In case you missed it: This week’s good reads about Pennsylvania cities

     In the knowledge economy, State College could be on the cusp of becoming a 'university city.' (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

    In the knowledge economy, State College could be on the cusp of becoming a 'university city.' (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

     TGIF: Time for football, fall foliage and urban reads.

    Cities making change

    Tech companies are no longer interested in  just the Silicon Valley. College communities like State College and Pittsburgh are looking to serve as “university cities,” providing a talent pool for these businesses. Pinball machine and kegerator included. 

    By combining projects and funding resources, smaller cities can increase their chances of revitalizing their waterfronts and create “river towns” through recreation. Visit our waterfront series to see the many creative ways Pennsylvanians have reimagined islands, riverfronts and waterways.

    Housing

    The impact of drilling on the Shale Region is not just environmental. Well paid gas workers looking for housing can drive up housing costs and demand, changing life for existing residents. There’s an $8.1 million state fund  to help keep housing more affordable and available. 

    “We are family” may be a Sister Sledge tune and anthem for many a sorority house, but a Philadelphia court recently defined “family” in more narrow terms. Landlords who rent to fraternal organizations may lose potential tenants. (PlanPhilly)We don’t usually associate renting with equity, but a Cleveland nonprofit has created a program that allows renters to earn equity and become stakeholders in their property. (NextCity)

    Immigrants and imagination

    The perception of immigrants in Hazelton has made a dramatic turnaround. Once feared and ostracized, immigrant business and culture are bringing new life to the community. (NPR) 

    In London, immigrant business owners adapt to rising rent through “urban mutualism,” or more simply put, by sharing retail space and rent. (CityLab)

    Homelessness

    “Get a job!” is often heard by panhandlers. Albuquerque, New Mexico has an idea worth stealing — a program that helps panhandlers find day work and provides additional services, including training for more permanent employment and options for affordable housing.

    Allentown’s Fountain Pool House is under renovation to provide a new 40-bed warming station with showers for homeless people, a quarter of whom have jobs but lack affordable housing. (Lehigh Valley Live)

    Transportation

    Wednesday was the ribbon cutting for the official opening of Pittsburgh’s East Liberty transit center. This intermodal transit center includes a bus station, pedestrian bridge and a bike parking garage. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

    Scranton and the Lehigh Valley have something in common — residents who want a rail system. Over 150 Scranton residents attended a town hall meeting to discuss reviving a Scranton to New York rail system. (The Times-Tribune).

    The Lehigh Valley Transportation Study will explore how passenger rail fits into the future of the area’s transit system. (The Morning Call)

     

    Have a great weekend.

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