Shaping Space for Civic Life: The pivotal role of parks

Registration Eligibility
Preference to NYC Parks professional staff Olmsted Center / Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Noon to 1 PM
Start Date
End Date
Communities across the United States face concerning trends related to civic life, including distrust, low voter turnout, and growing social and economic divides. In light of these trends, the Center for Active Design has released the Assembly: Civic Design Guidelines, a pioneering resource that details evidence-based, practical strategies for shaping communities of inclusion and belonging—demonstrating that public spaces and buildings can invite people to participate, instill community pride, and facilitate equitable access and positive interactions among diverse user groups.

This session, led by Suzanne Nienaber from the Center for Active Design, will introduce the Assembly Guidelines’ evidence-based approach to shaping community design, with a specific emphasis on parks and open space. The presentation will reflect on historic and emerging research that points to the connection between the built environment and civic participation, and feature a range of sample projects from New York City and across the country. Interactive discussions will leave participants with a better understanding of practical strategies for shaping civic life through park design, programming, and maintenance.
Flushing, Queens, NY
Distance Learning
Course Equivalency
Development Trends
Housing & Community Design
Parks & Recreation
Health, Safety and Welfare
Learning Outcomes
• Attendees will identify specific examples of how design, maintenance, and programming elements in parks can impact four measures of civic life: trust, participation, stewardship, and local voting
• Attendees will gain access to a range of resources, including emerging data, case studies, and practical design and policy solutions from across the country that can be applied in parks and public spaces
• Attendees will conceptualize innovative opportunities and methods for parks and recreation professionals to elevate civic life and benchmark successes
• Attendees will reflect on the importance of community engagement in public space design and decision-making
Suzanne Nienaber, Center for Active Design
Website Registration
Course Codes
NYCParks and Rec
NYC Parks & Recreation Department

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