• Volunteer Orientation Meeting

    Hello Philadelphia urbanists!

    Attend our volunteer orientation meeting. At this meeting, we will:

    1. Introduce our organization and recent campaigns.
    2. Onboard folks with our tech.
    3. Discuss and brainstorm upcoming 5th Square priorities and and volunteer opportunities.

    You are welcome whether this is your 1st or 100th 5th Square event!

    We hope to see you at this meeting, but if you can't make it, don't fret! There will be a similar meetings in subsequent months.

    This meeting will be HYBRID: both in-person at Indy Hall and on virtual on Zoom -- RSVP here for info on both. 


    Public & Active Transportation:

    • L-Line (Market-Frankford Line) to Spring Garden Station
    • G-Line (15 Trolley) is a 10 minute walk away
    • Bus routes: 5, 25, 43, 57
    • Indego Station and abundant bicycle racks on 2nd & Brown
  • Panel on Land Value Tax + Meetup

    File:Everybody works but the vacant lot (cropped).jpg - Wikimedia Commons

    Philadelphia and other cities across the US face a shortage of housing -- Philly alone needs as many as 30,000 or 60,000 homes. And yet our cities are also blighted by vacant or underutilized land -- in Philadelphia, there are about 30,000 privately owned vacant lots. What's more, oftentimes a 'speculator' will buy a vacant lot, wait for the neighborhood to gentrify, and flip the vacant lot for a profit without the landowner doing any work to increase the value of the landWhat can we do about these related problems of housing shortage, blighted and underutilized land, and extractive speculation?

    Could taxing land more and buildings less -- the so-called land value tax (LVT) -- encourage homebuilding, and discourage holding and speculating on vacant or underused land (video explainer here!)? Why do economists left, right, and center think that LVT promotes efficient, equitable growth? Has a land value tax actually been implemented in other places, and what have we learned from those cases? Could we do it here in Philadelphia, and if so, how can I help?

    If you are interested in these and other questions, join us for a panel discussion of experts, advocates, and policymakers, moderated by 5th Square board member and treasurer, Russell Richie.


    • Josie Faass, PhD, Executive Director of the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation
    • Andy Toy, Public and Urban Policy Practitioner
    • TBD

    The doors will open at 6pm, and the panel will run from 6:30pm to 7:30pm, with time before and after for meet and greet.

    Pizza and drinks will be provided. A $10 donation is suggested.

    This event is co-sponsored by the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation.