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Parks and the Resilient City


The 17th Annual Parks & Greenspace Conference, Parks and the Resilient City, explored how a robust park system contributes to the overall resilience of a city and ways we can make our park systems more resilient in the face of growing populations. Local experts and thought leaders from across the country challenged us to expand our thinking about parks and public spaces, shared insight about how to foster the values of environmental stewardship, and invoked the power of parks to help achieve a more united, supportive, and “beloved” community.

Keynote Speakers

Otis Rolley

100 Resilient Cities, Regional Director, North America

“We recognize the role that parks play in building the whole world of resilience, because investment in parks is not just about greenspace. It’s about public health. It’s about creating a safer environment. It’s about creating a new and better world for Atlanta.”





Ken Leinbach

Executive Director of the Urban Ecology Center

“Why do people care [about the environment]? There are two ingredients that you need: consistent contact to natural land from an early age, and an environmental mentor in your life.”






Kate Orff

Founder of SCAPE, landscape architect, and MacArthur Fellow

“We need to begin to experiment and think about almost every landscape project that we do as a pilot for adaptation and change and integration into a new policy context.”





Featured Speakers

Ryan Gravel

Founding Principal at Sixpitch, urban planner, and visionary behind the Atlanta BeltLine

“The answer to gentrification and displacement is not to not build transit stations and grocery stores and greenways and trails and parks; the answer is not to hold [neighborhoods] down just to keep them affordable; it’s to follow through on policies that support them.”




Nathaniel Smith

Founder and Chief Equity Officer / CEO of the Partnership for Southern Equity

“Trust, empathy, and courage. Those are the three pillars that we have to leverage together in order to realize parks that are a part of the beloved community.”





Save the Date: March 25, 2019

18th Annual Parks & Greenspace Conference

Parks are the Heart of Community

Visit the conference page to suggest session topics or to become a conference sponsor.

Parks + Greenspace Conference

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