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Philadelphia 2022: The State of the City

April 20, 2022

Two years into the pandemic, Philadelphia is showing signs of an economic and public health recovery, yet some serious challenges remain.

Considering Re-enactments: The Battle of Germantown in the Light of 21st–Century Gun Violence

March 30, 2021

In response to feedback from the local community and an era of gun violence in the United States, Cliveden initiated conversations with local and re-enactment communities about the relevancy and impact of the site's signature event, the Revolutionary Germantown Festival featuring re-enactments of the Battle of Germantown. The central purpose of the project was to gather reactions from key stakeholders and input from scholars to wrestle with the organization's interpretation of the American Revolution. How can Cliveden tell the authentic story of the Battle of Germantown that is relevant to the community and not an over-simplified version front loading violence? How can Cliveden include different perspectives in the re-enactment? With societal shifts over the past 40 years and an increase of violence, Cliveden was compelled to confront these questions to face the reality of gun violence in everyday American life. The hope was to discover the impact the current interpretation of Revolutionary-era history has on the communities Cliveden serves.Through eighteen months that included the start of a worldwide pandemic, Cliveden with project partners and consultants met both virtually and onsite with small groups to hear from constituents what mattered, what worked and what needed help. Data was also gathered using surveys and in-person interviews during a re-vamped Revolutionary Germantown Festival forced by COVID-19. Through this project participants listened and learned from one another. Cliveden looks forward to using the information gathered and the relationships forged and deepened during this project to expand the site's interpretation of the American Revolution. 

Brotherly Love: Health of Black Men and Boys in Philadelphia

March 14, 2019

This report uses data from various sources to examine  the impact of social and economic factors on health outcomes for black men and boys living in Philadelphia.

Discipline in Context: Suspension, Climate, and PBIS in the School District of Philadelphia

October 1, 2017

The report details a two-year exploratory, mixed-methods research study on the disciplinary practices and climate of schools serving Kâ8 students in the School District of Philadelphia (SDP). Findings reveal that SDP schools are making efforts to reduce suspensions and improve climate, but critical barriers to these efforts include resource limitations and philosophical misalignments between teachers and school leaders. The study identified three profiles among SDP schools serving Kâ8 students based on information about disciplinary practices and climate, and found that these profiles are predictive of suspension and academic outcomes. Students attending schools with collaborative climates and less punitive approaches to discipline have lower risk of being suspended and better academic outcomes. The report offers a series of recommendations for strengthening the implementation of climate initiatives, including Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), in challenging urban settings.

Philadelphia Zoo Rail: Concept Development and Ridership Analysis

May 31, 2017

This study examines the potential for passenger rail service at the Philadelphia Zoo. The report includes a synthesis of previous planning studies, concepts for five future scenarios, and ridership forecasts using the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission's Regional Travel Demand Model.

Trends in Smart City Development

January 5, 2017

This report examines the meanings and practices associated with the term 'smart cities.' Smart city initiatives involve three components: information and communication technologies (ICTs) that generate and aggregate data; analytical tools which convert that data into usable information; and organizational structures that encourage collaboration, innovation, and the application of that information to solve public problems.

Downtown Trenton Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan

July 25, 2016

The Downtown Trenton Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan was created by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission in collaboration with a variety of partners, most notably the City of Trenton. This study proposes different bicycle, pedestrian, intersection, and trail interventions within downtown Trenton, New Jersey. The plan also offers potential funding streams and examples of estimated construction costs. This plan will be incorporated into the City of Trenton's Trenton 250 Master Plan.

City Branch Transit Feasibility Study

July 25, 2016

The City Branch Transit Feasibility Study was conducted by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) at the request of the City of Philadelphia, and in collaboration with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).The study examines transit reuse opportunities for the City Branch, an unused former rail right-of-way in Center City Philadelphia.

