Parks and recreation drive real solutions to the big challenges facing cities. They are powerful agents helping communities address financial stability, environmental threats, community health, and social isolation, just to name a few. City parks have grown beyond their traditional physical and conceptual boundaries and now serve multiple functions as part of a system that enables cities to operate. This infrastructure framework provides health, environmental, and economic benefits, supporting our ability to live together in urban areas.
Our Day 2 keynote and plenary discussion will feature how community partnerships can help cities tackle challenges holistically and create a new form of civic infrastructure. To ensure this narrative continues to grow and evolve, we must re-imagine city parks as more than nice-to-have features and see them as foundational city-building tools. In addition, how well a city is solving for equity shows up in its distribution, connections to, and relevance of parks, community centers, ballfields, trails, and natural areas.
The City Building session will also continue the Greater & Greener tradition of hosting a plenary panel of city mayors for a conversation that explores the changing role of parks as critical urban infrastructure, reshaping more than just our urban landscapes, and redefining how we govern, manage, and program our public green assets.