Sally Week: Urban Hopes


Village of Arts and Humanities:

Phildelphia Orchard Project:

Day five was unexpected. I knew we would be focusing on more city systems but wasn’t ready for what we came into contact with. I found the work being done in the North Philadelphia around Germantown and Temple University area really meaningful. It was inspiring to hear the stories of the area and the mini battles which the neighborhood is fighting to keep its place.

It is so sad to see Philadelphia systematically ignoring the neighborhoods requests and allowing the area to fall into disrepair to benefit developers. I believe it isn’t that the city doesn’t talk between departments but rather it talks between departments for specific entities. Temple’s expansion and the developers pushing it forward are the entities which push this government forward at the expense of Philadelphia history. Why developers can’t incorporate neighborhood history and meaning into the work they do is beyond me. These areas have so much to offer which would enrich any incoming population that infills. Regardless of the carelessness of others the work being done in the area was fascinating. Even the small urban farm which was educating local students was touching. I can only hope that I have time either this summer or upcoming year to visit again or volunteer and learn the tactics behind this localized redevelopment plan.


The images below depict personal neighborhood stories and cultures being assembled to benefit a community and not an individual. They represent christian, muslim, and african cultures and beliefs. The presence of angles, priests, gods, and kind spirits to oversee and guide are central to the work in place. These hopeful motifs are inspiring and deserve better care than the city has shown.


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