ULI Selects Atlanta’s Historic Fourth Ward Park as Finalist in Urban Open Space Awards

Historic Fourth Ward Park

Historic Fourth Ward Park Phase 1 is one of eight open spaces in the United States and Canada selected as finalists for the Urban Land Institute’s 2020 Urban Open Space Awards. The global competition recognizes spaces that promote healthy, sustainable, and equitable outcomes.

Designed by HDR, Historic Fourth Ward Park transformed a blighted industrial lowland into a sustainable green space. The transformation grew from the need to address the combined sewer overflows within the watershed. Instead of buried storm infrastructure, the park was designed with walking paths and overlooks, pocket plazas, a serpentine bridge, native plantings and an amphitheatre  surrounding a central retention pond. The park has been the impetus for a high-density, high-quality urban transformation in the surrounding community over the last 10 years.

“Turning stormwater infrastructure into successful public places can reduce overall capital costs, provide important open space to urban neighbourhoods and be a boon to the local economy. It's a climate positive response that just makes sense,” said Jeff Fahs, site design director for HDR. “Congratulations to Robby Bryant for leading this collaborative effort.”

Project owners include Atlanta BeltLine, City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management and the City of Atlanta Department of Parks and Recreation.

After conducting interviews with the finalists this summer, the jury will reconvene to select one or more awards recipients. ULI will announce the winners by October 2020.

For more information about the Historic Fourth Ward project and ULI’s award competition, visit Or, listen to designer Robby Bryant and Atlanta BeltLine’s Kevin Smith discuss how the community came together for this transformative project in HDR's Speaking of Design podcast episode entitled  “How a Storm Sewer Project Became an Urban Oasis.”

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