Award Supports Workshop and Plan to Elevate Placemaking in San Diego

The Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community program, in partnership with Project for Public Spaces, announced it has awarded a national grant to the Balboa Park Conservancy. Along with placemaking technical assistance, this support will be used to help further transform Balboa Park’s public spaces into thriving community gathering places. The grant is valued at $50,000 and is in the form of a Placemaking Visioning Workshop.

The workshop will help the Conservancy collaborate with its partners—park stakeholders, government departments and agencies, elected officials, business and property owners, residents, and others—to elevate current placemaking efforts to the district or city level and through a more holistic approach. Content will focus on the importance of building and fostering a broader network of destinations. As a result, a vision plan with recommended actions will be produced to assist the grant recipients with next steps.

“This workshop gives us the opportunity to envision the best ways we can share Balboa Park experiences with our community and our visitors from around the world,” says Balboa Park Conservancy CEO Tomás Herrera-Mishler. “Balboa Park is the people’s park. In order to create the best experiences for all visitors, we need to gather broad-based input to ensure that many different voices are heard. Convening this creative placemaking workshop helps us advocate for the greater good in Balboa Park.”

“Building upon the momentum of a Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community grant in 2014 and recent placemaking activities at Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama, now is the perfect time for San Diego’s Balboa Park to evolve a united vision of placemaking goals and effective partnerships for its 1,200 acres,” said Elena Madison, Southwest Airlines Vice President of Project for Public Spaces. “This effort aims to lay the foundation of a park-wide framework for collaboration and program planning for the vast network of park partners.”

By creating a greater sense of the park’s impact and importance, the Balboa Park Conservancy hopes to build community buy-in and locate new resources to improve the park.

This Heart of the Community project, in partnership with Project for Public Spaces, is supported by a grant from Southwest Airlines.