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    • Benches line the park's many walkways

How are other cities reinvesting in civic infrastructure?

Ever since pop-ups and parklets became trendy in Philadelphia, there’s been tension surrounding them. Despite the fanfare they’ve drawn from urbanists, a lot of longtime Philadelphians have viewed these newfangled spaces…

    • 6200 Osage Avenue | Will Herzog

Developers picked to rebuild at MOVE site face wary neighbors at project kickoff

Thirty-two years ago, the City of Philadelphia bombed itself. When it rebuilt the 6200 blocks of Osage and Pine, the developer hired to fix the mess used shoddy materials, and went…

    • Jane's Walk 2016 | Bradley Maule
Eyes on the Street

Jane's Walk 2017: Walk Philly with us May 5-7

"Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” ― Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities What…

    • Groundbreaking Centennial Commons at West Fairmount Park.

'Centennial Commons' partners break ground on new Parkside park project

The Parkside neighborhood celebrated the groundbreaking of the first phase of Fairmount Park Conservancy’s Centennial Commons project, an initial $4 million investment located between Parkside Avenue and the Centennial District…

    • Germantown Boys & Girls Club

Public meeting on Germantown Boys and Girls Club aimed for consensus but tensions remain

Reverend Dr. Alyn Waller* made it clear from the onset where his allegiances stood. At hand was a community discussion about a long-in-the-making plan to tear down the aged Germantown Boys…

    • Germantown Boys & Girls Club

In Germantown, a fight over a century old building and the future of the Boys and Girls Club

Everyone agrees that the super-sized Boys and Girls Club slated for Germantown will do wonders for the neighborhood. But beneath that gauzy consensus a controversy is brewing about the design and…

    • Tacony Music Hall (file)

Tacony sex-positive community center will proceed without zoning relief

On Wednesday the sex-positive community center proposed for the Tacony Music Hall was slated to go before the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA). Instead it asked for a continuance, pushing the…

    • Parents from John H. Taggart Elementary School gather materials to create model | Mifflin Square Plan

Imagining a better Mifflin Square through memories and a cardboard model

On a recent Wednesday morning, 10 adults sat around a big table at John H. Taggart Elementary School library, in South Philadelphia. They were using colored paper, pieces of cloth, little…

    • Chinh Dinh and Ly Nguyen arrived in Philadelphia in the 83’ and 92’ as Vietnamese refugees. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

For Philly’s Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees, Trump policies spark memories and mixed reactions

Decades ago thousands of Southeast Asian refugees fled violent conflict and many resettled in Philadelphia, finding home in rowhouses and rebuilding old commercial strips. Then, as now, the American public was…

    • Cutting the ribbon at Kensington Storefront, March 25, 2017 | Grace Shallow / PlanPhilly

Combatting opioids with paint: Mural Arts sets up shop in heart of epidemic

It has been all hands on deck as Philadelphia wrestles with a worsening opioid drug crisis, one that has caused more than 900 overdose deaths last year. The escalating situation has…

    • Tacony community meeting about 'sex-positive community center' on March 23, 2017 | Jake Blumgart/PlanPhilly

Proposed 'sex-positive community center' gets fair hearing from Tacony residents

Thursday night’s community meeting in Tacony went better than anyone could have expected. A proposal to open a private sex-positive club in the midst of a residential neighborhood would likely stir…

    • Mayor Kenney says says income from the sugary drink tax will support schools and community centers in the city, March 2016 | Emma Lee / WHYY

Rebuild Initiative’s launch slowed by financial puzzle, hinging on soda tax

The gargantuan, highly anticipated city project known as Rebuild — Mayor Jim Kenney’s $500-million investment in parks, recreation centers, and libraries — is beginning to resemble an elaborate domino setup. As…

    • Merthus Mbonigaba at the Growing Together farm in South Philadelphia. | Catalina Jaramillo / WHYY

Seeds from home help refugees grow roots in South Philly

Growing roots in a new country? For refugees in South Philadelphia that transition is eased by growing a comforting taste from home. This story is part of an episode of The…

    • Residents of the Grays Ferry neighborhood attended a Civic Engagement Academy hosted by the Philadelphia Commission of Human Relations at the Williams Temple CME Church. (Brad Larrison for NewsWorks)

Philly's Civic Engagement Academy expanding to meet booming demand

Since late November, the city's Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service has received at least one request per day from people interested in volunteer opportunities—a rate that far surpasses the…

    • 8th and Race parking lot

Competing visions for ‘social impact’ development at 8th and Race

On Monday night, the battle lines formed around the last large undeveloped lot in Chinatown. The oceanic parking lot at 8th and Race, which also hosts a little used subway stop…

    • A and Lippincott streets | KSK

Fairhill neighborhood plan to mitigate Conrail line and bolster community

The no man’s land of decay and drugs that runs along the Conrail rail line in Kensington may have been a revelation to Philadelphia Inquirer readers, but it’s been at…

    • Creative Placemaking event, Monday February 13, 2017 | courtesy of Steve Weinik, Mural Arts

Giving arts a seat at the community development table

In December, the National Endowment for the Arts released a collection of essays titled How to Do Creative Peacemaking: An Action-Oriented Guide to Arts in Community Development. Jason Schupbach, the…

    • Vacant property condemnation by eminent domain, Sharswood, February, 2016 | Emma Lee/WHYY

College students document Sharswood’s ‘resilient voices’

On Oct. 25, 2015, representatives from the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) placed plywood signs reading “Declarations of Taking” in front of 500 properties in Sharswood. This spring, they’ll appear on…

    • sanctuary city sign

Can Philadelphia continue to thrive without immigration?

Philadelphia boosters never forget to mention that the city’s population is growing again. Don’t worry, the narrative goes, we aren’t like those other old industrial cities. Philly may have its problems,…

    • Jannie Blackwell | Emma Lee/WHYY

After blowback, Blackwell scraps her sidewalk bill

At last week’s City Council session Jannie Blackwell introduced a short bill requiring that anyone wishing to place a bench, planter, or street furniture on a public sidewalk would first need…

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