Environment & Sustainability

    • Emerald Street Urban Farm has taken root on five vacant lots in East Kensington.

Neighborhood Gardens Trust targets preservation for 28 more gardens

The preservation of community gardens and open spaces located in five areas of the city – Kensington, South Philadelphia, Mantua/Belmont, East Germantown/West Oak Lane and Tioga/Hunting Park/Fairhill – will be a…

    • Soil testing day at 25th and Tasker garden | By Ali Marisa Photography

Free soil testing for city-owned gardens and lots through brownfields grant

About 20 community gardens on publicly-owned land could receive a free soil assessment from the City in the next two years, to find out if there are potential contaminants in the…

    • Garden advocates outside City Hall, September 2016 | Catalina Jaramillo / PlanPhilly

Urban agriculture leaders ask for citywide commitments to garden preservation and creation

More than one hundred urban farmers and food justice advocates, some of them with cardboard signs in the shape of carrots, tomatoes, and eggplants, attended the first Philadelphia City Council hearing…



Sustainable development and sustainability have become important concepts in today’s planning world.  Efforts in this area are based on the recognition that current consumption and living habits may be leading to problems such as the overuse of natural resources, ecosystem destruction, urban heat islands, pollution, growing social inequality and large-scale climate change. The idea of sustainability is new and many question its value because of the tendency of politicians and others to use it as a buzzword without much meaning behind it.  When most people refer to cities that are more sustainable or energy-efficient, they typically refer to such qualities as: compact, efficient land use, less automobile use with better access by foot, transit and bike, efficient resource use, less pollution and waste, the restoration of natural systems, good housing and living environments, a healthy social ecology, sustainable economics, community participation and involvement, and preservation of local culture.  Sustainable design practices are becoming increasingly common in new development projects, but how to modify existing urban and suburban conditions with sustainable considerations remains a challenge.



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