Broad Street Brief: University City Townhomes Protest Encampment Cleared Out

August 11, 2022

University City Townhomes Protest Encampment Cleared Out

After weeks of occupying the lawn of the University City Townhomes complex, the encampment protesting the impending sale of the property was evacuated by law enforcement officials on Monday in accordance with a court order. The majority of residents and activists demonstrated peacefully, with only one protester being issued a citation.

Philadelphia Among Bidders for ARPA-H Headquarters

Earlier this year, the Department of Health and Human Services established the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) to fund and support long-term projects, such as vaccine and cancer research, which are often extremely costly and high-risk operations. Now, the new agency is searching for a home for its administrative headquarters, and Philadelphia leaders have signed a letter asking to be considered. While the headquarters would not serve as a research office in and of itself, signers are still eager to prove the city’s worth as a biotech hub.

Denied Block Party Permits in North and West Philadelphia Raise Concerns

The Philadelphia Police Department has increasingly been denying block party permit applications in West and North Philadelphia due to “criminal activity.” While a spokesperson for the Philadelphia Police claims that these decisions are being made solely with the safety of residents in mind, critics have pointed out that the permit rejections are disproportionately affecting Black communities and are requesting more transparency about the application review process.

Space at Philadelphia Recreation Centers to be Made Available for Local Businesses

Local entrepreneurs may soon benefit from a new program that will allow unused space in the city’s recreation centers to serve as free space to run their businesses — complete with basic amenities such as Wi-Fi, heating, and cooling. The program, “Making Space: Reimagining Recreation,” has been made possible by a partnership between Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and REC Philly, as well as funding for grants from the Knight Foundation. Interested parties are welcome to apply for consideration by October 7.

Philadelphia’s Historic Preservation Process

Philadelphia is a city widely known for its historic sites and preservation efforts. This is due in large part to the work of the Philadelphia Historical Commission, which has had citywide jurisdiction over the designation of sites of historical importance since its founding in 1955. However, many have been frustrated with the system, claiming that the organization has not always operated with adequate input from the communities where it works. Billy Penn has outlined the process for determining what is deemed “historic,” as well as what happens next and what it means.

Opinion: Ed Rendell and Michael Nutter on Important Traits for a Philadelphia Mayor

With nearly a hundred mayors under Philadelphia’s belt, there is no shortage of examples that potential mayoral candidates can look to for guidance on how best to govern. Mayors Michael Nutter and Ed Rendell — the City’s 98th mayor and 96th mayor, respectively — recently penned opinion pieces in the Philadelphia Inquirer that underscore what each believes to be the necessary qualities to serve in this unique office.


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