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Lindy Staff Blog

  • 2019

    • Priya Mammen

      Urban Innovation Fellows featured in Philadelphia media

      11/1/2019 12:00:00 AM

      The Lindy Institute's Urban Innovation Fellows were featured in local publications recently:

      The Philadelphia Citizen highlighted the many complexities of what Innovation Fellow Chris Spahr and Parkside CDC are trying to do with Solar Energy in East Parkside, documenting their recent effort to change Pennsylvania law to allow their project to proceed. 

      Innovation Fellow and Emergency Physician Priya Mammen authored an op-ed in the Inquirer as part of the mind-changing experiences series. As Mammen writes about her evolution toward policy advocate from ER doc:

      "These experiences made me realize that my best work as a physician would not come from staying within the fortress of medicine. It would require informing policymakers on the gaps in systems — from insurance to mental health to housing — that I saw hurting my patients on a daily basis.

       

       

       



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    • Cover of Towards a New System of Community Wealth

      Nowak Lab Director Bruce Katz releases Towards a New System of Community Wealth

      10/27/2019 12:00:00 AM

      Nowak Metro Finance Lab Director Bruce Katz released Towards a New System of Community Wealth on Sunday in advance of his appearance at CityLab 2019 in DC this week. Co-authored with Ross Baird and Daniel Palmer of BluePrint Local and Jihae Lee, a Harvard Kennedy School student and Lindy summer intern, the report examines the paradigm shift from siloed community development toward emerging, innovative multidisciplinary organizational models of building community wealth. The report advocates for combating the parasitic economy by adopting local strategies to help community members build equity while challenging institutions and investors to adopt holistic investment portfolios supportive of community wealth creation. The report was produced through a collaboration with BluePrint Local and Accelerator for America and was funded in part by the Blank Foundation, Kauffman Foundation and Mastercard.

       

       

       

       



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    • Philadelphia's Next Challenge cover page

      Philadelphia Fellow Richard Florida releases Philadelphia's Next Challenge: From Urban Revitalization to Inclusive Prosperity

      10/18/2019 12:00:00 AM

      Inaugural Philadelphia Fellow Richard Florida released his report, Philadelphia’s Next Challenge: From Urban Revitalization to Inclusive Prosperity (pdf), at an appearance at Venture Cafe on October 17th. In an interview with Inquirer reporter Juliana Feliciano Reyes, Florida shared his findings, arguing that Philadelphia must address issues relating to inequality and inclusion if it is to continue its growth trajectory. Florida cautioned that, while its gentrification and affordability issues are not yet as challenging as most leading cities, Philadelphia's lagging median income, education attainment and poverty markers contribute to the city being among the nation’s worst in inequality and segregation metrics. Among the findings which signal a need for decisive, collaborative action:

      • Downward millennial trend: “The metro’s rate of millennial population growth cratered to just 2.6 percent per year from 2010 to 2015, dropping from number one to number 80 of the nation’s 350 or so metro areas.” 
      • Middle-class departure: “Philadelphia’s middle-class numbers are even lower today, having shrunk to just over 200,000 (217,833) residents. This is just 36 percent of the city’s population, the sixth smallest share of the nation’s fifty biggest cities. And the city’s rate of middle-class growth between 2012 and 2017 of negative 3.3 percent is the fifth worst of those fifty largest cities”
      • Lack of jobs/quality schools accelerating departures: “A recent study by the Pew Charitable Trusts examining who is leaving Philadelphia found that education plays a major role. The people moving out are those who can: Movers are disproportionately young, white and educated. Half of all movers were between the ages of 18 and 34, a group that comprised just 30 percent of the city’s population.”

       

       

       



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    • Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman

      The Lindy Institute's Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman named to BBC 100 Women 2019

      10/16/2019 12:00:00 AM

      Congratulations to our own Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman for being selected as one of the BBC's 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2019!

