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Thursday, October 3 • 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Swim City: Tapping the Placemaking Potential of Public Pools

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Bringing together their experiences from Philadelphia, New York City, and Baltimore, urban planners Ben and Nicole will provide a deep look at how simple physical improvements integrated with thoughtful programming in our public pools can bring deep, lasting impacts into our neighborhoods. In 2015, Ben won the Knight Cities Challenge with The Pop-Up Pool Project, bringing color, shade, seating, and games to a public pool in north Philadelphia, sparking cities and neighborhoods to transform their long-neglected public pools to vibrant community hubs. Since the first pop-up, Philadelphia and NYC’s Parks and Rec Departments started the Swim Philly and Cool Pools programs. In the summer of 2017, inspired by her work with Ben, Nicole co-led the Marian Anderson Pop-Up Pool in South Philadelphia, and is currently co-leading a similar project in Baltimore, both 100% volunteer-funded and driven. The impact and spectacular public responses to these projects have led to far-reaching impacts, from large usage increases, increased civic engagement, regular volunteer clean-ups, highly active social media communities, and friendships that extends well past the summer season. The workshop will provide an overview of past pop-up pool projects both city and neighborhood led-- and a playbook to help guide any placemaker to activate these largely underutilized public assets. Below summarizes the workshop’s format: INTRODUCTION: Overview of previous “pop-up pool”; images, summary: (1) Local coordination, (2) Funding, (3) Design, (4) Feedback & Evaluation, (5) Tips & Key lessons learned, (6) End of Season.

avatar for Benjamin Bryant

Benjamin Bryant

Director of Special Projects, Interface Studio, LLC
Ben is a planner and urban designer interested in how neighborhoods, cities, and regions can incentivize and best manage processes of revitalization and reinvention. As a city planner, Ben has led projects in cities, first-ring suburbs, and walkable downtowns with a focus on land... Read More →
avatar for Nicole Buchholz

Nicole Buchholz

Associate, U3 Advisors
Nicole is an associate at U3 Advisors, a dynamic firm that works with anchor institutions, cities, and non-profits to advance their mission and unlock their impact. Passionate about creating beautiful, vibrant, and inclusive spaces for the community, she has co-led and designed neighborhood... Read More →

Thursday October 3, 2019 3:30pm - 4:45pm EDT
Chattanooga Public Library, 4th Floor