University City District Blog

Coffee and injera from Alif
Feb 22, 2023 26 days ago

Major Accolades for Three Local Restaurants

Our dining scene in University City is known for its unique and diverse options. We have food options from around the world, including many restaurants run by operators who bring unique flavors and cultural traditions to the dishes they serve. Recently, three local businesses earned major accolades from the media.



Alif Lands on Food & Wine's List of Top Philadelphia Lunch Spots 


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UCD's 2021 Annual Review over a shot of Safety Ambassadors biking
Feb 08, 2023 40 days ago

University City District's 2022 Annual Review

Each year, we at University City District invest in the vitality of our neighborhood. We foster clean, safe, and active streets; we cultivate civic infrastructure and activate dormant public spaces through placemaking efforts; we plan and execute signature local events; and we create an opportunity infrastructure that connects talented Philadelphians to life-altering careers at major employers.

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Headshots of Vincent Better (left) and Erica Jorden (right)
Jan 18, 2023 60 days ago

UCD Announces Two New Staff Members to Further Mission of Changing Places and Changing Lives

Today, we are excited to share news of two new hires to our University City District staff. Please join us in welcoming Vincent Better, our new Vice President of Strategic Advancement, and Erica Jorden, our new Director of Human Resources. Both positions are new roles at UCD that will further our mission to change places and change lives.

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Honorees from our 2022 WPSI Ten Year Anniversary
Jan 09, 2023 2 months ago

Support from Hummingbird Foundation Helps Skills Initiative Launch WPSI University to Further Advance Alumni

This week, the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) is thrilled to announce the launch of WPSI University, our new program to offer continued workplace education and academic advancement for our graduates, equipping them with the tools and credentials they need to advance in the 21st-century workplace. This new enterprise is supported by a generous $150,000 grant from the Hummingbird Foundation, a New Jersey-based charitable organization.

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Snowflake pattern
Dec 13, 2022 3 months ago

Your 2022 Guide to the Holidays in University City

West Philadelphia is getting festive during this holiday season, with unique performances, ongoing deals at local small businesses and restaurants, and plenty of opportunities to shop from local vendors. Click to learn more!

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Clark Park's "B" Park
Dec 12, 2022 3 months ago

Help Shape a Renewal of Clark Park!

Clark Park, the 9-acre oasis located between 43rd and 45th Streets and Baltimore and Woodland Avenue in West Philadelphia, is due for a refreshment, and the Friends of Clark Park want your input! The Friends of Clark Park have hired Philadelphia-based landscape architecture firm Studio Bryan Hanes to help develop a 2024 Master Plan for Clark Park’s “B Park,” the portion of Clark Park south of Chester Avenue that contains the bowl, playground, basketball courts, and more.

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Holiday Hoopla logo graphic
Nov 29, 2022 3 months ago

West Philly Holiday Hoopla on Saturday, Dec. 10th!

On Saturday, December 10, celebrate the holiday season with events and deals across University City and West Philadelphia! Get into the holiday spirit by shopping at local vendor markets, enjoying one-day offers from restaurants and small businesses, and enjoying festive events throughout the neighborhood.

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A photo from University City of a tree during the fall with leaves on the sidewalk
Nov 02, 2022 4 months ago

Details on Fall 2022 Leaf Collection

Fall is a beautiful time to live and work in University City. We are lucky to have a stunning canopy of trees, and watching the leaves turn helps announce the true arrival of autumn to the area. Of course, with changing leaves comes major clean-up duties this time of year. Below, read about upcoming leaf collection options provided by the City.

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A WPSI cohort celebrates graduation
Oct 10, 2022 5 months ago

Citizens Bank Continues Support of the Skills Initiative with $60,000 Contribution

We are sharing our gratitude in announcing that Citizens Bank has awarded us another $60,000 grant to support our nationally-recognized job training program, the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI). This generous contribution pushes the total support offered by the Citizens Charitable Foundation to the Skills Initiative to over $550,000 since our program's inception.

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Ryan Spak surveying the Ethiopian Community Building
Oct 10, 2022 5 months ago

Ethiopian Community Association Awards Ryan Spak with Neighborhood Champion Award

On Saturday, October 8th, Ryan Spak (pictured right, next to Councilwoman Gauthier) was presented with a Neighborhood Champion Award from the Ethiopian Community Association of Greater Philadelphia during their grand "re-opening" event.

