Community-Based Organizations: The Transformation of Philadelphia Neighborhoods
To help usher in the new Community Development program at Temple, the Department of Community and Regional Planning will host a series of lectures this fall at the Main Campus. All programs are free and open to the public.
Each program in the “Community-Based Organizations: The Transformation of Philadelphia Neighborhoods” lecture series will be held from Noon to 1 p.m. in the Paley Library Lecture Hall Room 021.
Friday, January 24, 2014
"Big Green Block: Using Sustainable Neighborhood Initiatives to Attract Private Investment"
Speaker: Shanta Schachter, Deputy Director, New Kensington Community Development Corporation
The New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC) engages in real estate development, economic development, land management, neighborhood planning, community organizing and other related activities. In 2009, NKCDC launched its Sustainable 19125 initiative with the goal of making the 19125 zip code the most sustainable in the city. One program under this effort is the Big Green Block.
Through a partnership with the Office of Sustainability, Philadelphia Horticultural Society and Philadelphia Water Department, the NKCDC sought to leverage city investment such as the LEED New Kensington High School in their neighborhood and to focus efforts in a 20 acre block area.
The NKCDC with the assistance of PHS developed a master plan, which included 16 locations to implement green stormwater management infrastructure. Projects completed to date include rain gardens at the Shissler Recreation Center, water-themed murals, public parks and walkways, and educational signage.
"Creating Communities of Choice: Engaging community along the path from affordable housing and commercial development to sustainable development at the Temple rail station"
Speaker: Rose Gray, Senior Vice President Community & Economic Development, Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM)
The Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM), a Community Development Corporation since 1970, was founded by a group of Puerto Rican Vietnam Veterans who returned from the war and found that their community was in need of aid. Today, APM provides a range of services including affordable housing development, public health, substance abuse, child care and the like.
Since 1990, Rose V. Gray has served as Director for Development overseeing APM’s real estate development to address the community’s needs and vision expressed by residents and captured in the 1989 and subsequent 2002 Revitalization Plan.
Between 1989 and 2002 the residents’ vision for their community shifted from implementing projects to stabilize a community for current residents to implementing projects that would make the neighborhood a ‘community of choice’ to attract new residents. This path includes the development of affordable rental housing; a day care center/head start program; and Borinquen Plaza retail center, which houses a 44,000 square foot supermarket/Laundromat.
Based on the new plan, APM constructed of 58 units of single family housing targeting first time homebuyers in 2003 and 13 Ultra Modern LEED affordable housing in 2011. Currently, Ms. Gray is managing the development of 53 units of single family housing, a mixed-use Transit Oriented Development (TOD) at the Temple Rail Station, and the development of APM's new headquarters building.
"Commercial Corridor Revitalization: Turning Passyunk Avenue into a Nationally Recognized Destination"
Speaker: Sam Sherman, Executive Director, Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation (PARC)
Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation (PARC), formerly the Citizen’s Alliance to Revitalize Communities, is both a non-profit real estate development/management company and a public space maintenance and enhancement organization.
As a non-profit organization, PARC owns real estate primarily on the Passyunk Avenue retail corridor. PARC renovates and revitalizes these buildings turning them back into neighborhood assets.
With the income from these properties PARC provides supplementary public space maintenance and improvement services on Passyunk Avenue such as the revitalization of the ‘singing fountain’ at Passyunk Avenue and Tasker Streets. This new "parklet" is home to the community’s weekly farmers’ market.
Another key initiative of PARC is its litter clean-up program for the entire service area and a newly initiated valet parking service to accommodate the influx of dinners in need of parking on peak evenings. Evidence of the success of PARC’s commercial corridor revitalization efforts Passyunk Avenue featured in the New York Times Travel Section for its vibrant mix of affordable local boutiques, eateries and art galleries.