Building Community Through Play

Join Next City, Gehl Studio, Philadelphia Parks Alliance and WURD Radio 96.1FM and 900AM for a public conversation about the role that parks and recreation centers play in changing neighborhoods.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

2:30pm - 5:00pm

Join Next City, Gehl, Philadelphia Parks Alliance and WURD Radio for a family-friendly public conversation about the vital role that public parks and recreation centers play in changing neighborhoods. The discussion will be followed by a celebration of play with free refreshments from Little Baby’s Ice Cream and Revolution Taco, live music by Trinidelphia and interactive installations from local makers and doers including Park(ing) Day Philadelphia, Public Workshop, Tiny WPA, PopUpPlay, Snapology, Roots 2 Rise, Team Up Philly, Smith Memorial Playground, Community Design Collaborative and Philly Space Girls.

The afternoon will open with a brief presentation of new data derived from public life surveys at two Philadelphia rec centers and reporting produced by Next City as part of its Philadelphia in Flux series supported by the William Penn Foundation.

A panel discussion including community advocates, urban designers and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell will explore how parks and rec centers are currently serving neighborhoods with changing needs, and how investments in physical and civic infrastructure can be a force for good. Panelists will offer perspective on how communities can successfully organize to improve their public spaces, and answer questions from the audience.

Following the public conversation, guests will have a chance to explore the interactive play installations by local designers and youth. Kids are welcome and encouraged!

Beginning at the Sturgis rec center, a free bus to the event at City Hall will be stopping at 11 North Philadelphia rec centers and parks. Go here to reserve a seat.


Kate DeSantis, Urban Designer, Gehl

Edwin Desamour, Founder, Men in Motion in the Community, Waterloo Playground Program Coordinator

Jeff Hackett, President, Sturgis Advisory Council

Jen Kinney, Next City contributing journalist

Kathryn Ott Lovell, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Commissioner

George Matysik, Executive Director, Philadelphia Parks Alliance


Philadelphia City Hall, North Apron Plaza
1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA, United States

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