Planning Healthy Systems
City parks and open spaces improve our physical and mental well-being and make our cities and neighborhoods more attractive and healthy places to live. This track will explore the components of healthy and equitable park systems, such as linkages between parks and greenways, and connections to housing and development. Water management is also an important key to creating healthier communities. We’ll explore the vision of the Twin Cities’ historic park systems, built to address swamp land, and how both cities are preparing for and transitioning to 21st century changes, from climate to demographics to downtown investment, using their system of green spaces, lakes and the river. Our host cities will showcase major projects planned along the Mississippi River—the Great River Passage in Saint Paul and RiverFirst in Minneapolis—to create equitable recreational opportunities and sustain growth over the next generation. This track will also focus on green infrastructure, four-season recreation, and adaptive waterfront park development, with perspectives from mayors and public officials, healthcare providers, developers, and community leaders.