Reimagining the Civic Commons


image credit: City of Philadelphia

A New Path for Urban Philanthropy


By Shawn McCaney Former Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams’ recent article in the Atlantic Monthly’s City Lab Blog points to Mayor Kenney’s Rebuild Initiative as a “hopeful trend in citywide, city-coordinated philanthropy.” We are likewise hopeful that Rebuild will be seen as a new national model for public-private partnerships focused on community reinvestment. Williams rightly applauds Mayor…

Discovery Center pop-up event in Philadelphia; photo credit: Penn Praxis

Creating authentic connections through place


This was originally posted on Knight Foundation’s blog. Saturday, Knight Foundation announced $3.28 million in new support to Fairmount Park Conservancy to support a citywide civic engagement strategy that will allow residents to shape activities in Philadelphia’s public spaces.  By Patrick Morgan It’s an essential time for communities to invest in places and spaces that bring us together….

Detroit Riverfront; photo credit: Nadir Ali

Rituals and common moments


By Bridget Marquis In August, the Civic Commons Learning Network hosted a learning journey to Detroit to explore socioeconomic mixing. We explored public places and programs across the city and visited with the leaders behind them who shared both insights, inspirations and challenges in creating shared experiences across difference and in fostering and diverse constituencies…

200 Plates: Community meal on Summit Lake; photo and video credit: Tim Fitzwater

200 Plates on Summit Lake


Last month, Akron Civic Commons put trust, collaboration and mixing across diversity into action at 200 Plates, a community meal on the shores of picturesque Summit Lake. In partnership with the League of Creative Interventionists, residents and leaders from the Summit Lake neighborhood joined Civic Commons Studio participants at a 200′ table to break bread and…

Darnetta Banks, Rip Rapson, Mayor Duggan and Antoine Garibaldi break ground together; photo credit: City of Detroit

Breaking ground on revitalization


Earlier this week marked a significant moment in the civic commons effort in Detroit as work commenced on two new civic assets that will support neighborhood revitalization in Livernois-McNichols. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Kresge Foundation President Rip Rapson, University of Detroit Mercy President Antoine Garibaldi and Prairie Street Block Club President Darnetta Banks gathered on Tuesday, October 17 in the Fitzgerald neighborhood with residents and partners…

Weekly free yoga class at the Fourth Bluff; photo credit: Andrea Morales

Go Fourth


The ethos of the Fourth Bluff in Memphis is captured in a new short video. The Fourth Bluff is place for all Memphians. It is about breaking down barriers, not building them. Through the Fourth Bluff people from all walks of life can explore, play and connect. Go Fourth.

Mitch Silver at Civic Commons Studio #3 in Akron; photo credit: Tim Fitzwater

The Department of Fun, Health and Happiness: how NYC is reimagining public places for people


Last week in Akron, project team members from the five Reimagining the Civic Commons cities gathered for a third time to share the learning and challenges of their work. The second day of “Civic Commons Studio #3” was kicked off by visionary New York City Parks Commissioner Mitch Silver, who runs what he calls the…


Creating human connections in the commons


The civic commons project in Akron, Ohio is comprised of three distinct places: the city’s downtown, the Park East neighborhood and Summit Lake. All are connected from north to south by the Ohio Erie Canal Towpath Trail, which follows the historic route of the Ohio & Erie Canal. The civic commons work in Akron is…

Art on the Dequindre Cut; photo credit: Hanae Mason

Moving On: Reflections on a learning journey to Detroit


By Hanae Mason Since my childhood, I have spent significant time in and around Detroit. I attended kindergarten in Beverly Hills, one of the city’s 100+ suburbs. Over the years, my father has moved amongst these various suburbs and the city proper, in which he has been settled for the last several years in the…

photo credit: Spackman Mossop Michaels

Award-winning design for Fitzgerald


The American Society of Landscape Architects bestowed a 2017 ASLA Professional Award upon Detroit’s Fitzgerald Revitalization Project. Recognition of the work by a large collaboration of partners to reimagine a neighborhood-level civic commons, and support a community where everyone has a stake and everyone belongs.

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