Park Pride Parks and Greenspace Conference

Parks & People: A Declaration of Interdependence

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Parks & People: A Declaration of Interdependence

What makes a park great? This is the question at the center of the 2015 Parks and Greenspace Conference theme.

Great parks don't happen by accident. Atlanta's Woodruff Park illustrates an inspiring example of how iconic spaces have been brought back from the brink of despair and disuse by a group of committed community members, businesses, and initiatives. All over the world, languishing public spaces have been re-invented by strong community interventions, deliberate design and programming and strategic partnerships.

It is clear that there is a symbiotic relationship between a community and its park that creates either success or disaster. The theme of this year's conference, "Parks and People: A Declaration of Interdependence," explores the direct (and often complex) relationships between engaged communities and successful parks.

Keynote Speakers

The Parks & Greenspace Conference will feature three Keynote speakers, as well as eight to ten breakout session presenters focusing on different aspects of the interdependence of parks and communities. Speakers and session topics will be announced as they are confirmed.

Peter Photo     Peter Harnik is Director of The Trust for Public Land's Center for City Park Excellence. He has led numerous research projects into what makes for great park systems, and he speaks frequently and writes widely about the relationship between cities and parks. His most recent book, Urban Green: Innovative Parks for Resurgent Cities, published in 2010 by Island Press, was named one of the five best books of that year by the American Society of Landscape Architects' blog.

Cynthia Photo     Cynthia Nikitin is the Senior Vice President of Project for Public Spaces. Her expertise stretches from the development of downtown master plans and transit facility enhancement projects, to the development of public art master plans, to using placemaking to create safer cities, and more. She facilitates approximately 40 public workshops, visioning sessions, and public meetings annually. Cynthia serves as the Director of the National Endowment for the Arts Citizens' Institute on Rural Design, managing the corporate-sponsored "Heart of the Community" program, and spearheads Project for Public Spaces's alliance with UN-HABITAT to create 300 great public spaces in cities across the developing world.

Alexie Photo     Alexie Torres-Fleming is the Executive Director of Access Strategies Fund, and an activist, community organizer, advocate and urban planner from the South Bronx, NY. She co-founded the Bronx River Alliance and the Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance to support community residents of the South Bronx committed to the reclamation and restoration of the Bronx River. The organizations' successes included the clean-up of an abandoned concrete plant and a manufactured gas plant, the expansion of the Bronx River bike and pedestrian greenway and development of green infrastructure to contain storm water and mitigate sewage overflow.

Woltz Photo     Thomas Woltz is the owner of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects (NBW). In 2011 he was invested into the American Society of Landscape Architects Council of Fellows, among the highest honors achieved in the profession, and was named the Design Innovator of the Year by the Wall Street Journal Magazine in 2013. Woltz is leading NBW towards creating and reinvigorating public spaces through community engagement and public-private partnerships, as reflected in projects such as Centennial Park (Nashville), Memorial Park (Houston), and Hudson Yard (New York City).

Who Should Attend

This year's conference theme is broad, and as such we'll have multiple concurrent sessions within the program geared toward audiences from a wide range of backgrounds. Topics covered at the Parks and Greenspace Conference will appeal to:

  • Community members and leaders
  • Park professionals
  • Park advocates
  • Architects and landscape architects
  • Urban designers
  • Real-estate developers and professionals
  • Urban planners
  • Government policy makers
  • Elected officials
  • Civil engineers
  • Environmental lawyers


Early bird registration is now open ($135). Register today!

Price will increase to the regular registration cost ($145) at 11:59pm on Sunday, February 15. Late registration ($175) will begin at 11:59pm on Sunday, March 15).