December 18: A sophisticated network | Round and Mid-century playful | New PPA head

Parking people on the move: the PPA has picked state Rep. Scott Petri as its new executive director, WHYY News’ Emily Scott reports. Petri, who was formerly the chair of the state’s Urban Affairs and Ethics Committee and the vice chair of the Appropriations Committee, currently represents a swath of towns in Bucks County, including New Hope, Northampton, and Wrightstown Townships.

On the opportunity for stop-and-go reform and food deserts: WURD Radio’s Charles D. Ellison suggests building stop-and-go establishments into hubs for “a sophisticated network of kiosk-like or satellite food distribution points whereby local producers, urban farmers and regional manufacturers could sell healthier items to low income consumers.” Ellison, contributing to the Philadelphia Citizen, suggests that while Asian store owners staged “an impressive show” and accusations of “racially-driven ‘hate’ against Asians” at recent council hearings, owners have not participated in community discussions on cooperation between proprietors and consumers.

Philadelphia ranked 17th in climate vulnerability, according to an analysis by two University of Washington professors who measured cities’ vulnerability to climate- and weather-related extreme events starting from 1992. The authors relied on FEMA data on declared emergencies and to create a list to accompany Moody’s ranking of cities’ HQ2 potential.  

Shoprite owner and visible progressive Jeff Brown has his reasons to be a vocal opponent of the soda tax. Cassie Owens looks at Brown’s model that has successfully provided job opportunities, culturally appropriate products and healthy food access in underserved neighborhoods, and his argument that the soda tax impacts critical sales for markets that work to meet the needs of residents in low-income neighborhoods.  

The history of whiskey in Philadelphia breathes through the W.M. Mulherin’s Sons building, Tommy Rowan writes. Rowan looks into the building’s original owners and its place in Fishtown before it became home to a national darling in the culinary scene.

More on Philadelphia architecture, Inga Saffron looks at three round buildings with “mid-century playfulness” on the Parkway.

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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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