Session 3.1: Franklin Park Vision Plan: Successful Interagency Collaborative Planning

APA Federal Planning Division


Thursday, May 4, 2017
10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. EDT

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Franklin Park, an urban park within the National Park Service (NPS), occupies an entire city block of about 5 acres along the K Street corridor in downtown Washington, DC.  NPS, with its partners, the District of Columbia Office of Planning (DCOP) and the District of Columbia Downtown Business Improvement District, successfully completed a vision and transformation plan for Franklin Park. The plan was developed to transform Franklin Park into a premier active, flexible and sustainable urban park connected to its community while enhancing the historic and urban qualities of the park.

This panel discussion will include project team members from the National Park Service, the DC Office of Planning and the Downtown BID who played prominent roles on the interagency project team. Panelists will share their lessons learned and insights gained from the planning effort and discuss some of the innovative solutions that were required to overcome inherent regulatory and interagency obstacles unique to this project, resulting in an exemplary successful interagency planning collaboration.  Solutions included unique cooperative agreements among the agency partners to provide funding for improvements and park maintenance activities needed to implement the vision and transformation plan.  Attendees will learn about the planning interface between Federal agencies that manage urban parks and the local governments and community partners where these parks are located. The Franklin Park effort is an example of a successful planning process that enabled the Federal agency to fulfill its mission while working with a local government planning agency and Business Improvement District to ensure the needs and wishes of the community were met.


Thor Nelson

Confirmed Speaker

Thor Nelson is a Senior Urban Designer for the DC Office of Planning where he manages placemaking and design of key pedestrian streets and spaces in the District. Thor is currently the project lead for the rewrite of DC’s Comprehensive Plan Urban Design Element to bring a greater focus ... Read More

Ellen Jones,

Confirmed Speaker


Eliza Voigt, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Eliza Voigt, AICP is the Park Planner with the National Park Service at the National Mall and Memorial Parks. Since receiving her Masters in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina, she has worked as a city planner for over 20 years. Read More

Timothy Canan, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

TIMOTHY CANAN, AICP, Associate Vice President Louis Berger Mr. Canan is Louis Berger’s Environmental Planning Practice Leader and is based in Washington, DC. His work focuses on planning and environmental regulatory compliance for government agencies and his technical areas of expertise include land use, transportation and environmental planning, compliance ... Read More

Contact Info

Joshua Schiffer,