Session Details

Creating Public Places in Overlooked Spaces

Opportunities for creating public space in the inner city are plentiful when planners focus on existing, unused locations in creative and unique ways.

This session will explore innovative projects that repurposed vacant public spaces in Los Angeles and Baltimore and where diverse communities have played a role in re-envisioning distressed assets to build more livable neighborhoods. Strategies for engaging communities and approaching urban park space in fresh ways will be highlighted. These parks feature community-driven designs specific to local need, incorporating children's' play structures, adult fitness equipment, shaded gathering spaces, and sustainable landscaping. They are the realizations of the surrounding community's vision for an oasis in densely built, urban neighborhoods.


Session Presentation Slides

Slide Deck: Creating Public Places in Overlooked Spaces


  • Discover ways to repurpose vacant lots to green corridors and jewels in under resourced neighborhoods.
  • Discover ways to actively listen and respond to residents dreams and visions of their communities. Find out how other cities are addressing similar concerns.
  • Learn how equity in park access can be achieved through creative land use.
  • Learn how communities engaged in park development take ownership and pride in completed projects.
  • Learn how culturally sensitive design leads to the engagement of park users.