August 4: Latino businesses organize | Beer’s economic impact | Victorian cradle graves

The city and the artist. The city and the Latino business. The city and the cradle grave. These and more in this morning’s news:

Can South Philly Latino Business Community, the city’s first neighborhood-specific Latino business organization, “act as a conduit for more comprehensive community development” for the South Ninth Street corridor? Emma Jacobs, contributing to Next City, looks at the fledgling association, the business owners who are primarily renters facing skyrocketing property values, and a renewed attempt to form a business improvement district.

Econsult Solution’s Andrea Mannino explores the regional economic impact of Philadelphia’s breweries and brewpubs in this week’s Present Value. Mannino explains that as local businesses, breweries and brewpubs “create new jobs, attract spending in our regional economy, increase property values, and spread the Philadelphia brand.” Mannino then takes us on an analytical tour of several breweries throughout the city and assesses the housing price index of the different neighborhoods that house them.

The high-speed rail debate, continued: the Philadelphia Citizen’s Larry Platt discusses the Northeast Corridor’s future with the cheerleaders and naysayers. High-speed rail evangelist and former governor Ed Rendell and Congressman Brendan Boyle point to the bevy of ancillary advantages, while Professors Richardson Dilworth and Richard G. Little are skeptical about the exorbitant cost and potential exacerbation of  “the economic and political divide between urban and rural America”. In July, Pedestrian Observations’ Alon Levy examined the Federal Railroad Administration’s alternative scenarios to improve the Northeast Corridor.

Most of the art galleries at 319 N. 11th Street, aka the Vox Building, are sticking together, though many fear “displacement again in the quickly developing North Chinatown neighborhood.” WHYY’s Peter Crimmins looks at the cluster of galleries that chose to huddle, while “effectively homeless,” and the organizational model that helped the community survive: “staying small, being nimble, and working collectively.” The fire at the Vox Building brings to light too the role of artists in the future of a city experiencing rapid development. 

We know ‘cradle to grave,’ what do you think a ‘cradle grave’ is? Answer: “tombs with both headstones and footstones connected by two low walls that create a bathtub-like basin.” Ann de Forest, contributing to Hidden City Philadelphia, writes about the Woodlands’ Adopt-a-Grave program and the small army of volunteer gardeners working to revive each plot and the memories of its ‘person,’ one grave at a time.

About the author

Diana Lu, Community Engagement Editor

Diana runs PlanPhilly’s community outreach and engagement online and in real life. She has spent more than ten years in the non-profit and public sectors working on urban development issues including environmental justice, design-based manufacturing, and community and economic development.  Prior to joining PlanPhilly, Diana worked as the Director of Partnerships and Outreach for 10,000 Small Businesses, a public-private initiative focused strengthening local businesses through revenue generation and local job creation.  Follow Diana on instagram @dianaluwho and email her at

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