Audacious new plan unveiled for Fairmount Park

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 Cyclists are shown on a bike path alongside the Schuykill River. (Bas Slabbers/for NewsWorks, file)

Cyclists are shown on a bike path alongside the Schuykill River. (Bas Slabbers/for NewsWorks, file)

Big plans have been proposed for Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, the biggest city park in the U.S.

The Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation, the Fairmount Park Conservancy, the Parks and Recreation Commission, and Penn Praxis (the applied research arm of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design) have unveiled a major proposal to make large areas of the 2,000-acre park more useable to the surrounding neighborhoods. 

“The park was never really designed as a park,” explains Harris Steinberg, executive director of Penn Praxis. “It was aggregated over 50-plus years to create a protection zone for the Philadelphia water supply system.” 

The new plan aims to better accommodate modern park usages, notes Steinberg. “There’s this tension between the original intent, which is to protect the water supply, and recreation and access. The plan posits the question ‘How do we make a 19th century watershed relevant for the 21st century?'”

Review the full report from our friends at PlanPhilly.

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