As cities grow, people need parks more than ever. Right now, less than half of Americans live within a half mile of a park (tinyurl. com/3jx9emzx), but it can be challenging for a city to find the right location to create large-scale outdoor space in a densifying urban core.

One way cities have remedied the issue is by turning to their most undesirable locations sites that have suffered severe contamination from years of industry and often end up abandoned in disrepair. With the right design approach, what was once a city’s eyesore can transform into a community’s most prized resource, recreationally and economically.

Supporting Our Growing Cities Cities in the southern United States continue to grow at the highest rates in the nation ( mped34vu). Take Lakeland, Florida, as an example. Lakeland is the largest city in Polk County, planted between Tampa and Orlando, and is expected to continue growing aggressively during the next decade ( As its name suggests, Lakeland is home to 38 lakes, as well as the Polk Museum of Art, Florida Southern University, and dozens of small neighborhood parks. The city’s approachable cost of living and proximity.            Read More