How to Design the Perfect Public Park


If you asked the average person “What makes a park great?” you’d get a wide range of responses.

Some might answer, “the playground.” Others might say, “the view of the lake.” There’s a small problem with asking park-goers what makes their experience enjoyable, however. Besides the wide range of responses, you also run into this problem: park goers don’t understand the science of parks.

Does it sound crazy? Designing a park in the proper fashion is much like telling a great story. It takes work, insight, and education to do it and do it well.

The average jogger takes park design for granted. However, if you find yourself tasked with creating a public space, you can’t. You must give park design your all. The better your park, the more it will be enjoyed by the community.

To start designing the right public park, you might want to start with a hook. Is there a unique landmark, historical site, or cultural monument around which to build your park? Consider the work of Kim Mathews and Signe Nielsen in upstate New York’s West Point Foundry Preserve. They designed a park in that space that celebrated the old foundry, commissioning sculptures from the machinery, once on-site. If you can get park-goers taking selfies of your space, you know you did a good job.

Beside starting with a hook, you can also build you park around the climate of your area. To give you an example of this, consider caravan parks in Cairns. They’re the perfect example of a lush, immersive park, designed for overnight accommodations. They take advantage of the climate and provide a family-friendly oasis, highlighting the beauty of the natural terrain. They took the existing beauty of their climate and made their park a marvel.

What’s unique about the climate in your area? How can you highlight the beauty of existing nature? These are the questions to ask as you begin your design.

At this point, you might get excited about the prospect of designing your own public park. However, not everyone has training in park architecture, and you may feel overwhelmed by the idea. When you consider that human behavior, navigation, and sensual appeal all must play a role in your design, consider working with wayfinding design to see your park finished well. Don’t fear working with designers to get the plans for your park customized to perfection.

Parks are important. As you begin work on your brand new green space, you know and believe that one hundred percent. Parks are places for people to enjoy nature, even in the city. A park provides a lush, relaxing place for a morning jog, a breath of fresh air, a chance to feed the birds. Parks can bring communities together over conservation, and they provide a place for kids to experience nature up close. They can watch butterflies, twirl leaves, or read a book in the grass. Everyone deserves a patch of nature, and your future park provides just that.

Designing a park isn’t easy, but if you stick to the tips outlined in this article, you’ll be closer than ever to creating a public space that everyone can enjoy. Grandparents, parents, and kids can all gather for a picnic, climb the jungle gym, or take selfies next to the park’s modern art. Parks provide an enjoyable outdoor experience for any age. So, whether you have business women running before work or dads taking their kids to the playground for a chance to sit on a bench, everyone can enjoy your park.

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