Nationally renowned planner, Maurice Cox, to explore democratic design and citizen planning at free Next Generation of Parks event, Fri. Nov. 4

October 12, 2016 by Janette Law

The Next Generation of Parks™ event features Minnesota Public Radio’s Brandt Williams and a presentation by Juxtaposition Arts youth designers

Minneapolis, Minn. – You’re invited to join the Minneapolis Parks Foundation and Minnesota Public Radio for an extraordinary evening featuring one of the foremost leaders of urban re-creation: Maurice Cox.  As Planning Director for the City of Detroit, Cox is leading a dramatic transformation that finds parks and public space at the intersection of design and social justice.

Part of the Next Generation of Parks™ series, the event will take place 7:00-8:30pm, Friday, November 4, in the Best Buy Theater of Northrop Auditorium. Tickets are free and pre-registration is encouraged via Eventbrite. A reception will follow the presentation.

Minnesota Public Radio’s Brandt Williams will interview Cox before inviting the audience into the conversation. Youth design apprentices from Juxtaposition Arts will open the event with a presentation of design ideas for future Upper Mississippi riverfront parks, along with a short video about the students’ work this past summer exploring north Minneapolis’s connection to the Mississippi River.

“Citizen planning and democratic design brings new voices to the table and uncovers creative solutions for shaping our communities’ future,” notes Tom Evers, Executive Director of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation. “Through the Next Generation of Parks events, we aim to reimagine urban public spaces and raise expectations for Minneapolis and the region. Mr. Cox has been a nationally leader in urban planning while tackling some of the most daunting challenges facing American Cities and there are lessons we can learn though his work.”

Called the “Champion of the Neighborhoods,” Cox is a convener, who helps community members understand that it’s possible to change the world through design. He’ll share how Detroit is using citizen design to revitalize the city, including:

  • Re-knitting Detroit’s mosaic of vacant lands via a citywide network of greenways;
  • Understanding an emerging typology of water management and green- and public space;
  • Increasing access to natural amenities for lower-income communities in places like the city’s transforming international riverfront.

About Maurice Cox
Maurice Cox is an urban designer, architectural educator and former mayor of the City of Charlottesville, VA. He most recently served as Associate Dean for Community Engagement at Tulane University, School of Architecture and Director of the Tulane City Center, a university-affiliated practice operating at the intersection of design, urban research and civic engagement throughout the New Orleans community.  His experience merging architecture, politics and design education led to his being named one of “20 Masters of Design” in 2004 by Fast Company Business Magazine. He served as Design Director of the National Endowment for the Arts from 2007-2010 where he led the NEA’s Your Town Rural Institute, the Governor’s Institute on Community Design, the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, and oversaw direct design grants to the design community across the U.S. In 2013, Cox was named one of the Most Admired Design Educators in America in the annual ranking of Design Intelligence.

Thank You to our 2016-2017 Partners & Sponsors
The 2016-2017 Next Generation of Parks™ Lecture Series is presented by Minnesota Public Radio and produced in partnership with the Walker Art Center and University of Minnesota Department of Landscape Architecture, with additional support from the Cynthia Froid Group. The Park Foundation is grateful for their support. For information about sponsorship opportunities, please email Janette Law, Director of Communications & Strategic Partnerships.

About the Minneapolis Parks Foundation
The Minneapolis Parks Foundation is an independent, donor-supported nonprofit that brings visionary leadership, philanthropic investment and private sector expertise to support innovation and equity throughout the Minneapolis park system. It co-leads the RiverFirst Initiative with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and is responsible for private fundraising and implementation of the Water Works and 26th Ave N to Ole Olson projects. MPF supports innovative Minneapolis parks projects through equity funding and champions world-class design through its Next Generation of Parks™ Event Series. Become a Member at

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