Science and Management of 21st Century Urban Parks

Millenium Park, Chicago

Science and Management of 21st Century Urban Parks

November 13, 2015

See video embedded below.

About the Conference

Kroon Hall, 195 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT. 

The Hixon Center for Urban Ecology at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies in partnership with the NYC Urban Field Station and 21st Century Parks is convening this conference to explore the future of urban parks given projections of increasing urbanization. Leading researchers, investors and land managers will explore a range of possibilities to meet needs for future populations including how science can guide better design solutions, and the role of private investment in public lands.


Schedule of Events

8:00am to 8:30am

Coffee & Registration

8:30am to 8:45am


Sir Peter Crane

Dean, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
8:45am to 9:00am

Keynote Address

Mitchell J. Silver

FAICP, New York City Parks
9:00am to 10:30am

Panel 1: Parks in Expanding and Contracting Cities

This panel will explore the impact of ‘edges’ on urban parks, including the internal edges of collapsing centers in cities with declining population, as well as cities with increasing population and expanding edges. Panelists will discuss changes in temporal scale (demographic shifts) and changes in spatial scale, and how shifting boundaries will create questions of urban park planning for future needs and opportunities.

Rebecca Salminen Witt

Director, Greening of Detroit

Lisa Schroeder

Director, Parks and People

Dr. Steward Pickett, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Distinguished Senior Scientist

Karen Seto, PhD, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Associate Dean of Research and Professor of Geography & Urbanization Science
10:30am to 10:45am

Coffee Break

10:45am to 12:15pm

Panel 2: How Wild Can or Should Parks Be?

This panel will explore conventional park designs compared to more natural unmanaged systems. Speakers will examine how to strike a balance across the nature/people spectrum and will consider the divide of park designs – those that emphasize urban open spaces designed for people versus those that emphasize restoration projects. Different stakeholders can have completely different goals, and different professionals approach problems and solutions from different scale perspectives.

Dr. Suzanne Malec-McKenna

Executive Director, Chicago Wilderness

Dr. Liam Heneghan

DePaul University

Dr. Margaret Carreiro

University of Louisville

Dr. Mark Bradford

Associate Professor of Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
12:15pm to 1:15pm


1:15pm to 2:45pm

Panel 3: Sustaining Parks

Sarah Charlop-Powers '09 MEM, Natural Areas Conservancy

Co-Founder and Executive Director

Dr. Mark Wilson

Health Director, City of Birmingham, Alabama

Catherine Nagel, City Parks Alliance

Executive Director

Brad Gentry

Associate Dean for Professional Practice, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
2:45pm to 3:15pm

Closing Keynote

Daniel Jones '06 MF

Chairman & CEO, 21st Century Parks
3:15pm to 3:45pm

Closing Coffee Reception