What We Know

  • Public spaces are a critical part of any citywide or regional economic development strategy. Evidence from public spaces across the country demonstrates that they increase property values, attract talent and businesses, spur private development and improve quality of life for all.
  • For example, in Pittsburgh, approximately $130M invested in Three Rivers Park over the past 15 years has helped to catalyze nearly $2.6B in riverfront development activity, a 20:1 ROI.
  • Confluence Park in downtown Denver offers activities and outdoor recreation that reduce the park users’ combined healthcare costs by an estimated $65 million according to a study by the Trust for Public Land.
  • Data suggests that Jacksonville outcompeted other places during the pandemic in regaining the initially lost jobs and drawing new residents. The challenge and opportunity are to develop talent and investment attraction strategies that translate current gains to lasting competitive advantages

Learn more about the economic benefits of riverfront activation in our Economic Impact Study, updated October 20.

Our partners at James Lima Planning + Development have spent more than a decade guiding cities, counties and regions to create high-quality, high-impact places and spaces. JLP+D are experts in the economics of placemaking, focused on demonstrating the value of innovation; aligning the interests of communities, governments, institutions, developers, and businesses; and structuring public-private partnerships to drive positive change, improve quality of life, create good jobs, enhance equity, and strengthen places’ competitiveness.

This is one of several research releases from our project. Explore our Public Input Summary to read about Jaxsons' other priorities, see the data and hear from your friends and neighbors in their own words. Explore the Activation Plan released in August 2022.

Stay tuned to your email and @duPontFund on Twitter for more learnings from our work. Sign up to receive our emails.

Learn more about Activating Jacksonville's Riverfront.

Written by
Melanie Cost Young