Parks and recreation facilities are the vibrant heartbeats of our communities, providing joy and opportunities for connection into every square foot of space. These spaces include everything from community centers, pools, and spaces that cater to sport enthusiasts, zen seekers, and trail adventurers. These parks aren’t just about providing a place for guests to have a great time (although that is a huge part of it). These facilities also work their magic to boost community unity and pride.

Parks and recreation facilities are the “secret sauce” that spice up the economic game for our communities. Property values increase, municipal revenue goes up, and homebuyers and workers are attracted to thriving communities, making them their playgrounds for life. These facilities become the ultimate social hub, blending indoor and outdoor spaces. From recreating to teaching, learning, and exchanging stories, these facilities have it all.

Park and Rec_Athens and Dublin

Architects of parks and recreation facilities are turning things upside down (and inside out) by focusing on a multigenerational, all-inclusive approach to planning and design. They are working to create places that unite everyone. They become the ultimate mash-up of ages, interests, and ideas. It isn’t just about providing a park or a gym, it’s about providing an experience that leaves us with unforgettable memories. MSA designs to empower out communities.


The future of recreation facilities looks like a wellness resort. They can no longer be just a gym, they must be multigenerational, hitting all eight dimensions of wellness. From mental to physical, social to spiritual, all aspects of a person’s overall health and quality of life are integrated into the facility.


Emotional: Coping like a champion with life’s ups and downs and building satisfying relationships. It’s about embracing your feelings and connecting with others on a deeper level.

Environmental: Creating your own happy place in enjoyable and stimulating surroundings that support your well-being.

Financial: Feeling satisfied with your financial situation happens when you conquer those money matters and embrace financial well-being.

Intellectual: Tapping into your creative genius and expanding your knowledge and skills.

Park and Rec_Upper Arlington_Intellectual

Occupational: Finding personal satisfaction and enrichment in your career. When you love what you do, every day is a good day!

Physical: Moving your body and feeding it right. When you recognize the need for physical activity, nutrition, and the right amount of sleep, your body will thank you.

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Social: Building meaningful connections, friendships, and a sense of belonging. Together, we are stronger!

Spiritual: Finding a sense of purpose and meaning in life, whether it’s through faith, meditation, or finding your inner self.

Park and Rec_Summit Park

MSA discovered a growing trend where municipalities are partnering with medical providers and providing space to elevate the traditional recreation services provided to be more holistic and focused on the well-being of the community, all while recognizing the importance of recreation in their approach.


Technology has introduced new means of communicating with the community through our smartphones. Anyone can sign up for a class through a custom app, play interactive games together, or experience augmented reality adventures. Wi-Fi hotspots allow visitors to share their “Instagrammable” moments, benches come equipped with charging stations, and even fitness equipment can sync with our smartphones so we can track our workouts. Many parks have created their own online social media groups and online meetups to connect like-minded adventurers. Connecting through tech has never been easier at the park!

Advancements in safety technology ensure that these park and recreation spaces remain safe, using smart tech to turn lights on and off, locking and unlocking doors, and monitoring energy use.

These technological advancements transform public spaces and parks and recreation areas! Every innovation is a new opportunity for social connection, positive experiences, and public safety.


Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at MSA. Our approach is all about being thorough and thoughtful, considering every aspect of a project to make it top-notch sustainable. From how the building functions to how it looks, energy efficiency, and long-term durability, we account for that. We work to keep maintenance and operation costs in check to save money in the long run. Our approach is grounded in best practices. We use what makes sense and brings a solid return on investment. Our team works well together, blending diverse solutions into realistic, practical, and exciting design. At the beginning of every project, your priorities become our priorities and we make sure to discuss every detail – incentives, costs, pay-back periods, and what matters most to your region.


MSA is currently working through the construction phase of the City of Upper Arlington’s new Community Center. This project has been in the works for over 20 years and once completed, will undoubtedly be a legacy project for the city. The Community Center will be a center of activity for the community and serve as a hub for the community to come together to socialize, learn, and recreate. Program elements include fitness, aquatics, multiple gyms, teen areas, multi-use space and a senior lounge. When designing this facility with our friends and partners at Perkins and Will, we paid close attention to and integrated the ideas of the eight dimensions of wellness to ensure that the Community Center will continue to serve the community for many years to come.



Parks and recreation facilities are the unsung heroes of a high-quality community life. They are the way to keep families and youth healthy, happy, and thriving. These facilities contribute to the economic and environmental well-being of our communities. In the next ten years, we will see a wave of upgrades and expansions in every community. Parks and recreation facilities will become as essential as water, sewer, and public safety as they are vitally important to establishing and maintaining the quality of life in the community.

We will continue to see technology influence these spaces, whether through augmented reality or interactive exhibits. We will see a greater emphasis on eco-friendly designs and sustainable materials. Multi-generational design will continue to evolve and expand, so no more “kids only” zones, as parks will be designed for all to enjoy. Overall, parks and recreation facilities are where nature meets technology, wellness meets adventure, and communities come together for exceptional experiences. The future is looking brighter than ever in our local parks and recreation spaces!

Keith's Author Post