Park Pride Parks and Greenspace Conference


Save the Date: 2015 Parks & Greenspace Conference, Mon, March 23, 2015

Park Pride 2015 Conference Call for Presentations

Call for Presentations
14th Annual Parks and Greenspace Conference
Monday, March 23, 2015
Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta, Georgia

Below is the call for presentations for the Park Pride 14th Annual Parks and Greenspace Conference. Please review all the information and then fill out and submit your presentation below. If you have any questions, please email Becky Katz at

Conference Title

Parks and People: A Declaration of Interdependence


What is the difference between a good park and a great park? Why do some parks become unsavory places to avoid while others are beloved cultural centers? Park Pride proposes that strong communities foster great parks and that great parks foster stronger communities. This conference will explore the symbiotic relationship between communities and their greenspaces.

We hope to offer a rich and diverse collection of examples of the interdependence of parks and communities. Do you have an example of how struggling communities rallied around their public greenspaces for the positive benefit of both? Or how the demise of a community was reflected in its park?

Theme Background

"You can neither lie to a neighbourhood park, nor reason with it. 'Artist's conceptions' and persuasive renderings can put pictures of life into proposed neighbourhood parks or park malls, and verbal rationalizations can conjure up users who ought to appreciate them, but in real life only diverse surroundings have the practical power of inducing a natural, continuing flow of life and use." Jane Jacobs, one of the most prominent urban thinkers, posture that no design or rendering can make up for real community involvement and investment.

Great parks don't happen by accident. New York's Bryant Park and Atlanta's Woodruff Park illustrate inspiring examples of how organizations have brought back iconic spaces from the brink of despair and disuse. All over the world, languishing public spaces have been re-invented by strong community interventions, deliberate design and programming and strategic partnerships. The results are stronger, more desirable communities. Or — is it the other way around? Did the energy of a stronger community reverberate into its public spaces? Often, it's the symbiotic relationship between a community and its park that creates either success or disaster.

Urban planning thought leaders like William Holly White, Jane Jacobs and others demonstrate the principles of interdependence between communities and their public spaces. Consequences of failing communities are often reflected first in public spaces where a lack of vitality is all too evident. Conversely successful public spaces are the result of a deliberate strategy and dedicated neighbors. Community interaction trumps sexy design features in terms of a space's success. Some of the most photogenic spaces are too often inhospitable to humans. And, many community's most beloved spaces are not architecturally striking. The most dynamic greenspaces directly engage communities through both their designed features and the ongoing programming and activation of the park .

Public spaces directly reflect the health and vitality of their community. Vibrant parks almost always indicate a healthy community that is engaged and engaging.

Target Audience

The annual conference attracts a wide cohort of approximately 400 attendees comprised of community leaders, park professionals, park advocates, landscape architects, urban designers, developers, real estate professionals, planners, policymakers, elected officials, and advocates from the southeast, with a focus on metro Atlanta. A diverse group of organizations is represented, including the Georgia Recreation and Park Association, the American Planning Association, the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture, the Urban Land Institute, Congress for New Urbanism, the American Society of Landscape Architects, city departments and federal agencies.

It is anticipated that three distinct tracks will be offered to attendees. Tour and break-out sessions will be structured along the following tracks:

Park Advocate/Community Member
Policy Makers/Municipality
Design Professionals/Planners

Call for Presentations

Park Pride is accepting presentation and tour proposals for the Annual Parks and Greenspace Conference at the Atlanta Botanical Garden on Monday March 23, 2015, in Atlanta, Ga. Breakout sessions, hands-on workshops and pre-conference tours* will focus on this year's conference theme, "Parks and People: A Declaration of Interdependence." Successful presentations will offer a unique opportunity for attendees to explore the symbiotic relationship of communities and their parks.

(Break-out sessions and hands on workshops are 75 minutes in length and offer lecture-style presentations, panel discussions, or hands-on workshops on Monday March 23rd. Presenters are encouraged to budget at least 10 minutes for questions and answers with participants. Approximately 8-12 proposals will be accepted for the break-out session presentations. If appropriate, similar or complementary presentations may be combined into panels for a more in-depth dialog regarding that specific topic.

*Tours are on Saturday March 21st and Sunday March 22nd. The format, time and location should be decided by the organizer. Park Pride and the conference committee will offer assistance in some planning and advertising if tour is selected.)

Focus Areas

Sessions, and tours will focus on areas including, but not limited to:

+Community Collaborative Design and Placemaking: Presentations on tactics to successfully incorporate community feedback into the design process for both new and existing parks, greenspaces and public spaces. Or presentations from community groups and designers that lead to successful designs that have resulted in stronger communities.

+Good to Great: What takes a park from good to great? Case studies about parks that have been converted from underperforming spaces to thriving places.

+Policy and Planning: Policy and planning has the ability to hinder parks and greenspaces from success, but they also have the ability to increase and improve parks. These presentations should focus on policies that strengthen or weaken the design, buildout and activation of dynamic greenspaces.

Deadlines and Selection Process

All accepted presenters receive complimentary attendance at the 14th Annual Parks and Greenspace Conference. Submission of a session represents an agreement to attend and present the proposed session or to find a substitute presenter.

Selection Process: Submissions are reviewed and selected by Park Pride's Parks and Greenspace Conference Committee, which is comprised of board members, staff and volunteers. Submitters may be asked for further clarification and details on their proposal. Presentations must not have a commercial message for a particular organization or business, or be perceived as a "sales pitch." Park Pride reserves the right to reject any proposal. In evaluating proposals for the conference, we will be using the following criteria:

+Appropriateness of the session topic for the conference theme;
+Contribution to knowledge of the session topic;
+Interest, applicability and innovation.

For questions pertaining to the Annual Parks and Greenspace Conference or your proposal submission, please contact Becky Katz at

* Park Pride reserves the right to change and/or edit session titles and description.