-2028. The Austin Parks and Recreation Department will reach its centennial in 2028 and the planning effort will focus efforts on the vision for Austin’s Park System in 2028. Our Parks, Our Future 2018-2028 is funded in part through contributions from the Austin Parks Foundation.
The future of Austin’s park and recreation system is impacted by a multitude of forces, trends and shifts including unprecedented population growth, increasing reliance on private and philanthropic funding, and the emergence of best practices in sustainable park development and management. The planning effort begins with inventory, evaluation of park and facilities, an analysis of demographic data, and trends and industry standards for parks. Public outreach plays a critical role throughout the process with in-depth engagement of citizens, park supporters, conservancies, neighborhood associations, nonprofit organizations, and public partners. The result is a blueprint to guide the growth and development of Austin’s park and recreation system for the next 10 years. View PARD’s 2010 Long Range Plan.
PARD Park Planning Division—The PARD Park Planning Division leads comprehensive planning and park master planning for Austin’s park system.
WRT—A nationally recognized planning and design firm, WRT was selected through a competitive solicitation process and has prepared park system plans for cities such as Dallas, Oklahoma City, and Arlington, VA.A multi-disciplinary firm of planners, urban designers, architects, and landscape architects founded in 1963, WRT led Austin’s first comprehensive plan since the 1970s, Imagine Austin, as well as the award-winning Pease Park Master Plan, which was adopted by City Council in 2014.
PROS Consulting—A team of seasoned park professionals brings expertise with management, planning, and financing of park, recreation, and leisure services for government and not-for-profit agencies. PROS will be a close partner throughout the planning process and will take the lead on tasks involving the assessment of and development of recommendations for recreation, operations, maintenance, funding, and revenue.
Studio Balcones—An Austin-based local landscape architecture firm with experience working in Austin’s parks, will take the lead on conducting the park and facility inventory and condition assessment.
Adisa Communications—An Austin-based communications and public engagement firm, offers local experience while ensuring the public and stakeholders are informed of and engaged in the planning process, and understand the impact it is expected to have within the community. Adisa Communications will help prepare the Public Engagement Plan, facilitate meetings and focus groups, and develop targeted outreach communications and strategies.
GO Collaborative—A design and planning Austin-based firm focused on creative placemaking and community engagement, works at the intersection of design, art, and planning to find creative solutions for complex community design and development challenges. GO Collaborative will help design and execute innovative public engagement activities, potentially including community-based public art.
ETC Institute—One of the nation’s foremost public survey providers, and the leader in conducting surveys for parks and recreation systems across the country, will conduct a statistically-valid survey to get input from a representative sample of the entire city population.
The Trust for Public Land’s Center for City Park Excellence—The leading researchers in urban park systems across the country, will benchmark Austin’s park and recreation system against peer and/or aspirational cities—as they do with their signature City Park Facts report—to help inform level of service and other plan strategies.