Cover Story: Back to the Future

West Philly’s Hybrid X Team builds green cars, and the case for vocational education  
by Lee Stabert

OK, disney movie pitch: A group of high school kids (almost all African-American) from West Philadelphia build cars for an international competition, striving for a $10 million dollar prize. There’s a handsome, ambitious teacher, highly-funded, flashy competitors with big names (and budgets) and an environmental angle—these vehicles are designed to get over 100 miles per gallon.
Read More

From the Editor: A Hybrid Movement

I’m very jealous of the west philly hybrid x team. In middle school, I took a home ec class for one quarter. My crowning achievement? A loaf of banana bread. In wood shop, I sawed and sanded a less-than-perfect corner shelf—it was promptly lost somewhere in my parents’ attic. Then in high school, nothing. Not a single practical class that would help me when I get hungry, or my apartment needs a repair, or my clothes need mending.
Read More

Shades of Progress

The city makes tree planting a priority
by Cassie Cummins

Upon unveiling Greenworks Philadelphia, the city’s sustainability plan, Mayor Nutter announced his ambition to make Philadelphia “the greenest city in America” by 2015. A little over a year later, the city has numerous programs underway, including its Tree Planting Initiative—an effort to increase the city’s tree canopy from 15 to 30 percent by 2026. The city will plant 300,000 new trees in the next five years.

Read More

Local Business: Fish Story

A local distributor brings sustainable seafood to Philly 
by Scott Orwig

Philadelphia boasts ever-growing options for obtaining fresh, local fruits, veggies, meats and cheeses. From farmers’ markets to CSAs, it has never been easier to find affordable, sustainable food.  But when it comes to seafood, options dwindle and prices skyrocket. Otolith Sustainable Seafood—located in, yes, Fishtown—is looking to change that.

Read More

Design: Game Plan

The Community Design Collaborative democratizes design 
by Lee Stabert

A plan is powerful. Lines on a page are often the first step towards realizing the transformation of a space, or a neighborhood. The Community Design Collaborative is driven by this idea.
Read More

Energy: Report Card

An energy audit could save you some serious cash 
by Samantha Wittchen

With all of the options available to homeowners for improving the energy efficiency of their homes, determining where you can get the biggest bang for your buck can be difficult. Is it improving insulation? Air sealing? New windows? A home energy audit by a certified energy auditor can help you quantify the savings each option offers, allowing you to prioritize home improvement projects.

Read More

Summer Guide: Horse Play

The team behind Pub & Kitchen hit the Jersey Shore
by Lee Stabert

Philadelphians lucky enough to spend the occasional evening cozied up to the bar at Pub & Kitchen, digging into the casually arresting food and sampling the thoughtful beer selection, should brace themselves for some seriously good news.

Read More

Summer Guide: Walk it Off

Experience nature without leaving the city
by Bernard Brown

Looking for some nature with your Philadelphia this summer? Want to go hiking without getting in a car? Well, it’s your lucky day—our gritty, urban paradise offers more than just concrete underfoot. Here are six ideas for places to get out, see wildlife—no, not rats and pigeons—and forget, for a moment, that you live in a major American city.

Read More