International urban park leaders to convene in Denver, CO, July 20-24 focused on the role of parks in healthy, resilient, equitable, and economically competitive cities
Media Contact: Tom McCann
Washington, DC: The Mayors Forum at Greater & Greener is moderated by Mitchell Silver, Commissioner, New York City Parks and Recreation and features a panel discussion exploring the role of parks as critical urban infrastructure. Mayors will discuss how parks help address infrastructure challenges, and strategies for breaking down social and economic stratification to create more inclusive, just and democratic cities. Mayors Bliss, Hancock, and White represent some of the diverse challenges facing city leaders across the country and continue a tradition of bringing elected officials to the discussion at the five-day indoor-outdoor conference.
Greater & Greener 2019: Exploring Natural Connections will convene park and recreation leaders, city planners, design professionals, urban park advocates, and funders from 200+ cities in Denver, Colorado, July 20-24, 2019. Greater & Greener is focused on the power of urban parks to solve some of the major challenges in cities and is presented by City Parks Alliance in partnership with Denver Parks and Recreation. The full schedule of 80 sessions, tours, workshops, and special events and a list of more than 120 confirmed speakers is available at greatergreener.org.
Mayors Forum on City Building features:
Rosalynn Bliss, Mayor, City of Grand Rapids, Michigan
Mayor Bliss became the City of Grand Rapids’ first female mayor when she took office on January 1, 2016. She previously served as a Second Ward City Commissioner for 10 years. Mayor Bliss is also Grand Valley State University’s endowed chair for the Frederik Meijer Honors College. Mayor Bliss was a founding member of the non-profit Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, assisted in leading the Neighbors for Parks, Pools and Playgrounds campaign that resulted in a dedicated parks millage and has set a goal of ensuring every family lives within a 10-minute walk to a park. She has led the Mayors Greening Initiative resulting in volunteer efforts to plant over 1800 trees in the past three years and partners with the public school in a Connecting Children to Nature initiative.
Michael Hancock, Mayor, City of Denver, Colorado
Mayor Hancock has focused on accelerating the city and county of Denver’s work to improve the city’s parks and bring more recreation opportunities to more people and more neighborhoods. During Mayor Hancock’s administration, Denver has added 647 acres of parks and open space since 2011 with a goal of every resident living within a 10-minute walk of a park. Mayor Hancock is co-chair of Mayors for Parks, City Parks Alliance’s bipartisan coalition of mayors advocating for urban parks.
Knox White, Mayor, City of Greenville, South Carolina
Mayor White has served as the mayor of Greenville, SC since 1995. During that time, he has led projects that have transformed the city’s downtown from blighted and deserted to one of the most vibrant Main Streets in America. Mayor White’s signature project, Falls Park, created an urban oasis around a once-covered waterfall in the center of the city. Currently, his focus is to expand Falls Park along the Reedy River to create a 60-acre green space, Unity Park, that will be bordered by affordable housing and renew a long-neglected neighborhood. Mayor White’s commitment to greenspace has created an urban environment that is inviting, vibrant, and charming to residents and visitors.
The Mayors Forum is sponsored by Landscape Structures. For more than a decade, Greater & Greener has been the leading international conference for exploring the role of parks and recreation in cities. Conference sessions, tours, mobile workshops and networking opportunities have been carefully curated to foster an honest dialogue around social equity, cross-agency and cross-sector partnerships, funding models, and replicable solutions for parks. Visit greatergreener.org to view the schedule, see available continuing education credits, speaker and other announcements and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, using the hashtag #greatergreener.
Greater & Greener conference support is provided by Landscape Structures, Inc., The Speedwell Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Knight Foundation, The Toro Company, Urban Market Development, Atkins, Hyde Family Foundation, William Penn Foundation, REI, The Salazar Center for North American Conservation, Visit Denver, Cleveland Foundation, Denver Arts & Venues, Denver B Cycle, Denver Mountain Parks Foundation, Denver Water, Downtown Denver Partnership, ECI Site Construction, Gary Community Investments, Gates Family Foundation, Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), Greenfields Outdoor Fitness, Greenway Foundation/Colorado Parks Foundation, HR&A, J. M. Kaplan Fund, KOMPAN, Molson Coors, The Trust for Public Land, University of Colorado Denver, University of Denver, and Xcel Energy, among others.
City Parks Alliance is the nation’s leading advocacy group for urban parks and open spaces. As the only independent, nationwide membership organization solely dedicated to urban parks, City Parks Alliance leads and serves a growing network of civic and community leaders, government agencies, parks and recreation authorities, funders and others committed to the creation, revitalization and stewardship of parks and green spaces that contribute to dynamic and more equitable cities. For more information, please visit cityparksalliance.org.