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Rebuilding Philly

“Rebuilding Philly: Perspectives on How the City can Recover from the Pandemic” is a series of expert essays published jointly by Drexel and The Philadelphia Inquirer in late 2021. The Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation reached out to a diverse group of thinkers at Drexel University to imagine a plan for economic recovery, racial equity, and a sustained resilience for Philadelphia. The series will be published on a rolling schedule through the end of the year here on DrexelNow and on a select basis in The Inquirer.



As COVID Drives Home Prices Higher, Crunching the Numbers on Housing Affordability

Buildings in Philadelphia.

A series of sharp increases threaten to put home buying out of reach for many Philadelphians, writes Kevin C. Gillen, a senior research fellow with the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation.

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For the Nonprofit Sector, the Pandemic Offers Lessons in Resilience

Masked members signing up for a charity event.

Adaptability, partnerships, diversity and putting a sense of mission above all else are some of the key components of a successful rebound from COVID-19, writes Bruce Melgary, senior fellow at Drexel’s Lenfest Center for Cultural Partnerships.

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As Campuses Return to Normal, Will College Administrators Heed the Lessons of COVID?

A group strolls by MacAlister Hall on Drexel's University City Campus during a "Walking Tour Weekend!" event in April 2021. Photo credit: Jeff Fusco.

With public trust in higher education eroding, universities must ask if they've truly met their responsibilities to students, faculty, and society at large, writes President John Fry and former head of the Department of History Scott Gabriel Knowles, PhD, in this “Rebuilding Philly” article originally published in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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Spurred by the Pandemic, a Renewed Call to Protect the City’s Waterways

The Fairmont Dam in the Schuylkill Rowing Basine.

We cannot ignore any stress points on Philly's streams and rivers, like urban runoff, abandoned industrial sites, and more, writes the Academy of Natural Sciences’ Roland Wall in this “Rebuilding Philly” article originally published in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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Using COVID-19 as a Moment to Reboot Our Sense of Empathy in Civil Discourse

Mature counselor listens compassionately to unrecognizable female client.

Let’s not forget that diversity’s value lies in its ability to expose us to different ideas and different people, writes Pennoni Honors College Dean Paula Marantz Cohen, PhD, in this “Rebuilding Philly” article originally published in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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Looking to the Arts and Culture Community as a Source of Civic Healing

Eakins Oval in the summer.

Besides its multibillion-dollar economic impact, a robust arts infrastructure fosters neighborhoods with more social cohesion and greater community engagement, Associate Professor Andrew Zitcer writes in this essay originally published in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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Charles Ramsey: I’ve Led Two of the Nation’s Largest Police Departments. Here Are Six Steps to Make Law Enforcement Fairer and More Equitable.

Dark clouds pack the skies over the aging Philadelphia Police department (PPD) headquarters, nicknamed the Roundhouse in Center City Philadelphia, PA on June 17, 2019.

Solving the equity issues confronting the criminal justice system goes beyond matters of funding, writes former distinguished visiting fellow of Drexel’s Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation Charles H. Ramsey, who served as the commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department.

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7 Dream Projects to Improve Philly Under the New Infrastructure Bill

30th Street Station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Officially William H. Gray III 30th Street Station, is an intermodal transit station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In the past, Philadelphia had to fight for our share of a shrinking pot of funds. This time, the money is there for the asking, writes Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation Executive Director Harris M. Steinberg in this essay originally published in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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After the 2020 Protests, Let’s Reimagine Urban Green Space as a Way to Promote Social Justice

Evening traffic on the streets of Philadelphia. Downtown and City Hall in background.

There is a growing recognition that social justice is also environmental justice and health justice. Those goals can all be achieved in the redesign of physical spaces, writes College of Engineering Professor Franco Montalto, PhD, in this “Rebuilding Philly” essay.

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Bolstering Commercial Corridors Is a Vital Part of Rebounding From COVID-19

A sign on a window reading "Sorry we're closed."

As small retailers close, the commercial corridors they occupy face the prospect of a downward spiral, and the impact is most likely to be greater in poorer communities, Richardson Dilworth, PhD, head and professor in Drexel’s Department of Politics, wrote in a “Rebuilding Philly” essay.

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Let’s Start Crafting Environmental Policy Through an Anti-Racist Lens

A protest sign reads "Fight today for a better tomorrow."

Pursuing equity and sustainability together requires a dramatic shift in thinking, Drexel’s Gwen Ottinger and Jennifer Britton wrote in this “Rebuilding Philly” essay.

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For the City’s Public Health Infrastructure, Key Lessons From the Pandemic

Cars lined up at the drive-through testing site in South Philadelphia outside Citizens Bank Park.

The spread of COVID-19 illustrated yet again how systemic racism, in its many manifestations, profoundly shapes the health of Black people and people of color in our city, writes the School of Public Health’s Ana V. Diez Roux in this “Rebuilding Philly” essay originally published in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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Fixing the Digital Divide Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Does

Semi-opened Laptop Computer Turned-on on Table.

While initiatives and related efforts to provide computers and connectivity to all can help, it’s not nearly enough — and it doesn’t get to the heart of the problem, writes the College of Engineering and ExCITe Center’s Youngmoo Kim in this essay originally published in The Philadelphia Inquirer as part of “Rebuilding Philly.”

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Introducing Rebuilding Philly, a Series on Creating a More Equitable City in the Wake of COVID-19

The "Reach High and You Will Go Far" mural by Josh Sarantitis at 20th and Arch streets.

In this essay published in The Philadelphia Inquirer as part of a new collaboration with Drexel experts, the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation’s Harris M. Steinberg and Bruce Katz share their vision of learning from the events of 2020 and 2021 for a better Philadelphia.

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