      Katrina  is a project manager at the Lindy Institute and an urban anthropologist, working to make cities better places to live. The BBC recognized her because  "She co-founded The Women Led Cities Initiative, which aims to bring women's voices to the forefront of urban planning and design."  She presented at the BBC's London event and this honor was covered in The Philadelphia CitizenTechnical.ly and Generocity.

       

       



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    • Richard Florida at Smart City Expo: World Congress

      October 17: Richard Florida presents on Philadelphia's Next Challenge

      10/7/2019 12:00:00 AM

      The inaugural Philadelphia Fellowship culminates on October 17th at Venture Cafe, where Richard Florida will present his findings and recommendations in releasing his report, Philadelphia's Next Challenge: From Urban Revitalization to Inclusive Prosperity. Florida has been working over the last year to analyze Philadelphia according to his New Urban Crisis Index and identify strategies for how the city can make its growth more inclusive. The Philadelphia Fellowship was created as a collaboration of Drexel University, Thomas Jefferson University and the University City Science Center to bring scholars to the city for year-long research engagements focused on pressing urban issues, and Florida was selected as the first recipient because of his groundbreaking research on urban demographic changes and his books, The Rise of the Creative Class and The New Urban Crisis

      We hope you will join us!

       

       

       



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    • Catalyzing Community Capacity Coverage

      10/3/2019 10:09:00 AM

      Following the release of  Catalyzing Community Capacity: How Philadelphia Can Create Equitable Right-of-Way Stewardship , we were pleased to see incisive coverage of the work, including community reaction to the report. Stories included:

      If you ave thoughts on the report, drop us a line to share them, and sign up to receive updates on future reports.

       

       



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    • Cover page of Catalyzing Community Capacity

      Catalyzing Community Capacity Report released

      9/18/2019 10:09:00 AM

      Today we released Catalyzing Community Capacity: How Philadelphia Can Create Equitable Right-of-Way Stewardship, a report we've been working on since 2018 to analyze and hopefully help improve the city’s current processes for communities to get permission to create and steward parklets, pedestrian plazas and bike corrals. Through an extensive research process, we identified significant barriers for entry, particularly in underserved communities.The report draws from dozens of interviews with local community development professionals, city staff working on these issues and national leaders in public space and placemaking. Our hope is that it balances practical, local feedback with aspirational best practices from peer cities in an effort to further Philadelphia’s rich tradition of community-driven design and stewardship.

      The biggest takeaway is that we think Philadelphia can create large-scale positive impacts by strategically increasing its capacity, which we believe will catalyze capacity that is latent in communities across the city. We hope that the report helps the city make tweaks to its own resource allotment and leads to the creation of a support organization to help unlock the potential of communities through these quick, inexpensive but high impact interventions. 

      Check out the full report or, if you have less time, the executive summary. Thanks for your interest in Lindy's work!

      This project was conducted with the support of the William Penn Foundation, Wyncote Foundation, Knight Foundation, and Poor Richard’s Charitable Trust. The opinions expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funders.

       

       



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    • Title card from Change the Narrative Documentary

      Changing the Narrative

      9/11/2019 10:09:00 AM

      Two years ago this month, the Lindy Institute selected its inaugural cohort of innovation fellows, Priya MammenMike O’Bryan and Chris Spahr, who were chosen for their passion for urban problem-solving and their potential to positively impact communities in Philadelphia. In recognition of their work, we engaged documentarian Wren Rene to shadow them and share their work through a short film. Wren’s focus was to document how each fellow is helping to change the narrative in her/his community while recognizing members of that community who represent the invaluable contribution of vast networks of people in solving urban challenges. We hope you’ll watch and share!

