Core Strategies: P3s 4 Parks

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 | 8 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.
CM | 1.25
Add to My Log

You'll learn about:

  • Understand the landscape of city park partnerships

  • Learn how cities are financing, programming and managing downtown parks to restore urban environments and promote economic development in the urban core

  • Learn about various revenue models that BIDs and other nonprofits are using to build, operate, and maintain downtown parks

  • Learn how three cities have used different strategies through BIDs to attract residents, business and visitors to their downtown core

Downtown parks make urban areas great places to live, work and play. Across the country, Business Improvement Districts and non-profits are taking on a stronger role in financing, programming and managing them. This session will explore how BIDs in three cities have revitalized downtown parks, attracting and retaining workers and residents, spurring economic development, and enhancing the tourist experience.


BIDs are able to create successes in cities that have lost population by using new and renovated downtown parks to bring people back to the city’s core. Downtown Detroit Partnership has created a 501(c)3 nonprofit, the Detroit 300 Conservancy, to manage and program the city’s downtown parks. Campus Martius Park is a 2.5-acre public square and year-round entertainment venue that serves as the anchor of the downtown commercial center and provides unique programming for downtown residents, like basketball courts.


Philadelphia’s Center City District has created an innovative model, using a foundation affiliated with a BID in a city that has always had an active downtown but has experienced a resurgence in recent years. The Center City District Foundation enhances downtown gateways and public spaces, creates signature boulevards and new parks and enhances existing parks, while providing a range of job opportunities in maintenance, management and construction.


In fast growing cities like Washington, DC, BIDs can use downtown parks to activate real estate development and enhance the quality of life for nearby residents. The Capitol Riverfront BID has been able to foster brand new development by programming and maintaining the 5.5-acre Yards Park, with cutting edge design providing a direct connection to the Anacostia River for the first time in years, and Canal Park, which has a skating rink, sculpture, water features and rain garden.


Catherine Nagel , City Parks Alliance , Washington , DC (see bio)
Robert Gregory , , Detroit , MI
Michael Stevens , Capitol Riverfront BID , Washington , DC (see bio)
Nancy Goldenberg , Center City District , Philadelphia , PA (see bio)