Blueways and Greenways

Innovation Round

Greenways and water trails have the potential to create new, climate-friendly ways for cities to provide viable transportation, recreational options, and improved access to their waterfronts through interconnected systems. This innovation round provides an overview of how environmental justice communities can leverage this new mode of urban infrastructure to address legacies of pollution, blight, and other historic challenges through resident-led economic development plans.

These projects are connecting local residents with job opportunities through the design and construction of trails, as alternative commuting routes that link to employment hubs, and by spurring small business growth adjacent to trail networks. Presenters will discuss best practices, multi-modal interfaces, and other strategies for planning large-scale greenway and blueway projects.


  • Learn about methods of job creation through green infrastructure
  • Recognize the importance of communication and collaboration with local businesses
  • Learn and share best practices for leading and managing large-scale planning studies that require engagement of public/private stakeholders
  • Discuss multi-channel community engagement strategies in the COVID era
  • Learn how to effectively present and maximize the climate, social, and equity benefits of greenways, and available funding for implementation


Jill Valdés Horwood

Director, Boston Waterfront Initiative, Barr Foundation

Dara O'Byrne

Chief Parks Planner, City of Detroit

Maya Rodgers

Senior Project Manager, San Francisco Parks Alliance

Carter Strickland

New York State Director, Trust for Public Land

Matthew Galluzzo

President and CEO, Riverlife