Chris Bartlett on how to make the neighborhood you want [TEDxPhiladelphia video]

PlanPhilly was a proud partner of this year’s TEDxPhiladelphia event, New Workshop of the World.  As we look forward to next year’s event – mark your calendars for June 11, 2015 – we want to share a few of our favorite talks from last round. First up, Chris Bartlett on what the Gayborhood has learned from Chinatown and what we all can do to create the neighborhoods we want.

“The story of cities is the beautiful flexibility of these neighborhoods, their evolution over generations, and the fact that new people are constantly coming in, putting their particular intention, their particular creativity into making cities like Philadelphia vibrant,” Chris Bartlett says early in his TEDxPhiladelphia talk. So if change is the one constant in urban life, how can we also make sure that our neighborhoods retain their unique character? It takes passion, intentionality, vision, and activism.

As leader of the Gayborhood’s William Way LGBT Community Center, Bartlett draws inspiration from the way the “fighting advocates” of Chinatown work to protect their neighborhood’s identity. Among the lessons he’s learned: The importance of advocacy, intergenerational experiences, cultural institutions and expressions, and affordable housing.




Chris Bartlett builds community through arts and culture, technological innovation, and intergenerational approaches as Executive Director of the William Way LGBT Community Center. He’s been a leader in the local effort to build housing that welcomes LGBT seniors. Next up, he’s creating the nation’s first LGBT Jazz Festival and a citywide exploration of LGBT history in Philadelphia.


TEDxPhiladelphia offers interactive, immersive experiences for all participants. The not-for-profit group, licensed by TED, was created in the spirit of the TED conference and its mission, “ideas worth spreading.” You can watch talks from the 2014 conference – “New Workshop of the World” on YouTube. The next TEDxPhiladelphia will be held June 11, 2015.

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