PennPraxis

After moving the sculpture to Philabundance in April, BLOSSOM Interactive celebrated volunteers and employees at the South Philly office through the spring and summer.

Construction sketch for the Park(ing) Day 2017 trailer

Established in the spring of 2015, Social Impact Projects have become a key PennPraxis initiative.

Outgoing PennPraxis Executive Director and Senior Fellow Randall Mason, PennPraxis Executive Director Ellen Neises

As the center for applied research, outreach, and practice at PennDesign, PennPraxis has quietly but steadily become a go-to source for expert analysis and perspective on how to make Philadelphia—and cities around the United States—more livable and equitable. It has also become central to the School’s mission of advancing the public good in training the next generation of artists, designers, and planners. This summer PennDesign Dean Frederick Steiner appointed Ellen Neises to be its next executive director. 

West Fairmount Park is an area with incredible amenities born of a rich history.

“Human-centered design is a creative approach to problem solving.” -IDEO

“Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature…of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system.” –Bill Mollison, 1978

Workshop participants tour Grays Ferry Avenue

With the emergence of a new West Philadelphia-Center City “Innovation District,” supported by the growth of Philadelphia’s universities, businesses and health institutions, the historically industr

The Parkside Fresh Food Fest is a 6 (six) event series that seeks to build community, utilize common public space, and provide fresh food access in the East Parkside neighborhood of Philadelph

In September 2016, PennPraxis conducted survey research at the inaugural Philly Free Streets event on behalf of OpenStreetsPHL and the Knight Foundation.

View toward opposite directions with the installation; photo: Moya Sun

Sprouting Possibilities is a collaborative project funded by PennPraxis and built on the shared vision of using trees to demonstrate the cyclical nature of growth and development to activate vacant land and strengthen communities.

As cities across the U.S. rebound from the population loss and disinvestment of the 20th century, officials, institutions, designers and planners have begun to focus on renewing public assets with civic investments large and small. Under the Kenney administration, Philadelphia has gone all in on this strategy with a plan called Rebuild, meant to invest $500 million in public and foundation money in neighborhood parks, recreation centers and libraries. In March, PennPraxis released a report—funded by the William Penn Foundation, which is also a major investor in the Rebuild initiative—to help provide context for the challenges of the city’s undertaking with research on civic infrastructure and the work of other cities.

A group of PennDesign volunteers at the end of Saturday’s build, Photo by Carolyn Zemanian

Between March 31-April 2, approximately 300 volunteers from PennDesign and Wharton participated in the Spring 2017 Rebuilding Together Philadelphia Block Build. These student volunteers accomplished vital repairs in 10 houses in Philadelphia’s Mantua neighborhood.

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