December: Comings & Goings

Illustration by Kathleen White

Illustration by Kathleen White

Philadelphia Becomes the First U.S. World Heritage City
We’ve always known Philadelphia is a world-class city, but now it’s official. On Nov. 6, the World Heritage Committee, part of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), named Philadelphia the first World Heritage City in the U.S. The program honors and preserves the history of urban environments by promoting tourism to their historical or environmental attractions. UNESCO also encourages increased business connection among the 264 World Heritage Cities, which include Jerusalem, selected for its religious history and monuments; Berlin, chosen for its parks, palaces and museums; and Paris, notable for its architecture, including the Eiffel Tower and the Palais de Chaillot.

Philadelphia was selected as a World Heritage City due to the cultural significance of Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776 and the United States Constitution was signed in 1787. UNESCO accredits these documents—and their universal principles of the right to revolution and self-government—as profoundly influential for lawmakers and politicians around the world. 

Jobs Open in Kenney Administration
Mayor-elect Jim Kenney has announced his transition team, and applications for employment in his administration are being accepted through his transition website, kenneyforphiladelphia.com.

His Transition Committee is being led by Democratic State Rep. Dwight Evans, former Human Services Commissioner Alba Martinez, and Jessie Bradley, the former field director for current Mayor Michael Nutter, whose term ends with this calendar year. 

The Environment and Sustainability Committee is being chaired by PennEnvironment’s David Masur. Other members include Chris Lewis from the Philadelphia Energy Authority, Dianne Herrin from Practical Energy Solutions, Dr. Poune Saberi from the Physicians for Social Responsibility, E. Mitchell Swann from MDC Systems, Emily Schapira from Aelux, Jamie Gauthier from the Sustainable Business Network, Kenneth Lande from the physics department at the University of Pennsylvania, Liz Robinson from the Energy Coordinating Agency, Maitreyi Roy from Bartram’s Garden, Matthew Stepp from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, and Maura McCarthy from the Friends of the Wissahickon.

Inspired Brews Opens Storefront in Old City
Locally sourced kombucha producers Inspired Brews opened their Old City storefront at 263 N. 3rd St. on Nov. 6. The company, owned by graphic designer Jessa Stevens and her business partner Jennifer Snow, has been in operation since early 2014. They originally sold their fermented tea drinks out of Ryan Crown’s Juice Club at 1425 Arch St., which features a subscription-based service, but Stevens and Snow now distribute their drinks in markets, coffee shops and yoga studios across the city.

Their kombucha is seasonally influenced, and their ingredients are largely sourced from regional farmers such as Eden Garden Farms, Beechwood Orchards, Livengood Family Farm, Pitspone Farm and Antlered Acres. Fall flavors will include apple, pumpkin, elderberry, beet and hibiscus. The owners have a bottle return system in place to ensure the reuse of containers; they also compost leftover ingredients.  

“[We] hope to nourish and connect with Philadelphia,” Stevens says. “We will have kombucha on draft with current flavors, as well as a membership program where subscribers can fill up growlers. We also plan to use the space as a venue for events and workshops that we hope will nourish the community.”

Newly released Temple Master Plan Promises More Green Space on Campus
Temple University has released finalized plans for its campus renovations. The landscape project, titled Verdant Temple, will emphasize the importance of green social spaces while improving the pedestrian and bicycle pathways. Progress began in June with the redesign of Liacouras Walk, which is now nearing completion. Renovations to the student walkway focused on adding additional social spaces, better accessibility to Wachman Hall and adding more plant life and grassland to the campus.

Additionally, the university is focusing on stormwater infrastructure improvements by expanding pre-existing bioretention areas and subsurface infiltration systems. The most ambitious of the proposed improvements is the new campus green, which will be the size of an entire city block and home to new gardens and future campus events.

The Verdant Temple project works in conjunction with the Visualize Temple initiative, which will include the construction of a new interdisciplinary science building and a state-of-the-art library at the core of the campus.

Mariposa Hiring Transitional General Manager, Bull Gervasi now Interim General Manager
Since its expansion in 2012, Mariposa Food Cooperative in West Philadelphia has seen its membership triple and its work force quadruple. In an attempt to address some of the challenges from the rapid growth, it has created the position oftransitional general manager (TGM). The role of the TGM will be to fulfill the objectives established by the board of delegates, including the development of a new sustainable democratic management structure. The TGM will implement the proposed plan over the course of the position’s three-year contract, at the completion of which Mariposa will return to operating as a self-managed co-op.

Bull Gervasi, a member of the Mariposa Food Cooperative for 18 years, has been promoted to interim general manager, replacing Sam McCormick, the current operations coordinator. Gervasi will oversee the management of the store until a suitable TGM is found. Applications are being accepted now.

Green Engine Coffee Co. Opens Storefront in Haverford
Zach Morris, co-owner of Urban Ecoforms and BioNeighbors, opened the Green Engine Coffee Co. in Haverford on Nov. 4. The interior of the shop was built using reclaimed and repurposed materials including the dark wood flooring, subway tiles and even church pews—along with an 81-square-inch living plant wall in the dining area. The shop will stock Rival Bros. Coffee, a local small-batch custom roaster, and will feature top-of-the-line equipment such as a La Marzocco espresso machine. For tea drinkers, Premium Steap Tea, a Rittenhouse-based company, will be available. Green Engine will also offer a seasonal variety of local baked goods and sandwiches.