Looking West: UPenn gets green energy program, Drexel’s John Fry and bio-wall, Immigration office to West Philly

It’s a crisp fall morning, and today promises nice weather for Occupy Philly‘s demonstrations outside City Hall, the unveiling of the Race Street Connector, and Night Market in Chinatown. Today, The Buzz looks west for news in and about West Philly.

The University of Pennsylvania is starting a green energy research program thanks to a $13.6 million gift from Diana and P. Roy Vagelos, a former Merck CEO, the Business Journal reports. The new program will prepare students for jobs in sustainable energy research.

John Fry returned to University City last fall as president of Drexel University, with the mandate to improve the school’s position academically, financially, and as a community presence in West Philly. The University City Review reports Fry’s most significant challenge is similar to those he took on at Penn and Franklin & Marshall: improve Drexel’s relations with its surrounding neighborhoods through investment and engagement.

Newsworks visited Drexel’s new Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building, checking out its hydroponic bio-filtration wall.

Next year the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office will move to West Philly from Callowhill, into a new building at 41st and Market where it will occupy more than half of the space. West Philly Local notes that the new building will have significant green design features, such as a green roof and gray-water recycling systems. The new building at 30 N. 41st Street is under construction is being developed by a local partnership, detailed by the Inquirer’s Philly Deals blog.


The Buzz is Eyes on the Street’s morning news digest.


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