Planning & Economic Development

Dec 19, 2017 6 years ago

20 Years, 20 Stories: UCD's Mr. Fix-It

You always know when Ryan Spak is in the office for the day. Although he only works at UCD part-time, he makes his hours count. He’s always hustling in through the back door, barking into his cell phone, zipping from meeting to meeting, and wasting no time getting down to business so he can solve one problem and move onto the next. He’s UCD’s Mr. Fix-It, our professor of permits, the deed detective. You need a drywall guy? An electrician? Need to know how to navigate L&I? Call Ryan Spak. But chances are he’s on the other line. 

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Dec 06, 2016 7 years ago

Breaking Ground on Trolley Portal Gardens

We did it! On Tuesday, December 6th, Mayor James Kenney and other key stakeholders joined us as we broke ground on Trolley Portal Gardens, the future home of a public space and restaurant at the 40th Street Trolley Portal. This public-private partnership between UCD, SEPTA, the City of Philadelphia, and neighborhood stakeholders will transform a blighted and unwelcoming place into a vibrant and social space and a new restaurant called Trolley Car Station.

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Dec 02, 2015 8 years ago

Shop Locally on Baltimore and Lancaster Avenues

This weekend we encourage members of the community to stay local to shop for holiday items. On Saturday you can ride the BLAST (Baltimore-Lancaster Avenue Shoppers’ Trolley), which will shuttle shoppers along Baltimore and Lancaster Avenues. This event features great gifts and discounts from local businesses.

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Nov 03, 2015 8 years ago

Improvements to 40th Street MFL Station

A local subway stop is set for an upgrade. On Monday, November 2nd, SEPTA held a groundbreaking ceremony for the 40th Street Station stop on the Market-Frankford line, which will receive a significant upgrade featuring new headhouses, improved lighting, and two elevators. 

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May 20, 2014 10 years ago

University City Bike Riders: Install a New Smartphone App and Let Us Know Where You Ride

The new CyclePhilly smartphone app (, developed by the City of Philadelphia, DVRPC, SEPTA, and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, tracks your rides through the City, helping regional planners, and UCD, understand where improvements like bike lanes are most needed. More rides tracked equals more useful data, so if you’re a bike rider, install it and see how your routes compare to your neighbors’!
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Apr 23, 2014 10 years ago

PlanPhilly reports on UCD's progress with the 40th Street Trolley Portal

Butterflies and hummingbirds aren’t something most people expect to see in Philadelphia at the spot where four trolley lines intersect before submerging into the gaping mouth of a dark, cavernous tunnel. But those are the types of wildlife that University City District hopes to draw to the 40th Street Trolley Portal as part of its planned renovations.

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Mar 04, 2014 10 years ago

Business is thriving in University City

2013 was another strong year for retail and restaurants in University City. Exciting new arrivals like Hip City Veg, Shake Shack, Rx The Farmacy, and The Fat Ham were among the 25 restaurants, cafes and bars opening in 2013. This continues a recent trend in the neighborhood as the number of places to eat and drink has been up by an incredible 17% over the last five years! New retail also had a good year, including exciting openings like Greene Street consignment and Plaza Artist Materials, with the number of new businesses up by 3% over the last five years.

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Jun 24, 2013 11 years ago

Baltimore Crossing Unveiled

The five-way intersection of 48th St., Baltimore Ave. and Florence Ave. has long been a confusing and potentially dangerous crossing for pedestrians and bicyclists. Walkers confronted a massive expanse of asphalt and fast moving vehicles along with a confusing pattern of crosswalks that did not permit a direct crossing along the busy Baltimore Ave. commercial corridor, forcing many to play a game of “frogger” with speeding cars and trucks.

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Aug 29, 2012 11 years ago

Woodland Avenue Pedestrian Plaza Unveiled

University City District (UCD) has partnered with the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities and the Philadelphia Streets Department to transform a lifeless traffic island and a redundant stretch of street into a verdant oasis with trees, planters, bistro tables, and umbrellas. On Wednesday, September 19 at 1-2:30pm, all are invited to join Mayor Michael Nutter, UCD and other stakeholders in celebration of this exciting new pedestrian plaza adjacent to University of the Sciences’ campus.

The Woodland Avenue Pedestrian Plaza is the first completed project of the City of Philadelphia’s Pedestrian Plaza Program, which seeks to reclaim these unused swathes of asphalt and concrete by quickly and inexpensively turning them into new public plazas and parks. “Pedestrian Plazas are yet another example of how the City and community partners can drive innovation and make Philadelphia more vibrant through the creation of small public spaces. With Ped Plazas and Parklets popping up across the city it is clear that there is demand for high quality, low cost, pedestrian amenities," added Mayor Michael Nutter.

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Aug 23, 2012 11 years ago

University City’s Second Parklet Installed on 44th Street

University City District, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities, the Philadelphia Department of Streets, and the offices of Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell, is pleased to announce the installation of University City’s second “Parklet” – an innovative, temporary seating platform that provides residents and visitors with a space to take in the area’s lively streetscape.

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