Shaping places
Helping to realize the vision of exceptional urban spaces
Ground Reconsidered & Center City District
Transforming neighborhoods
Facilitating a process that yields sustainable and responsive places
URS & Schuylkill River Development Corp.
Framing possibilities
Exploring new ways to make a positive social and economic impact
Digsau, Studio Bryan Hanes & Center City District


Spirited yet sustainable.
Beautiful yet practical.
Fun yet functional.

These are the hallmarks of great public spaces. Mark A. Focht, founder of Common Ground, works with partners to help shape such civic treasures. With his broad experience, diplomatic approach and enthusiasm for quality design, Mark has helped a diverse range of partners realize exceptional urban places that are responsive to the communities they serve. His achievements can be seen in some of the most famous spaces in Philadelphia including the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Schuylkill Banks as well as much-loved neighborhood parks and recreation centers.


Common Ground works to create an exciting range of successful public places, working with varying budgets, design parameters, governmental restraints and timelines.
Sister Cities Park Philadelphia
[Sister Cities Park]
Digsau, Studio Bryan Hanes & Center City District
Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk Philadelphia
[Schuylkill Banks]
URS & Schuylkill River Development Corp.
Benjamin Franklin Parkway Philadelphia
[Benjamin Franklin Parkway]
Ground Reconsidered
Hawthorne Park Philadelphia
[Hawthorne Park]
Ground Reconsidered & PHS
Philadelphia neighborhood parks Gathers
[Parks, Schoolyards & Recreation Centers]
Sikora Wells Appel, PHS & The Trust for Public Land


Envisioning, designing and building civic projects is a multi-phase process with numerous stakeholders. Common Ground can provide experienced support to owners and designers as they plan and execute these projects, with the goal of superlative and sustainable solutions.
owners assistance symbol

Owner Assistance

Strategic planning
Program development
Consultant selection
Budget/schedule mgm't
Design evaluation
design assistance symbol

Designer Assistance

Thought partner
Programming input
Conceptual strategies
Operational advisor
Workshop facilitator
process assistance symbol

Process Assistance

Stakeholder management
Consensus building
Public engagement
Agency interface


924 North 29th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Let's Talk
(215) 350-3724
Email Inquiry


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Fairmount Park Conservancy logo
Brandywine Realty Trust logo
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