Creating Civic Infrastructure for a Changing Philadelphia

Only a decade ago, Philadelphia’s population reached its lowest point in a century. In the ensuing 10 years, though, the city’s population has increased by upwards of 34,000 and no major American city has experienced a larger increase in the population of 20-to-34-year-olds, according to a 2014 study by Pew Charitable Trusts. The demographic shifts extend beyond an influx of millennials — the city’s population of Asian and Hispanic residents is growing rapidly while both the white and black populations have shrunk. Economics have shifted too. Rates of employment and job creation have improved, factoring into a drop in the poverty rate, an increase in the population of households earning more than $100,000 annually and a jump in property values and rents across the city, stoking development as well as fears of gentrification and displacement.

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