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Report details big population bump in Center City

Thanks to national trends and an increasing urban vitality, Center City is experiencing a big population increase. According to a report released last Tuesday by the Center City District and Central Philadelphia Development Corp., the population of "greater Center City" rose 10.2 percent from 2000-2010.

Philadelphia now has the third-largest downtown population among American cities (behind New York and Chicago), the report notes. That trend boosted both the volume and price of residential sales and rentals, and spurred more construction and renovation, the report shows.

Original Source: The Daily News
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Update: New Vision for South Broad announces a decision

As Flying Kite detailed back in late November, Avenue of the Arts, Inc. (AAI) partnered with the Pennsylvania Horicultural Society (PHS) to launch a "New Vision for South Broad Street" competition. The goal was to continue the thoroughfare's original purpose as an arts and entertainment district but with a modern take. Ten architectural and landscape firms submitted ideas, and four were chosen as finalists. Now the list has been narrowed once again.

A judging panel, overseen by Avenue of the Arts, Inc. (AAI) Chairman Dianne Semingson, has chosen Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and Jonathan Alderson Landscape Architects, Inc., to participate in Phase II of the “New Vision for South Broad Street” Request for Proposal (RFP) project. The two teams, selected from four finalists (the other two were LRSLA Studio and Cairone & Kaupp, Inc.) are charged with pushing forward a program to reinvigorate South Broad Street from City Hall to Washington Avenue.

The two firms will present refined proposals in early 2013 and one winner will be selected.

Original Source: PlanPhilly
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Business Insider admires Philly's murals

Business Insider takes a self-guided tour of Philadelphia's Mural Mile and walks away impressed. Their slideshow offers a great run-down of some of the city's most visible public art pieces.

The program has grown into a thriving network of muralists, youth, local businesses, and Philadelphia residents all seeking to add more beauty to the City of Brotherly Love. More than 3,000 murals have now been painted all around the city, and many more are in progress. We've heard some incredible praise for the program, so we decided to go see it in person. We took the self-guided walking tour of Mural Mile in the Center City neighborhood, and thought it was astounding.

Original Source: Business Insider
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Tracing Prohibition's maddening journey at the National Constitution Center

With 120 artifacts and plenty more multimedia displays and activities, the National Constitution Center's "American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition" exhibit gets a solid review from The New York Times.
The show’s curator is Daniel Okrent, who (aside from having been the first public editor of The New York Times) wrote an excellent, nuanced history of Prohibition, “Last Call,” a book whose details also informed Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s 2011 documentary, “Prohibition.” 
The exhibition, like the book, touches on important themes in its narrative, but there is almost nothing dry about it, except that in the mock speakeasy at its center, the bottles are empty and nothing is served. In that gallery, you are served up Prohibition as a form of unlicensed and licentious play. A giant video screen shows film footage of the Charleston, while on a dance floor, foot markers teach visitors the moves. 
Original source: The New York Times
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Science Leadership Academy's Lehman: Best ed app is a web browser

KQED's Mindshift blog talks education and technology with the always insightful Science Leadership Academy Principal Chris Lehman.
Lehmann is famous in progressive education circles for his quote: “Technology must be like oxygen: ubiquitous, necessary, and invisible.” His point: The best technology allows students to explore and create “artifacts of their own learning.”
“The question is, how will technology allow students and teachers to network their learning, to collaborate with each other, to extend the reach of what kids can learn beyond the walls of the school,” he said. “How can technology be used to unlock what hasn’t even been thought of yet?”
Original source: KQED 
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Opera digitally mashed up with Barnes, Art Museum masterpieces at Academy of Music

The Opera Company of Philadelphia opens on Friday with its standard performance of La Boheme, but will also include digital images of priceless 19th century art from local museums, reports Huffington Post.
The 30 or so masterpieces were borrowed for the experiment from the Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Barnes Foundation, and transferred into digital Quicktime format. In a phone call with the Huffington Post, David Devan, the Opera's General Director, downplayed the "high-tech" aspect of the design, saying whatever technology was harnessed was done so primarily to "integrate these timeless masterpieces into a largely traditional set.”
Original source: Huffington Post
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GQ: Philly is top-5 beer city and home to the perfect pub crawl

GQ makes a pretty decent run at a perfect pub crawl in Philadelphia, which it identified as one of the top five beer cities in the U.S.
1. The Beer-Bar Brunch
Memphis Taproom 
Wake up with microbrews and delicious bar grub at this Kensington standby. The mellow front dining room is fine if you're a slow starter, but things are much livelier outside by the picnic tables and the former ice cream truck that's now a bar. 
Original source: GQ
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Center City startup Connectify takes to Kickstarter for multiple broadcband software

