Lecture Series

2016-2017 Next Generation of Parks™ Season

Presented by Minnesota Public Radio

Through the Parks Foundation’s always-free Lecture Series events, global design innovators and thought-leaders showcase the most exciting new parks destinations and delve into important issues of place affecting the Twin Cities community today.


Northrop Auditorium, Best Buy Theater

Join MPR’s Marianne Combs
for a conversation with

Co-founder, Diba Tensile Architecture, and
Designer & Chief Architect of the Tabiat “Nature” Bridge, Tehran, Iran

FREE • Member Pre-Sale Tickets Now Available


2016-2017 Series Continues

Additional details will be announced soon.

RE-CREATION: November 4, 2016
Maurice Cox, Planning Director, City of Detroit
Addressing the role of parks in the rebirth of Detroit, including how public space design affects community health.

WATER: March 9, 2017
>Co-produced with the Walker Art Center<
Mark Johnson, Co-founder and Principal, Civitas, Inc.
Exploring 21st century approaches to parks and public space on our urban rivers and waterfronts.

PLAY: May 2017
Janet Lansbury, Parenting Expert & Author
This town hall-style conversation will be the centerpiece of an outdoor all-ages daytime event featuring innovative ways to bring families and communities together through play.

About the Lecture Series

In 2010, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation helped jumpstart a conversation about parks design and city-building with our first Next Generation of Parks™ Lecture Series, hosting landscape designers and park advocates whose work includes The High Line in New York and London’s Green Grid. We have produced a lecture series nearly every year since, always with the goal of demystifying the impact of great design – inspiring thousands to be champions for dynamic, vibrant public space in Minneapolis and throughout the region.

Past Presentations, 2010-2015

  • Gil Penalosa, Founder and Chair of the Board, 8 80 Cities
  • Roger Cummings, Co-Founder & Creative Director, Juxtaposition Arts; Cameron Downey, JXTA Student; Tom Fisher, Dayton Hudson Land Grant Chair and Director, University of Minnesota Metropolitan Design Center; and Kristine Miller, Professor, University of Minnesota Department of Landscape Architecture
  • Kate Orff, Founder & Principal, SCAPE Landscape Design, and 2014 Buckminster Fuller Institute Challenge winner
  • Adriaan Geuze, WEST 8
  • Eelco Hooftman, GROSS.MAX
  • Jamie Dean, principal designer and program manager of London’s Green Grid
  • Robert Hammond, President of Friends of the High Line, and Lisa Tziona Switkin, of James Corner Field Operations and primary designer of New York City’s High Line
  • Laurie Olin, a distinguished teacher, author and founding principal of OLIN, one of America’s leading landscape architecture firms
  • Tom Leader of Tom Leader Studio and Sheila Kennedy of KVA Architects, designers of RiverFirst, the winning proposal for the Minneapolis Riverfront Design Competition.

Past Partners

The Next Generation of Parks™ Lecture Series has been proudly co-presented with significant contribution from American Society of Landscape Architects-Minnesota, the University of Minnesota Department of Landscape Architecture, and the Walker Art Center.