Designing Equitable and Welcoming Public Spaces


In a time of such divisiveness, how can parks help bring communities together? This panel will share the story of how a neighborhood organization dedicated themselves to organizing a multilingual, multinational coalition of residents around a neighborhood park, how redesigning and rebuilding the park created opportunities for improved public amenities and help achieve equitable economic and community development, and not “green gentrification.” As well as the story of how an organization purposefully set out to draw diverse people to a place long neglected and stigmatized, thereby connecting residents who would not normally encounter one another, improving the perception of the area among residents and across the region.


  • Learn key organizing principles for accountable park design & planning
  • Learn innovative approaches to participatory design for working in collaboration with diverse & multilingual resident groups, including often-overlooked members of the community, children, teens, elders, & immigrants
  • Understand how unconventionally inclusive park design and planning with residents, community organizations, and government helps create a more organized, healthy, and equitable neighborhood


Stephanie Rivera Fenniri

Community Advocate and Ph.D. Student in City and Regional Planning, Weitzman School of Design, University of Pennsylvania

Damon Rich

Designer, urban planner, and partner, HECTOR

Erme Maula

Member, Friends of Mifflin Square Park

Kyle Kutuchief

Program Director, Akron, Knight Foundation