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Case Studies 

Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

*Nominee 

Grays Ferry Triangles

Philadelphia

Pennsylvania

USA

Contributed by 
Project for Public Spaces
 on 
August 13, 2015
December 22, 2017

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

In the Grays Ferry district of Philadelphia, a few dedicated volunteers, working with the neighborhood organization SOSNA, leveraged their relationships with project stakeholders to finance “the Triangles”—the city’s first conversion of a full right-of-way to public space. In 2013, after nearly a decade of planning and battling back opposition, the team made headway when it hosted three summer jazz concerts and an outdoor movie night in the space. The success of these events helped to demonstrate the full potential of the space. In addition to persistent outreach efforts to local storefronts, these events also helped gain SOSNA some much-needed support from the South Street West Business Association, who finally began to see the potential social and economic benefits of the project. Volunteer-led monthly cleanups of the Triangles helped further convince stakeholders that the plaza-to-be had a number of local supporters who would ensure its continued upkeep and impact.

With the business and residential community on their side, SOSNA capitalized on the project’s momentum by offering donors a chance to get their name on the space. In exchange for modest donations, businesses and individuals could receive text on the Triangles’ chairs, planters, and other furniture to acknowledge their patronage. This simple fundraising tactic yielded well beyond the $10,000 needed to make necessary capital purchases - from lighting and furniture to the repair of an old public fountain.  Donations were also solicited from customers of the adjacent marketplace, and the plaza's plantings were donated by a local landscape shop. These additional funds helped to pay for continued, place-based programming such as food trucks, film screenings, and live music, further ensuring that the Triangles will remain a valuable community asset for years to come.

Access & Linkages

Comfort & Image

Uses & Activities

Sociability

How Light?

How Quick?

How Cheap?

History & Background

Related Links & Sources

Photo credits, from left: Christine Fisher via PlanPhilly, Grays Ferry Triangles Project via Facebook, Laura Blanchard via Flickr, Geoff Kees Thompson via This Old City, Nidhi Gulati, Nidhi Gulati

Follow SOSNA/Grays Ferry Triangles

Website: southofsouth.org

Facebook: facebook.com/GraysFerryTriangles

Twitter: @PhillySOSNA

Grays Ferry Triangles
Volunteers organized regular clean-ups of the space
Grays Ferry Triangles
The site before activation
Grays Ferry Triangles
Planters, lights, and seating turn this road into a plaza
Grays Ferry Triangles
Planters were paid for by local businesses
Grays Ferry Triangles
Concerts helped demonstrate the area's potential and helped convinced opposition
Grays Ferry Triangles
Volunteers organized regular clean-ups , which helped everyone to reimagine the space
Grays Ferry Triangles
The site before activation
Grays Ferry Triangles
Grays Ferry Traingles transformed into a public space

*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

NOMINATE A PLACE

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