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

     Trivia: Can you identify the location of this Pennsylvania landmark? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter @PaCrossroads. (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

    Trivia: Can you identify the location of this Pennsylvania landmark? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter @PaCrossroads. (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

    Happy New Year! Here’s a list of recommended reading for your weekend:

    New year, new Governor

    The consensus is Tom Wolf will have a lot on his plate when he takes office later this month. 

    Gov.-elect Tom Wolf is inheriting Pennsylvania’s fiscal woes.

    Here’s what Wolf says he’ll do to fix Pa.’s cities.

    Wolf’s four biggest challenges, according to The Associated Press. 

    Politics PA asked readers what Wolf should prioritize (an extraction tax on drilling is at the top of the list). Related: Wolf weighed in on NY’s fracking ban: “I want to have my cake and eat it, too.” (StateImpact)

    On a lighter note, Penn Live gives the details on Wolf’s inauguration (“celebratory attire” required).

    Getting around

    From City Lab: How I became an urban monster in just 10 minutes.

    Philly Mag explains why gas prices have jumped in the New Year.

    Not just transportation: in Berks and Montgomery counties, a trust is banking on a historic railroad restoration to revive the tourism industry.

    Crime and punishment

    In Reading, cops are using software to predict where crime will happen. So far, it’s working. (Don’t worry, it’s not  Minority Report.)

    The state Supreme Court ruled Pennsylvania’s juvenile sex offender registry is unconstitutional. (Business Week)


    Pa. economic development incentives add up to billions of dollars, but they often go untracked. New standards could change that.

    Are you one of the many Pennsylvanians who saw utility bills spike dramatically last winter? Don’t let it happen again.

    Speaking of utilities, Next City predicts rising utility costs (and more) in 2015

    Next City also predicts city budget priorities this year.  

    Here’s how Pennsylvania’s state deficit relates to your cell phone, online shopping, and an aging population. (WESA)

    Urban identity

    Does city identity develop organically… or is it just branding?

    How vibrant is your neighborhood? City block party permits could tell you.

    For post-industrial cities, demolition is often a necessary tool for revitalization


    What exactly does the York City School District ruling mean? For one, it means the city of York is poised to become the only place in the U.S. where public education is provided entirely by charter companies.

    How did this even happen?

    Politics PA asks readers to weigh in on the privatization of York’s schools.

    The gap between rich and poor schools in Pa. have doubled during the last four years. (The Associated Press)

    Half of Wolf’s education team has connections to Philly.

    Year-end roundups:

    Keystone Crossroads launched just about six months ago. Check out some of our best work.

    City Lab’s best city reads of 2014.

    Next City declared 2014 the year of the bike commuter. Here’s a collection of bike-related stories from last year

    The Brookings Institution sums up its Metro Program.

    Take a tour of Pa., then and now, in our photographic series

    More images: Next City asked readers to submit photos depicting urban change

    Maybe a little bit inside baseball, but here’s how Philly media changed up in 2014. (Billy Penn)

    WHYY’s Dave Davies roundup of Philly’s “sleaze parade.”

    Let’s end this on a more positive note: NPR is ringing in the new year with a series called “Starting Over.” One early installment takes us to Reading, where a businesswoman runs a restaurant with a social mission of hiring people who have difficulty finding work.

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