James Madison Park Master Plan

Last Updated: 10/08/2018

The City is in the process of developing the James Madison Park Master Plan.  The last public input meeting was held on September 24th, 2018. The plan was presented to the City of Madison Landmarks Commission on October 1st, 2018 and to the City of Madison Urban Design Commission on October 3rd, 2018.  The City anticipates presenting it to the Board of Park Commissioners for approval at the 2018 November Board of Park Commissioners meeting.


In 2013, the City of Madison funded the James Madison Park Shelter Building Condition Assessment and Study.  As part of that process, the neighborhood identified the need to master plan James Madison Park.  The City of Madison Parks Division invites community members to join us in exploring these questions and more during the James Madison Park master plan and shelter design process. The updated James Madison Park master plan will be used as a guide for future development of this iconic park and the existing shelter.  To ensure that the updated master plan and shelter design accurately reflect community needs, concerns and priorities, the City is implementing a robust public engagement effort guided by the RESJI toolkit, that focused on generating feedback from diverse segments of the community. As part of the design process, the project team conducted interviews with park users, focus groups, and stakeholders; distributed an online community survey and comment cards; and hosted community meetings.  This project consists of two parts: master planning and shelter design.  The master plan will be approved and considered an adopted master plan at the end of this process. The shelter design will have additional design development and opportunities for input, but was necessary to include as part of the master plan to understand it's relationship to future development of the park.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is this project?
What is a master plan and why is this park being master planned?
What was the engagement process for this project?
What analysis went into developing this plan?

Public Input

The public engagement process for the James Madison Park Master plan is one of the most comprehensive public engagement process for a City of Madison Park Master Plan. This process included public meetings, pop-up sessions at the park, comments cards, real-time park observation using the SOPARC method, intercept interviews, an online survey, focus group discussions, meetings with stakeholders, emails to neighborhood listserves and community organizations (over 700 addresses), flyers posted at 41 locations, permanent signage about the project, direct mailing to community organizations, social and web postings, press releases, and postcards mailed to over 8,000 residents. These efforts totaled ~ 20,000 interactions with the public on the park master plan and design process.

2018 Public Engagement Benchmark Progress Report
Public Input Meeting 1
Public Input Meeting 2

Public Input Meeting 3

Public Input Meeting 4
PowerPoint Presentation


PowerPoint Presentation - Option A,     - Option B,     - Option C

 Powerpoint Presentation

Display Boards

Community Developed Plans

Concept Comparison Chart

Draft Plan

Dot Voting Results

Community Developed Plans Bubble Diagrams

Group Design Exercise  

Meeting Notes

 Dot Voting Results

Meeting Notes

  Meeting Notes    


This project required extensive research and analysis of the environmental, transportation, historical, and contextual conditions. A summary of the analysis is available here.


Lake Mendota Data

James Madison Park Historical Chronology

Phase One Archeological Report

Wetland Delineation

Tree Inventory