Event Series

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 and delve into important issues of place affecting the Twin Cities community today.

2017-2018 Next Generation of Parks™ Season

Presented by Minnesota Public Radio


Lily Yeh, Founder, Barefoot Artists

Thursday, March 22, 2018
Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Always Free • Get Tickets

Presented in partnership with Mia and MCAD

Lily Yeh is a compassionate and charismatic visual artist, sculptor, and activist whose community art projects have transformed the lives of thousands of people from Rwanda to West Palm Beach. “Creating art in forlorn and forsaken places is like making fire in the frozen darkness of the winter’s night,” she has said.

As Minneapolis initiates the historic Neighborhood Park Plan, a 20-year reinvestment in community parks, and seeks to reconcile decades of social injustice, Yeh’s practice of using art and beauty to heal can provide us with a roadmap to common ground.

In this can’t miss talk, Yeh will share her experience creating community in Philadelphia, transforming a school and its students in Beijing, and bringing healing through the Genocide Memorial Park, Rugerero Survivors Village, in Gisenyi, Rwanda. Learn More & Get Tickets.

Bruce Chamberlain, Minneapolis Parks Fellow

NEW DATE: Thursday, April 19, 2018

University of Minnesota, Rapson Hall

Always Free • Get Tickets

Presented in partnership with the Department of Landscape Architecture,
University of Minnesota College of Design

Great cities choose pathways that achieve a collective imagination. In 2015, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation created the Parks Fellow program to achieve transformative efforts with the power to alter the trajectory of a city.

In this talk, Minneapolis Parks Fellow Bruce Chamberlain will share how the RiverFirst vision to restore 11 miles of Mississippi Riverfront with a network of parks like Water Works and connecting trails is an innovative model for resurgent cities. Learn More & Get Tickets.



Thursday, May 10, 5:30pm at Powderhorn Park
Engaging Communities Through Parks
Sabina Ali, Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee
More info and tickets available soon

Sabina Ali is the Chair and founding member of Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee – created by residents to advance a transformative vision for Thorncliffe Park and the surrounding community. Under Ali’s leadership, the Women’s Committee revitalized the local park and created a healthy, engaged and inclusive community. Sabina has worked to build the capacity and economic opportunities of residents and manages a wide variety of food, art, fitness, markets and garden programs. Sabina is the recipient of the Elizabeth Coke award for excellence in leadership in 2011, the 2014 Jane Jacobs Prize, and the 2014 Phenomenal Woman Award. She was selected as one of the Top Ten Torontonians to get the things done by Globe and Mail. She recently was awarded for her excellence in civic action.

Watch This Season’s Opening Night Event:

Gia Biagi, Urbanism & Civic Impact | A Next Generation of Parks™ event, October 2017 from Minneapolis Parks Foundation on Vimeo.

About the Event Series

In 2010, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation helped jumpstart 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.

Past Presentations, 2010-2017

  • Leila Araghian, Architect & Designer, Tabiat “Nature” Bridge
  • Maurice Cox, Detroit City Planner
  • Mark Johnson, co-founder and principal, Civitas
  • Gil Penalosa, Founder and Chair of the Board, 8 80 Cities
  • Roger Cummings, Co-Founder & Creative Director, Juxtaposition Arts
  • Janet Lansbury, parenting expert and author
  • Kate Orff, Founder & Principal, SCAPE Landscape Design
  • 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, with Lisa Tziona Switkin, of James Corner Field Operations
  • Laurie Olin, founding principal of OLIN
  • Tom Leader of Tom Leader Studio with Sheila Kennedy of KVA Architects