Reimagining the Civic Commons

Measuring Progress

A reimagined civic commons allows cities and neighborhoods to make progress on four core goals:

Civic Engagement

When people enjoy equal status in shared spaces, a sense of community and respectful engagement is built and our understanding of others increases. More people from diverse backgrounds participate in the shaping of their city’s future.


Indicators of public life

Stewardship of civic
commons sites

Advocacy for the civic

Increased levels of trust
in the community

Economic Integration

Over time, urban neighborhoods have become increasingly segregated by income, with poverty that is persistent and growing. By expanding the use of our shared civic assets by people from all incomes and backgrounds, we can improve economic opportunity from one generation to the next.


Mixing across economic
backgrounds in the
civic commons sites

Change in the perception and
reputation of civic commons
sites and neighborhoods

Development of bridging
social capital

Increased levels of income
diversity in neighborhoods

Environmental Sustainability

A reimagined civic commons connects public spaces to increase access to nature and foster neighborhoods where most trips can be made by walking, biking or transit. Investments are anticipated to create larger tree canopies, improve storm water management and increase energy efficiency.


Increased access to nature

Ecological indicators such as
changes in the tree canopy, energy
efficiency of civic commons sites
and storm water management

Increased walkability and
bikeability of neighborhoods

Value Creation

Open, active and connected spaces can attract outside investment, helping to grow local businesses and change the perception of safety in a neighborhood. As surrounding neighborhoods increase in value, opportunities to capture some of that value can generate public benefits and support the operation of civic assets.


Change in the perception of
safety in neighborhoods

Increased retail activity in

Changes in real estate value
while maintaining affordability
in neighborhoods

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