Philadelphia plays big among other cities in urban renewal symposium
February 15, 2013By Dave Heller
Urban innovators from cities across the country will covene in Philadelphia on Saturday for a symposium called "Crafting Corridors: Reinventing the Urban Street." It's hosted by the nonprofit Next City, based in Philadelphia's Brewery Town neighborhood on West Girard Avenue.
The focus of the symposium is on the revitalization of commercial thoroughfares, where retail spaces are concentrated.
Shining examples from Philadelphia to be presented include the work Mural Arts has done on Germantown Avenue, and the revitalization of East Passyunk Avenue in South Philly.
Next City's executive director Diana Lind said the combination of public and private investment in East Passyunk is one of the keys to its success. New neighborhood-focused stores and restaurants, beautification projects and small parks exemplify how a good community development corporation can turn a neighborhood around. East Passyunk's shunning of chain restaurants and retailers underscores a close relationship between the corridor and the surrounding neighborhoods.
Other presenting cities include Cincinnati, Cleveland, San Francisco, New York and Baltimore, representing a wide mix of approaches.