December 22: Catholic school redesign | HQ2 public doc available | Devil’s in the data

Hey what all did Philly end up submitting in the HQ2 bid? Jacob Adelman recaps the “heavily redacted” public document that outlines how the city would accommodate Amazon’s office space needs, with clear notation of available space in University City, around 30th Street Station, and the Navy Yard as well as sites with redevelopment potential and proposed zoning changes under consideration. The city explains that more than a third of the document had to be redacted to protect trade secrets or strategies tied to “budget, legislative proposal, or regulation.”

On the economy of nonprofits and calculating mission success: this week’s ESI Blog explains a market shift as nonprofits begin to codify outcomes in addition to outputs. Traditional measurements of success (outputs) for a nonprofit would include number of clients served, units built, program completion rates, etc. However, robust changes in behavior, socioeconomic health, workforce development, etc. (outcomes) require steady data collection and evaluation of ongoing progress.

The last standing Catholic high school in South Philadelphia took design cues from ‘millennial office culture,’ including Ikea furniture, cornhole games, and AstroTurf, writes Inga Saffron. To dismantle and reinvigorate a welcoming space that was designed when “regimentation and discipline were prized,” the cash-strapped SS. John Neumann and Maria Goretti High School turned to the Community Design Collaborative to devise a multi-phase, low-cost improvement plan with a modest initial budget of $250,000. Saffron covers the upgrades and initial focus on the cafeteria and library, the school’s two main social spaces.

Where can you recycle stuffs that can’t be picked up (or not on trash day)? Green Philly put together a list of public and private drop-off centers that will accept residential waste such as e-waste, bulk items, paint cans, Christmas trees, and mattresses, as well as commercial waste including construction and demolition materials.

The end draws near for the SEPTA token. As the transit authority begins to phase out token sales and removing token machines mid-January 2018, Curbed Philly assembled some FAQs for folks who have held off on making the move to the SEPTA Key.

Dear reader, we will get straight to the point: Today we ask you to protect PlanPhilly’s independent, unbiased watchdog coverage. We depend on you to bring the news that you value and spread voices across the city. This holiday season, please give the gift of public and accessible media for all by making a tax-deductible donation during our once-a-year membership driveThank you for making us your go-to source for news on the built environment eleven years and counting.

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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