Philadelphia Story: An Ambitious Campaign to Spread Opportunity into All Corners of the City

Reader Contribution by Jay Walljasper
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For decades the “Philadelphia Story” was about steady economic decline. That story is being rewritten today as many Americans rediscover the advantages of cities — inviting public spaces, rich cultural diversity, and a creative environment that fertilizes startups and attracts talent.

Young people, in particular, have moved here in droves, realizing they can enjoy the same kind of urban amenities as New York, Washington, or Boston. New Americans immigrating from other nations also contribute to the city’s growth. But so far, Philadelphia’s comeback is limited to certain parts of town.

“We have one of the highest infusions of Millennials coming here, but also some of the highest rates of poverty and economic segregation,” observes Parks Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell.

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