The history of Needham Hill goes back to the settlement of Halifax in 1749 with an 80 acre land grant for the Governors North Farm. Like Citadel Hill, around which the City of Halifax was planned, Needham Hill offered a strategic defensive command of the Halifax Harbour Narrows at the gateway to one of the finest ice-free harbours in North America. On December 6th, 1917, the Halifax Explosion at the foot of Needham Hill changed the face of Halifax forever, killing almost 2000 and injuring over 9000 people. Since that time, the Hill has become a memorial to the tragic explosion, but also remains an important community park for the growing Richmond community and City of Halifax. In 2014, with the approaching centenary of the Halifax Explosion, the Halifax Regional Municipality commissioned Ekistics to craft a long-range vision and design concept for the park. The team was tasked with balancing the needs of the local community and objectives for improving the community park while significantly enhancing the memorial capacity of Fort Needham as an important regional park destination for the City, Province and Nation.