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The Fairmount Park system is one of Philadelphia’s greatest assets, with more than 11,000 acres of greenspace spread across nearly every area of the city. It is a mecca for big events and a refuge for small moments of quiet. Fairmount Park is a favorite setting for family reunions and community gatherings, includes an extensive trail system for runners and walkers of every fitness level, and is home to more than 150 recreation facilities that host activities year-round for children, youth, and adults. Fairmount Park also encompasses seven watershed parks that require ongoing and thoughtful stewardship to ensure the city’s rivers and streams are protected from erosion and pollution. Follow this link to read about nature's healing powers in youth. Sourced from: Cities Speak
Dog parks are one of the fastest-growing green spaces in American cities, according to the Trust for Public Land. The demand for sanctioned off-leash spaces is growing, as urban pet owners seek out legal romping grounds for their dogs to socialize, sniff, and even swim. Yes, pool time for Fido is a design element of many new puppy parks; the sleek new Lincoln Yards development in Chicago even has a splash pad that mimics the famous Crown Fountain in Millennium Park. When renderings of the new dog park were published, some noticed a conspicuous lack of people of color enjoying the luxury pet space. Although the 2017 American Housing Survey showed that families who identify as non-Hispanic white are more likely to have a pet, there is no distinction for type of animal, so dog ownership by race can’t be perfectly extrapolated from this data. And in Chicago, many South Side residents are dog owners who chafed at the lack of dog parks in the predominantly minority area of the city. Follow this link to read what dog parks reveal about racial inequality. Sourced from: Data-Smart City Solutions
Cities nationwide are experiencing housing-related challenges, with a growing share of the population unable to afford to rent or own a home. Residents struggle to afford not just a place to live, but a stable home that supports their health and well-being. As housing becomes better understood as a determinant of success in life — affecting health, access to education, and the opportunity for upward mobility — cities are now tasked with solving the affordable-and-healthy housing shortfall. Fortunately, mayors and city leaders are taking action to increase the availability of healthy and affordable housing options for all residents, and local community development organizations are eager partners in this work. The responsibility is not only to ensure that city residents can afford a home, but also that everyone can afford to live in a place that supports their health and ability to thrive. Follow this link to read more. Sourced from: Cities Speak 
What does it mean to repair decades and centuries of ill-treatment, discrimination, exploited labor, death, and massacre? How do city, town, and village leaders grapple with the legacy of what governments have wrought on people of color and indigenous people throughout the United States in ways that are actionable, restorative, and authentic to the experiences of the people who live in their communities? NLC Race, Equity, and Leadership’s (REAL) three-year exploration focuses on what racial equity and racial healing mean for local leaders across America. Themes such as repair of harm, strategies for changing policy, and changing hearts and minds were front and center at REAL’s first ever academy for local leaders, which took place April 11-12 in Washington, D.C. Follow this link to read more. Sourced from: Cities Speak 
When neighborhoods are growing, a lot of planning goes into renovating historic buildings and creating magnificent green spaces that look awesome in the background of social media selfies – while little attention is paid to the existing residents of these now flourishing areas. In the same way these locations have the potential to become booming communities, MORTAR believes that the neighborhood’s residents have the potential to create booming enterprises – just footsteps from their homes. Follow this link to learn more about this Cincinnati renaissance. Sourced from: MORTAR