Parks / Recreation / Play / Sports Facility Design

Education Session - Panel Format

FRI-C06 - Uniting in Place: Designing Public Places that Bridge Divides and Promote Diversity

Friday, October 19
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Location: 108


In five U.S. cities, landscape architects are collaborating with civic leaders and local communities to create places that encourage shared experience among people of all backgrounds. Learn about strategies for designing public places that promote unity and diversity from practitioners working on the ground in Akron, Detroit, Memphis, and Philadelphia.

Learning Objectives:

Alexa Bush, ASLA

Design Director - East Region
City of Detroit

West Region responsible for planning, neighborhood development and open space projects in Council Districts 1, 2 and 7. She is
the project lead for the Livernois/McNichols Neighborhood Framework Plan, which includes the Fitzgerald Revitalization
Project and the Reimagining the Civic Commons Grant, as well as several green infrastructure and renewable energy initiatives.
Alexa received her bachelor’s degree in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University and her master’s degree in
Landscape Architecture from the University of Virginia.


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Shawn McCaney, ASLA

Executive Director
William Penn Foundation

As executive director of the William Penn Foundation, Shawn led the creation of the Great Public Spaces grantmaking strategy,
which seeks to expand access to high-quality public spaces that engage, connect and serve communities in Philadelphia and Camden. He also developed the two largest grants in the Foundation's history, a $25 million grant in support of the Free Library's 21 Century Libraries Initiative and a $100 million commitment to support the City of Philadelphia's Rebuild initiative, which will transform local libraries, parks and recreation centers. A licensed professional planner, Shawn received his graduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania.


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Carol Coletta

Senior Fellow
The Kresge Foundation

Carol Coletta is president and CEO of the Memphis River Parks Partnership. She is leading the relaunch of a nonprofit to develop, manage and program six miles of riverfront and five park districts along the Mississippi River. She is on loan from The Kresge Foundation where she is a senior fellow in the foundation’s American Cities Practice. She leads a $50+ million collaboration of national and local foundations, local nonprofits and governments to Reimagine the Civic Commons in five cities.


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Meg Johnson, ASLA

Landscape Architectural Designer
Groundswell Design Group

Meg holds a Masters degree in Landscape Architecture from SUNY’s School of Environmental Science and Forestry. She brings a uniquely artistic perspective to Groundswell Design Group, having received her undergraduate degree in Art History from SUNY Purchase. Through former volunteer and work efforts, Meg developed her skills internationally, working on landscape-based projects in Europe and Southeast Asia. Working holistically, Meg is involved in everything from ideation to installation with Groundswell. Recent projects include several public spaces along the riverfront in Memphis, TN, Discovery District in College Park, MD, and the Winter Garden at Dilworth Park in Philadelphia, PA.


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FRI-C06 - Uniting in Place: Designing Public Places that Bridge Divides and Promote Diversity

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