Reimagining the Civic Commons

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Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, Austria

Nature-Rich Cities: Salzburg to Philadelphia

08.18.17

By Jennifer Mahar Several months ago I had the great honor of representing the Fairmount Park Conservancy at the 574th session of the Salzburg Global Seminar. Founded in 1947, in the wake of the structural and intellectual destruction of Europe, the Seminar’s mission has been to challenge present and future leaders to solve issues of global…

Philadelphia's Azalea Garden

Greater & Greener

08.10.17

By Carol Coletta Was it a parks conference?  A health conference?  A water conference?  A sustainability conference?  A conference on neighborhood revitalization?  An economic development conference? Try all of the above. The Greater & Greener Conference sponsored by City Parks Alliance covered all of these topics and more at its biannual convening in St. Paul. …

Detroit's laundry list for the year to come.
Detroit            

Sparking Civic Engagement in the Civic Commons

07.27.17

By Alexa Bush and Kate Catherall Increasing civic engagement is a core principle of Reimagining the Civic Commons. It can be seen in more vibrant public life, increased levels of trust, and in advocacy and stewardship of civic commons sites. Civic engagement is not only a desired outcome of the work, but also a critical…

photo credit: Bronlynn Thurman

Civic Commons Studio #2: Inspiration from Chicago

06.27.17

By Bronlynn Thurman It’s messy and you will make mistakes. That was one of the first things that people told us at the second Civic Commons Studio in the windy city. I could visibly see sighs of relief as the group became more comfortable in the unpredictable nature of working with humans. Building relationships is…

Memphis            

Saturday in the Park: Experiencing RiverPlay’s First Weekend

06.15.17

by Melody Gordon On a mild and sunny Saturday observers turned into basketball players, families became friendly competitors, and couples took out their cameras to capture it all for RiverPlay’s big debut. From the elevated viewpoint of Memphis Park, the bright colors and pop music make for an unexpected novelty for people strolling by to…

The First Moves Towards the Commons

06.02.17

Last week, teams from the five Reimagining the Civic Commons cities convened in Chicago for Civic Commons Studio #2, which focused on “The First Moves.” This time, Chicago played host to an energetic gathering of dozens of demonstration team members, funders, policy experts, design and engagement professionals, storytellers and a few provocateurs. This studio included…

Business Leaders: Invest in Detroit’s Public Places

05.21.17

Entrepreneurs think high quality public places like parks, libraries, trails and the riverfront are some of the most important investments Detroit can make. So say the national and local leaders queried in The Kresge Foundation’s Detroit Reinvestment Index, a survey that examined the perceptions of businesspeople about Detroit. The Kresge Foundation found that eight in…

Philadelphia: Community Engagement 2.0

05.19.17

Reimagining the Civic Commons began in Philadelphia in 2015, as an investment by Knight Foundation and William Penn Foundation in five civic assets and an effort to foster civic engagement, connection between people of different backgrounds and better communities. This work spurred an even bigger investment in neighborhood parks, libraries, recreation centers, playgrounds and other…

photo credit: Alexa Bush

Spring Forward on Six Mile

05.15.17

By Alexa Bush Six Mile (also known as McNichols Road) is anchored by key businesses, including the Metro Detroit Barber College, Lucki’s Cheesecakes and the soon-to-be-grand-opening of coffee shop Detroit Sip. However, the environment of the street presents significant challenges to vibrant activity: it lacks street trees and seating, the sidewalks need repairs, many vacant…

Civic Gateway; photo credit: Katelyn Freil

Where We Begin: A photo essay of Akron

05.12.17

Vision: Three civic asset areas, Civic Gateway, Park East and Summit Lake, along with the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail are reimagined and connected to bring economically diverse neighborhoods together, build civic pride and advance environmental sustainability. This is where we begin. Civic Gateway photo credit: Katelyn Freil Park East photo credit: Ron Tyson…

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