Philly’s high demand for public spaces requires creative funding solutions

“It has been said that public spaces are contested spaces, meaning that everyone has an opinion about how the spaces should be used. As part of our civic commons, they are places that make room for lots of different people, tastes, ideas, and opinions.

“However, if recent conversations hope to increase constituency and advocacy for our public spaces citywide, they can’t be framed around scarcity. We can’t pull the plug on revenue generation – especially when that revenue supports the largest public space investment in the history of our city – without suggesting ideas for replacement funds to fairly support our public spaces. Not everyone will agree with every idea, but we can all agree that our public spaces are core to the culture and fabric of our city.

“The choice is ours – if we want the great public spaces that Philadelphians and visitors deserve, we need more ideas (not less) around how to pay for them. Maybe some of those ideas will even be fueled by caffeine or sugary drinks.”

Kathryn Ott Lovell, Commissioner of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation on the need for strong public and political will to sustain our civic commons in this Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed.


Image courtesy of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation