University City District Blog

UCD President Matt Bergheiser delivers remarks during the State of University City 2024
Apr 19, 2024 2 days ago

The State of University City 2024

On Thursday, April 18th, University City District held our annual State of University City event. We were thrilled to be joined by hundreds of partners, stakeholders, local leaders, and neighbors. During the program, we looked back at a year of major impact within our neighborhood, and looked forward to major events on the horizon, including the upcoming 250th anniversary of America, the rising buildings that will continue to transform our skyline, and UCD's own ambitious plans to enhance access to the Schuylkill River.

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A rendering of the proposed public plaza and pool
Apr 18, 2024 2 days ago

Our Ambitious Plans for a New West Philly Waterfront Public Space

At our State of University City event on Thursday, April 18th, we announced details about a grand and ambitious vision for a new public space that aims to transform the river close to 30th Street Station.

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A community vendor cooking up offerings at the June 2022 Dollar Stroll
Apr 02, 2024 19 days ago

Community Vending at the Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll

University City District (UCD) will hold two editions of the Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll in 2024, on the evenings of Thursday, June 6th and Thursday, September 5th. 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 neighbor joining a community clean-up
Mar 15, 2024 36 days ago

Spring Clean-up! Join UCD and the City of Philadelphia for a Community Clean-up on April 6th, 2024

Throughout the year, UCD organizes multiple volunteer cleaning efforts. Our next community clean-up will be held on Saturday, April 6th, 2024, in coordination with the citywide Philly Spring Cleanup. Help keep your neighborhood clean by tidying up your streets from 9 AM to 2 PM.

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A group of WPSI graduates pose with Dr. Romaine Thrower
Mar 11, 2024 41 days ago

Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott Gifts $4 Million to the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative to Accelerate and Sustain Program’s Impact

Today, we at University City District are thrilled to share that our West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) has received a $4 million donation from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott through her charitable organization Yield Giving. The unrestricted gift will accelerate WPSI’s goals of providing opportunities for job seekers, program alumni, and incumbent workers to secure meaningful employment that will help break the cycle of poverty.

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An image of trolley tracks in West Philadelphia
Mar 08, 2024 44 days ago

Spruce Street Trolley Track Renewal Project Will Impact Local Traffic Through May 4th, 2024

Our partners at SEPTA have announced upcoming work that will impact a portion of our neighborhood. From March 18th through May 4th, 2024, they will be performing excavation and renewal of a corroded and broken rail on Spruce Street between 40th and 42nd Streets; vehicular traffic and parking will be restricted in the work area during this time, and the 42 bus will be detoured. 

The intersections at 40th and Spruce and 42nd and Spruce will not be impacted by this work. 


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2023 Annual Review over a drone image of University City
Feb 07, 2024 2 months ago

University City District's 2023 Annual Review

Since 1997, University City District has invested 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 provide assistance to local businesses and neighbors; 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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Sarah Steltz
Jan 23, 2024 2 months ago

Sarah Steltz Rejoins University City District as Senior Vice President of Strategy

Today UCD is very excited to announce that noted civic leader Sarah Steltz has rejoined our organization in the new role of Senior Vice President of Strategy. 

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A group of Penn Medicine workers who completed a "Pathways to Promotion" program with WPSI
Jan 09, 2024 3 months ago

$500,000 from Hummingbird Foundation Will Fuel WPSI University

We are very excited to begin 2024 by sharing the exciting news that the Hummingbird Foundation, the New Jersey-based charitable organization that helped us launch WPSI University in 2023, has continued its support of the Skills Initiative with a new gift of $500,000 over two years.

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Walnut Street repaving
Nov 30, 2023 4 months ago

(UPDATE) Walnut Street Repaving and Safety Project Beginning 9/12/23

11/30/23 Update

The paving process continues on West Walnut Street, and we have received updated information on the new layout of the street, which you can see below. 

Here is what has been accomplished as of November 30th:

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The Green Giving Challenge header image of plants
Nov 28, 2023 4 months ago

UCD Presents The Green Giving Challenge

UCD is raising money to maintain green space throughout the District. Plus each dollar raised for greening in University City will be matched up to $25,000. If you love and use green space in University City, now is the time to double your impact on the neighborhood we love.

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A group of graduates from a WPSI cohort
Nov 28, 2023 4 months ago

Lincoln Financial Foundation Awards $35,000 in Support for the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative

We are pleased to share that we are the recipients of a new $35,000 grant from the Lincoln Financial Foundation to support the continued operation of the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI), our cohort-based, employer-driven job training program.

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2023 Guide to the Holidays in University City
Nov 13, 2023 5 months ago

Your 2023 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. See below for holiday highlights, and check back for updates!


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A graphic for Holiday Hoopla
Nov 10, 2023 5 months ago

West Philly Holiday Hoopla on Saturday, Dec. 9th!

On Saturday, December 9, 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 06, 2023 5 months ago

Details on Fall 2023 Leaf Collection and Community Clean-up

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 group of WPSI graduates from a partnership with Philly Shipyard, Inc
Nov 03, 2023 5 months ago

Citizens Bank Continues Support of the Skills Initiative with $75,000 Contribution

We are sharing our gratitude in announcing that Citizens Bank has awarded us a $75,000 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 $600,000 since our program's inception.

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A UCD Public Safety Ambassador with Postcards
Oct 24, 2023 5 months ago

A New Approach to Homeless Services

At University City District, the unifying mission across all our work is to change places and change lives. This mission is evident in our West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, where we recruit Philadelphians to train for meaningful, career-changing positions with major employers. It’s clear in our Green City Works landscaping social venture, which employs West Philadelphians in well-paying, full-year landscaping positions.

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Fall in University City
Oct 17, 2023 6 months ago

Fall 2023 Events in University City

Fall is a beautiful time of year in University City, and there are plenty of local events to help get you in the autumnal spirit! Whether you're seeking spooky thrills or other seasonal fun, there are plenty of local events popping up through the neighborhood to enjoy! As always, visit our Community Calendar for a more comprehensive list of local events, and check back regularly as more events are added.

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Headshots of Salimah Fields (left) and Hanchao Zhang (right)
Oct 10, 2023 6 months ago

UCD Welcomes New Finance and Administrative Coordinator and Landscape Designer

Today, we are excited to share news of the arrival of two new colleagues at University City District! Join us in welcoming Salimah Fields as our new Finance and Administrative Coordinator, and Hanchao Zhang as our new Landscape Designer/Sales Representative for Green City Works.


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An image of Fontaine Gutierrez
Sep 12, 2023 7 months ago

UCD Employee Spotlight: Fontaine Gutierrez

West Philadelphia Skills Initiative Manager of Outreach and Communications Fontaine Gutierrez’s journey to working in workforce development began before she was even born. It was the 1970s, and Fontaine’s grandparents decided to uproot their family of six to move to Philadelphia to find opportunity in America.

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