GigaOm reports on Philadelphia's Connectify, which created a Kickstarter campaign to fund its project that would combnie Wi-Fi and 4G into a single, fat wireless pipe.
Why would you want to combine multiple broadband connections? Well, if you eat up gobs of bandwidth through file sharing, the aggregated connections would come in handy, but a more typical example revolves around connection management. Connectify’s software allows you to prioritize different links. If you were at an airport or coffee shop with spotty Wi-Fi but didn’t want to max out your 4G hotspot’s monthly data allotment, you could configure Dispatch to tap a free Wi-Fi network’s cheap bandwidth first and only resort to the 4G hotspot when Wi-Fi falters.
Original source: GigaOm
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Percy Street Barbecue No. 1 place in America to get a can of craft beer

Memphis Taproom, BAR Philadelphia and Percy Street Barbecue, which earned the top spot, gave craftcans.com a distinctly Philadelphia flavor on its list of America's 15 top places to enjoy beer in a can.

Over the past couple years Aric Ferrell, Manager at Philadelphia's Percy Street Barbecue, has been on a mission. He has been on a campaign to have Percy Street feature the largest selection of canned craft beers in the country and we are proud to say that he has definitely accomplished his goal. But, its not just the vast array of craft cans available (at last count there are over 100) at this South Street eatery that put it at the top of the list. Nope, Percy Street is also home to some of the most amazing barbecue in the northeast. Two words: Turkey Tails. Everything we've had there was delicious and you can even get cans to go now! If it comes in a can and is available in Pennsylvania than Aric has done everything he can to put it on his can menu. Serving up Texas-style BBQ in a clean, modern environment with a ridicu-list of canned craft beers available as well as a serious whiskey list, Percy Street is our top choice for best place to grab a can of beer in America. They've earned it.
Original source: craftcans.com
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Comcast renews investment in DreamIt Ventures minority-focused entrepreneur program

Comcast Ventures renewed its investment in startup accelerator DreamIt Ventures' minority-focused entrepreneur program in Philadelphia and New York, DreamIt Access, reports TechCrunch.
DreamIt and Comcast Ventures, the venture capital arm of Comcast Corporation, first partnered on DreamIt Access in May 2011, announcing at the time a $350,000 fund to give five startups in the Philly 2011 program an extra infusion of capital (These included ElectNext, Kwelia, MetaLayer, ThaTrunk and Qwite, whose founders are African-American, Asian, Hispanic and Indian.) Later, the investment was formalized into a year-long minority accelerator program called DreamIt Access.
Original source: Tech Crunch
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City's latest restaurant openings in South Philly, Center City

Zagat touches on the recent debut of three Philadelphia restaurants, including Miss Rachel's Pantry, The Industry and Honeygrow.
On Fridays and Saturdays, guests can reserve a spot at the dozen-seat farmhouse table in Miss Rachel’s Dining Room, where a $45 prix fixe tasting menu of homestyle veg-friendly fare will be served at 7 PM each weekend night (1732 W. Passyunk Ave.; 215-798-0053).
Original source: Zagat
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Philly VC funds investing heavily in water technologies

Philadelphia-based Meidlinger Partners and Conshohocken's Enertech Capital are among those who have invested heavily in water management products, which have raised more than $400 million in equity and debt over the past five years, reports Environmental Leader.
Altela, a US company that uses a highly efficient thermal distillation technology to desalinate and decontaminate wastewater, has raised $10 million to date. Enertech has invested in the company, and it is backed by Yates Petroleum and Merrion Oil and Gas. Altela is focused on fracking operations and has projects underway in the Marcellus Shale. Its technology meets new regulations for clean water discharge and has been validated by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the US Department of Energy.
Original source: Environmental Leader
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More on Reading Viaduct: Phase 1 will cost up to $8M

Inhabitat checks in with Paul Levy of Center City District on the Reading Viaduct plan.
The results of the study revealed that the community participants "strongly favored making the park an informal, leafy green space with plenty of grass and flowering plants, and with room to walk and sit." As a result, the design for the park includes wide shady, tree-lined walking paths, seating, accessible entrances, an outdoor classroom and even a place for dogs. 
Original source: Inhabitat
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Inside Viridity Energy's microgrid moves

GreenTech revisits Philadelphia-based Viridity Energy's cutting-edge projects that aim to put a value on energy saved from SEPTA's regenerative braking system.
Viridity is already bidding battery-backed power into frequency regulation markets with partner and battery supplier Axion Power, which has installed Viridity’s system at its New Castle, Pa. manufacturing plant.

Original source: GreenTech
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Science Leadership Academy's Lehmann weighs in on on tech in education

Slate's report on the Education Innovation Summit in Arizona includes some time with Science Leadership Academy principal Chris Lehmann.
Lehmann expressed concern that too many in the burgeoning education sector hope to replace teachers with tech. "Before we rush to embrace the idea that the market might do education better than educators," he says, he wants to see a lengthy conversation about the “worst consequences of our best idea."
Original source: Slate
Read the full story here.
156 Center City Articles | Page: | Show All
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