Newsletter: 🚍 Bus-Only Lanes Finally Here! / 🚪 How the US Made Affordable Homes Illegal / 🛣️ MLK Drive Radio Hour

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 155


The folks at VOX created a great video explaining the nationwide housing shortage and how cities across the US, including Philadelphia, have made it illegal to build more affordable homes.

This video clearly explains why we at 5th Square advocate for housing affordability through better zoning rules across Philadelphia.

Zoning laws are the local rules and regulations that decide what types of homes can be built where. These rules can sometimes have good intentions. But they also have a dark history in the United States as a tool to keep certain races, religions, and nationalities out of white neighborhoods. And while zoning laws in the US are no longer explicitly racist, their effect remains basically the same: to keep affordable housing, and the people who need it, away from the wealthiest Americans.

Today, in the majority of the US, especially in cities with good jobs, it’s illegal to build many affordable types of housing. And it’s led to a widespread affordability crisis.


Take Transit Forward Philadelphia's 5-minute bus network survey and you will be entered into a raffle to receive a $50 VISA gift card!



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PlanPhilly's Ryan Briggs write about the City's pilot program to dedicate one lane each on Market Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard in Center City to buses.

Half of the people using both streets are bus riders. The bus-only lanes would help increase transit efficiency, reduce congestion, and help make the city’s transportation system more equitable.

Briggs got a reaction from 5th Square on these long-overdue changes and we say they don't go far enough!

Kimberly Paynter/WHYY


WHYY's RadioTimes explores the adaptation of Philly's roadways during the pandemic and how this presents an opportunity for us to take back road space for pedestrians and cyclists that were long-held by cars only.

Listen to this segment that hears from the Bicycle Coalition's Randy Lobasso, Architecture Critic Inga Saffron, and Philadelphia Deputy Managing Director Mike Carroll. They will be discussing the saga of MLK Drive.

Kaveen Harohalli/Billy Penn



The Philadelphia Inquirer / How South Street’s new plaza became another heat island | Inga Saffron

Billy Penn / Hot vax bummer: Block parties are allowed again in Philly, but applications are down at least 50%

WHYY / As street sweepers return to Philly, some residents see a sign of progress



The Philadelphia Inquirer / As someone who has been evicted, I want Congress to fully fund housing

The Philadelphia Inquirer / Address Philly’s housing crisis by fixing ‘tangled titles’ for homeowners

Planet Money Podcast - NPR / Three Reasons for the Housing Shortage

The Philadelphia Citizen / Tiny houses don't end homelessness, they sustain it

The Philadelphia Inquirer / Philly’s violence crisis can be reduced by tackling our housing repair crisis

Volunteer with 5th Square


Philadelphia2035 - 25th Street Transportation Safety Study Survey --> 25th Street in from Washington Ave to Passyunk Ave have been too dangerous for too long. Please fill out this survey to ask the planning commission for more space for bikes and pedestrians, and for less speeding cars.

Benjamin Franklin Parkway Ideas Workshop Feedback Survey - We want your feedback about the presented ideas from the Ideas Workshop Design Panel!

Submit your South Street memory - As part of a Knight Foundation grant, “Edit the City” has partnered with the South Street Headhouse District to document the unique experiences that made you fall in love with South Street.

DVRPC’s long range plan - Public comments are open until Aug 30.


The SOSNA Safe Pathways to Our Schools community paint days are scheduled and we need volunteers to help us paint the street murals! Paint days are Saturdays: August 21, 28 and September 11, 18. Click here to sign up: Volunteer Form.

Tree Philly's application for fall yard tree giveaways is open. Deadline to apply is August 30th.

City Parks Alliance is pleased to announce a Call for Speaker Proposals for Greater & Greener 2022! At this year’s conference, we are interested in framing conversations with speakers and participants around the complex challenges we all face, and how we are working in partnership to create more equitable, vibrant, resilient, and inclusive communities. Due 8/30

Call for Artists: Request for Qualifications - PHDC and CRP/GO Ridge Flats Owner, LLC, are pleased to offer this opportunity for a public art project to be located at 4300-4312 and 4314-4326 Ridge Avenue.

Committee of Seventy - Are you passionate about Philadelphia? Do you want to know more about how to positively affect change in our city? Are you a young professional interested in serving on a respected nonprofit board? Apply to be a 2021-2022 Buchholz Fellow Due 08/27

Call for volunteers to help with the East Coast Greenway Alliance's first ever NYC-to-Philly Ride, August 28-29! For more information, volunteer roles, and registration, see -- Join the 2-day crew or help out just for a day -- we especially need volunteers for the closing ceremony in Philadelphia on August 29th. Please reach out to Daniel Paschall with any questions at [email protected]


BLOC Philadelphia / Delivery Specialist

City of Philadelphia / SmartCityPHL Data Fellow

Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) / Transportation Planner

Federal Transit Administration (FTA) of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) / paid Fellow trained in data analytics disciplines

Greater Philadelphia YMCA / VP of Finance and Accounting

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP / Real Estate Midlevel Associate

La Colombe / Sales Operations Specialist

The Office of the Philadelphia City Controller / Communications Coordinator

United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey / Grants Officer

PA Alliance Foundation / Executive Director

Trenton Downtown Association Inc / Executive Director

Azavea / Software Engineer - Raster Foundry Team, People Operations Coordinator

Playworks / Trainer and Partnerships Manager

City of Philadelphia / Vison Zero Analyst and Project Manager

Community Design Collaborative / Program Manager, Design Services Director

City of Philadelphia - The Department of Planning and Development / Associate Program Manager, Data Analyst

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