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Catalyzing Community Capacity Report released

New report documents barriers to entry to right-of-way (ROW) stewardship opportunities, especially in underserved communities, and highlights action steps for the city to add strategic capacity

Cover page of Catalyzing Community Capacity

September 18, 2019

 Catalyzing Community Capacity: How Philadelphia Can Create Equitable Right-of-Way StewardshipToday we released , 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.