Conference Tracks

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Addressing the Emerging Issues of Today's Park and City-Building Professionals

Greater & Greener 2019 conference tracks have been carefully curated to foster an honest dialogue around social equity, cross-agency and cross-sector partnerships, funding models, and repeatable solutions for parks.

Sessions are developed with input from all sectors of the park community: City Parks Alliance members, parks and recreation agency leaders, other government agencies, designers, researchers, advocates, and other leaders in the park and city-building fields.

Session formats including innovation roundtables, breakout sessions, deep-dive interactive workshops, and networking opportunities that encourage a broad and interactive exchange of ideas.

Explore All Six Conference Tracks

  • Activating Urban Parks Through Recreation

    This track explores the role of parks and recreation in promoting active, healthy lifestyles, activating neighborhood and downtown public spaces through programming and playful design, and making urban cores more livable and family-friendly. Specific sessions include urban agriculture, activating public spaces, programming that inspires greater activity, and creating family-friendly public spaces within the urban core.

  • City Park Essentials
    This popular track at Greater & Greener will focus on strategies to establish, grow and sustain public, private and nonprofit partnerships and is designed to maximize interaction and sharing between participants. Sessions topics include principles for successful park partnerships, innovative strategies for civic engagement, building park advocacy networks, maintaining parks through cross-sector partnerships, measuring park use and quality and much more.
  • Equity
    Equity is a focus of discussion in all Greater & Greener sessions, and in Denver the track will offer a deeper dive into building more equitable cities through parks and recreation. Sessions will explore equitable access to park resources, funding, workforce equity, community participation and the role of parks and recreation in addressing broader equity challenges our cities face, including affordable housing, environmental justice, youth development and other topics.
  • Funding
    Consistent funding for parks and recreation programs is always a challenge as municipal budgets are stretched more than ever. This track looks at a variety of funding approaches that public, private, and nonprofit partners have developed to successfully pay for park development, maintenance, and programming. Go beyond theories, to learn from the innovators behind real-world successes an of special tax levies, business improvement districts, public-private partnerships, philanthropy and corporate sponsorships, and special budget campaigns.
  • Parks as Infrastructure
    With growing urban populations and aging infrastructure, local governments, city planners and others are taking a fresh look at parks and green space as tools to address some of our greatest urban challenges. From stormwater management and flood prevention to reducing public health costs to economic revitalization and job growth parks are a driver of urban sustainability. Sessions in this track explore strategies for funding, designing, building and managing parks as urban infrastructure for water management, flood mitigation, transportation and connectivity. To learn more, watch City Parks Alliance's recent video series City Parks: America's New Infrastructure.
  • Urban Greening and Biodiversity
    One of the connections explored at Greater & Greener 2019 is the one between cities and nature and the role greening and biodiversity plays in making our cities more livable and more sustainable. Sessions in this track examine strategies for developing, stewarding and measuring urban greening efforts, with a particular focus on building biodiversity and resilience. Topics include designing natural systems in urban parks, greening schoolyards, managing natural systems in cities, large scale tree planting and urban greening partnerships.
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"As a municipal Parks & Public Lands Director attending Greater & Greener for the first time (in 2017), my conference highlight was learning from and meeting professionals working with parks departments through foundations, friends-of groups and partnerships and understanding the complexity and significance of these supporting groups.

I was reminded that it is the political will of people in our community and their willingness to stand up for parks that makes parks great."

Kristin Riker, Parks and Public Lands Program Director, Salt Lake City Corporation