community development

Penn State Ph.D. candidate Tiffany Knearem holds up a poster advertising the app she helped create for this year's Arts Fest.
Steph Krane / WPSU

An interactive app developed by Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology wants to know what your favorite festival activity or banner is at this year’s Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.

Tiffany Knearem is a Ph.D. candidate who oversaw the development of this year’s app, which the college creates a new version of every year. Her research identified three types of people who attend Arts Fest and created prompts that users can respond to by uploading pictures to the app.

The Patton Township Board of Supervisors made changes to a proposed zoning code that would encourage affordable housing and allow more density. They heard public input on May 9th during a public hearing.
Min Xian / WPSU

The Patton Township Board of Supervisors made changes to a proposed zoning code that could apply to the Patton Crossing project on North Atherton Street in the State College area. The new version of the code encourages developers to build more affordable housing units while allowing more density.


Developers of the Patton Crossing project, (from left) Ara Kervandjian, Bob Poole and Heidi Nicholas, attended the public hearing on Wednesday. The board voted against the rezoning so they could reconsider some details of the zoning guidelines.
Min Xian / WPSU

Split opinions on whether to pass a new zoning code for a Patton township development project have left the future of the potential development uncertain. 

After nearly three hours of hearing public input and discussing among themselves, the Patton Township Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 against passing the new zoning code on Wednesday. 

This story originally appeared on PlanPhilly.

No one could argue that Olney, in upper North Philadelphia, is gentrifying. But that doesn’t mean the neighborhood isn’t revitalizing. In the afternoon when schools let out, kids weighed down with colorful backpacks fill the sidewalks of tidy rowhome blocks. The neighborhood’s North 5th Street shopping district bustles with Colombian cafes, Jamaican bakeries, and Korean restaurants. Over the last 15 years, neighborhood’s population growth has greatly outstripped city averages no matter how it is measured.

Tonetta Graham on her Strawberry Mansion porch, in philadelphia, PA.
Bastiaan Slabbers for WHYY

This story originally appeared on PlanPhilly.

If Philadelphia’s Strawberry Mansion section gentrifies, Tonetta Graham knows her block is bound to change. She owns a house on 30th Street, right around the corner from her childhood home. It cuts a striking figure. Painted candy apple red with white trim, Graham’s house stands alone, the sole remaining building on this side of the block. Vacant lots surround it, some strewn with tires and old mattresses.

Claudia Sherrod (left) and Haley Dervinis (right) both live in Point Breeze. Although Dervinis is a newcomer, she's also wary of the rapid change.
Emma Lee / WHYY

Debbie Bell knows what it is to be made to feel like an afterthought.

She’s a lifelong resident of Point Breeze, a historically low-income African-American neighborhood in South Philadelphia that’s seen a lot of change lately.

To hear longtime neighbors like Bell tell it, Point Breeze used to be about pride. It was mothers cooking collard greens. People pulling together to help each other make the rent when times got hard. It was friendly competitions to see who had the tidiest block.

It was about community.