Reimagining the Civic Commons in Philadelphia

Via Fairmount Park Conservancy


To invest in five civic assets in neighborhoods surrounding and near Center City Philadelphia, support collaboration among those assets and fund experiments to understand the ways such assets can deliver more value by working together while fostering talent, opportunity and engagement.

The investment in “Reimagining the Civic Commons” will capitalize on Philadelphia’s strengths including: a large pool of new talent, rebounding neighborhoods, a diverse population, an expanding community of civic innovators, and a growing group of people who want to live and work in the city.

In addition to receiving funds to complete the building of each of these public places, the collective will collaborate on new activities and programming, share knowledge and resources, measure and document the impact of the projects on the community, and explore other lessons in civic innovation. All of these activities aim to enhance public access to these places and better integrate them into city life. The Conservancy will also manage a special fund to test new ideas across places and institutions that bring together newcomers and existing neighborhood residents, attract local business investments and economic opportunities and build public support for their work.

Knight Foundation is committing $5.4 million to the project. William Penn Foundation is investing $5.5 million, adding to its previous support of $7 million.

Project Team

Fairmount Park Conservancy