May 21st, 2020
Virtual Roundtable: Parks + COVID-19

WRT convened a conversation with clients to discuss the current state of parks and open spaces during the time of social distancing and COVID-19. 

The takeaway from our conversation was clear: while we can’t plan for a specific future or event, smart design provides places that are adaptive, flexible, and resilient. Parks and open space continue to be valued for their ability to provide for our well-being, promote civic discourse, and offer escape from the pressures and stresses of daily life.

WRT Principal John Gibbs, ASLA, moderated the discussion with panelists that included Michael DeGregorio, Project Manager at San Francisco Recreation and Park Department; Mikey Goralnik, PLA, AICP, LEED GA, Community Design and Development Planner for Mariposa County; Richard Joaquin, RLA, ASLA, Parks Planning and Development Manager for the City of Tracy Parks and Recreation Department; and James Wheeler, Recreation, Arts and Community Services Director at Hayward Area Recreation and Park District.

WRT Virtual Roundtable Parks + COVID-19

“To try to anticipate every potential future threat is impossible, and likely a doomed venture. What is a good idea is to make public spaces that can serve a variety of different functions.”
- Mikey Goralnik, PLA, ASLA, LEED GA


“Just to be able to get out and experience nature, and to get that mental health break that a lot of us need…these spaces become critical…where people can truly get out and BREATHE.”
– Richard Joaquin, RLA, ASLA