Strategy Overview

Our Public Spaces strategies support the creation and stewardship of community and public spaces and the work that allows these spaces to generate long-term benefits for neighborhoods across the Greater Philadelphia region in equitable ways. We offer funding through two strategies – one that focuses on creating and maintaining community and public spaces and a second that helps ensure communities benefit economically from these improvements. 

Public Spaces is not accepting any new inquiries at this time. Please visit the statement on our Strategy Revision page for more information. 


Public Space Creation and Stewardship

Public and community spaces can provide a variety of benefits to individuals and communities. In addition to serving as places where people can spend time together and build social connections, they support mental and physical health, serve as platforms for free speech and cultural expression, and have the potential to generate economic benefits. They are spaces where people gather to exchange ideas, share resources, and work together on solutions to local problems. And in the context of climate change, indoor spaces can provide shelter from extreme heat and storms, while green spaces can support climate resiliency by helping to mitigate flooding, capture stormwater, and cool temperatures.

However, the benefits of public spaces are not experienced equally, and poor maintenance remains a central challenge for many neighborhoods, especially for low-income communities and communities of color.

Public Space Creation and Stewardship funding will support the development of new public and community spaces as well as improvement of existing spaces. Our efforts will focus specifically on supporting more equitable access to the many benefits public spaces provide.

Equitable Economic Impacts

The Greater Philadelphia region is home to a variety of public spaces that are deeply appreciated and extensively used. From parks and recreation centers to community gardens, studies show that investment in these spaces can generate positive economic outcomes for neighborhoods, including increased property values and business activity near well-maintained public spaces and employment opportunities for community members.

However, economic benefits often occur in wealthier areas, where lower income communities and communities of color can experience negative outcomes from poorly cared for spaces and can even experience residential and business displacement following major investment in public space.  Equitable Economic Impacts funding seeks to support efforts to ensure that public and community spaces generate economic benefits equitably.

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