5TH SQUARE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER: October 10, 2018

Delaware Waterfront Transit, 'Missing Middle' Housing Event, Support 1 Dock Street!

5th Square's weekly newsletter reaches over 11,000 subscribers with the news, events, action alerts, and opportunities Philly urbanists need to know about each week. Become a member to vote on our 2019 Council endorsements, volunteer on one of our committees, or make a donation to support our advocacy.


EVENTS

Wednesday, October 10th, 6:00 pm
Delaware Waterfront Transit Study Presentation
Weigh in on Delaware waterfront transportation issues and how to improve access to waterfront neighborhoods at one of two open houses hosted by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation. 

Friday, October 12th, 8:30 am
The Missing Middle: Meeting the Housing Demand in Walkable Urban Places
Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance hosts an event with Dan Parolek of Opticos Design about the 'Missing Middle' housing types that most cities have zoned out of walkable neighborhoods: compact and clustered home types such as manor houses, multiplexes and live/work units. Philly YIMBY's own Kara Kneidl joins the panel of local voices to discuss ways to make more room for Missing Middle housing types in Philadelphia.

Monday, October 15th, 6:00 pm
Support 1 Dock Street at Society Hill Civic
Society Hill Civic Association is hosting a meeting about their appeal of an already-permitted by-right project at the Sheraton Hotel, which would add 273 apartments to one of the city's wealthiest and most notoriously change-resistant neighborhoods. Philly YIMBY is asking supporters to come out on Monday to speak in favor of the project, and then show up again at the Zoning Board on October 23rd to speak against Society Hill Civic's appeal.


MERCH

Get our limited run artist series t-shirt, featuring an original illustration by Kate Otte. 
Proceeds from sales will go to fund our 2019 political activities for City Council races. You can get a shirt at half price ($10 instead of $20) if you become a member, and sign up for a $5 recurring monthly donation

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NEWS

Center City District’s President Paul Levy argues economic growth is the only way to finally put a dent in the Philadelphia's stubbornly high and rising poverty-rate. The city still isn't seeing the same pace of job growth downtown as in the suburbs, unlike what's been hapening in many of our peer regions. Levy makes the case that shifting city taxes onto things that can't move, like land and real estate, and away from things that can, like jobs and investment, are part of the solution to fixing job sprawl and our nearly 40% reverse-commuting rate. “It is not that Philadelphia taxes too much, we tax the wrong things; 63% of the municipal budget comes from taxing what readily moves, namely employee salaries and business revenues….What’s required is a shift from taxing what moves to relying more on immobile land and improvements.”

In this article about the project-level politicking over a community benefits agreement for a new Washington Avenue development, a spokesperson for 2nd District Councilman Kenyatta Johnson says Johnson has no plans to ever solve Washington Avenue's identity crisis by rezoning the corridor, while his 2019 primary challenger in the 2nd District, 5th Square member Lauren Vidas, says Johnson should've remapped Washington Ave a long time ago, and would do it if elected. Johnson has also taken no visible action to make Washington Avenue's streetscape less dangerous since he and 1st District Councilman Mark Squilla killed a 2014 road diet plan.

Philly Free Streets on North Broad smashed diversity goals, with 59% of attendees surveyed identifying as minorities, and 42% identifying as black or African-American. Attendees came from 45 out of 48 Philadelphia zipcodes, and 72% reported it was their first Free Streets event.

SEPTA ridership and revenues are continued their downward trend last month. It's time they followed Seattle's lead and universalized school passes, rather than only issuing them to students who live 1.5 miles away from school. About 36,000 students would benefit from this change, according to Ronnie Polaneczky.

More grocery chains keep experimenting with walkable urban format stores, rather than trying to impose the suburban land use of their traditional stores on city neighborhoods. A Giant "Heirloom Market' will debut later this year near 23rd and Bainbridge.  

The Kenney administration let Rittenhouse Square NIMBYs veto a bike share station next to the park, after the city's most popular station had to be moved for construction.

Uber will soon begin lobbying cities for decongestion pricing, starting with Seattle.



OPPORTUNITIES
The City of Philadelphia released a bid for qualified firms to redesign Thomas Paine Plaza next to the Municipal Services Building
Habitat for Humanity is hiring a Director of Finance

Exit Design and J2 are hiring for several positions including a Creative Director and Business Development professional

Delaware River Waterfront is hiring a Cherry Street Pier Supervisior (seasonal)

Tiny WPA is hiring a Program Manager

America Walks is accepting applicants for Community Change Grants for up to $1,500, due November 2nd

PennDOT is accepting unsolicited proposals for P3 projects through the end of the year



5th Square is Philadelphia's urbanist political action committee.
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