How Philadelphians view their hometown and other Pa cities

    It’s not exactly a scientific survey, but if you want to know what Philadelphia-area residents think about Pennsylvania’s cities, check out these word clouds. At the Keystone Crossroads public forum at WHYY, we asked about 50 participants to tell us what comes to mind when we named some Commonwealth cities: Philadelphia, Allentown, Chester, Harrisburg….

     The answers are assembled into word clouds. In a word cloud, the larger a particular word is, the more it was mentioned.

    For instance, “Philadelphia” invoked predictable responses like “Rocky” and “Liberty Bell.” Also,  we heard “getting better” more than we heard “corrupt” or “traffic.”  

    When we said “Bethlehem,” the leading two words were “steel” and “casino.”  Not surprising, given how those structures dominate the Bethlehem skyline. 

    For “Chester,” the word “soccer” trumped “ouch” and “dangerous.” Perhaps a sign that we are seeing progress in Chester, at least in terms of its image.

     And there’s much more. It’s all in the report from The Penn Project for Civic Engagement, which led the discussions.

    We’ll have more from the forums in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Altoona soon. And we’re planning another one in the Lehigh Valley.

    Here’s the full report on the forum held in Philadelphia:





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