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Reinventing Cities Means Fixing Neglected Public Places

“With so many pressing issues before us — income inequality, racial justice, reproductive rights, clean air, clean water, climate change, and more — it might seem like philanthropic investment in building public places misses the mark in terms of making social, economic, and environmental gains. Yet to solve any problem before us, especially a big one, we must protect the free exchange of ideas among all people, especially people whose perspectives and backgrounds differ. We must relearn how connected we are to one another — that my prosperity and well-being depends on your prosperity and well-being.

“In public places, discourse can flow freely, whether we’re simply taking in the world around us or playing a game of checkers with a stranger. In these trying times, public places might just be what replenish our democracy.”

Dana Bourland of The JPB Foundation shares the critical importance of the civic commons in protecting fundamental human rights in this month’s The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

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Image credit: Akron Civic Commons