The Atlantic Cities: Kaid Benfield: In Philadelphia, a Porch for an Entire City:
If you care about green cities, you have to like a lot of what’s happening in Philadelphia lately, from land use planning to watershed management to the greening of vacant and blighted lots and, now, the opening of a lively new public space that makes the city a better place to live, work and visit. In particular, last week I learned about The Porch at 30th Street Station, a very promising new plaza just outside the city’s iconic train station. The creation of University City District, an organization dedicated to revitalization and community improvement, The Porch opened last fall and has been hopping all summer with activity. It is at once ambitious and low-key.
Hidden City Philadelphia, a blog you should be reading if you’re not, has a few recent posts on the S.S. United States including pictures and an interview with Steven Ujifusa who recently had a book published about the ship.
Hidden City Philadelphia: Meredith Broussard: In Love With A Ship And Its Architect
Hidden City Philadelphia: Matthew Christopher: The View Inside (And Out) The Dazzling Ship
Plan Philly: The SS United States: Until the first blows fall
NewsWorks: Benjamin Herold for The Notebook and WHYY: “Fixing Philadelphia’s broken pipeline to college”.
You can follow more of this report at The Philadephia Public School Notebook and take part in the comment thread there.
Emily Badger in The Atlantic recently wrote about “The Dawn of the Municipal Chief Innovation Officer”. Technically Philly had a conversation with Philadelphia’s Adel Ebeid, Philadelphia’s first Chief Innovation Officer, back in November last year:
“There’s this one side of the coin where people see just this disenchantment and negative view of government,” says Jay Nath, the Chief Innovation Officer for the city of San Francisco. “But there’s also this flip side where people actually believe that working with government, we can make a better solution and better improvements for our society.”
…There are, by our count, just two major cities in the U.S. that currently have someone sitting in this role, and they’ve both settled in within the past six months. Adel Ebeid stepped into the job in Philadelphia after working as the chief information officer for the state of New Jersey. Like Nath, he views his role largely as connecting city hall and all of its resources with a new generation of problem-solvers outside of it.
…The birth of the municipal chief innovation officer job is a response to these two trends: to fundamental changes in technology that are revolutionizing citizen engagement, and to a cultural movement that is turning the data-dense inner workings of city halls into public challenges that are actually kind of a kick to solve.
“There aren’t that many of us right now,” Ebeid says, “but I can tell you we’re certainly an early testbed for what will become mainstream by 2015.”
City of Philadelphia: Office of Innovation and Technology
MarketWatch: “CyberCoders Reveals Houston Beats out San Jose and Silicon Valley as The Leading City for Technology Jobs in 2012. Philadelphia is #3!!!
The Frankford Gazette has a post on the new computer center that opened in one of my old neighborhoods, maybe I can stop by and help: “Community Computer Center Open in Frankford”:
The majority of the residents of Frankford do not have internet access. The Free Library Branch does offer some service which is very well utilized all day long by students and others but those facilities cannot come close to meeting the demand. The new computer center will help to close the gap.
For some this is old news, but if not, check it out: Esquire: “Esquire’s Americans of the Year: Patriots: Michael Nutter”
Philly.com: Kristen A. Graham: Phila. Sustainability Workshop tries to reinvent the high school – Philly.com.
“Do real work, solve real problems. Trust kids to make good choices. Let them learn from failure. If we’re serious about schools helping to change some of these kids’ lives, we have to have these conversations.”