Plenary Session and Looking Ahead


Building on our keynote’s address on the roles of cities and parks in natural resilience, our plenary panel will have a moderated conversation about the roles of parks and public spaces in social resilience—how they operate as important civic arenas, serving as the backdrop for all kinds of speech, protests, and cultural expression—and explore evolving park management approaches to support new forms of public dialogue.

Our invited expert panel will consider aspects such as: the role of public space in community history and culture, how design can foster storytelling in public spaces, the experiences of immigrants in public spaces and how our urban systems can support new communities and advance social progress, the role of parks as a driver of equitable community development, and the role of government and public leaders in these public space-related opportunities and challenges.

Plenary Speakers

Andrea Batista Schlesinger

Managing Partner, HR&A Advisors

Saad Amer

CoFounder, Plus1Vote

Sue Mobley

Director of Research, Monument Lab

Kathryn Ott Lovell

Commissioner, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation

Thoai Nguyen