2012 National Planning Excellence Awards: Grassroots Initiative

Yorktown 2015: A Blueprint for Survival and Sustainability

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Built in the 1960s, Yorktown serves as a model of urban redevelopment for shared public spaces and right-of-way elements. Concerns over aging infrastructure and perceived threats over changes within and around the neighborhood prompted the Yorktown CDC to create a strategic neighborhood plan. The community-driven planning process maintains the community's legacy and preserves the neighborhood through reinvestment.

Yorktown 2015: A Blueprint for Survival and Sustainability engaged residents through meetings, interviews, surveys and the "Yorktown Chatter Box," a custom-built story telling booth. Despite the small community size, more than 260 residents participated in shaping the plan. Since completion of the plan just over a year ago, the community has reached numerous milestones, including: securing investments of more than $70,000 from multiple agencies working in partnership with the Yorktown CDC; adoption of the plan as the official neighborhood plan by the Philadelphia City Planning Commission; initiation of five "Green Street" projects to retrofit Yorktown's right-of-way features as green infrastructure elements; and support from the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation with $40,000 in homeowner assistance funds through its Targeted Housing Preservation Program.

The Yorktown initiative in Philadelphia includes affordable housing, green spaces, and preservation of historic sites.