Public spaces centered on community engagement and the needs, history, and issues relevant to residents were best able to adapt and thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic, a report from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation finds.
Based on pre- and mid-pandemic visitor data for seven outdoor public spaces in four cities — Akron (Summit Lake Park), Detroit (Ella Fitzgerald Park and Detroit Riverfront), Philadelphia (Centennial Commons, Cherry Street Pier, and The Discovery Center), and San Jose (MOMENT) — the report, Adaptive Public Space: Places for People in the Pandemic and Beyond (84 pages, PDF), found that spaces with quality design, resident-centered programming, historic character, and a significant arts component saw more regular visits, and that community participation and responsive engagement enabled project organizers to build trust with residents of color, which in turn increased use of the spaces as well as the public’s attachment to them.
The report also found that prioritizing and embedding resident engagement led to community “ripple effects,” including investments in local capacity-building and community development beyond the project site.
The report’s recommendations for the field include ensuring inclusion and trust among communities of color by expanding support for local organizations and funding ongoing community participation efforts; and proactively managing resident concerns around displacement by tying public space investments to broader community development processes.
Read the full article about community-centered public spaces at Philanthropy News Digest.
Since you are interested in COVID-19, have you read these selections from Giving Compass related to impact giving and COVID-19?
Looking for a way to get involved?
Learning with others and benchmarking are key steps towards becoming an impact giver. If you are interested in giving with impact for COVID-19, take a look at these events, galas, conferences and volunteering opportunities to connect with individuals like you.
Are you ready to give?
If you are ready to take action and invest in causes for COVID-19, check out these Giving Funds, Charitable Organizations and Projects related to COVID-19.