Reimagining the Civic Commons

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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,…

St. Laurence School board-up project
Chicago    

Collaboration as constellation of knowledge

04.17.17

By Nootan Bharani, AIA Collaboration is difficult. Increasingly, knowledge domains have become siloed, and the myriad areas of expertise are hidden behind walls, often uncharted, and unbeknownst to those that most need access. In order to address work in our societies, formal agreements are regularly required to bring different viewpoints together. Group work — a…

This and the other images below are stills from A Possible Philadelphia. Each depicts the Civic Commons writ large in daily life across the city.
           

Civic Futures

04.13.17

By Bryan Boyer Get a group of innovative people together from a diverse set of cities and it’s almost certain that no matter how different their respective hometowns may be, they will agree on one thing: opaque bureaucracies, NIMBYism, and other forms of inertia threaten to consume optimism about the future. Perhaps this explains the…

photo credit: Eric Nelson

From Oak Cliff to Akron: Lessons on stigma

04.10.17

By Eric Nelson Overcoming stigma was the subject of a recent learning journey made by members of the Akron Reimagining the Civic Commons (RCC) Core Team. Members traveled to a neighborhood in Dallas named Oak Cliff. History buffs may recognize the name Oak Cliff as the site where Lee Harvey Oswald, the man allegedly responsible…

Breaking Bread, Breaking Barriers at Reading Terminal Market; photo credit: Alex Styer

Breaking Bread, Breaking Barriers in the Commons

04.07.17

By Anuj Gupta When originally conceived, Breaking Bread, Breaking Barriers felt timely. The backdrop included a splintering nation, an increasingly diverse and growing city (Philadelphia), a diverse public space that sought to embrace Philadelphia’s expanding diaspora, and enormous social challenges requiring collective action at every level. The project is now vital. We are in desperate…

Civic Commons Studio #1; photo credit: Meredith Edlow

Insights and provocations from Studio #1

04.05.17

By Bridget Marquis Six months into Reimagining the Civic Commons is a time to pause and reflect on what we have learned thus far. Sharing takeaways from Civic Commons Studio #1 seems a good place to start. Civic Commons Studio #1 was staged in Philadelphia last fall. Co-hosted by Fairmount Park Conservancy, the studio offered…

Akron Civic Commons team members at Lock 4

Socioeconomic Mixing: A team intention

04.03.17

By Shannon Keeling Brought together by a love of all things Akron and a desire to reinvent our civic common spaces, the Akron Civic Commons core team was formed. With the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition as its convener, our group began as a small group of key partners with ties to three civic assets…

photo credit: Danny Fulgencio

Overcoming Stigma: One Event at a Time

03.31.17

By Jason Roberts Sitting on a patio in my neighborhood and drinking a cup of coffee under a shade tree while residents stroll by feels so natural, but this would have been a strange sight 10 years ago. My neighborhood of Oak Cliff, just Southwest of downtown Dallas, has been stigmatized as the bad part…

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

Oak Cliff Inspiration

03.27.17

By Bridget Marquis Earlier this month the Civic Commons Learning Network held its first learning journey to Dallas. With Jason Roberts and Krista Nightengale of Better Block Foundation as our co-hosts, we explored the neighborhood of Oak Cliff, its changing narrative and the tactics and strategies being employed to foster neighborhood pride and encourage civic actions….

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