Next Generation of Parks Event Series

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

In 2010, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation helped jump start a conversation about parks design and city-building with our first Next Generation of Parks™ Event 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.


Scenes From Our 2019-2020 Season

February 2020: Dr. Marla Spivak, Parks & Pollinators

Dr. Marla Spivak, Founder, Spivak Honey Bee Lab, University of Minnesota. A 2010 MacArthur Fellow, Dr. Spivak discussed her research on the demise of the honeybee, as well as her work protecting all bees and efforts to restore populations through pollinator-promoting urban parks and greenspace. Presented at the Walker Art Center on February 27, 2020.

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November 2019: Mitchell J. Silver, Parks and Public Spaces: What’s Next?

Mitchell J. Silver, Commissioner of NYC Parks and acclaimed urban planner discussed his current work in parks development in New York City, as well as past work in Raleigh, NC as the Chief Planning and Development Officer and Planning director for the city. Presented at the University of Minnesota College of Design on October 10, 2019.

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Special thanks to our 2019-2020 Sponsors


Series Videos

Find more on our YouTube and Vimeo channels.


Past Presenters 2010-2020

  • Sabina Ali, Co-Founder & Chair, Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee
  • Gia Biagi, Principal of Urbanism, Studio Gang
  • Bruce Chamberlain, Minneapolis Parks Fellow, Minneapolis Parks Foundation
  • Maurice Cox, Detroit City Planner
  • Roger Cummings, Co-Founder & Creative Director, Juxtaposition Arts
  • Jamie Dean, Principal Designer and Program Manager of London’s Green Grid
  • Adriaan Geuze, WEST 8
  • Robert Hammond, Friends of the High Line
  • Eelco Hooftman, GROSS.MAX
  • Mark Johnson, co-founder and principal, Civitas
  • Janet Lansbury, parenting expert and author
  • Tom Leader of Tom Leader Studio with Sheila Kennedy of KVA Architects
  • Laurie Olin, founding principal of OLIN
  • Kate Orff, Founder & Principal, SCAPE Landscape Design
  • Gil Penalosa, Founder and Chair of the Board, 8 80 Cities
  • Mitchell J. Silver, Commissioner, NYC Parks and Recreation
  • Dr. Marla Spivak, Founder, Spivak Honey Bee Lab, University of Minnesota
  • Lisa Tziona Switkin, of James Corner Field Operations
  • Florence Williams, Journalist and author of The Nature Fix: How Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier and More Creative
  • Lily Yeh, Founder, Barefoot Artists
  • Dr. Robert Zarr, Park Rx America

Become a Next Gen Sponsor

Our audience is forward-thinking and engaged. Find out how you can connect with them through sponsorship. Contact Jennifer Downham at jdownham@mplsparksfoundation.org or 612.822.3401.

YOUR DONATION helps ensure the parks in our city remain accessible, equitable and serving everyone.