Downtown Parks and Urban Development: Balancing Tensions and Benefits

Sunday Seminar

Downtown, the stakes are always bigger for balancing the highest and best use of private real estate with public space needs. Because of their scale, visibility and symbolism, these centrally located, undeniably urban locations pose unique challenges and opportunities for developers, government leaders, and stakeholders in their communities to use them to solve for many goals — and to do them well. The pandemic has only served to heighten the importance of Downtown public spaces as places for health, refuge and protest, while also posing some new questions about the future of commercial real estate. 

Join us for a moderated discussion of several critical topics pertaining to balancing the tensions, and maximizing the benefits, of urban development and the public realm in our Downtowns at our Sunday Seminar. Proposed topics include: The roles of Business Improvement Districts as partners and catalysts for park development The challenges and opportunities of designing and managing successful privately owned public spaces, especially as more cities look to private actors (be they commercial or philanthropic interests) to do both Exploring new solutions for balancing long-standing tensions between height and light Details on our moderators and speakers to come!


Tara Rasheed

Senior Project Manager, Fairmount Park Conservancy

Tonnetta Graham

Founder & President, Strawberry Mansion Community Development Corporation

Nancy Goldenberg

President & CEO, Laurel Hill Cemetery and West Laurel Hill Cemetery & Funeral Home

Patrick Morgan

1st Deputy Commissioner, Strategy & Engagement, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation

Gideon Berger

Program Director, City Parks Alliance

Michelle Delk

Partner & Director of Landscape Architecture, Snøhetta

Elizabeth Goldstein

President, The Municipal Art Society of New York

Robin-Eve Jasper

President, NoMa Parks Foundation