Creative Transformations: Lessons from Transatlantic Cities
This event is hosted by The German Marshall Fund of the United States with the support of the William Penn Foundation and in collaboration with Drexel University. Participation is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is required. Doors will open at 6:00 pm and light snacks will be provided. The program will begin at 6:30 pm.
As U.S. and European cities compete on a global scale to attract and retain residents, businesses, and visitors, public assets such as parks and other vibrant public spaces become a key leverage point. Cities are increasingly looking to the reuse of abandoned industrial infrastructure as an opportunity to create new, self-sustaining recreational and economic development opportunities. For these sites in particular, creative reuse shifts the perspective of a city’s past from a liability into a long-term asset that the community can take advantage of for years to come.
Philadelphia is already working to reposition a number of its former industrial assets, such as its industrial riverfronts, rail infrastructure, and former manufacturing facilities. By hosting this event, the city is interested in promoting an expanded and deeper dialogue on the topic of “Creative Transformations,” including lessons from other national and international cities that have creatively reused industrial sites as new civic and economic assets or improved connectivity between neighborhoods with new types of public spaces. A series of short presentations from transatlantic experts will inspire the audience, and a moderated panel discussion will focus on the process of innovative transatlantic learning and how to apply key lessons to local contexts.
Ellen Lamberts (Antwerp, Belgium) Overview of “Park Spoor Noord,” an abandoned industrial area transformed into a new urban park adjacent to several diverse neighborhoods.
Davis Cable – (Charlotte, North Carolina) A look at the “Carolina Thread Trail,” a new regional trail system built on an interesting model of collaboration and consensus.
Gabrielle Muris – (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) A focus on the “RDM Campus,” an industrial facility renovated to become a business incubator and vocational school to spur a local innovation and clean technology economy.
Andreas Mueller – (Essen, Germany) Overview of the redesign of the “Zollverein Coal Complex,” a large coal mine converted into a public park and events facility.
A panel discussion on transatlantic learning featuring:
Moderator: Geraldine Gardner, Director, Urban and Regional Policy Program, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
Leilah Powell, Chief of Policy to Mayor Ivy R. Taylor, City of San Antonio, Texas
Nico Tillie, Landscape Architect, Sustainable Development and Smart Cities, City of Rotterdam. The Netherlands
Andreas Kauffman, Urban Planner, City of Leipzig, Germany
Tamar Shapiro, President & CEO, Center for Community Progress (Washington, DC)