As part of “Reimagining the Civic Commons,” an initiative that will invest $40 million in public spaces in cities across the United States, Studio Gang has developed a set of design strategies and techniques that any community can use to activate their civic assets as a powerful, interconnected civic commons.
Published online as a free, downloadable booklet, Studio Gang’s proposal is the result of a six-month inquiry supported by the Knight and Kresge Foundations in partnership with the JPB Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. Its design ideas and vision share an accessible, visual understanding of how to leverage the core competencies of cities’ public assets, identify ways to make them more meaningful and useful for the communities they serve, and demonstrate how programming and physical space can be used to better connect them with one another.
The proposal offers physical and programmatic changes that can be customized and implemented for seven types of civic assets: libraries, parks, recreation centers, police stations, schools, streets, and transit. It also illustrates examples of the exciting public spaces, uses, and experiences that can be created when this integrated approach to investing in assets is applied in a district in southwest Philadelphia, the first “Reimagining the Civic Commons” pilot city.