In December 2021, the City of Atlanta adopted Activate ATL: Recreation & Parks for All, DPR’s Comprehensive 10-Year Master Plan

Aimed at increasing access to exceptional recreational programming, fostering community connections to nature through parks and trails, and ultimately, helping to improve the health, happiness, and resilience of all Atlantans, in all neighborhoods.

This is the first City of Atlanta comprehensive parks and recreation plan since 2009 and includes the most robust and inclusive community engagement effort the Department has ever undertaken.

What is a Master Plan?

Master planning is a technique that is generally used to identify parks and recreation needs in the community, predict future demand, and build a shared vision and framework for long-term parks and recreation system development.

The planning process engages residents and collects public input in order to provide a foundation for understanding and responding to the parks and recreation needs of a community.

Why Does This Matter to Me?

Did you know that spending time in parks and participating in recreation activities can improve you and your family's health? It's true! Exercise and spending time in nature are consistently shown by scientists to be some of the most effective medicines for warding off depression, stress and anxiety, improving mood, strengthening the immune system and promoting brain development, learning capacity, and restoration. Even small doses of exercise, such as a 20-minute walk, can help us improve our mental and emotional health and reduce inflammation. For those of us feeling mental distress, physical activity can be as effective as medications and therapy.

Activate ATL provides the blueprint as we grow our parks and recreation system and connect users to exciting activities and beautiful parks, so that nature and recreation activities become an essential part of all Atlantans' everyday experience.

Why is Activate ATL Different?

The Activate ATL Master Plan is unique and significant to the City’s parks and recreation operations for three key reasons. First, the Plan addresses inequities and geographic disparities within the parks and recreation system. It ensures that future investments will be prioritized to improve the existing parks and recreation system, especially in historically underserved parks.

Second, the Plan identifies a new mission, vision and three major goals, which are to: Invest in Atlanta’s Parks and Recreation Assets; Connect Atlanta’s Parks and Recreation Resources; and Grow the Parks and Recreation System. DPR aims to achieve these goals and the action steps that follow over the next ten years.

Third, a new Parks and Recreation Equity Data Tool (a result of a three-years partnership with Bloomberg Associates) was developed to use data-driven mapping to accurately identify disparities within the parks and recreation system and help pinpoint specific strategies to eliminate those disparities. The interactive tool evaluates community and park needs and identifies neighborhoods with the greatest need for park investment and capital improvements. Ultimately, it will track and evaluate the impact of DPR’s efforts over time.

How is my voice reflected in Activate ATL?

The public engagement process to gather input on all aspects of the Plan was the most inclusive and robust community outreach effort ever undertaken by DPR; in collaboration with Park Pride and funded through a generous grant from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation. More than 10,000 Atlantans across every zip code weighed in on Activate ATL and provided input to share both their concerns and visions. This includes 6,608 public meeting engagements, 3,552 survey responses, 57 focus groups, and more; with each of these touchpoints helping to capture community priorities. The insight gained from each touchpoint was crucial for the development of the Activate ATL guiding principles, goals, and strategic actions.

Activate ATL Goals:

  • Invest in Atlanta's Parks and Recreation Assets
  • Connect Atlanta's Parks and Recreation Resources
  • Grow the Parks and Recreation System


CSG is an idea-driven, strategic consulting practice integrating design, planning and economics. We are committed to enhancing communities in ways that are sustainable and authentic to our clients' needs, while being politically aware, financially feasible, and aesthetically compelling. Our mission is to create livable places of lasting value in an increasingly connected, complex, and competitive world.


Perez Planning + Design

One of the leading parks and recreation system master planning firms in the United States.

PROS Consulting, INC.

A small firm with a big presence in the field of management consulting for parks and recreation public entities and non-profit organization.

PEQ Consultants

Experts in conducting stakeholder participation and public involvement for planning projects including parks and recreation plans, bicycle and pedestrian plans, trail planning and many more.

Park Pride

The trusted Atlanta-based nonprofit that engages communities to activate the power of parks.

ETC Institute

Helps local governmental organizations gather data from residents to enhance community planning.

Drummond Carpenter, PLLC

Specializes in sustainable engineering and applied research.