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WPSI graduates on stage receiving awards
Sep 29, 2022 5 months ago

Celebrating Ten Years of the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative

On Wednesday, September 28th, 2022, hundreds of West Philadelphia Skills Initiative alumni, partners, and friends gathered at World Cafe Live to celebrate ten years of our nationally-recognized job training program. The event featured remarks from key partners, awards for notable Skills Initiative alumni, and catching up with friends and former staff. 

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Cait Garozzo (center) listens to WPSI participants during a graduation ceremony
Sep 27, 2022 5 months ago

Caitlin Garozzo Named Executive Director of the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative

We’re pleased to announce that Caitlin Garozzo has been promoted to Executive Director of the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative. Cait is a proven leader who brings a deep commitment to identifying and creating opportunities that promote equity, support growth, and provide meaningful solutions for employers and WPSI participants.

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An image of University City during a vibrant sunset
Sep 12, 2022 6 months ago

UCD Hiring for Two New Leadership Positions

University City District is hiring for two new leadership positions to advance our work of investing in place and investing in people in one of the most economically dynamic communities in the country. We are seeking a Vice-President of Strategic Advancement and a Human Resources Director to join our dynamic team. Read more about each position below, and please share with your networks to help us find top candidates. We are proud to partner with DiverseForce on this search. 


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A graphic depicting food trucks at The Porch
Aug 30, 2022 6 months ago

September 2022 Food Trucks and Activations at The Porch at 30th Street

The Porch at 30th Street is alive with performances, pop-ups, and of course, food trucks! We're excited to share details on August food trucks, pop-ups, and performances below. We hope to see you at The Porch!  



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A graphic reading "Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll" over a photo of people enjoying the festival
Aug 29, 2022 6 months ago

The Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll Returns Thursday, September 15th 2022

On Thursday, September 15th, West Philadelphia’s Baltimore Avenue will transform into a shopper’s dream during the Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll. From 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM, visitors are invited to stroll up and down Baltimore Avenue between 40th and 51st Streets for one-night-only $1, $3, and $5 deals on food, drinks, merchandise, and more from local businesses and neighborhood vendors.

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New Baltimore Avenue banners displayed on light poles.
Aug 16, 2022 7 months ago

New Community-Designed Banners Adorning Baltimore Avenue

Have you noticed new pops of color along Baltimore Avenue? This past week we installed 70 new banners promoting the commercial corridor between 45th and 50th. The banner design was selected as the winner of a contest we held in the spring of 2020, but fabrication and installation were delayed due to the pandemic. Finally, after over two years, they’ve found their homes flying above the avenue.

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UCD Data Digest graphic header
Aug 05, 2022 7 months ago

Checking In On The State Of The Philadelphia Labor Market

The labor market of the past 30 months has been more varied than any other time in recent memory. Unemployment rates swung from record lows to record highs in weeks, and then quickly fell back. Some industries that were well prepared to adjust to the pandemic economy have thrived, while others have struggled with labor shortages and supply chain issues. In recent months, inflation concerns, along with the stubborn continuation of COVID-19, have continued to weigh on the minds of economists and employers.

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A community vendor cooking up offerings at the June 2022 Dollar Stroll
Aug 02, 2022 7 months ago

Now Accepting Community Vendors for the September 2022 Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll

University City District (UCD) will hold our second Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll on Thursday, September 15th, from 5:30 - 8:30 PM. The event draws thousands of neighbors and visitors to enjoy dollar deals from participating vendors. In 2022, we expanded the price levels vendors can offer from $1 deals to deals for $1, $3, OR $5. 

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A crowd enjoying a movie in Clark Park
Jul 29, 2022 7 months ago

Movies in Clark Park 2022

UCD, in partnership with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and Friends of Clark Park, is bringing back free outdoor movies to Clark Park Friday nights in August, 2022! This year, we're presenting Music Movies: four films with great music at their center. Our movies are screened at dusk, in fair weather only, and are always shown with closed captioning enabled to assist the hearing impaired.

Click below to RSVP via Facebook!

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A graphic with two food trucks that reads "August Food Trucks"
Jul 27, 2022 7 months ago

August 2022 Food Trucks, Performances, and Pop-Ups at The Porch

The Porch at 30th Street is alive with performances, pop-ups, and of course, food trucks! We're excited to share details on August food trucks, pop-ups, and performances below. We hope to see you at The Porch!  


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