A Resilient Vision for Historic FDR Park

Mobile Workshop

Take a hard-hat tour of FDR Park in South Philadelphia with Fairmount Park Conservancy, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, and local design firm WRT to get a behind-the-scenes look at the implementation of the FDR Park Master Plan. Built by the Olmsted Brothers in 1914 and the site of the 1926 Sesquicentennial Exposition, the 348-acre FDR Park is both the primary recreational amenity for 170,000 South Philadelphia residents and a key asset performing critical environmental functions for the city amidst a changing climate.

This workshop is led by the architects of the FDR Park Master Plan, which calls for $250 million in investment over the next decade to reclaim the historic vision of the park, restore its environmental functions, and nurture its role as a cultural, recreational, and economic centerpiece for South Philadelphia. In this workshop, participants will learn about the robust civic engagement process that drove the plan, hear about the challenges of planning for a complex, high-profile park with regional significance, and tour the latest progress at the future Welcome Center and Pattison Playground.


  • Explore methods of finding the programmatic balance and creating resiliency solutions among diverse communities, public agencies, partners, and stakeholder groups with competing interests
  • Recognize the interconnected nature of public and ecological health, and how public open spaces contribute to overall community wellness and resiliency
  • Understand how Philadelphia created a self-sustaining park that provides opportunities for generating revenue to offset operations and maintenance costs, encourages a strong coalition of park stewards (institutional, public-private, and park user partnerships), and impacts the larger city-wide economy
  • Identify strategies for mitigating the impacts of a changing climate using public open spaces

Tour Leaders

Allison Schapker

Chief Projects Officer, Fairmount Park Conservancy