The creation of Dix Park is a once-in-a-generation opportunity – to build an urban park of this size in the heart of a city that is to become a transformative public space for our community.
In September 2019, City Council was presented with a briefing book outlining the projects and corresponding studies that make up the Phase 1 Implementation Plan. Along with the FAQ document below, this plan provides information on the next steps in the park planning and development process.
The Master Plan
Thank you to everyone who has participated in the Master Planning process. We had over 65,000 residents share feedback online and in person through hundreds of engagement opportunities!
On February 19th, 2019, the Dorothea Dix Park Master Plan was adopted unanimously by Raleigh City Council. City staff were also directed to create an implementation plan for Phase 1 of the park's development. This was an important and exciting milestone.
Check out our FAQs below for a breakdown of information included in the 250+ page Master Plan.
A Community-Led Process
The City of Raleigh, in partnership with Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy, embarked on the incredible effort to create America’s next great public park through an innovative and extensive master planning process.
The Master Plan process was governed by a community-led, multi-tier structure. Ultimately, Raleigh City Council gave final approval of the Master Plan for Dorothea Dix Park. The following graphic represents the timeline of major milestones for the master plan process. Each line represents one of the six themes that were continuously explored and refined throughout the entire planning period, often called an "iterative design process."
Input of the entire community is essential to creating a park for everyone. Thank you for joining us throughout the Master Plan process by attending community meetings, events, and submitting your ideas on our community platform!
Master Plan Appendix
The Appendix to the draft Master Plan is a compilation of the research, studies and engagement initiatives conducted by The City of Raleigh and the Master Plan consultant team led by Michael Van Valkenburg Associates.
Landscape Architecture -MVVA
Landscape History - Suzanne Turner Associates (STA)
Transportation Engineering-VHB Engineering
Ecology-Applied Ecological Services, Inc. AES
Civil engineering- SEPI Engineering & Construction and VHB Engineering
Preservation Architecture- Joseph K. Opperman- Architect, P.A. (JKOA)
Public Engagement -City of Raleigh, Neighborland, & Perry Street Studios
The Design Team
After a six-month intensive application and interview process for a lead consultant to help guide the master plan process, a world-class team of consultants led by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) was recommended by the Master Plan Executive Committee and unanimously approved by the Raleigh City Council in early 2017.
Michael Van Valkenburgh and his team of consultants lead the development of a visionary Master Plan that will guide the creation of Dorothea Dix Park as a world-class destination that will welcome, engage, and inspire. The planning process is happening right now and will be completed in spring 2019. The Master Plan work is being paid for by private individuals and organizations, through contributions to Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy.
Michael Van Valkenburgh and MVVA are consistently recognized with the highest professional honors for design excellence and innovation; as just one example, in 2010 Brooklyn Bridge Park became the only landscape ever to win the Brenden Gill Prize, created by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to honor the artistic work that most embodies the spirit of the City of New York.
“The Master Plan Executive Committee was extremely fortunate to have four incredibly talented consultants to choose from,” Mayor McFarlane said when the announcement was made. “However, Michael Van Valkenburgh rose above the rest as the consultant best able to develop a master park plan that reflects the past, captures the present and reveals the future of Dorothea Dix Park. Raleigh is a hub of innovation and I am so excited to see what Michael is able to accomplish in partnership with our wonderful community here in Raleigh!”
Master Plan Executive Committee
The Master Plan Executive Committee selected the master plan consultant team, oversees the allocation of funding, will make final plan recommendations to City Council and will work with other leadership groups from across the city for the planning process. This committee meets on an as-needed basis, usually once a month at minimum. The Executive Committee is a public body and is subject to the public records law and open meetings law.
City of Raleigh Members:
- Nancy McFarlane, Mayor & Committee Chair
- Kay Crowder, Council Member
- Ken Bowers, Director of Planning
- Diane Sauer, Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy Members:
- Jim Goodmon, Chairman of the Board
- Orage Quarles, Board Member
- Carlton Midyette, Board Member
- Randy Woodson, Board Member & Chancellor of North Carolina State University
Master Plan Advisory Committee
The Mayor and City Council appointed 45 members to the Master Plan Advisory Committee. Criteria for appointment included the following: interest/specialization, diversity (age, gender, race, geography, etc.), and experience leading a group. Members are:
Master Plan Workgroups
Meeting Reports + Records
See past presentations, meeting summaries, and documents from the master plan process including City Council Work Sessions, Community Meetings, Executive Committee Meetings, Advisory Committee Meetings, and Workgroup Meetings
Legacy Committee Report
The Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy Legacy Committee crafted a detailed report explaining the deep and complex history of the Dorothea Dix Park site.
The report is broken into four sections: 1) The recommended theme to guide the park's issues overall; 2) An outline of the legacy the committee thinks should be honored or remembered within the park; 3) Proposed tangible ways to convey the legacy and what would actually be on the ground in the park; and 4) The committee's recommendations to the Dix Park Conservancy Board, The City of Raleigh, The Dix Park Master Plan Executive Committee, and Advisory Committee, the consulting firm MVVA, and the Raleigh City Council.
Proposed Park Theme of Wellness: “A state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”- The World Health Organization