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Long-heralded as the backbone of Philadelphia's most treasured institutions, how can the Ben Franklin Parkway better serve as the backyard for the thousands of people that surround it?

For Philadelphia, The Benjamin Franklin Parkway has something of a binary existence. This verdant barbell, anchored by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and City Hall, struggles to maintain the balance for the many communities it serves. As a world-class cultural destination hosting millions of tourists each year, the Parkway is also the backyard for 70,000 Philadelphians. Despite its gorgeous and grand landscapes, the Parkway is also a high-speed, high-volume traffic conduit. And, as a stage for some of the city's biggest events, it is also the grounds for gripping Little League games and anxious first dates (including mine with my husband!) With recent streetscape and landscape improvements as well as new amenities and destinations, the Parkway has never looked better. But it still struggles to function as a round-the-clock, round-the-year destination for the myriad communities on the Philadelphia grid that are divided by it.

Unlike other planning documents written about the Parkway, this document focuses on four interrelated actions that will make Philadelphia's iconic Benjamin Franklin Parkway a more viable and vibrant destination within the next three years. "The actions include designing high-quality urban parks on long-overlooked parkland; reconsidering how the community accesses the Parkway; programming public space along the Parkway in creative and consistent ways; and developing a structure for ongoing management of the Parkway as a special district within the park and city."

I worked with PennPraxis to design the final document. Colorful, rich photographs populated with life showcase the grand, vibrant and world-class character of the Parkway. A clean, bold, let's-get-to-it layout reiterates the need for the actions in this report to hit the ground running. Areas dense with text are balanced by fun character scenarios.

I also created a folding poster as a companion to the piece. Tourism maps guided the inspiration for the poster, which unfolds from a portable size to a large, immersive piece. Hopefully, the work puts the Parkway back on the map for local audiences and garners support to continue improvements along this grand civic destination.

More Park, Less Way was prepared by PennPraxis for Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and generously funded by the William Penn Foundation and the Lenfest Foundation.

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In college, I studied industrial design at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, for its aspirations to create beautifully useful things and for its focus on how a good design process leads to a better solution.

I’ve worked at Margie Ruddick Landscape, a boutique landscape design office with top-notch ambition. I learned about reading landscapes, thinking spatially and designing for the ecologies of a place. I worked on projects like eco-resorts in India, vast urban waterfronts in New York City and sustainability guidelines. Studying an environment’s peculiarities—its ecology, economy, culture and ambition—taught me new ways to be a better designer.

I’ve also worked at Wallace, Roberts and Todd, LLC (WRT), where I discovered ways to integrate visual communication with planning and landscape strategies. My capabilities grew to include environmental and ethnographic research, program development, mapping and visualizations, site design, communications design and management on projects ranging from national parks to green stormwater infrastructure design. I became the first art director within the planning and urban design practice, driving the communication of complex design and planning issues from the beginning of a project through to its final documentation. My approach helped to facilitate many nationally recognized projects, and ultimately, I helped to build the planning practice to include place-branding strategies and innovative methods that broke through the traditional boundaries of planning. In 2008, I became an Associate and built the visual communications practice to include fulltime graphic design staff.

I have had an ongoing role within the industrial design program at the University of the Arts as a guest critic and lecturer, and also as an adjunct professor of two-dimensional design techniques.

In 2010, I launched my independent communications design practice, and I continue to work with pioneers in planning and design to communicate their issues and ideas.

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Get in touch! Email me at andee@andeemazzocco.com or call me at (215) 880-4406.

© 2016 Andee Mazzocco, Whole-Brained Design, LLC. Website by Andee Mazzocco with a little help from her friends.