Philadelphia is a RenGen City on the Make

Photo by DoctorWho

Things are bubbling up in Philadelphia. A few years ago, I dubbed the city a RenGen city. It had so many important attributes:

Many ways to learn: great schools, universities, museums and libraries

Friendliness factor: The Romans called it “civitas” which means that all the tribes that co-habitate are friendly and strangers are welcome

Great circulatory system: It’s easy to get around using many forms of transportation

Art for the common man: Philly is a city of murals, making art a public birthright.

Affordable housing: Cities that out-price their creative class from the housing market become hollow staging grounds for art created elsewhere. Witness New York. Retaining a creative class within the population generates energy and enterprise.

Check, check and check. Philly is now starting to tout its RenGen-ness. Under the leadership of Gary Steuer, the city’s Creative Economy Initiative is gathering stories about creatives—artists, makers, entrepreneurs, cultural hackers—who are launching new businesses and projects. We are eager to see what he uncovers simmering below the surface.

To learn more, check out the website and Gary’s Creative Vitality Report (pdf).