November 22: Funding school maintenance backlog | Is a $1 trillion infrastructure plan worth it? | Refugee Thanksgiving

An analysis of Philadelphia’s school buildings reveals a $5 billion backlog in deferred maintenance. How could it ever catch up? Avi Wolfman-Arent explains a proposal that State Senator Vincent Hughes and others are working on to change the state’s funding formula for school capital projects.

Hidden City Daily explores West Philly’s cattle days, clustered between 30th Street and Belmont Ave, through the story of drover and entrepreneur Dennis Smyth.

Philadelphia’s small business growth is lagging compared to our East Coast peers like Baltimore and Boston, reports the Business Journal.

President-elect Donald Trump has called for a $1 trillion infrastructure plan. But Yonah Freemark asks us to think long and hard about a big infrastructure program would looks like, what the impact might be, and whether or not it’s actually worth it. What if it’s a highway-centric plan that incentivizes sprawl and auto-centricity? “For the good of our environment and for the good of our cities, doing nothing would likely be better than supporting this infrastructure package—even if we ignore the potentially disastrous political and financial concerns about this infrastructure bill noted by others. More transit investment simply isn’t worth it in the context of far more massive new highway spending that would overwhelm any potential benefits being derived from transit projects. Indeed, no new investment of any sort would likely encourage better use of existing infrastructure, thereby improving the performance of existing transit lines and supporting infill development rather than greenfield construction.”

Kyrie Greenberg visits a first Thanksgiving for refugee families.

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