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00000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f771360000Keystone Crossroads: Rust or Revival? explores the urgent challenges pressing upon Pennsylvania's cities. Four public media newsrooms are collaborating to report in depth on the root causes of our state's urban crisis -- and on possible solutions. Keystone Crossroads offers reports on radio, web, social media, television and newspapers, and through public events.Our partner stations are WHYY in Philadelphia, WPSU in State College and witf in Harrisburg. Read all of the partner stories here.Pittsburgh’s WQED joins the collaboration as an associate partner. Support for this project comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Philadelphia Starts Small (And Cheap) With Delaware River Waterfront Revitalization

Lindsay Lazarski
Brett Mapp reads a book in one of the hammocks at Spruce Street Harbor Park on the waterfront in Philadelphia.

For a long time, Philadelphia's Delaware Riverfront was...underwhelming.

Each winter, the city operated a harbor-side ice skating rink. There were also summer concerts and festivals on the waterfront, bursts of life that would fizzle out as soon as the events ended.

But most of the time, people didn't venture down to the river. For one thing, getting to the waterfront requires finding a place to cross I-95, the 10-lane highway that cuts through the city.

More importantly, there was little to see or do.

About two years ago, that started to change.

The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, a nonprofit organization created by the city to manage waterfront development, turned its standalone ice rink into a seasonal park and winter-themed lodge.

The organizers strung up holiday lights, brought in food and beer vendors, and held holiday events and performances. DRWC called it the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest (after the rink's sponsor, the health insurance company).

Read more of this report at the website of our partner Keystone Crossroads.