We shared City Council testimony in support of a bill giving the Land Bank better tools to preserve green space

Urban gardens are a crucial resources in Philadelphia, particularly in Black and Brown neighborhoods. But many of these irreplaceable spaces are located on abandoned privately owned parcels that are tax delinquent–and these debts from previous absentee owners can put their land at risk of being lost at sheriff sale, often to low bids from land […]

We shared testimony with City Council on the preservation of urban agriculture in Philadelphia

Philadelphia gardeners and farmers, who have turned neglected land into beloved community spaces, deserve our admiration and support. Yet despite providing a wealth of benefits to our city, most community gardens in Philadelphia are at risk. In City Council testimony on urban agriculture hosted by councilmembers Kendra Brooks and Jamie Gauthier, the Law Center’s environmental […]

Southwest Philadelphia residents sue a nuisance auto body shop and property owners behind their homes and demand action

April 26, 2023 — A concentration of auto body repair shops plague Southwest Philadelphia, presenting myriad environmental hazards. The City’s Department of Licenses and Inspection (“L&I”) attempts to sanction the businesses’ dangerous and unlawful behavior through inspections, violations, and fines, but enforcement remains elusive. L&I struggles to ensure compliance with the City Code, and owners […]

30 Philadelphia community gardens and nonprofits call on the Land Bank to end its 30-year mortgage requirement for community gardens and open spaces

March 13, 2023 – Green open spaces, like community gardens and urban farms, are critical neighborhood anchors across Philadelphia. Since its inception, one goal of the Land Bank has been to protect and preserve these resources for Philadelphians. But since 2020, a routine Land Bank practice has worked at cross-purposes to this goal: attaching 30-year […]

New Jerusalem receives deed from the Philadelphia Land Bank

April 22, 2019: The Philadelphia Land Bank has conveyed a deed to 2006 North Woodstock Street to New Jerusalem for the nominal fee of $1.00, following the recommendation of the Vacant Properties Review Commission and approval from Philadelphia City Council. This gives New Jerusalem, a residential recovery center run by nondenominational nuns, full legal ownership of […]

New Grounded in Philly online resource ecosystem will help more Philadelphians turn vacant lots into community spaces

Grounded in Philly, a revamped online resource ecosystem launching April 11 will help Philadelphia residents access the information and support they need to turn abandoned vacant lots into community gardens and other open space.

Eastwick Weighs in On Proposed Development Strategy

After a two-year community-based land study process, Philadelphia’s Interface Studio, a planning firm hired by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA), released the Eastwick Public Lands Strategy (EPLS) on July 26. The document lays out a strategy with options for mixed-use development — residential, open space and commercial space — for about 200 acres in the Eastwick […]

In Positive Shift, Philadelphia City Agencies Transfer Land to Community Garden

The Garden Justice Legal Initiative worked with the Philadelphia Land Bank to facilitate the transfer of five city-owned lots to New Jerusalem community garden

Spreading Garden Justice With a CLE and Clinic

The Law Center’s Garden Justice Legal Initiative (GJLI) broadened their impact in Philadelphia with a CLE and legal clinic, training over two dozen new attorneys and answering legal questions for several community gardens. Both events were hosted by Public Interest Law Center staff attorney Ebony Griffin. On April 4, 2018, the Garden Justice Legal Initiative […]

While Community Gardeners Conclude Legal Actions to Secure Land, Promise of Philadelphia Land Bank Remains Unfulfilled

This week, two community gardens – New Jerusalem and the Philadelphia Catholic Worker’s La Finquita – concluded legal actions in attempts to secure permanent access to land. Both groups have been stewarding once-vacant land for more than three decades. The Public Interest Law Center represents these organizations.