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.


7-8:30pm, Best Buy Theater, Northrop Auditorium

Join us for extraordinary evening with one of the
foremost choreographers of urban re-creation


Planning Director, City of Detroit

Featuring Minnesota Public Radio’s Brandt Williams and an opening sequence with youth designers from Juxtaposition Arts, plus the premiere of a short film about an MPF-JXTA parks design collaboration

The City of Detroit is on the cusp of a dramatic transformation that finds parks and public space emerging from the intersection of design and social justice. From the city’s famed international riverfront (yes, that’s Cananda across the Detroit River), to a new water management and greenspace typology emerging from its 20 square-mile mosaic of vacant land, and recent $4M Civic Commons grant, community-led design is at the forefront of Detroit’s future.

Today, nearly two years after Detroit emerged from bankruptcy, the city is stabilizing and beginning in earnest to reinvest in its assets – both people and place. 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.



2016-2017 Series Continues

Additional details will be announced soon.

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.

2016-2017 Past Events

BUILDING BRIDGES: September 9, 2016
Leila Araghian, Architect & Designer, Tabiat “Nature” Bridge
Araghian’s Tabiat “nature” pedestrian bridge in Tehran has sparked a new wave of community connection by becoming the place in Tehran to visit, stay, and socialize with friends – old and new. Parks and other public spaces are the site of such interactions all over the world, and the most dynamic of these are often created by designers who champion the importance of creating common ground through inspiring places. By bringing Araghian to Minneapolis, we hope to spark renewed energy around the role of parks in building bridges – literal and figurative – in Minneapolis.

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.