Dandan Zhu

Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture


Landscape Architecture

First Advisor

Pat D. Taylor


This thesis focuses on the relationship between the parks system and city growth patterns in Fort Worth, Texas. It describes the evolution of the city's parks as well as the city's urban morphology since the inception of 1909 Kessler city park plan. Throughout Fort Worth's history, open space planning has played a key role in the city's development policies (City of Fort Worth Planning and Development Department 2004). Kessler's 1909 original park plan for the City of Fort Worth still serves as the basis for major park facilities (City of Fort Worth 2012). Evolution of the parks system in Fort Worth demonstrates the value of implementing plans for city development over time. The thesis illustrates how a plan that is over a century old can influence the patterns of community growth and how the plan is accomplished.Urban morphology is "a study of city as human habitat" (Moudon 1997 p.3). In this research it refers to the shape and forms of Fort Worth over time. By comparing the parks shape and the urban morphology of Fort Worth, the study demonstrates how Fort Worth has integrated and relied on its park plans since 1909 Kessler plan. This study verifies how the Kessler plan has helped to protect the city's natural resources and it has influenced the city's shape over time. Qualitative research methods were used for this study because the research questions require information about how people think and act regarding policies followed by the city (Taylor and Bogdan 1985). Interviews were conducted with individuals involved in the city's Department of Planning and Development, and Department of Parks and Community Services as well as firms that has provided planning and design for Fort Worth. Transcripts of the interviews provided a narrative for analysis in this thesis. Graphic Information Systems (GIS) was used as a tool to create maps and provide a mode for analysis. In conclusion, this thesis presents the evolution of the parks system as well as the influence on the urban morphology in the city of Fort Worth based on Kessler's plan. It also discusses how Fort Worth has integrated and protected this plan, which is being used as direction for the immediate future.


Architecture | Landscape Architecture


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington