Somerset Neighbors organize, 245 new buses, Gardner and Barnes modernize, dreaming a new Divine Lorraine, Philly ranks as 30th most competitive global city, NextFab2 coming soon

Somerset Neighbors for Better Living is organizing to reclaim their tough corner of Kensington from drugs, vacancy, crime, and prostitution. The Star & Home reports that the organization is being aided by New Kensington CDC and the Community Design Collaborative to envision a cleaner, safer, and greener future for the area around the Somerset El stop. NKCDC’s Neighborhood Advisory Committee coordinator Kevin Musselman said, “I think there is a lot in this neighborhood to be proud of. It has a bad reputation and there are bad things that happen, but there are great people who live here.”

SEPTA plans to buy 245 new buses to the tune of $171 million, reports the Inquirer. Next week the SEPTA board will vote to purchase the new buses, which will replace aging vehicles.

Inga Saffron compares the addition to Boston’s idiosyncratic Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum with the Barnes’ move, forecasting that the key to the new Barnes’ success lies in how the new space captures the old’s eccentricity.

Developer Eric Blumenfeld and artist Caryn Kunkle are dreaming on a future Divine Lorraine, reports the Inquirer. Kunkle wants to turn the Divine Lorraine into the Philadelphia Interactive Museum of Contemporary Art, and has been shopping the idea to arts organizations. Blumenfeld is drumming up interest to consolidate four high schools on a campus behind the Divine Lorraine. Is the whole thing a completely wild long shot or the kind of imagination that just might work if the project financials make sense?

Philly ranks as 30th most competitive global city, according to a report commissioned by Citigroup. Technically Philly breaks down how Philly rated against 120 other cities worldwide in areas like physical capital and institutional effectiveness.

NextFab, the city’s “gym for innovators,” expects to open its second location on Washington Avenue in July. NextFab told Flying Kite the new location will accommodate really big tools, lab space, and private studios in the 21,000 square foot space.

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