Reimagining the Civic Commons

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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…

Demetrius Lambert-Falconer with Civic Commons Learning Network members; photo credit: Can Turkyilmaz

Collaboration is a journey

04.27.17

By Demetrius Lambert-Falconer Have you ever worked on a project with classmates, family members or a scout group? If you have, the sound of the word “collaboration” may conjure up sweaty palms, shortness of breath or pure panic. This was my initial reaction when asked to participate in the Civic Commons journey. Collaboration is a…

Cenceptual mural plan for RiverPlay by Groundswell Design Group

Trust the Key Players

04.24.17

By Ryan Jones It only takes trust, strong and talented partners, extensive planning, and the determination of each organization to make the collaboration more important than any of the constant challenges and opportunities to ignore the needs of other partners. Trust is earned by people working together on common challenges – learning by doing and…

Civic Commons Learning Journey: Dallas; photo credit: Can Turkyilmaz

Learning and Line Dancing in Dallas

04.21.17

By Jamie Gauthier In March 2017, I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Dallas with three of my colleagues, for the first Reimagining the Civic Commons Learning Journey. Along for the journey, were me, Director of Public Partnerships at the Fairmount Park Conservancy, Erin Engelstad, the Fairmount Park Conservancy’s Park Stewardship Manager, Meg Wise,…

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