Improving urban park design: A comparative and analytical study addressing resources available and components necessary to improve the environmental and economic sustainability of urban parks

Date of Award


Document Type

Capstone Project


Environmental Policy & Mgmt

Degree Name

Master of Applied Science


Environmental Policy & Mgmt


Kathy Flanagan


Economic sustainability; Environmental; Sustainability; Sustainable; Sustainable cities; Sustainable urban parks; Trail surface materials; Urban park design; Urban parks


Urban parks have long been valued for the environmental, social, and economic benefits they provide. Increasingly, parks are also being recognized as features important for sustainable city design. This Capstone Project will identify, compare, analyze, and discuss means for designing sustainable urban parks. Recommendations for designing sustainable urban parks, based on project results, include: 1) ensure park features will support high levels of human activity; 2) use gravel to construct park trails; 3) purchase playground structures made of recycled materials; 4) plant a high number of perennials in flowerbeds and other vegetated areas; 5) plant climate-appropriate plants in vegetated areas; 6) ensure parks have high levels of plant diversity; and 7) develop future studies further exploring sustainable park design.

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