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Joshua M. Stratton-Rayner


My inquiry critically examines two case studies of recent efforts to create two neighborhood Business Improvement Districts in Philadelphia - Northern Liberties, which was instituted in 2018, and Fishtown, which is still in development. Pennsylvania BIDs share the same legal framework, yet each is initiated for different purposes and by different types of social actors, even for similar neighborhoods in similar locations at similar times. The local community scale of the BID's governance intervention form also raises questions of meaningful representation, accountability, and social production in neighborhoods like these. My work chronicles these two recent BID implementation processes, and considers their connections with commons- and citizenship-oriented theories of urban collective governance.