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    • On Viola Street
Eyes on the Street

Neighbors helping Neighbors: East Parkside and Strawberry Mansion learn from each other

Every neighborhood has its sparkplug advocates, the do-ers who move mountains to improve their corners of the city, who doggedly find resources to benefit their neighbors, and who occasionally take on…

    • Mifflin Square Park, June 24, 2017 | Julia Bell / PlanPhilly

Mifflin Square Park improvements start with small moves, build toward big change

The typical hallmarks of a neighborhood convening were there: Parents dutifully pointing their smartphones at their teenagers dancing on the stage. Neighbors milling about drinking refreshments from a stand. Community groups…

    • The Bridge at 205 Race Street, June 2017

Council wants to make developers build inclusive, affordable housing

At Thursday’s City Council meeting, the last before the summer recess, Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez introduced a bill that would require many private developers to build permanently affordable housing units. The legislation…

    • Isabel Slaughter, 8, paints a ceramic sculpture in Emily Coleman's ceramics class at Olney Rec Center. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

At Olney Rec, Rebuild stokes imagination about what a rec center can be

The playground at Olney Rec Center is bare bones. Its sprinkler, the site’s only water feature, backs up until liquid pools inside the building. When kids finish molding their clay-and-macaroni sculptures,…

    • Iris Brown and Tomasita Romero created Las Parcelas and another five gardens in the late 1980s | Emma Lee/WHYY

As Norris Square changes, Las Parcelas puts down new roots

On a recent Tuesday evening, Ana Montañez was weeding her garden plot at Las Parcelas, a landmark community garden located in West Kensington. She teaches kids how to grow food in…

    • Paschall Library | Studio Gang
Eyes on the Street

Architect Jeanne Gang on using design to strengthen community

Jeanne Gang is a rare bird among architects. Her 20-year old Chicago-based firm, Studio Gang, has cut a bold path, creating a broad portfolio of work that isn’t unified by form…

    • Neighbors creating model of Mifflin Square Park.

How the Kenney administration aims to include neighbors in Rebuild

At a press briefing in March, a member of Mayor Jim Kenney’s Rebuild team described the ambitions of the $500-million project as “not just physical improvements” for the city’s universe of…

    • Municipal Services Building | Michael Klusek, EOTS Flickr Group

Ballot Question: Should Philadelphia have a Community Reinvestment Commission?

On Tuesday voters will decide whether they like the sound of amending the city’s charter to create the Philadelphia Community Reinvestment Commission. This new commission is the brainchild of City Council…

    • PlanPhilly tour w/ NKCDC enters Orinoka site April 2017

Site Visit: Orinoka Civic House and walking tour with NKCDC

Last Friday, PlanPhilly readers got a first look at the nearly complete Orinoka Civic House, the mixed-use, affordable housing development and soon-to-be home for New Kensington CDC (NKCDC). Orinoka Civic…

    • 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…

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