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    • Rail Park Phase 1 Callowhill terminus | Studio Bryan Hanes

Rail Park announces June 14 opening, new executive director

Philadelphia's hotly anticipated, High Line-esque Rail Park will open to the public on June 14 with a new leader and freshly installed benches for summertime people watching. The June 14 opening will…

    • Shani Akilah and Abdul-Aliy Muhammad with the Black and Brown Workers Cooperative at Rittenhouse Square Park. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

After Philly Starbucks arrest, what does it mean to be black in a ‘white space’?

Abdul-Aliy Muhammad grabs a seat on a low-slung wall inside Rittenhouse Square. It's a bit chilly but there are still plenty of people sitting on benches. Having a snack. Reading a…

    • A couple poses at Love Park in February.

LOVE Park? More like loathe park! Criticisms mount as JFK Plaza slowly reopens.

It’s an iconic shot, a photo taken by numerous Philadelphians, millions of visitors, and countless brides and grooms. The subjects stand in front of Robert Indiana’s LOVE Statue as a geyser-like fountain…

    • Shani Akilah Robin was one of an estimated 50 people protesting the controversial arrest of two black Starbucks patrons at the chain's Rittenhouse location on April 16. (Bastiaan Slabbers/For WHYY)
Eyes on the Street

Where have all the public bathrooms gone?

By Charles Ellison It's been 11 days since Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were arrested for waiting while Black at a Rittenhouse Square Starbucks. In that time, the manager who called…

    • The scene has quieted down at the Rittenhouse Starbucks where two black men were arrested on April 12. (Jim Saksa/ WHYY)

Rittenhouse Starbucks patron: "We should all be able to... get a cup of coffee or sit down."

The rhythm of daily commerce has resumed at Starbucks at 18th and Spruce Streets, where the filmed arrest of two black men eight days ago launched another round of the nation’s…

    • Tayyib Smith and Meegan Denenberg at Pipeline Philly.(Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Black in Rittenhouse and designing for a diverse city

One week ago, the arrest of two black men at a Rittenhouse Square Starbucks pushed a provocative idea about the racialization of urban space into mainstream conversation. Suddenly, millions of people…

    • A T-shirt catches the drips from a leaking window frame in a multi-purpose room used by children at Vare Rec Center. | Emma Lee/WHYY

City: 'Too soon' to say if soda tax shortfall will hit parks & rec makeover

There will be no Rebuild without the soda tax. That’s been the message coming from Mayor Jim Kenney over the last several months — a warning that the ongoing legal fight…

    • Kensington Avenue and F streets is rated a “4” on Philadelphia’s Litter Index. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Armed with data on Philly's litter problem, Mayor prepares for slow political battle over street cleaning

Mayor Jim Kenney remains committed to a street-sweeping program, but don’t expect to see any cleaners on your block anytime soon. The city declined on Thursday to comment on a specific…

    • Workers planting trees

Philadelphia gets grant for planting at least 400 extra street trees a year

Philadelphia could be a lot greener. Only 20 percent of the city’s ground is covered by trees, which is below the national average (27 percent) — a little lower than New…

    • A packed room at Pipeline Philly listens as Witty Gritty's/Urban Consulate's Michelle Freeman kicks off the discussion
Eyes on the Street

Design professionals discuss how to make room for all races in Philly public spaces

Sitting in front of a crowd of over one hundred, Tya Winn asked a row of audience members to stand. “There are about 25 of you standing,” the president of Philadelphia’s…

    • South Philly Library, Photo by Phillytrax

Down this Street before: Can Rebuild stick to its promise of data-driven, apolitical decisions?

The comparisons are irresistible: Less than three years into office, a Philadelphia mayor pushing through a major legislative initiative that promises to boost equity in long-neglected neighborhoods via a project financed…

    • Unveiled in September, 2017, the Octavius V. Catto is Philadelphia's first statute to African-American on city property
Eyes on the Street

Monument Lab provided more questions than answers

Mural Arts Philadelphia’s temporary exhibition, Monument Lab: A Public Art and History Project, ended on November 19th. It asked: “What is an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia?”…

    • rizzo statue 8 16
Eyes on the Street

Mayor Rizzo’s discriminatory housing policies: confronting our past and present

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney recently announced that the statue of former Mayor Frank Rizzo before the Municipal Services Building is to be relocated. Much of the discussion has centered on discrimination,…

    • Andre Wright paints puts a new coat of paint on a window frame in the Sharswood Athletic Rec Center. (Brad Larrison for NewsWorks)

As city waits on soda tax ruling, private sector pours on support for Rebuild

Given all the news stories that have described Rebuild as a “$500 million initiative,” you might have assumed that, at least by now, the project’s funding was set…

    • Councilman Bobby Henon speaking at site of proposed park in Bridesburg

Final design phase begins for riverfront park in Bridesburg

Tucked away behind a parking lot filled with yellow school buses and a busy metal recycling facility along the Delaware River in Bridesburg, there is a rutted, weed-strewn 10-acre lot. It…

    • Philadelphia City Hall (Emma Lee/WHYY)

City selects first 21 nonprofit 'project users' to put the 'build' in Rebuild

A lot of the consternation surrounding Mayor Jim Kenney’s mega-project Rebuild has focused on the desired delivery structure for the project. From the start, it’s been the administration’s preference to utilize…

    • Monument Lab, Spring 2015
Eyes on the Street

As Philadelphia reflects on its monuments, some more questions to ask

Mural Arts' Monument Lab wants to know, “What is an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia?” It’s a great question, but I want to suggest a few more to…

    • Frank Rizzo and Trump Rat
Eyes on the Street

Monumental matters in Philadelphia

Mural Arts Philadelphia’s temporary exhibition, Monument Lab: A Public Art and History Project, asks: “What is an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia?” In the wake of…

    • Students at Cecil B. Moore Rec Center during the announcement of a $100 million grant from the William Penn Foundation to improve civic spaces in Philadelphia, November 2016 (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Before Rebuild is over site selection, oversight board selected for Rebuild

One of the sharpest criticisms levied against Mayor Jim Kenney’s Rebuild initiative last spring, when its enabling legislation was wiggling its way through Council, was a perceived lack of public…

    • Rendering showing a 'Link

Link up: Art Commision OKs plan to install 100 digital ad kiosks along commercial corridors

The Philadelphia Art Commision approved a plan to bring Link kiosks to the city of Philadelphia on Wednesday. The kiosks — roughly the size and shape of the “you are here”…

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