James Madison Park Master Plan

Located in the heart of the Isthmus, James Madison Park provides a destination for downtown residents and visitors alike. Its shoreline access to Lake Mendota is nearly unparalleled and it offers spectacular view and a peaceful atmosphere amid the vibrant downtown hustle and bustle.

Madison, Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin James Madison Park is a beloved and highly used 12-acre community park in downtown Madison along the shores of Lake Mendota and adjacent the University of Wisconsin, State Capitol and State Street districts. Saiki Design was selected by the City of Madison to lead a diverse and dynamic team of subconsultants, including specialized public input and engagement firms like BrandNu Design who facilitated public pop up PARKitecture workshops.  These highly engaging and specialized events blended hip hop music and park planning into a single conversation and provided the space for intentional and peripheral community engagement.

The public engagement process followed the City’s Racial Equity and Social Justice Initiative (RESJI) to optimize public participation. In addition to public meetings, the planning team met with a stakeholder committee and advocacy organizations. Other tools developed to increase public participation in the planning process included an online survey and continuously updated website, questionnaires, and impromptu pop-up sessions in the park.

The master plan includes recommendations for a new park shelter, reorganization of parking, play fields, play spaces and courts, a completely renovated shoreline with expanded beach, boat docks, on-site watercraft vendor, a leasable space for a coffee shop, improved access and dockage for a local rowing club using the existing boathouse, landscape management and storm water management enhancements to the park watershed and to the regional storm sewer system within the park.

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