Coal Is Back?


Coal as a heating source is making  a comeback in homes, According to the New York Times

Getting to know Greensgrow Farm


One of the founding missions of this blog was to create a space to talk about how to take reinvent the decaying postindustrial land that is much of North Philadelphia. So, it was with great interest when we read the piece in the New York Times on Greensgrow Farms that co-founder Mary Seton Corboy’s mission in starting the farm was to explore how to take postindustrial land and turn it into some kind of green business.

Corboy’s farm, a one-acre plot, founded in 1997, on the site of a former steel-galvanizing factory has become a model for urban farming across the country. Today, it boasts a nursery, farm market and a unique Summer and Winter C.S.A., which offers not only traditional CSA offerings but non-traditional ones, such as perigees produced in the neighborhood, as well.

The farm grows and sells its own produce and on site using a hydroponics system. The farm recently began raising bees to produce its own Honey in the Hood. Their vehicles run on the Bio Diesel produced on site.

The farm provides a market out let for family farmers and local producers. Visitors to the farm can purchase local bread, yogurt, eggs, butter, fish, meat, cheese, fruits, pasta, vegetables, candy and yes– even beer. Many of the producers are small start-ups found throughout the Kensington neighborhood.

The Greensgrow model has revitalized the landscape in North Philadelphia and brought fresh fruits and vegetables to a food desert. It has also done it while turning a profit.

To learn more about Greensgrow’s model and its mission to change the landscape of North Philadelphia check out the PBS documentary Edens Lost and Found which profiled Greensgrow Farms. CG-ITSRG

Philadelphia Finally Gets Weekly Curbside Recycling

Simagesingle-stream recycling has been a boom to the residents of Philadelphia, but if you’re like us,  the bi-monthly pickup leaves you swimming in plastic bottles, paper and cans.  Well, starting this week the city is finally digging us out.  The city robo-calls confirmed it last night. WEEKLY single-stream curbside recycling is HERE at last.  The question is?  Can Philly up its city recycling rate from 10 percent? San Francisco’s rate is 70 percent and they are looking to hit 75 percent. How about a little bi-coastal competition?

Now if you’ll  excuse me,  I’ve got a ton of recycling to go drag to the curb. CG – ITSRG

Chronicle Monday: Philadelphia Green News

USA today reports on the problem of schools located near sites where air pollution is problematic. Coatesville, PA’s Graystone Charter Academy is featured in the 12-29-08 story. Read more here.

Philadelphia Inquirer Green Columnist Sandy Bauers posted on everyday activities you can do to contribute to greening the environment. Read the whole post here.

ITSpace, the blog of the Information Technology and Society Research Group, featured a commentary by Lance Duroni, a Temple University graduate student in journalism on January 3, 2009. The commentary relates to Park(ing) Day 2008. Read his whole essay here. See Chris Serik’s photo stream for the event here. We featured his photo of parking day on our first Urban Environment Blog post here. Sustainable Disobedience is the official blog site for the GUSITSRG Park(ing) Day 2008 event. MM-ITSRG

10 Ecofriendly things about Philadelphia

parking day 2008

1. Single stream recycling
2. Philly Car Share
3. Greensgrow CSA
4. Community Gardens
5. Farmer’s Markets
6. Bike lanes
7. Septa (yes Septa)
8. Rowhomes rule
9. Environmental organizations
10. Fairmount Park

Introducing Urban Environment

Urban Environment features posts on sustainable practices engaged by every day people in the city of Philadelphia, PA., green lifestyles in this and other cities, and innovative ways to foster a society that balances it’s economic goals with long term environmental quality.

Featured blog authors are Temple University students, faculty and researchers interested in these issues.  This blog is sponsored by the Information Technology and Society Research Group. For more information about ITSRG, see:

Michele Masucci, Director – ITSRG

Temple University