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West Philly Gets a Promise Zone

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the area along the Schuylkill River between  Girard Avenue, Sansom Street, and 48th Street has been chosen as one of the first Promise Zones (West Philadelphia will get a "Promise Zone", January 8, 2013, Jonathan Tamari).

The Obama administration created the Promise Zones program as part of a larger push for income equality. The basic idea is to get government agencies, nonprofits, and the community working together in a target area that shows promise—and to then help connect improvements with federal resources.

The Collaborative has been part of some amazing groundwork in the neighborhoods within the Promise Zone over the past five years. With People's Emergency Center, we've worked on storefront facade improvements and several projects that go even deeper, like the reuse of Hawthorne Hall.

In partnership with LISC Philadelphia and The Enterprise Center CDC, we hosted a design charrette on the redevelopment of the area around the 46th and Market Station. Our conceptual design for greening the Powel Elementary schoolyard and conceptual master plan to address vacancy with the Viola Street Residents Association both speak to building quality of life and home ownership. Hopefully, these efforts will figure into the city's goals and the Promise Zone plan. Here's some inspiration!

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A linear rain garden along Market Street, proposed in our Urban Remix design charrette.
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Project Reclaim: An improvement plan for five blocks in East Parkside, including Viola Street.[/caption]


  • Green schoolyard for Powel Elementary School.



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