Celebrating Five Years of Social Venture Green City Works

The Pavilion at The Porch
Apr 21, 2021 3 months ago

Five years ago UCD launched our landscaping social venture Green City Works to seize on an opportunity to create quality jobs for local community residents. What began as a marriage of University City District's core areas of expertise in placemaking and job training has turned into a landscaping business serving over 45 commercial clients across Philadelphia and managing over 5 million square feet of green space. We now offer construction and hardscaping services capable of transforming any space into a beautifully designed and landscaped garden, patio, or oasis.

Although we're certainly proud of the impact our services have had on the community, we're even more proud of the impact these jobs have had on the lives of our crew. Our 16 crew members went from unemployed to receiving job training through our West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, accepting positions to join a brand new enterprise, and building and maintaining projects throughout West Philadelphia and beyond. During our five years of operating, our crews have earned nearly $2.5 million in wages. Our average wage is now $19.17 per hour with comprehensive benefits and year-round employment. According to VP Brian English, "By cultivating high-quality jobs, we are rewarded with the talent, expertise, passion, and dedication of our superb team."

In the short video below, hear from Brian English and others to learn more about Green City Works and how clients like CHOP have come to rely on our services.

Meet Crew Member Justin Bradley 

Justin Bradley went through both a landscaping and a carpentry cohort with the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative before being hired by Green City Works in 2016. Justin prides himself on his interpersonal skills and his proficiency with hardscaping, machinery operation, and carpentry. When not on the clock with GCW, Justin works to sharpen his skills by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and taking courses at Wharton Business School. He breeds American Bulldogs and attends Kennel Club shows with his family, and his favorite plant is the Japanese kousa dogwood.  


What Can GCW Do For You? 

Green City Works serves more than 45 commercial property managers, institutions, and developers across Philadelphia. We guarantee high-quality landscape services while creating local economic opportunity. Our leadership team consists of landscape professionals with decades of industry experience, in-house landscape designers, and graduates of our West Philly Skills Initiative who have been promoted to department supervisor and crew leader positions. GCW provides a wide range of landscaping services for institutions and businesses. As a design-build-maintenance firm, our primary focus areas include:

  • Planting
  • Maintenance
  • Mowing
  • Construction
  • Design and Master Planning
  • Snow Removal 


Want to learn more? Get in touch with us today by calling 215-243-0555, or by email at [email protected]

Notable Clients

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

University of Pennsylvania

Brandywine Realty Trust

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation

The Woodlands

Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House

The Science Center

University of the Sciences

Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

Fairmount Park Conservancy

Wexford Science & Technology

Wistar Institute

U3 Advisors

Exeter Property Group

St. Agatha-St. James

National Board of Medical Examiners



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