In June 2014, the City of Philadelphia sold LOVE Park’s underground garage to InterPark of Chicago, with immediate plans to improve the garage and make it handicapped accessible. This construction project presented the City with the opportunity to rethink the park on the top of the underground garage as a more pedestrian-friendly and seamless part of the surrounding streetscape.
Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy, in conjunction with the City Council President Darrell Clarke, recognized LOVE Park’s role as one of Philadelphia’s most famous and photographed public parks. The City in turn committed to giving the rebuild of LOVE Park careful consideration. PennPraxis assisted the City and its partners charged with redesigning the park to engage the community and key stakeholders in a productive public conversation about the redesign of this important public space.
Through the months of September 2014 to January 2015, PennPraxis led a series of public workshops and events designed to gathering public input on the community’s vision for the future of LOVE Park. The first series—Love Park Engagement Days—were held in September 2014 and invited designs from the community for their vision for the Park. Participants who did not attend the two-day event at the Park were able to post ideas using social media or email. Online interaction continued into October, and throughout the process. Ideas were consolidated, presented to stakeholder groups, and used to inform the redesign.
In December, 2014, the results of initial outreach were presented to the community through a public workshop format, which included a series of group discussions led by the Penn Project for Civic Engagement. The outcome illustrated citizens’ desires for the park, which included the need for greater seating, lighting, greenery, and space for food trucks, in addition to flexible design, space for performances, programming, and both day and night events.
PennPraxis was also involved in the selection of the consultant for the redesign of the plaza and Park: Hargraves Associates. The consultant team was introduced to the community during a final community presentation in January 2015. The wealth and diversity of input collected through this initial phase was central to the concepts of the park redesign.
This initial phase of the project was funded by the William Penn Foundation.
01-21-2015 Update: Review of Public Meeting #2
A very big thank you to all who came out to the second public meeting for the redesign of JFK Plaza/LOVE Park. The meeting was held at 6pm at the Skyline Room in the main branch of the Public Library. We had over 150 people attend the event which included a summary of the civic engagement work done to date and an in depth presentation by the Hargreaves Project Team which reviewed works done by the team and their current understanding of and approach to the JFK Plaza/LOVE Park site. The meeting ended with a great Q&A session.
We invite you to download the presentations by PennPraxis and the Hargreaves Project Team below and view some images from the event. This has been a great civic process for the City and citizens. Thank you for being a part of it!
01-07-2015 Update: #newlovepark Ideas have been posted!
We have collected all of the great ideas submitted via email, social media, and at our first public meeting. Download the PDF below to view them. Thank you so much for all the great feedback through this civic engagement process!
During the public meeting held back on December 10, 2014 we had a number of moderators on hand to faciliate the civic engagement session. Below you will find reports that the moderators have written summarizing the feedback and discussion generated during this session. They are in PDF form and will need to be downloaded in order to view them. Happy New Year!
12-15-2014 Update: December 10th Public Meeting Review
Thank you to everyone who attended and participated in the first public meeting for the redesign of JFK Plaza/ LOVE Park at the Central Branch of the Free Library this past Wednesday. The event was a huge success with over 200 people in attendance! The agenda included:
Welcome by Michael DiBerardinis, Deputy Mayor for Environmental and Community Resources and Commissioner of the Department of Parks and Recreation
Welcome by Darrell Clarke, City Council President
Project background by Mark Focht, First Deputy Commissioner, Parks and Recreation
Review of HR&A results by Kathryn Ott Lovell, Executive Director Fairmount Park Conservancy
Introduction to PennPraxis work by Randall Mason, Executive Director, PennPraxis
Presentation of best practices and civic engagement to date by Bridget Keegan Barber, PennPraxis
PPCE engagement by Harris Sokoloff, Director, Penn Project for Civic Engagement
The Penn Project for Civic Engagement facilitated a series of group discussions guided by 5 questions focused on the strengths, weaknesses, barriers, and opportunities in JFK Plaza/ LOVE Park and the redesign project. The overarching ideas and interests generated during these discussions align with the existing understanding of public interests for the #newlovepark. Specifically, participants discussed the need for greater seating, lighting, greenery, and space for food trucks. They also cited the need for flexible design of the park, supporting space for performances, programming, and events during both the day and night.
Please check back in soon for additional feedback from the first public meeting!
Check It Out: Want to know more about what went on at the public meeting last Wednesday? We have included the PennPraxis Presentation, Agenda and Discussion Questions below for you to download and posted some pictures from the night. Enjoy!
Don't Forget: There will be a 2nd public meeting held on January 20th. At this meeting we will present the findings from all the civic engagement work done to date and introduce the design team chosen to create the #newlovepark!
The Stakeholder Meeting for the redesign of JFK Plaza/LOVE Park was held on November 4th, 2014 at the Municipal Services Building, 1401 JFK Boulevard. Stakeholders included residential, commercial, civic, institutional, and non-profit groups surrounding JFK Plaza/LOVE Park. A total of 20 individuals attended. The meeting agenda included:
Welcome by Michael DiBerardinis, Deputy Mayor, Environmental and Community Resources City of Philadelphia
Review of garage sale, retention of PennPraxis and HR&A and selection of design team by Mark A. Focht, First Deputy Commissioner, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation
Presentation of the HR&A Financial Analysis for JFK Plaza/LOVE Park by Kathryn Ott Lovell, Executive Director, Fairmount Park Conservancy
An overview presentation including an introduction to the civic engagement completed since September 2014 and a review of best practices based on the engagement and principles for the redesign by Bridget Keegan Barber, Interim Director of PennPraxis.
The presentation concluded with a series of questions posed to the stakeholders to facilitate discussion and generate feedback to further inform the civic visioning process.
**To view the notes from this meeting, please download the PDF attachment below.
Feedback from the community has continued. Check out the new Word Cloud directly below to see how new input has influenced the Leading Interests for the #newlovepark. The top 32 ideas were included in the word cloud. The size of the word reflects the level of interest that word received in relation to the other words included. Seating continues to lead the pack!
If you think there are ideas that should have greater support, get involved! And get your friends involved! As we receive more feedback we will update the outcomes. So keep submitting your interests using the hashtag #newlovepark or by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Save the Saucer?: The Preservation Alliance has created a campaign to save the saucer building, adding it to their most recent list of Places to Save. Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know!
Remember: We have created a page on Storify where we are collecting any and all social media and news media surrounding the #newlovepark engagement efforts and redesign process. Please check it out to see the news coverage, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook submissions we have received so far (some of them may be from you!). https://storify.com/PennPraxis/the-newlovepark
The Leading Interests for the #newlovepark!
Review of Love Park Civic Engagement Days September 2014
Our civic engagement days in JFK Plaza/LOVE Park Wednesday (9/17) and Saturday (9/20) were a huge success! We received feedback from hundreds of participants. Thank you! We appreciate the public's enthusiasm and interest in being a part of the process. LOOK BELOW to see just a few of the many great ideas and designs submitted during the events last week. To view ALL the postcard submissions from the events, you can download the PDFs located below the slideshows.
If you missed the event, or want to contribute more ideas, you can use the map base located below the event images and PDFs to draw or write what you imagine the New LOVE Park to look like and share it via Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram using #newlovepark. Or email ideas to email@example.com. Take a look below at some examples of design ideas that have already been submitted!
Finally, remember to keep checking back in for details about future civic engagement events for the redesign process. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to share what is important to you for the #newlovepark!
The PDFs Below Contain All of the Idea-Design Postcards Submitted During the Civic Engagement Days in Love Park Wednesday, 9-17 & Saturday 9-20