May 5, 2016
In April of this year, the City of Memphis launched its participation in the “Reimagining the Civic Commons” initiative with the activation of the spaces shared by Cossitt Library, Memphis Park, Mississippi River Park, Court Square Park, Riverside Drive and Main Street. Memphis is one of seven cities around the nation chosen for this civic engagement project birthed by philanthropic foundations: The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation. Other cities invited to participate along with Memphis in this initiative are Chicago, Detroit, Lexington, Akron, Long Beach and Columbus, Georgia.
“Reimagining the Civic Commons” intends to be the first comprehensive demonstration of how a connected set of civic assets – a “civic commons” – can yield increased and more widely shared prosperity for cities and neighborhoods. The addition of amenities to Memphis Park, temporarily named “Fourth Bluff” for the project period, is the result of this endeavor. As seen below, these movable tables, strung lighting, picnic tables and checker boards offer opportunities to eat, meet and mingle for professionals, visitors or residents.
Memphis city leaders’ sentiments about the project are echoed by those of Shawn McCaney, director of William Penn Foundation’s Creative Communities, as he explained, “We believe that all residents of the city, children and families, deserve access to high-quality public amenities, like high-quality parks, libraries and rec centers. And we think those kind of investments really enhance the quality of life in neighborhoods. But also, we think they are very important places for civic engagement. They’re the places where communities gather and, frankly, where community-building happens.”
The Riverfront Development Corporation is pleased to be a partner with the City of Memphis, the University of Memphis, and Innovate Memphis.
Check out the pictures of some of the new furniture below. Maybe your next staff meeting could be outdoors?