Current Cases & Projects

Community Benefit Agreements: Wynnefield Advocacy and Development

Community Benefit Agreements, or CBAs, are contracts between community-based organizations and developers that establish developers’ commitments to provide a range of benefits related to a proposed project. Meaningful CBAs, with substantive goals, transparent negotiation, and measures of accountability, can be used to address environmental impacts, educational gaps, housing insecurity, and other pressing issues in communities […]

Garden Justice Legal Initiative (GJLI)

In 2011, the Public Interest Law Center launched the Garden Justice Legal Initiative (GJLI) with support from the Skadden Fellowship Foundation.

New Jerusalem

New Jerusalem, located on the west side of North Philadelphia, is a residential addiction recovery community run by Medical Mission Sisters. In the 1990s, the non-denominational organization took over vacant lots and turned them into fruit and vegetable gardens. The gardens serve as a local and fresh food source for the community as well as […]

Eastwick Advocacy and Community Development

Eastwick is a neighborhood in southwest Philadelphia. In the 1950s, the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority condemned and seized more than 2,500 acres of land in Eastwick by eminent domain.

Grounded in Philly

Grounded in Philly – – is a web mapping and organizing tool that provides access to data on vacant land throughout Philadelphia and offers resources to individuals interested in starting or preserving community-based vacant land projects.

Philly Healthy Schools Initiative

The average age of the School District of Philadelphia’s public school facilities is over 66 years, and decades of under-investment has resulted in nearly $5 billion of deferred maintenance, repairs, and replacement needs. As a result, students, teachers and staff have been exposed to lead in paint and drinking water, asbestos, mold, rodent and pest infestations, and lack of proper climate control.

Philadelphia Land Bank

Through the advocacy of the Garden Justice Legal Initiative and its partners, Philadelphia City Council unanimously approved a Philadelphia Land Bank bill designed to provide a transparent, streamlined and equitable process through which the city can manage the more than 40,000 vacant properties and support a range of development and community-driven productive uses.

Hawthorne Empowerment Coalition Zoning Relief

A 32-story mixed use development was proposed by Tower Development and developer Bart Blatstein in the Hawthorne Neighborhood in South Philadelphia. Like many non-affluent neighborhoods, the community was not consulted and its desires were disregarded in this process.