The Unhoused in Parks: Design Strategies for Inclusive Public Space

Topical Peer Conversation

As cities across the country struggle to respond to growing housing, mental health, and substance abuse crises, homelessness is increasingly visible in public spaces. Park officials, in particular, face daunting political, financial, and operational challenges in addressing homelessness.

This Peer Conversation will focus on how community-engaged design can help park officials and stakeholders identify shared priorities among diverse users and envision the physical spaces, amenities, programs, and policies necessary to address those priorities. Attendees will share their experiences in responding to the needs of unhoused park users and in creating and maintaining public spaces that are safe and welcoming to all. They will also identify priority challenges and opportunities across multiple cities and collaboratively develop strategies to address them.