UNIVERSITY CITY REVIEW • Community Partnership To Develop Urban Meadow In UCity Square

Monday, June 26, 2017

Originally published by University City Review

Community Partnership To Develop Urban Meadow In UCity Square

Members of the TinyWPA youth program: Galen Kane, Tamir Speights, Kiersten Bond, and Jeff Pond. Photo: TinyWPA
Wed, Jul 26, 2017
By Tim Legnani
Contributing Writer

University City District (UCD) is partnering with Wexford Science + Technology, TinyWPA, and the University City Science Center to create a temporary, one-acre meadow and urban tree farm at uCity Square in West Philadelphia. The “Meadow at uCity Square” will feature a grove of fifty trees, housed in brightly colored planters, surrounded by gardens of native wildflowers. UCD and their partners plan to create a welcoming, aesthetically appealing landscape to serve as an open space for the community. 

uCity Square is a 14-acre mixed-use community space in West Philadelphia, situated between Penn Presbyterian Hospital, the University of Pennsylvania, and Drexel University. Because of its location, uCity Square is at the center of Philadelphia’s technology and life science industries, providing an optimal location for office, lab, clinical, retail, and residential space. “The Meadow at uCity Square” will contribute to the urban amenities and progressive atmosphere that define the neighborhood.

“The Meadow is a welcome new community asset that lays the groundwork for uCity Square, as the project moves from vision to reality,” said Andrew Stober, Vice President of Planning and Economic Development at UCD, adding “[we] are pleased to work with such wonderful neighborhood partners on The Meadow, and are appreciative of Wexford’s commitment to creating opportunities for West Philadelphia communities and residents.”

Wexford Science + Technology is a real estate company that focuses on partnerships with universities, medical centers, and research companies to develop vibrant, mixed-use urban campuses. Their emphasis on entrepreneurship, innovation, and discovery supports economic growth in the communities they engage. Joseph A. Reagan, Jr., Senior Vice President at Wexford explained, “[we] are thrilled to work with University City District, TinyWPA, and local civic associations to provide another quality outdoor space in this dynamic neighborhood.”

TinyWPA is a nonprofit organization that focuses on community and youth outreach, specifically through building and design projects. They provide opportunities for young people to contribute to the design of public buildings and neighborhood projects, while taking advantage of unique project-based learning opportunities. Alex Gilliam, fonder of TinyWPA, explained, “Participating in this project provides local youth and residents with a real opportunity to build their design and fabrication skills, earn money, and connect to this development … The project has further helped extend capacity within TinyWPA’a Building Hero Project to meet other fabrication needs in the neighborhood.”

The University City Science Center is a nonprofit organization, located in the center of uCity Square, which provides support for start-ups, research, and economic development in the health care and emerging technology sectors. The organization currently facilitates $13 billion in business throughout the Philadelphia region on an annual basis by providing programming and other resources to entrepreneurs and other business innovators.

Alissa Weiss, UCD’s Director of Strategic Initiatives and Communications, said, “We’re really excited about the project, and think it’s an exciting way to engage the community and create a new community asset during the long timeline of construction. It’s been a great partnership with Wexford and TinyWPA and we’re happy to add a new green space to University City. “The “Meadow at uCity Square” is sure to be an improvement to the appearance of the corner of 38th and Filbert Streets, while providing a pleasant open space for those who live and work nearby.