Philadelphia is incubating a locally-driven, 21st-century revival that could become a model for other post-industrial U.S. cities. Philadelphia finds itself rising on national lists: Leading startup city. Next in tech city. Top cities for social enterprise ecosystems. Last year, Philadelphia was called the country’s leading city for diversity in science, technology, engineering and math. With small wins and intentional progress, there’s a new tone in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia is returning to its roots and leveraging core strengths. The city has all the ingredients that think tanks like the Brookings Institution consider the formula for 21st-century success.
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Here are a few of the great assets of Philadelphia demonstrating it’s strong revival status:
- A nascent tech startup ecosystem attracts attention. The growth of Philly’s startup scene seems sudden, but it’s been a long time in the making.
- Philadelphia is headquarters to many of impact investing’s pioneers: B Corp, Wharton Social Impact Initiative, Halloran Philanthropies, and more.
- Community leadership provides a strong foundation for change. Opportunity Finance Network, the leading national network of CDFIs (community development finance institutions), was founded in Philadelphia in 1995.
- Philadelphia is home to over 8,000 nonprofits, including forward-thinking initiatives like Common Market, which connects local farms to local institutions in low-income neighborhoods.
- The city is pushing climate action. A plan to be waste and litter-free by 2030 is predicted to save the city $41.5 million annually, while the mayor’s pledged support for 100% clean energy and a new energy master plan will help reduce carbon emissions and curb climate change.
Philadelphia’s revival will not be led by a single actor, entity, or sector, but rather a convergence of leaders and communities creating momentum. If the efforts succeed, Philadelphia will have incubated a model for what a sustainable, resilient, smart and thriving city can look like in the 21st century.
Read the full article about Philadelphia’s revival by Megan McFadden at Impact Alpha.
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