October 3: PA’s infrastructure industry | Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation | Inclusionary zoning

Good morning. Loads on Philly’s energy, inclusion, and leadership development initiatives in the news today:

Philadelphia is on the list of 15 cities participating in the inaugural National Municipal Learning Community for Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation. Philadelphia officials and city staff will participate in the 18-month program to “develop community practices, engage regional cities in advancing racial equity, and build leadership…to undertake broad structural change.” The program is run by the National League of Cities and funded through the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.

Cities’ inclusionary zoning programs and policies are uneven in reach and tracking, according to a new working paper by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and Grounded Solutions. Authors Emily Thaden and Ruoniu Wang relied on data on 173,707 affordable housing units and looked at issues around developer fees, beneficiaries, and units for rent vs. sale.   

GroJArt looks into the most curious Mid-Century Modern Prison-Motel on the Schuylkill River. Built in 1960, the former University Motor Inn once boasted a pool, bar, restaurant, lounge, and a large parking lot. It was later reengineered into a halfway house for work-release offenders and currently sits vacant with no apparent plans for reuse.

The Philadelphia Citizen shines a light on Melissa Lee, founder of the Philadelphia-based Global Renewable Energy Education Network (GREEN) Program. The company provides study abroad programs to immerse students in developing countries progressing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and primes graduates for careers in the sustainability industry. GREEN alumni have landed jobs at NASA, Tesla, and Philadelphia’s Office of Sustainability here in Philadelphia.

How would you rank your priorities to grow Pennsylvania’s infrastructure industry? Technical.ly Philly, Grow PA, and the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia are surveying Pennsylvanians’ to assemble an economic growth agenda before the 2018 elections.

A Philly-based law firm is looking to sue energy companies that promise low rates but raise fees months later, West Philly Local’s Eduard Saakashvili writes. The firm is suing for breach of contract, alleging that some energy companies go door-to-door in Philadelphia and lure consumers into “switching energy suppliers with false promises.” The case references suppliers including Green Mountain Energy, Smart Energy, and AEP Energy, and had reached a settlement with Pennsylvania Gas & Electric in a similar case.

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