Tuesday, October 6, 2020 from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM EDT
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This is an online event.


Robin H. LeBlanc
Plan New Hampshire

Belonging by Design, Part 1 of 3: Portland Maine's Congress Square Park 

In this first webinar of the Belonging by Design series, we will look at the intentionality of considering equity and inclusion within the re-design of Portland, Maine’s Congress Square Park.

Once an underutilized public space in the heart of Portland, Maine’s arts district, the park today is a vibrant place of activity from sunrise to past sunset.  People of all ages, backgrounds, abilities and interests feel welcome and comfortable here – that they belong.

Attendees Will Learn:

  • Strategies to set up a project with inclusivity and accessibility as a priority; 
  • How to identify what may be needed in a public space such as this; 
  • Design elements that mean equitable and inclusionary access to the park and participation in activities there;
  • Lessons learned for municipalities/public agencies on project management for public spaces



12:00 – 12:10    Welcome and opening remarks

12:10 – 12:15    Video clip of park

12:15 – 12:25    Caitlin Cameron, AICP, Association AIA, LEED AP, City of Portland, Maine

12:30  - 12:40    Misa Chen, PLA, ASLA, Senior Associate, WRT (Philadelphia)

12:40 – 12:50    David Lacasse, Friends of Congress Square Park, Board President

12:55 – 1:10    Small group discussion

1:10  - 1:25    Q and A

1:25 – 1:30    Wrap up


Intended audiences:  landscape architect and planners, architects, traffic engineers, artists, municipal leaders and staff and others who care about creating vibrant and delightful place to be for everyone..

1.5 AICP credits have been approved for this webinar, program 9204612. 

1.5 AIA credits approved.


And thanks to 

for their support of this series.

Meet the Panelists

Caitlin Cameron has been the Urban Designer for the City of Portland Planning Division since 2013. Recent projects and responsibilities include project manager for the Congress Square Redesign, India Street Neighborhood Plan and Form-based Code, managing on-going development design review, and staffing the Public Art Committee. Her previous experience is in architecture which she practiced in private firms and as a volunteer with Architecture for Humanity San Francisco Chapter.  Caitlin has a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University and a Master in City Planning from MIT.  She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, Associate of the American Institute of Architects, and a LEED Accredited Professional.
Misa Hsinyi Chen,  PLA, ASLA, is a Senior Associate/Landscape Architect at WRT in Philadelphia. From creative community workshops to design and construction administration, Misa has successfully led project typologies that encompass mixed-use development, social housing, public squares/plazas, institution campus, and urban waterfronts, with both public and private sector clients. With over 18 years of career in both United States and Taiwan, Misa has collaborated with many inspiring community members, artists, scholars, and design consultants, with the shared vision in creating equitable and lively public spaces. Utilizing community-based placemaking as a transformative tool, Misa’s practice continues to shape the public spaces that promote environmental, social, and wellness benefits where people work, learn, live, and play. Misa is a registered landscape architect in the State of Pennsylvania.
In 2013, David LaCasse, along with other concerned Portland citizens, formed Friends of Congress Park to prevent the sale of a neglected urban open public space. While leading a citizens’ initiative and lawsuit to block the sale, David and FoCSP also began to implement improvements based on Project for Public Spaces “Lighter Quicker Cheaper” model that would help the community see the value of the space as a community gathering place. When he is not saving parks, watering the park’s gardens, arranging amenities or setting up for an event, David is a retired engineer who likes to ski, travel and spend time with his family.