Reimagining the Civic Commons

Tag: Civic engagement
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…

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…

Detroit's laundry list for the year to come.

Sparking Civic Engagement in the Civic Commons


By Alexa Bush and Kate Catherall Increasing civic engagement is a core principle of Reimagining the Civic Commons. It can be seen in more vibrant public life, increased levels of trust, and in advocacy and stewardship of civic commons sites. Civic engagement is not only a desired outcome of the work, but also a critical…

The First Moves Towards the Commons


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…

Philadelphia: Community Engagement 2.0


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


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…

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