This discussion will explore how two rapidly-growing cities with varying demographics, landscape characteristics, and user needs have moved from program centric master planning to visions for how their park systems can drive their future growth and quality of life.
The city of Bentonville, Arkansas, population 35,000, recognized their region’s explosive growth, a trend towards younger demographics, and increased inquiries around adventure and non-traditional recreational activities as an opportunity. To address these needs, Bentonville sought to be the “next great park city” and to propel their parks department into one of the premier park systems nationally.
The City of Denver recently completed Denveright, a two-year (2016-2018) city-wide master planning process included input from thousands of Denverites and the leadership of multiple city agencies. The planning process has resulted in plans for a more inclusive, connected, and healthy city. Denveright represents an unprecedented opportunity to align citywide plans to guide future investments so that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Denveright strategies come straight from the community, and are designed to help the city prepare for and deliver a future that is responsive to their goals, visions and priorities. Denveright includes five coordinated planning efforts, including the: Comprehensive Plan 2040, Blueprint Denver, Game Plan for a Healthy City, Denver Moves Pedestrians and Trails, and Denver Moves Transit.