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The Neighborhood Gardens Trust hits a major milestone, but the work continues

You’d think that after protecting 50 gardens, the process would get easier. But for the Neighborhood Gardens Trust (NGT), a nonprofit tasked with preserving gardens, securing each parcel of land is a unique challenge. This spring NGT and members of Brewerytown Garden at 27th and Master streets celebrated the protection of some of the garden’s

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5 mins read
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City initiative uses data and artificial intelligence to improve Philly’s infrastructure

Hoping to encourage the thoughtful development and deployment of new technologies across the city, the Kenney Administration formed the SmartCityPHL initiative within Philadelphia’s Office of Innovation and Technology (OIT) in 2019. The SmartCityPHL steering committee formed that year as well, tasked with creating a roadmap for using technology to support the City’s economic, social and

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5 mins read
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Revolution Recovery leaders discuss where the market for recycling used building materials has been— and where they hope it’s headed

Revolution Recovery was founded in 2004, borne out of cofounder Avi Golen’s shock while cleaning out construction sites and witnessing the mass amounts of drywall that contractors were throwing away. He contacted his college friend Jon Wybar and pitched him the idea to find recycling markets for these materials. Since then, Revolution Recovery has added

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5 mins read
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Training and loan program empowers participants to renovate properties with people and climate in mind

In 2015 Mount Airy-based real estate developer Ken Weinstein decided it was time to share his success and expertise with aspiring developers. He created Jumpstart Germantown, where participants can learn from experienced developers in training programs and mentorships, as well as access a loan program that can help them purchase and renovate properties. While Weinstein

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2 mins read
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One councilmember’s mentorship of another pushes us toward a sustainable Philadelphia

“When you have children, it’s important that they listen to you, but it’s equally important that you listen to them.” These words of wisdom from former-Councilmember Blondell Reynolds Brown are what inspired her to listen a bit more closely one afternoon in 2008, when her middle school-aged daughter came home and told her what she

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8 mins read
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FarmerJawn is breaking new ground with dirt, grit and optimism

For Christa Barfield, the entrance into agriculture was prompted by her exit from another industry. Before the success of FarmerJawn—Barfield’s ambitious and sprawling enterprise that includes farming at the historic Elkins Estate, running a CSA, being part of a development project in East Kensington, opening a garden shop in Germantown, selling herbal-infused teas and providing

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11 mins read
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Community garden advocates say it is within the city’s reach to save neighborhood spaces set up on abandoned, bank-liened land

Before the chic boutiques and overpriced cafés arrive, the first sign of gentrification is often a slew of ubiquitous posters stapled to telephone poles reading, “We Buy Houses.” One is more than likely to find these illegally-placed advertisements in low-income parts of the city where desperation for fast cash can outweigh the benefit of long-term

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10 mins read
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Skill sharing app offers people and organizations an easy way to build community capital

Ying Founder and CEO Karla Ballard loads the app. Photography by Drew Dennis. Swipe for Service By Nic Esposito Karla Ballard’s journey to founding the skill sharing platform Ying is a tale that traverses the country and beyond, from Germantown to Barbados, from Wilmington to the West Coast. Born and raised in Germantown, Ballard’s upbringing

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4 mins read
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