No doubt about it, 2014 was the year of the pop-up. Center City was well-covered with these still rather new interventions into Philadelphia’s public space. No less than 4 pop-ups breathed new life into spaces largely devoid of it prior to their arrival (not including private outdoor gardens like Fergie's and Opa). And though multiple groups and stakeholders planned for and executed these pop-ups throughout the city, let us not forget who jumpstarted the trend just a few years back.
Philadelphia differs from the rest of the US by calling its downtown Center City. This naming convention makes it easy to determine a local from a tourist. Though Center City renaissance is reverberating from the core and pushing investment in all directions, it was the towns and lively neighborhoods that pulled me back to the region after college. The classic main streets of these towns serve as the central node for these communities throughout the region. In many ways, we are doing an good job of at least recognizing the importance of these communities as the soul and economic engines of our region. DVRPC's excellent Classic Towns of Philadelphia project seeks to highlight our region's towns and local businesses, while Visit Philadelphia's Visit Philly website has recently shifted its focus away from the colonial history and cultural institutions of Center City and Old City to focus on the inner neighborhoods that are often overlooked by visitors, despite their wealth of new and different experiences.