City planners, preservationists, zoners and other PlanPhilly readers are in luck next week, as the annual Philly Tech Week is set to include several plannerly events. Pre-tech week festivities will start Friday morning with a Geek Brunch and a weekend hackathon, but Philly Tech Week officially launches Monday, April 22. We've rounded up some of events that are likely to draw your attention throughout the week, but we suggest you also take a look at the full schedule, available here.
Monday, April 22, Noon-1pm, University City Science Center, 3711 Market Street. With a focus on new and upcoming breakthroughs in sustainable technologies in the region three presenters will give seven to nine minute previews of their projects. Pat McDonald of Onion Flats will talk about the Stable Flats project, which aims to create energy sufficient houses in Northern Liberties. The Bicycle Coalition's Nicholas Mirra will talk about Connect the Circuit, the regional effort to create an interconnected system of 750 bike and recreation trails, and Christine Knapp will share the Philadelphia Water Department's current projects and initiatives.
Wednesday, April 23, 9am- 3:30pm, Location TBD. In this full-day event participants will learn about and practice balloon mapping, a low-cost, easy way to make maps and aerial imaging. Balloon mapping started as a grassroots technique used by journalists and community groups and has since helped gather images during events like the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A morning session will focus on building and flying the balloons, and an afternoon session will delve into the open source software used to stitch the images together and make a map.
Thursday, April 25, 5:30pm - 9pm, Upstairs at Smokin' Bettys, 116 S 11th Street. Philadelphians who work with spatial data and mapping applications and those who want to learn more about spatial data are invited to connect, geek out about maps and enjoy some Smokin' Betty's drinks and appetizers at Thursday's happy hour. Maps and images from the previous day's Balloon Mapping Workshop will be on display.
Saturday, April 27, 8pm - 11:59am, 3rd Ward, 1227 North 4th Street. Over music, food, beer and cocktails, participants will make LED magnets that they will then toss on ferromagnetic surfaces along Germantown Ave to create a "temporary light graffiti" that will brighten up the street's public space. If you can't make the event but still want to check out 3rd Ward, the coworking space will be open to the public April 23 - 26 from 2pm - 8pm, in honor of Philly Tech Week.
A full schedule of Tech Week events is available here.
From 2012-2014 Christine covered transportation, writing about everything from pedestrian concerns to bicycle infrastructure, bridges, trail networks, public transit and more. Her favorite assignments sent her bushwhacking through Philadelphia’s yet-to-be-cleared bike trails, catching a glimpse of SEPTA’s inner workings or pounding the pavement to find out what pedestrians really think. Christine also covered community news for Eyes on the Street, where her work ranged from food sovereignty to public art and urban greening. She first joined PlanPhilly in fall 2011 as an intern through a partnership with Temple University’s Philadelphia Neighborhoods website.