TEDxSoleburySchool Speaker Michael Garden
TEDxSoleburySchool Talk: Community Engagement in Public Place Making
Historically, the designing of public spaces in Philadelphia has been implemented by small teams of “experts” with little or no public input from the community, and little or no consideration of diversity and inclusivity. To create a truly public space, design teams must fully engage representation from all communities being served to determine what a public space needs to look like, how it should function, and how it is programmed. Only then can we ensure that it will be a public space for all. For many of us, what we mean when we say “community" — and what we mean when we say “engagement"— needs to be reimagined.
Michael Garden is a real estate professional with Space and Company and lives and works in Center City, Philadelphia. He is currently Vice Chair of Friends of the Rail Park and Co-Chair of its Fundraising and Communications Committees. Michael began organizing awareness and fundraising events supporting the Rail Park in 2011 and joined the board in 2014. His passion for the project arises from recognizing the transformative impact that the Rail Park can have on the lives of all Philadelphians through utilizing the site for transportation, recreation, education, health and wellness, arts and culture, and as a public space shared by people from all over the city, the region and around the world.