Open Voices Blog

News and conversations about the growing evidence of the healing power of nature and green development in cities

Open Voices News Roundup: July 23

07/23/12 | View Comments
Every week, we bring you the latest news in placemaking, landscape architecture, the nature-mental health link, and much more. Check back every Monday for our news roundups. Read more
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Friday Flower: Name this Bloom!

07/20/12 | View Comments

Every Friday we publish a new Friday Flower. We ask our readers, as a game, to identify the flower. Here’s today’s beautiful bloom — anybody know what it is?

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Open Voices News Roundup: The Greater & Greener Version

07/18/12 | View Comments
Tuesday marked the last day of “Greater & Greener: Re-Imagining Parks for 21st Century Cities,” the excellent summit put on by City Parks Alliance in New York City. But while the panels are over and the attendees have scattered back home across the globe, the ideas and discussions that sparked at the conference will launch some great new initiatives and movements. Lots of interesting news also came out of the conference this week -- so here is this week's roundup, with a Greater & Greener bent! Read more
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Greater & Greener Report: Funding the New Green City

07/17/12 | View Comments

“Alternative funding models for parks, while essential to helping our cities add and keep open space, are also raising many questions. How do we keep the public dollars in parks? How does a city balance the needs of downtown investment with neighborhood development? How can we marry private sector innovation with equitable provision of space in all kinds of neighborhoods? How can public space and private development be designed together for a better result for both?”

These were the important — and tough — questions discussed at the plenary session Tuesday at the Greater & Greener: International Urban Parks Conference in New York City. The City Parks Alliance seemed to realize that while it’s great to discussion visions and ideas at their conference, the devil’s in the details in executing many of these plans — especially when it comes to money.

Bringing together an Oklahoman mayor, a building developer, and an ‘eco-entrepreneur’ on a diverse panel, the group attempted to address these issues.

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Do Greenspaces Equal Greenbacks? The Economic Case for Urban Parks

07/16/12 | View Comments
More and more people are seeing the potential of urban greenspaces and parks to act as economic catalysts for cities. Read more to find out why.
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Greater & Greener: The Largest Urban Park Gathering in History

07/16/12 | View Comments
We're reporting from the largest urban parks gathering in history -- Greater & Greener: The International Urban Parks Conference, presented by City Parks Alliance. The purpose of the conference? To "increase awareness of the positive impact that parks and green spaces have on our urban communities and explore how urban parks will be designed, developed, programmed, funded and sustained to meet future demands."
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“Places of Urban Sanctuary for Humans”: A Q&A with TKF’s Tom Stoner

07/16/12 | View Comments
Tom Stoner and his wife Kitty

Tom Stoner and his wife Kitty

After a momentous visit to England in 1995, Tom Stoner, and his wife, Kitty, returned to the United States with a commitment to building urban greenspaces in cities across the United States. Their foundation, the TKF Foundation, was born in 1996, and since then they’ve helped fund and create more than 130 open spaces in the Baltimore-Annapolis-Washington region with the Foundation’s support.

To kick off the launch of Open Voices, we sat down with Tom Stoner to discuss a variety of topics — from why he started his foundation, to how communities can better work together to create urban greenspaces, and much more. Enjoy!

Open Voices: You’ve said the vision for the TKF Foundation and Open Spaces Sacred Places was inspired by a trip to London, where you saw a park that served as a refuge for people during World War II. How did that experience help spark this idea for you?

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Friday Flower: Name this Bloom!

07/13/12 | View Comments

Every Friday we publish a new Friday Flower. We ask our readers, as a game, to identify the flower. Here’s today’s beautiful bloom — anybody know what it is?

See more Friday Flowers here.

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Open Voices News Roundup: July 9

07/09/12 | View Comments
Every week, we bring you the latest news in placemaking, landscape architecture, the nature-mental health link, and much more. Check back every Monday for our news roundups. In this week's roundup, read about the upcoming Greater and Greener conference; how new natural playgrounds are having a positive effect on children; why urban trees need help; and lots more. Read more
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Welcome to Open Voices!

07/02/12 | View Comments
Welcome to Open Voices! We’re so excited to announce the creation of this new blog as a platform where we hope to spread information and stories about the healing power of nature and green development in urban locations. Our foundation started in 1996, when we started out with the goal of funding publicly accessible urban green space. In this space, we’ll collect some of the best and most relevant news in placemaking, green development and more for your reading each week. We’ll keep you updated on the status of our new grantees and their fascinating projects, wherein they attempt to record the impact of open, sacred green spaces on their urban neighborhoods and communities. Read more
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    About Us

    We are a private nonprofit that supports, informs, and inspires the creation of publicly accessible urban green spaces. We believe that every city resident needs nearby green space to provide opportunities for mindfulness, respite, and renewal. The Foundation has issued its final grants to build five Open Spaces Sacred Places and research the impacts on a variety of users with the hope that the powerful connection between nature, spirit and human wellbeing will be scientifically proven.

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