Since 2012, Neighborhood Preservation, Inc. (NPI) has been leading a neighborhood transformation and demonstration project in the Carnes and Galloway Gardens area bounded by North Parkway to the north, Decatur Street to the east, Ayers Street to the west, and I-40 to the south. In this very targeted subset of a larger target area, NPI has maintained 52 abandoned properties and lots in partnership with local anchor institutions as well as neighborhood residents. In addition to maintaining these properties, NPI has also increased access to green space, community gardens, and native hardwood urban forests through the creation of two community gardens, a repurposed railroad corridor, a wildflower field, and two tree gardens that have over 100 native hardwoods recently planted by volunteers this past fall. This organic community organizing has activated residents to increase pride in this nationally registered historic neighborhood with a high number of long-time residents.
The achieved outcomes of this project so far include: increased amount of usable greenspace, improved environmental resiliency and stormwater management through the increase in urban canopy, restoration of the natural ecosystem in this developed urban environment, and influx of resident engagement and pride for the neighborhood. NPI has measured these outcomes from consistent dialogue and a sustainable relationship with residents, while informal up to this point. A formalization of outcome
measurements will be included in the neighborhood planning process the residents are leading. Target future outcomes include the encouragement of better vacant lot maintenance by piloting Philadelphia Horticultural Society’s LandCare program.