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

     A knockoff of Walker Evans' 1935 photograph from St. Michael’s Cemetery in south Bethlehem looking at the blast furnaces in the distance taken March 11, 2015. (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

    A knockoff of Walker Evans' 1935 photograph from St. Michael’s Cemetery in south Bethlehem looking at the blast furnaces in the distance taken March 11, 2015. (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

    Happy Friday! Here’s this week’s roundup of recommended reading.

    Capitol recap

    Capitol Recap is our weekly look at how state government affects cities. This week: Pa.’s billion-dollar pension problem. (Did you know Pennsylvania’s two statewide retirement systems for teachers and state workers are the second-worst funded in the country?)

    Speaking of pensions… Pa. auditor general says Scranton will go bankrupt in 2-3 years if the lawmakers don’t make state-level changes.

    Pa lawmakers say property tax imbalances can be adjusted without changing the state constitution–for a price.

    What does Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed budget mean for the average Pennsylvanian living in the Philadelphia area? Here are two scenarios.

    Revitalization

    We asked University of Scranton professor Meghan Ashlin Rich about her research on smallcity revitalization. She says big city solutions don’t always work for small cities–but small cities have advantages, too

    When is a revitalization project too ambitious? We compare some projects to… 3-in-1 bath products. 

    Getting around

    Why did NYC public transportation ridership fare better than Philly’s and Pittsburgh’s last year? 

    Lancaster Online checked out Lititz’s new, smarter traffic lights, designed to save you time.

    Tech

    Philadelphia is one of 20 early joiners of TechHire, a new initiative aiming to train workers to work in the IT sector.

    A Harrisburg middle school’s aquaponics system provides students with hands-on STEM training (and produce to sell to local restaurants).  (Penn Live)

    Here’s one about tech failures: for the second year in a row, Harrisburg and surrounding communities failed to report city crime statistics due to a server malfunction. (Penn Live)

    City design

    Urbanists like to knock American suburbs… but this famous architect says suburbs are the future of European cities. (NPR)

    From Tech.co: six ways to become your own city planner

    City living

    How much do you need to buy a home in Pittsburgh (or 26 other U.S. cities)? The Washington Post maps it out.

    From Next City: Pot decriminalization has “earned a special place in Philly’s mayoral race.” Is Philly the new model for pot reform?

    Gentrification: new research out of Philadelphia finds race is the biggest predictor of how residents define their communities. (City Lab)

    In Pa., there are more than 2.8 millennials–half a million are in Philly and Pittsburgh. Here’s a look at Pa.’s “millennial boom.” (PublicSource via WITF)

    Pittsburgh hopes to be one of the 123 chosen “Promise Zones,” which would give the city a “leg up” on federal funding.  (WESA)

    Don’t forget…

    If you’re in the Lehigh Valley area, please register for our March 31 forum! (It will be fun, I promise. Also, there will be food.) 

     

    Have a great weekend! 

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