2018 National Planning Conference

Reimagining Akron: Engagement, Equity, and Collaboration

Monday, April 15, 2019 from 1 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. PDT

CM | 1.25

Activity Type: Educational Sessions

Activity ID: NPC198153

Location: 2002

Add to My Log


  • See how design, program, and management of civic assets can foster engagement, equity, environmental sustainability and economic development.
  • Learn about a new metrics system for measuring the social impact of public place investments.
  • Examine ways to engage communities in two-way co-creation to reimagine existing community assets.


Nearly every trend line shows that the U.S. is in the grips of increased polarization, segregation, social isolation and economic inequality.

There is an urgent need to reverse these trends in communities of all sizes. Akron, Ohio, is reaffirming the power of the commons to foster equity and engagement.

As part of the national Reimagining the Civic Commons initiative, this mid-size Rust Belt city is developing trust in long-disinvested neighborhoods through the process of active co-creation. Temporary and permanent design features and programming are reestablishing the 100-acre Summit Lake as a place of civic pride, bridging diversity in Park East and fostering economic development and public life downtown. Learn how Akron is knitting together isolated communities through collaborative reimagining of public places and employing a new metrics system for measuring impact.

Session Speakers

Lynn M. Ross, AICP
Spirit for Change Consulting, LLC
Miami Beach, FL

Dan M. Rice
Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition
Akron, OH

James J. Hardy
City of Akron
Akron, OH

Kyle Kutuchief
Knight Foundation
Akron, OH

Eric Nelson
Students With A Goal

Lisa M. King
Summit Metro Parks
Akron, OH