Reimagining the Civic Commons

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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…

photo credit: Yaw Agyeman

the texture of left behind

05.08.17

By Yaw Agyeman the texture of left behind an old shoe too tight to remember forgotten by time and neglect you became a texture your skin worn and wearied ready for home somewhere. here, maybe hopefully waiting has been a chore but today a man whistled away holding stacks of cedar and pine and the…

RiverPlay is a pop-up park along the Mississippi River in Memphis. Groundswell Design

RiverPlay Launches in Memphis

05.05.17

The launch of RiverPlay today marks the opening of a new place for Memphians to recreate, rest, eat, and most importantly, interact and engage with each other. Situated on a busy four-lane road that separates two rarely-visited public parks on Memphis’ Fourth Bluff, RiverPlay is as an example of how to activate urban spaces to…

photo credit: Detroit Civic Commons

From Fitzgerald to Oak Cliff

05.02.17

By Stephanie Harbin How our communities deal with vacant lots, abandoned properties, economic growth, social decline, some level of poverty were just some of the things we found in common with others on the civic commons learning journey to Oak Cliff in Dallas, led by Better Block. It is always good to find new partners in…

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