News Release

The City of Philadelphia Selects Design Workshop to Reimagine Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway

PHILADELPHIA – (Nov. 10, 2021) – The City of Philadelphia announced today that Design Workshop, an international landscape architecture, planning and urban design firm, and its sub-consultant team, will lead an engagement and design process to re-imagine the design and function of Philadelphia’s iconic Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The team will also work with the Philadelphia Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability, and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation.

Design Workshop won a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) process led by the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation at Drexel University on behalf of the City and in collaboration with the Parkway Council. The project is made possible by a grant from the William Penn Foundation. The Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia is serving as the fiscal administrator.

“We are honored to be a part of this iconic project. Drawing on a team that includes local firms who have deep roots in shaping Philadelphia’s public spaces and international partners who will leverage key takeaways from the transformation of the Champs-Elysees by PCA-STREAM to the Tverskaya Street Revitalization project in Moscow by Mobility In Chain, we will collaborate with the people of Philadelphia to co-create an equitable and inclusive future for the Parkway,” said Kurt Culbertson, Principal with Design Workshop.

Selected from eighteen renowned design teams, the Design Workshop team includes a local, national and international team of sub-consultants, including Philadelphia-based firms Ground Reconsidered, Kimley-Horn, CH Planning, Meliora Design, and Dharam Consulting.

“The Design Workshop team gets it, and gets us. They understand the significance this grand boulevard plays in defining the heritage, culture, and tourism of our City. We are excited to begin redefining who we are and what we value by designing a more vibrant, inclusive, and pedestrian-friendly Parkway that prioritizes people and parks over cars and concrete,” said Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell.

The project is expected to last 12-18 months and will include an in-depth public engagement process, schematic design, a recommended project schedule, and cost estimates. The engagement and design process will include collaboration with the Parkway Council and other partners.

“We look forward to working with the city and the Design Workshop team to accelerate the transformation of the Parkway into a great urban park that is welcoming of all Philadelphians,” said Matt Rader, President of the Parkway Council Board of Directors.

The resulting plan for the future revitalization of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will be based on innovative people-centric design ideas and creative approaches to transportation, economic development, and storm water management along with phased implementation.

“The Benjamin Franklin Parkway is Philadelphia’s grand boulevard, a historic cultural epicenter that has the opportunity to become a vibrant, bustling public space for all Philadelphians,” said, Jim Kenney, Mayor of Philadelphia. “The team selected to carry out this work is as bold, spectacular, and rooted in local pride as the Parkway itself. I encourage Philadelphia residents to join in on this journey to reimagine what is possible on the Parkway through the lens of the Design Workshop’s talented team of public space experts.”