Date of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Urban Studies

First Advisor

Garth Myers

Second Advisor

Xiangming Chen


Since its inception in 1853, the Hartford Park System has been a crucial asset to the City of Hartford. The purpose of this thesis is to answer a set of questions about the history and future of Hartford’s parks. How has history shaped the current system of 37 parks that can be found in Hartford today? How important is the park system to the City of Hartford? Who are the most important stakeholders within the park system and what goals do they have? How can the goals created by relevant park stakeholders be consolidated into realistic goals for the City of Hartford? In order to answer these questions, I move from a macro level of analysis of the City of Hartford to a micro level of analysis of relevant stakeholders within the Hartford Park System. I provide a unique overview of the history of the Hartford Park System, an analysis of relevant literature on urban parks, a quantitative analysis of fiscal reports, in depth interviews of relevant stakeholders, and finally a qualitative analysis of master plans. Though the system of governance is complex and often mired in opposing goals, I ultimately offer a list of six goals that the City of Hartford has already made and should continue to strive towards in order to improve the maintenance and recreational capabilities of the Hartford Park System.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College, Hartford Connecticut for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies.