If we're trying to build relationships with one another---

how do we start?


We have had ample time to witness the strong divide between long-term residents and Temple University students within the North Philadelphia community. Lack of conversation has resulted in the continuation of practices (at a personal, neighborhood and institutional level) that have further divided North Philadelphia.

Lack of spaces for these conversations to take place is a contributing factor to the preservation of false narratives and dividing practices. With little time in the student turnover cycle to build deep and lasting relationships, the lack of spaces designed specifically for the integration of North Philadelphia delays unifying our community.

The goal of this initiative is to fully engage our community in the creation of public spaces where we can share our stories, get to know our neighbors, the issues that affect our communities, and celebrate the rich history of North Philadelphia.


Story sharing is one of the best ways for strangers to get acquainted with one another; quirky anecdotes about childhood mishaps, heartwarming tales of beloved pets and the occasional raw account of a self-defining experience. Through sharing our stories and attentively listening to the stories of others, we open ourselves to a level of understanding and respect. In the end educating ourselves by knowing opposite lives.

“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”
— Jane Jacobs

Our design event at church of the advocate on dec 3rd

On December 3rd we held a design event at Church of the Advocate where members from the North Philadelphia community, both Temple University students and long-term residents came together to discuss what they hoped to see in this space. Everyone had the chance to be a designer and artist this day. 

Photos of event by Nhat Nguyen

Here are a few of the designs you came up with.  

The site - 2264 N 17TH STREET

How you can get involved

To help us organize this project we've divided the workload between Action Circles, they're teams that will focus on a certain aspect of the project.

Fundraising: Focusing on different ways to pay for the various aspects of this project, these strategies range from designing items to be sold to canvassing local businesses for donations. 

Material Gathering: Compiling a list of all the elements we'll need to bring our designs to life. 

Outreach: Getting the word out about this initiative. We're hoping to get the involvement of as many different groups of people as we can, varying in age, gender and background. 

Memorial Day Event: This project will end in a celebratory event on Memorial Day that this group will be in charge of planning. 

Design/Build: This team will have the biggest hand in deciding what goes on the site. They will create prototypes and studies of for the designs. 

If you would like to help out but don't have any free time in your schedule you still can! We could use soil, grass seed, shade loving plants, cardboard, plastic bottles, and food for our event. 

For this event we partnered with AIAS (American Institute of Architecture Students) without them this would not have been possible.

For this event we partnered with AIAS (American Institute of Architecture Students) without them this would not have been possible.