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

     A protester uses a bullhorn during a demonstration on Wednesday Dec. 3, 2014, at a tree lighting ceremony in Philadelphia. The crowd protests the deaths of two unarmed black men at the hands of police. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)

    A protester uses a bullhorn during a demonstration on Wednesday Dec. 3, 2014, at a tree lighting ceremony in Philadelphia. The crowd protests the deaths of two unarmed black men at the hands of police. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)

    Here’s a list of recommended reading for your weekend:

    For many urban dwellers across the country, Ferguson and the chokehold death of Eric Garner are foremost on the mind

    People are rallying in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and other Pennsylvania citiesOne Philly parent wonders, “What do I say to my black son?” (WHYY’s Newsworks)

    A professor assigned this reading list to his students to help them process what’s happening in Ferguson. (Quartz)

    President Obama taps the Philly Police Commissioner to co-chair a national task force on community policing.

    In Pennsylvania, the homeless population has increased three of the past four years

    It’s cold out. Where do you go if you don’t have a home? Some rely on tent cities for shelter and community, but many of those encampments have been closed. We take a look at whether regulation of these settlements is the (or at least an) answer.A Philly photographer takes photos of the homeless. He says “it’s about looking into someone’s eye.”

    Pa.’s post-industrial cities are fighting blight (and land banks are a popular tool)

    First—let us remind you what a land bank is.

    Next City says this generation is harnessing land banks more powerfully than ever.

    Here’s how Philly plans to use land banks, and here’s Westmoreland County’s strategy. (Keystone Crossroads and Trib Live)

    Keystone Edge reports old building rehabilitation in Allentown isn’t just good for dealing with blight, it also has symbolic significance.

    Gentrification in cities

    Marketplace moved in to the corner of York & Fig for a multimedia series on gentrification.Three ways cities can take control of gentrification, whether or not you think it’s bad for communities. (Next City)

    City Observatory makes the case that gentrification isn’t the problem–it’s the spread and persistence of concentrated poverty cities should be worrying about.

    Trains, planes, and automobiles

    Will there be fewer two-car households in the future? The auto industry seems to think so. (Streetsblog USA)

    The Atlantic says the best way to make your city more bikeable is to get someone powerful on your side.

    And here’s more from Next City about Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s pro-bike plan

    A Philly commuter petitioned SEPTA to get better train service–and it worked! (Next City and Technical.ly)

    Reading, writing, and arithmetic

    Lots happening in York: the issue in question is whether to charterize (privatize) the entire school district as a financial move. The state requested a receiver for the district, who would take over control of schools. Residents aren’t happy. (Keystone Crossroads, York Daily, and York Dispatch)

    Speaking of receivers, the Pa. Department of Education wants Chester Upland’s receiver out. (Keystone Crossroads)

    In brighter (or at least more colorful) news: Philly.com takes a look at a Chester charter school that bases its curriculum on the arts

    Etc.

    Here’s an interview with Edward Glaeser, the author of Triumph of the City. He says cities make us “smarter, richer, and greener.” (Medium)

    Big plans for tiny houses in Pittsburgh’s Garfield neighborhood. (WESA)

    This week’s bizarre news: “I just can’t imagine someone going through all that trouble to take that many.” 660 pounds of duck decoys–stolen! (Lancaster Online)

     

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