Alternatives Development for Roosevelt Boulevard Transit Enhancements

June 30, 2016

Roosevelt Boulevard is a complex corridor with many needs. The purpose of this project was to take a fresh look at transit needs specifically and develop improvement strategies that could be achieved at grade within the existing cross section of the roadway, at comparatively lower cost and in a shorter timeframe than the subway/elevated line that has historically been the focus of transit planning efforts and remains a long-term ambition. The public has expressed an ongoing interest in improved public transit service on Roosevelt Boulevard, through such feedback efforts as the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission's (DVRPC) Dots & Dashes exercise to develop the 2008Long-Range Vision for Transit, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission's 2035 Comprehensive Plan, and DVRPC Choices & Voices feedback for the Connections 2040long-range plan. This project was a response to that feedback, and to a sense that the corridor has been long on plans but short on progress—owing to solutions that have resided in perpetual long range for financial reasons.

Connecting the Dots: Data Use in Afterschool Systems

May 31, 2016

Afterschool programs are seen as a way to keep low-income children safe and to foster the skills needed to succeed in school and life. Many cities are creating afterschool systems to ensure that such programs are high-quality and widely available. One way to do so is to ensure afterschool systems develop and maintain a data system.This interim report presents early findings from a study of how afterschool systems build their capacity to understand and improve their practices through their data systems. It examines afterschool data systems in nine cities that are part of The Wallace Foundation's Next Generation Afterschool System-Building initiative, a multi-year effort to strengthen systems that support access to and participation in high-quality afterschool programs for low-income youth. The cities are Baltimore, Md., Denver, Colo., Fort Worth, Texas, Grand Rapids, Mich., Jacksonville, Fla.,Louisville, Ky., Nashville, Tenn., Philadelphia, Pa., and Saint Paul, Minn.To date, research on data use in afterschool systems has focused more on the implementation of technology than on what it takes to develop and sustain effective data use. This study found that the factors that either enabled or hampered the use of data in afterschool systems—such as norms and routines, partner relationships, leadership and coordination, and technical knowledge—had as much to do with the people and process components of the systems as with the technology.Strategies that appear to contribute to success include:    Starting small. A number of cities intentionally started with a limited set of goals for data collection and use, and/or a limited set of providers piloting a new data system, with plans to scale up gradually.    Ongoing training. Stakeholders learned that high staff turnover required ongoing introductory trainings to help new hires use management information systems and data. Providing coaching and developing manuals also helped to mitigate the effects of turnover and to further the development of more experienced and engaged staff.    Outside help. Systems varied in how they used the expertise of outside research partners. Some cities identified a research partner who participated in all phases of the development of their data systems. Others used the relationship primarily to help analyze and report data collected by providers. Still others did not engage external research partner, but identified internal staff to support the system. In any of these scenarios, dedicated staffers with skills in data analytics were key.

Green Schoolyards: A Growing Movement Supporting Health, Education, and Connection with Nature

March 21, 2016

In May 2015, a national summit convened in Chicago to take an in-depth look at green schoolyards. At this summit, practitioners, advocates, researchers and others shared their knowledge and experiences and explored innovative approaches for advancing green schoolyards. This report shares the collective experience and knowledge of the participants and explores some of these new and emerging opportunities.Successful green schoolyard programs in six cities across the country are examined in case studies in this report. These studies distill important factors that helped to determine project success, including diverse partnerships and funding mechanisms, carefully leveraged policy at every level and documented impact that wins support.

How Boston and Other American Cities Support and Sustain the Arts: Funding for Cultural Nonprofits in Boston and 10 Other Metropolitan Centers

January 21, 2016

A new study commissioned by the Boston Foundation on how Boston and comparable cities support the arts shows that only New York City has higher per capita contributed revenue for the art than Boston, among major American cities.The study, titled "How Boston and Other American Cities Support and Sustain the Arts: Funding for Cultural Nonprofits in Boston and 10 Other Metropolitan Cities," also examined Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Portland Oregon, San Francisco, and Seattle. "How Boston" is a follow-up of sorts to a 2003 Boston Foundation report titled, "Funding for Cultural Organizations in Boston and Nine Other Metropolitan Areas."Key findings of this study, regarding Boston, include the fact that Boston's arts market is quite densely populated. While Greater Boston is the nation's 10th largest metro area and ranks ninth for total Gross Domestic Product, its non-profit arts market, which consists of more than 1,500 organizations, is comparable to that of New York and San Francisco, and consistently surpasses large cities such as Houston, Chicago and Philadelphia, in terms of the number of organizations and their per capita expenses.