Greater & Greener is the premiere conference focused on exploring the full potential of parks as city-building tools. The highly curated agenda of indoor learning sessions and outdoor experiences sets the table for honest, cross-sector dialogue amongst leaders and doers in the urban parks profession.
As you plan and curate your conference experience, discover the different session types to look forward to.
Weekend Tours are adventurous activities designed to showcase Seattle’s vast outdoor parks and landmarks, including the Seattle Waterfront, Lake Union Park, Lake Washington, West Seattle, and Bellevue, and may include an educational component.
Weekend Tours are not included in the base registration prices, and prices vary based on length, meals, and equipment rentals that may be included in the tour package. Sign up early, as tour spaces are limited and some have already reached capacity.
Mobile Workshops are educational, behind-the-scenes learning opportunities tied to the conference tracks that give you a chance to see innovation throughout Seattle’s parks system and meet the key local leaders who make it happen. Sign up early, as spaces are limited.
Walk & Talks
Walk & Talks are outdoor networking opportunities for parks and recreation professionals to meet and network with each other and City Parks Alliance Board Members, with Seattle’s vibrant park system as a backdrop. Sign up early, as spaces are limited.
Speed Networking takes the guesswork out of networking by placing you in small groups of four people for fifteen minutes at a time. Groups will rotate three times during the event, for a total of four networking opportunities. With the rotations introducing you to a total of twelve different park professionals, you’re sure to make some great connections! Talk about whatever’s on your mind, or choose from a set of question prompts to get the conversation going. These sessions are capacity-limited.
Panel Dialogues explore complex topics from multiple perspectives and include a moderator and 2-3 speakers. Panels may include presentations and moderated discussion, or just moderated discussion, followed by audience Q&A.
Peer Conversations are facilitated discussions focused on sharing ideas, challenges, perspectives, and advice among a small group (10–25) on either a topic of shared interest (e.g., biodiversity, youth programming, safety, etc.); a shared perspective as practitioners from the same sector (e.g., public agencies, nonprofits, philanthropies, design consultants, community organizations, issue advocates, etc.); or a shared identity (e.g., practitioners of color, women practitioners, etc.).
In addition to their more intimate size, most of the Peer Conversations are limited to specific attendees and require eligibility verification. Signing up for those sessions will automatically put you on a waitlist so planners can confirm your eligibility. Check session descriptions for requirements before signing up; you will be notified when admitted, giving you time to make other plans.
The Skill-Building Workshop (on Sunday) explores the use of data-driven strategies for making equitable investments in park systems. Panelists will discuss their work, and participants will engage in small and large group dialogue to explore how they can begin to develop strategies to implement in their own cities.
The Skill-Building Workshop is not included in the base registration prices. Sign up early, as workshop spaces are limited.
The Sunday Seminar is a long-format, moderated panel discussion about how our parks and public spaces can evolve to meet changing economic, environmental, and social conditions in our downtowns. If you care about downtown parks, this session is for you!
As the only non-ticketed programming on Sunday, it’s a great way to kick-start the conference if you can’t attend a Weekend Tour.
Innovation Rounds provide the opportunity to share and hear about innovative approaches to complex challenges on a related topic through a more interactive discussion. These sessions include an introduction by a moderator and brief (10-minute) presentations from three speakers, followed by small breakout groups with each.
City Parks Research Lab
The City Parks Research Lab is a research goldmine. Poster boards featuring new research will be left on display throughout the conference, and presenters will hold scheduled times for in-depth conversations with conference attendees.
Over a shared lunch, listen in as mayors discuss the most pressing issues facing cities today, including the roles of parks in promoting healing and social cohesion and how they can lead to new ideas of what our cities—from downtown centers to neighborhoods—can be.
Whether indoor or outdoor, learning or networking, all Greater & Greener sessions will foster an honest dialogue on addressing the emerging issues of today’s parks, specifically social equity, responding to a changing climate, equitable funding models, and promoting physical and mental well-being.
Tailor your schedule so you make the most of your time in Seattle, whether you prefer outdoor learning opportunities or the chance to formally meet innovators and decision-makers from across the global urban parks community. No matter what you choose to do, you’ll take home strategies and tools for using parks to build more sustainable, vibrant, and equitable cities.
We look forward to welcoming you to Greater & Greener 2024!