The development of Eastern Lofts, a $7.6 million mixed-use project in northwest Philadelphia, is proving to be a test case for how to do it right: resident input, nonprofit expertise and private capital combined to rehab a blighted landmark into mixed-income apartments, a day care center serving 80 children, a small business incubator and facilities for community groups. That the project puts housing, job creation and education all in one place, says LISC CEO Michael Rubinger, is a shining example of balanced, equitable development for communities across the country.
Ample evidence has proven what good early childhood education can do for a population's intellectual, emotional and economic well-being. But to provide high quality, age-appropriate educational opportunities for all our youngest learners, we need to put our money where our mouths are, argues LISC's Amy Gillman in an op-ed for The Hechinger Report. Gillman makes the case for a serious national commitment to funding and building pre-k facilities that have the best interests of our children—and our future—in mind.
Universities, hospitals and colleges in American cities energize employment, business development, policing and civic life in their surrounding neighborhoods. And they can be even more effective catalysts for change, said Philadelphia LISC's Andrew Frishkoff and other experts on a panel convened by online journal Next City, when they partner with community groups who are wise to the needs of local residents.