Feb 7, 2022 - News

Screen Time with Owen Franklin

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals; Photo: Trust for Public Land

Owen Franklin is all about the power of parks and public spaces.

As the state director for the Trust for Public Land, Franklin advocates for and helps bring about urban park and schoolyard redevelopment projects across the Keystone State.

  • Owen, who lives in Philadelphia, leads a group that has a track record of investing in park beautification projects in the city and bringing programs to under-served neighborhoods here.

Axios chatted with Franklin about how he uses his phone for work and for fun as part of our recurring Screen Time series. Read on for his picks:

📱 Device of choice: iPhone 11

👇 First tap of the day: Words with Friends.

  • “I have a handful of games going on with my mother. I often think she might be cheating, but she insists her hands are clean.”

🎧 Podcast queue: “I balance mind candy with substance. I’ll admit that lately there’s been more candy. A favorite is 'How Did This Get Made,' which explores cinematic flops.”

🏋️ Most-used non-work app: “I go to the gym five times a week and use a workout app called Shred.

  • “The name makes it sound somewhat aggressive. In fact, it sometimes is, as it shares ‘motivational’ quotes that sort of sound like someone is screaming at you.”

⏯ Currently streaming: "Philly D.A."

🎵 On rotation: “I have a hard time shaking my love for the somewhat lo-fi artists I’ve listened to for 15-20 years. Mates of State, Built to Spill, The Mountain Goats.”

  • “My parents were hippies, and their tastes rubbed off, so I save time for Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and other folk giants.”

📚 Reading list: Boom Town” by Sam Anderson.

  • “It’s a fascinating ‘biography’ of Oklahoma City. I’ve always felt that cities are essentially people, or at least characters, and this book helps explain the complicated dynamics that are creating a character I’ve never thought much about.”

👉 Who is a must-follow on social media? “As a dyed-in-the-wool GenXer, I mostly use these to check out photos of my friends’ dogs.”

🍸How you unplug: “My husband and I have a very (very) dry gin martini, with olives, pretty much every day. We share the day’s highlights, shake off the frustrations and have some laughs.”

🤔 Whats the one public land project or idea you would like to see happen in Philly?: "More public funding for urban parks."

  • “Parks are a highly efficient use of a public dollar. A park can, at any moment, support public health, social cohesion, public safety, climate resilience, economic activity and a host of other important community benefits."

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