      The fellows were selected from a large and diverse pool of applicants from across the city and received $15,000 and support from the Lindy and Drexel academic families, including participating in the Urban Innovation Summit and being mentored by the incomparable Jeremy Nowak. We are so proud of their affiliation with Lindy! Learn more about their work below:

      Chris Spahr used his fellowship to support the development of a community outreach strategy to inform his innovative proposal to fund the Centennial Parkside CDC through renewable energy generation. Working with insite collaborative and Ebony Suns Enterprises,  Chris hosted a successful community wide process, which culminated at the Our Dreams, Our Future Community Dinner, at Horticulture Hall in Fairmount Park. During his fellowship, he has also helped the Centennial Parkside CDC become a community partner in the development of Schuylkill Yards. Chris and his team continue to work with East Parkside residents to build a green economy that promotes sustainable development without displacement of the existing neighborhood population. You can follow Chris’s work here.

      Mike O’Bryan focused his fellowship on developing a strategy for a consultancy that works with organizations and employers to transform how they understand and support human development, interaction, and performance. During that time he delivered trainings and workshops for orgs that included The Philadelphia Youth NetworkArtistYear, and NeighborWorks America. His fellowship also helped him leverage a grant from the University of the Arts’ Corzo Center for the Creative Economy. He continues to serve as Director of Youth And Young Adult Initiatives at The Village of Arts and Humanities. Follow Mike here.

      Priya Mammen developed a leadership platform to share her vision of Emergency Departments as partners in urban public health, not only to address the social determinants of health in many Philadelphia communities, but to confront public health crises, such as the opioid crisis, on the front lines..  Since her fellowship began, her ideas, proposals and expertise have garnered attention from the US Department of Labor, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, city agencies, such as Philadelphia Department of Health and DBHIDS, and community organizations.  She has shared her thought leadership at TEDx,in the Philadelphia Inquirer and the New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst, among others. She leads several advisory committees in both public and private sectors, sits on the Board of Directors of Pathways to Housing, PA and was elected to the Board of Trustees of the College of Physicians. Follow Priya here.

      The Urban Innovation Fellows Program was created through the generous support of the William Penn Foundation, Wyncote Foundation and Knight Foundation. 

       



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    • Mural by Keith Haring in Philadelphia

      Sustainability Symposium - Saturday, September 7

      9/3/2019 10:09:00 AM

      Lindy is partnering with Mural Arts for The Art of Sustainability 2019 this Saturday at Drexel, where we'll hear from leaders around the country about the role of arts and culture in challenging the cause and effects of climate change. We'll be tackling tough questions like:

      • What do we as a society actually want and need to sustain?
      • What must we change or relinquish in order to protect what matters most?
      • What can we reclaim, or learn anew, in order to create a world that is truly just and sustainable for all people and future generations
      • What is the role of arts and culture in helping us embrace and realize the creative potential of these unparalleled times?

      The event is curated by Helicon, and we've lined up great speakers including:

      • Alexis Frasz—How culture and creative practice can help address environmental issues and build people power.
      • Dan Borelli—How art helped Ashland, Massachusetts wake up to its unresolved toxic legacy so that it could heal, demand change, and begin to build a different future.
      • Tommy Joshua—How the North Philadelphia Peace Park is building a culture of regeneration and renewal.
      • Aviva Kapust—How the Village of Arts and Humanities uses arts and culture as a tool for transforming lives and building healthy, sustainable communities.
      • Eve Mosher—How art can help people understand the impact of climate change on their own lives, and the role of the artist in an era of climate crisis.

      We hope you'll join us - grab tickets for only $10 here.

       

       

       



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    • West Philadelphia Row Homes

      Welcome

      8/26/2019 10:09:00 AM

      Welcome to the Lindy Institute’s staff blog where we’ll share periodic updates on projects and initiatives advancing our mission to forge innovative strategies to equitably advance cities. Look forward to updates this fall on the research of the Nowak Lab into entrepreneurship and opportunity zones, the work of our Urban Innovation Fellows, our Right-of-Way Stewardship initiative, among other efforts.  

      Want to hear more from Lindy? Follow Lindy and the Nowak Lab on twitter, like Lindy on Facebook, or sign up to receive email updates.



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