• Learn about the conditions that led to Frank Furness' most incredible masterworks, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts seen here, on Wednesday.
      Learn about the conditions that led to Frank Furness' most incredible masterworks, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts seen here, on Wednesday.

State of University City, by the numbers

In a neighborhood where 29 new development projects (4,922,050 million square feet of new office, research, residential, academic and medical facilities) were recently added or completed, it can be hard to keep track of the booming growth and the indirect impact it has on day-to-day life. Yesterday, the University City District released its fourth-annual “The State of University City” report, which provides an update on the rapidly developing neighborhood and some neighborhood trend indicators.

We’ve pulled some of the key numbers from the report to give you a glimpse of what is changing in University City – both in terms of the built environment and how residents’ daily patterns change based on built environment factors. 

Housing

  • New housing construction is expected to increase the neighborhood’s population by roughly 10% over the next two to three years
  • 2.6 million square feet of new residential real estate projects have recently been completed or are under construction
  • The total number of new and anticipated multi-family housing is expected to grow from 282 in 2001 to 3,585 by 2015
  • Home values have nearly tripled over the past decade
  • Average household incomes have climbed 36% in University City over the last 20 years
    • Photo courtesy of University City District
      Photo courtesy of University City District

Green space, public space

  • 4.19 acres of new public space were recently advanced or completed
  • In one year, 52,748 trash bags were removed, 1,512 graffiti tags were removed and 41,600 hours were spent cleaning
  • The neighborhood’s tree canopy has reached 17% of its land area, compared to 11% in Center City

Movement

  • Thirty-two percent of University City residents walk to work, compared to just three percent nationally
  • Another 27% commute on public transit and 7% bike to work
  • Weekend afternoon pedestrian counts have climbed from fewer than 1,000 pedestrians-per-hour in 2007 to more than 2,000 pedestrians-per-hour in 2012
  • The Porch alone sees 16,000 pedestrians pass through on a daily basis

Art, employment & investment

  • More than 72,000 jobs are located in University City
  • The neighborhood has a 93% office occupancy rate and a 89% retail occupancy rate
  • The arts and culture sector alone was responsible for more than 2,300 jobs and more than $175 million in economic impact in 2012
  • University City received 44% of all National Institute of Health investments in the entire state
  • The number of restaurants has increased more than 14% since 2009
  • The rate of violent crime per 1,000 residents has dropped 44% since 1998

The full "State of University City" report is available online at http://universitycity.org/publications

    • Photo courtesy of University City District
      Photo courtesy of University City District

About the author

Christine Fisher, Transportation reporter

Christine covers transportation and writes about everything from pedestrian concerns to bicycle infrastructure, bridges, trail networks, public transit and more. Her favorite assignments send her bushwhacking through Philadelphia’s yet-to-be-cleared bike trails, catching a glimpse of SEPTA’s inner workings or pounding the pavement to find out what pedestrians really think. Christine also covers community news for Eyes on the Street, where her coverage ranges from food sovereignty to public art and urban greening. She first joined PlanPhilly in fall 2011 as an intern through a partnership with Temple University’s Philadelphia Neighborhoods website. During the internship her reporting on the Housing Authority’s surplus property auctions earned an award from the Society of Professional Journalists.


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