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LunchUP: Patrick Cooper-McCann, "The Politics of Rescaling Urban Park Provision"

LunchUP: Patrick Cooper-McCann, "The Politics of Rescaling Urban Park Provision"

Patrick Cooper-McCann, Assistant Professor, Urban Studies and Planning, Wayne State University

In 1977, planner Norman Krumholz orchestrated the state takeover of Cleveland’s lakefront parks, calling it “one of the most satisfying and rewarding” examples of equity planning in his career. In the same period, Detroit Mayor Coleman Young cited racial equity as a reason to reject a proposed regional takeover of Belle Isle Park. In the 2010s, Cleveland’s lakefront parks changed hands again, from state to regional management, and the state of Michigan took over Belle Isle. Based on an analysis of these cases in Cleveland and Detroit, this paper argues that more is at stake when the scale of urban park provision changes than a simple realignment of tax dollars. Park agencies have different missions, constituencies, labor forces, planning processes, and access policies—all of which also matter for the social and racial equity of park provision.

These sessions are a response to requests from faculty and students to learn more about what’s going on in the field in an informal environment. We hope this can inspire emergent thoughts and connections that will inform our scholarship. Light lunch is provided, please bring a drink.