Master Plan - New Orleans City Park

Master Plan

The previous City Park Master Plan (City Park 2018) was approved in March 2005 and has guided the improvements of the Park over the last decade and a half. The prior plan largely focused on improvements to the south side of the Park.

Now, City Park Conservancy (CPC) is embarking on a bold re-envisioning of the Park as a whole, grounded in serving the greater good, addressing community needs, deepening the historical and cultural context, improving environmental resiliency, and creating a dynamic and enduring sense of place.

In February 2023, CPC published a Request for Proposal for master planning, which garnered submissions from firms around the world. After conducting in-person interviews with the top firms, CPC and City Park Improvement Association (CPIA) boards voted unanimously in the hiring of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. (MVVA). MVVA is one of the most-highly regarded landscape-architecture firms in the world, having rejuvenated, designed, and built hundreds of public spaces in the United States and abroad since its founding in 1982.

The firm will lead CPC’s master-planning process, which will steward New Orleans City Park throughout the next century. MVVA will rely on its own design experts, as well as local subcontractors, and the public to craft a roadmap for the Park’s continued preservation and evolution.

This plan is made possible through a lead gift from the Greg Keller Foundation.

City Park Masterplan Structure:

The structure for the Master Plan is based on a set of categories that can encompass everything that happens in the Park, and to which consultants’ expertise can be assigned to, including these four categories:

  1. Circulation and Access
  2. Lagoons, Lakes, and Water Systems
  3. Landscape Types
  4. Institutions, Tradition, and Programming

The first two categories are more systems-based, while the second two are more program-based.  This will allow the Design Team to develop an overarching structure for the Park through the first two categories that can later guide the distribution of different programs.  These categories will inform critical aspects of the Master Plan, such as the market study, revenue ideas, and ideas for equity, as well as the public engagement process and the themes covered during each meeting.

City Park Conservancy wants to hear your vision for the future of City Park. Public engagement is a key component to City Park’s Master Plan and you can stay up to date on input opportunities here.

We are looking for the input and voices of our youth community (15 to 25 age group) to inform this Master Plan. Schools or 501(c)3 youth organizations submit your interest to partcipate no later than Thursday, May 2, 2024.

Informed by the initial survey with over 5,000 respondents and the second public meeting, the current Master Plan is reimagining two big ideas from the 1933 Master Plan to create access for to the millions of Park visitors of all backgrounds and abilities.

We want you to be informed. You can learn more with these FAQ’s answering questions that are most commonly asked surrounding the master-planning process.

MVVA’s team of more than 100 people believes in the rejuvenating power of landscape. They work at all scales, from small gardens to public parks and regional master plans.

“We were most motivated by how well the Park is used. From its sheer scale and breadth of community programs to the range of landscapes and habitats it incorporates, City Park is visibly alive and loved by the city of New Orleans. We consider it a once in a lifetime opportunity to help such a beloved public asset reach its full potential.”
"We are equally committed to producing an equitable roadmap for City Park, which means working with diverse organizations who can expand our understanding of the many barriers to democratic community development and inclusive public space."
“As park planners, we love to work with institutions at a crossroads. The creation of the City Park Conservancy is an extraordinary moment that has paved the way for crucial investments in the financial and ecological health of the Park as well as program expansions that will reinvent its place in the region.“
“When we assemble teams, we look for collaborators with perspectives that can expand the reach and strength of our work. Our subconsultants include both local experts with in-depth knowledge of the region and long-time project partners from nationwide organizations."
"We were inspired by the historic and cultural value of the Park as a piece of the city. We were particularly excited by the Conservancy’s attention to the landscape as a 'memory keeper' that has nurtured the daily lives of New Orleans families for nearly 150 years. Adapting the Park to new recreational needs and preserving its most-memorable features, all while improving its ecology and approach to water management, are challenges we relish as landscape architects.”
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