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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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4 mins read
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Philly Reclaim founder says the organization is in trouble and the city has the power to save it

To Greg Trainor, executive director of Philly Reclaim, deconstruction is a no-brainer. An environmentally-friendlier alternative to demolition, deconstruction diverts building materials from the landfill and enables, through reuse, preservation of the embodied energy therein. And because systematically dismantling a building is more labor-intensive than leveling it with an excavator or a wrecking ball, deconstruction promises

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8 mins read
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A city initiative and a State Senate bill show promise for retrofitting homes, but not without big challenges

Philadelphia’s built environment is responsible for about 70% of its carbon footprint, making it a key sector to tackle in order to meet climate goals. Building new, efficient buildings is part of the solution, but experts say there’s a practical need to work with buildings that already exist, a large percentage of which are individual

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17 mins read
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Editor’s Notes: Time to Get Serious

The City of Philadelphia is not serious about climate change. Yet many people who work for the city are incredibly serious about it. They are dedicated, talented and passionate civil servants. Leadership, on the other hand, is lacking. The result is a mishmash of positive programs trying to methodically tackle the challenges we face colliding

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5 mins read
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Our columnist reflects on how the urban wilderness has changed and how he’s changed as well

Over the last decade I have searched abandoned riverfront properties for skinks and black rat snakes, spooking deer and watching warblers, as I climbed over riprap shorelines and picked my way across the rotting timbers of overgrown piers. A city in decay offers the naturalist unlimited opportunities, while a city on the rise takes them

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4 mins read
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The city can and must protect residents from the many environmental dangers of development

The challenges of climate change can seem overwhelming, but the city can take clear steps to protect the most vulnerable renters and homeowners while enforcing existing development standards. To do this, we need to look inside and outside of the home. When construction or demolition is taking place, dangerous substances like asbestos and lead can

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5 mins read