In West Philadelphia, Volunteers Transform Vacant Lots Into Urban Earthships

Sep 24, 2015


At a vacant lot near Lancaster Avenue and 41st Street, volunteers use hundreds of tires to build an urban earthship in West Philadelphia.
Credit Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

Pennsylvania cities have transformed vacant lots into community gardens and urban farms. Pittsburgh has considered building tiny house communities. But what about using abandoned lots for urban earthships?

What's an earthship, you ask? It's a sustainable home built from recycled materials or trash that provides electricity, natural heating and cooling systems, potable water, sewage and food productions systems — all independent of municipal services.

Listen to and read the full version of this report at Keystone Crossroads' websiteKeystone Crossroads is a new statewide public media initiative reporting on the challenges facing Pennsylvania's cities. WPSU is a participating station.