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

     Trivia: Identify the city and location of this Pennsylvania landmark. (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

    Trivia: Identify the city and location of this Pennsylvania landmark. (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

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

    Planes, trains, automobiles, bikes, and pedestrians

    The New York Times reports on how some cities are making their streets safer for pedestrians.

    The safe-streets movement in Philadelphia dates back to the 1950s. (Newsworks)

    Hamburg is burying the Autobahn and putting parks on top of it. (Vox)

    Madrid bans cars in its city center. (Sustainable Cities Collective)

    FastCoExist names seven cities that are starting to go car-free.

    The Pulse at WHYY did this story on how air travel affects your carbon footprint.

    Revitalization”Every theatre across the country needs to find their claim to fame.” Mary Foote from the Colonial Theatre (home of THE BLOB!) shares lessons on revitalization.

    Education/schoolDeparting budget chief Charles Zogby reflects on his quest for school reforms in Pennsylvania.

    Pennsylvania plans to turn over York school system to a for-profit company.

    What happened to the ol’ lemonade stand? This guy says we should train kids in entrepreneurship. (The Atlantic)

    The Morning Call maps out Pennsylvania teacher salaries by school district.

    Can other disadvantaged schools replicate double-digit test score gains by these 3rd graders?  (Washington Post)

    Here’s the bad news

    Pennsylvania cities rank low compared to other metros, when it comes to job growth, wage and salary growth, and high-tech industry.

    Pennsylvania’s municipal pensions are in terrible shape. But, the auditor general has a plan to fix them!

    Cities hurting for money

    Should private colleges and hospitals be expected to pay struggling cities “PILOTs” or payments in lieu of taxes?

    And a lawsuit

    The NRA is suing Pittburgh, Philly, and Lancaster over their gun laws. 


    Is Philly the greenest city in America?

    A new urbanist, progressive PAC is forming in Philly. (Philly Mag)

    Eric Holder comes to Philly to address what one expert calls the “legitimacy crisis in American urban policing.”

    The New York Times names Philadelphia on its list of top 52 places to visit in 2015.

    Also interesting…

    The NPR cities project has this piece on revitalizing downtown Vegas.

    New Yorkers are not happy that skyscrapers are cutting them off from sunlight. (The Guardian)

    NPR profiles the crew that tends London’s remaining gas street lamps.

    Marketplace finds that “there’s little evidence the $6 billion employee wellness program industry does much to improve health or save money.”

    In case you ever wanted to pay someone to ship glitter to your enemies, this company has your back.  (Washington Post)

    Tell us what you think about city pensions

    We’re looking for feedback for an upcoming series on pensions.

    (If you’re a municipal worker or retiree, here is a set of questions just for you.)

    We’re having a forum in Reading!

    It’ll be Monday, January 26, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Reading Intermediate High School (The Citadel).

    Please come, and tell us your hopes, fears and dreams for the city.

    We’ll be serving dinner from Mi Casa Su Casa.

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