Tag Archive: Philadelphia

  1. Bringing Equity to Transportation’s Sharing Economy

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    Bicycle sharing networks, car share services, and ride hailing applications have been touted as a new means to reduce our reliance on the automobile and give people more mobility options. Unfortunately, the promise of the sharing economy hasn’t been realized by all communities. In California, where communities of color are disproportionately affected by transportation-related pollution, there’s a growing movement to ensure that low-income neighborhoods and vulnerable populations benefit from the state’s investments in clean transportation. How can policy-makers and advocates use this momentum to bring car share and bicycle share services to low-income Californians? (more…)

  2. The Storm Next Time

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    Image from Washington State Dept of Transportation: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wsdot/5455957937/in/photostream/

    Image from Washington State Dept of Transportation: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wsdot/5455957937/in/photostream/

    The issue of how to pay for dealing with stormwater runoff into the Santa Monica Bay has begun to engulf all urbanized areas in Los Angeles County. While the impacts are most acutely felt by coastal cities such as Santa Monica and Hermosa Beach, inland cities are grappling with how to manage urban runoff. Recent court decisions found Los Angeles County liable for stormwater pollution in the San Gabriel and Los Angeles Rivers. The latest ruling simply underscores the reality that all municipalities, regardless of their proximity to the coast, will be required to be more proactive in stormwater management. So how do we finance stormwater infrastructure improvements with limited funding for infrastructure projects? (more…)

  3. Props for Prop. 13-Lite?

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    Image from Michael Premo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/21180619@N07/6060717790/in/photolist-aeyLfj-aevWvV-aevWmg-aevWPB-aevW8X-aeyLCE-aeyL87-aeyLk7-aevX7K-aevW1k-aevVWB-aevWRv-aevX9e-aevXee-aevWCz-aeyLQ3-aeyLmq-aevWsP-aevXie-8eBfCe-aMh4st-a7ah7i-aFipSp-dMxj87-cHQ1C7-cHQ3Hf-cHPXRd-cHPZJ9-cHPWPu-cHQ4n3-cHQ5jy-cHQ2HG-cHPYvq-cHPVFE-cHQ6em-aEYWey-aEQ4nz-aETUu9-aETV9u-aETUxo-aEQ4ie-aEQ4Qe-aETUJ3

    Image from Michael Premo: link

    The consequences of gentrification – both good and bad – continue to be hotly debated. While municipalities are eager to reap the benefits of increased land values and a growing tax base, some cities are also caught in a delicate balancing act. While promoting policies that attract wealthier residents to urban neighborhoods, some local governments are also attempting to minimize the displacement of longtime, lower-income denizens. Policies being considered on the East Coast to combat the displacement of low-income homeowners may have some implications for Proposition 13 reform in California. (more…)

  4. Using the Arts as a Community Building Tool

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    It began with one artist and a group of children turning an abandoned lotin a neglected, low-income, predominantly African-American neighborhood in North Philadelphia into a community art park.  It has evolved into a grassroots neighborhood revitalization effort that has spanned over two decades, extended to over 250 blocks, and is recognized as a national model for how art can be used to sparkphysical transformation and promote civic engagement. (more…)

  5. Crowd-Funding Municipal Projects

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    Crowdfunding

    We wish to congratulate Philadelphia for successfully “crowd-funding” their first municipal project!

    The Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department’s Urban Agriculture Program sought to raise $2,100 within 45 days to to implement a new garden-based education program for local youth.  Although this youth program would be run by the city government, organizers worked with crowd-funding platform Citizinvestor to raise the necessary project funds from people other than their local taxpayers. (more…)

  6. Integrating Sustainability and Economic Development

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    Promoting environmental sustainability and pursuing economic development strategies have typically been considered two separate and (often) competing goals. But times are changing, and a growing body of evidence supports the notion that sustainability typically delivers more enduring and broad-based economic returns. Cities across the continent are beginning to wed environmental sustainability to economic development, looking at investments in a sustainable economy as one tool to build broad-based prosperity. (more…)

  7. Technology as a Civic Engagement Tool

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    There’s been much to do about harnessing technology as a civic engagement tool, but groups are now focusing on using technology as a way to help underserved communities navigate complex government processes – and we’re totally on board with the idea. Technology has a lot of potential to be used as a tool to foster civic engagement, to make bureaucratic processes more transparent, and to improve the lives of low-income individuals. But while high-tech wizardry can act as a liberating force, it can also present a significant barrier to entry. (more…)

  8. Harvesting Kinetic Energy

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    The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) will soon be harvesting additional energy from its rail system by taking advantage of regenerative braking. The technology, widely used in hybrid vehicles, converts the kinetic energy of the vehicle into electricity that can be used later. The transit agency has already been capturing the kinetic energy generated by their trains to power lights. But now, SEPTA is expanding the technology to feed power back into the grid. Philadelphia-based Viridity Energy will be working with other energy-storage technology firms to make this nifty endeavor a reality.

    In addition to harvesting energy, the system offers multiple benefits to rail operators, including a 20-30% reduction in grid power consumption, a reduction in brake maintenance expenses, and the creation of a backup power source that enables vehicles to reach a station in the event of a power failure.