Rethinking & Revitalizing Urban Parks Post COVID-19 - Webinar

  • Date

    Tuesday, May 25 2021

  • Time

    12:00pm - 1:00pm

  • Location


Parks and urban green spaces enrich people’s lives in many ways and are known to provide a range of physical and mental health benefits to communities within which they are located. In the past year, with the increasing number of restrictions and guidelines for social distancing due to the global pandemic, parks across the world have seen dramatic increase in use. They have become spaces of resilience, personal restoration, and social activity when the usual amenities were not available. 

Urban designers and landscape architects have always played a prominent role in parks development and design. The popularity of parks today, however, has prompted city officials, planners and designers, and community activists to think even more creatively about the role of parks in urban life. It is sparking conversations about how these urban parks can be reimagined post pandemic. As society emerges from pandemic restrictions in the months ahead, how can we design our parks to nurture this new found appreciation for the outdoors and ensure parks and greenscapes remain a vital part of people’s daily lives? 

A recent study by “The Trust for Public Land” indicated that almost 100 million Americans - one in three people - do not have a park within a 10-minute walk from home. This, and a slowed pandemic economy,  prompts us to ask vital questions about the continuing role of parks in community health, budgeting and planning for their maintenance, and their newly appreciated role as critical infrastructure. As designers, what strategies can we employ to rethink and redesign parks for their continued resilience? How can we collaborate across professions to support and enhance their critical place in urban life?  

Presented by:

Saakshi Terway, Assoc AIA, LEED Green Associate, Designer, Wiencek+Associates 

Moderated by:

Kumi Wickramanayaka, AIA, LEED Green Associate, Architect, Wiencek+Associates 

Scott Archer, AIA, AICP, LEED AP ND, Senior Associate| Architect & Urban Designer, Beyer Blinder Belle 


Jonathan Fitch, ASLA, Principal, Landscape Architecture Bureau (LAB)

Brent Sisco, Capital Projects Planning & Design Officer at DC Department of Park and Recreation

Stella Tarnay, Executive Director and Principal of Biophilic Practice Group at Capital Nature

Join a panel of interdisciplinary experts and explore how we can influence Rethinking & Revitalizing Urban Parks post COVID-19.

Some key questions and concepts we will be discussing are;

  • What are some of the key findings about urban parks and open space during the pandemic?
  • What is the role of urban designers, landscape architects, park professionals and community partners in rethinking Urban Parks post COVID-19? How does the role of the designers intersect with that of policymakers and parks agencies?
  • What are the best practices for design or changes in policy that will assist in providing access to and expansion of urban parks and green scapes?
  • Is this renewed interest in small urban parks and green pockets here to stay or temporary? If it is here to stay, how can we balance overcrowding and safeguarding delicate ecosystems within the parks.
  • How can we rethink and revitalize our city’s spatial assets such as urban parks, and where do we find the land and financial resources to develop new ones?
  • What does the future of urban parks look like? Is it deep rooted in flexibility and adaptability?

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe opportunities and challenges associated with park development.
  • Discuss innovative design solutions in regard urban parks and green spaces post COVID-19
  • Describe how architects, landscape architects, urban designers, and other city-engaged citizens are hoping to approach complex issues relating to city-wide spatial assets such as urban parks post COVID-19.
  • Evaluate the best practices or changes in policy and design that will assist in providing access to and expansion of urban parks and greenscapes.