Philadelphia Awarded Silver Walk Friendly Communities Designation

Philadelphia, September 22, 2011– The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center has designated Philadelphia as a Silver Walk Friendly Community for its walkability initiatives and programs. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration and FedEx, Walk Friendly Communities is a national program to recognize communities for their commitment to pedestrian safety. With 1.53 million people, Philadelphia is the fifth-largest city in the U.S. and has one of the most walkable downtowns in the nation. One fourth of all trips in the City are made on foot.

“Philadelphia is a great place to walk for residents, commuters and visitors,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “I would like to thank The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center for recognizing our city’s ongoing commitment to creating a great walkable city. A more walkable Philadelphia makes for a healthier, safer and more sustainable city.”

Philadelphia adopted its first Pedestrian Plan last fall, and a second phase is in progress. In recent years, the Streets Department has made significant efforts to improve pedestrian safety including: converting 535 signalized intersections to all-way stops. This effort alone resulted in more than 50 percent reduction in injury related crashes. Additionally, the Streets Department has expanded the use of countdown pedestrian signals across Philadelphia and piloted numerous innovative traffic calming strategies.

Philadelphia is among ten communities recognized in the latest round of Walk Friendly Communities announced. The Walk Friendly Community designation, awarded from bronze, to silver, gold and the highest designation of platinum, is given to applicant communities that have demonstrated a commitment to improving and sustaining walkability and pedestrian safety through comprehensive programs, plans and policies. To date, 21 communities in the U.S. have been designated as Walk Friendly Communities.

For more information on Walk Friendly Communities, please visithttp://www.walkfriendly.org.

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EnergyWorks to Finance Energy-Efficient Upgrade at Historic Commercial Property in Center City Philadelphia

The Goldman Properties Company Among First Philadelphia-Area Development Firms to Apply EnergyWorks Funds to Energy-Saving Improvements

PHILADELPHIA, PA, September 13, 2011 — EnergyWorks, Greater Philadelphia’s one-stop resource for commercial and residential energy improvements, today announced the approval of a $1.04 million loan to The Goldman Properties Company for large-scale energy-saving renovations at an 18-story commercial property in Center City Philadelphia. The ten-year loan, issued at a fixed interest rate of 4%, will be used to replace 1,290 single-pane wooden windows with double-hung, energy efficient, aluminum windows at The Philadelphia Building, located at 1315 Walnut Street in Philadelphia. The upgrade, when compared to the old windows, will result in a 60% decrease in thermal energy consumption and save almost $71,000 in utilities. This represents a 13% savings in the utility bill. The 200,000 square-foot brick-and-masonry Beaux-Arts office building, designed by Horace Trumbauer, serves as an unofficial business incubator for start-up entrepreneurs in creative fields such as architecture, graphic design and fashion.

Tony Goldman, founder and CEO of The Goldman Properties Company, said, “Tenants in The Philadelphia Building are cutting-edge entrepreneurs who are engaged with the city and committed to contributing to its productivity, sustainability and livability. It’s important to provide them with an energy-efficient work environment that speaks to their vision of our region’s future. EnergyWorks allows me to do that simply and inexpensively.”

This project represents one of the first commercial loans awarded by EnergyWorks, a comprehensive energy-solutions program for owners of residential and commercial properties. The program is managed by the Metropolitan Caucus, a coalition of Commissioners and Councilmembers from Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties and the Mayor of Philadelphia and is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Program.
Mayor Michael Nutter noted, “When we released our Greenworks plan for the city, we made some big promises to reduce our energy use and greenhouse gas emissions while creating jobs at the same time. The EnergyWorks program is doing just that. Goldman Properties has made the smart choice to invest in Philadelphia by implementing a project that will save energy and improve the work environment for creative industry employees in The Philadelphia Building.”

The commercial component of EnergyWorks, administered in conjunction with The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation and The Reinvestment Fund, provides expert assistance, energy assessments, and low-interest loans to facilitate energy renovations that result in energy reductions of 25% or more. Financing includes construction loans, term loans, and lease financing. The typical interest rate on an EnergyWorks commercial loan can be as low as 3.5%. In addition to providing low cost financing, EnergyWorks helps connect applicants with energy assessment services provided by Practical Energy Solutions. EnergyWorks will support up to 75% of the cost of an energy assessment.  EnergyWorks is actively seeking applications for projects in the suburban counties, as well as for projects in Philadelphia.

Emphasizing the importance of the regional approach, James R. Matthews, Chairman of the County Commissioners of Montgomery County, said, “EnergyWorks made the Ambler Boiler House project happen, simple as that. This is a great example of the kind of progress we can make when we look past political boundaries and cooperate as a region.”

As a national leader in the adaptive reuse of urban buildings, the family-run Goldman Properties Company has been instrumental in transforming the blocks that connect Philadelphia’s vibrant convention and office district to its diverse residential neighborhoods. The firm was also a major force in reviving Manhattan’s SoHo district and the art deco South Beach section of Miami.
For more information on The Goldman Properties Company, visit http://www.goldmanproperties.com.

To learn more about EnergyWorks’ programs for commercial, industrial and residential property owners may call (215) 496-8161 or visit http://www.energyworksnow.com

Rina Cutler Named 2011 Public Works Leader of the Year by American City and County Magazine

Philadelphia, September 15, 2011 – Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Public Utilities Rina Cutler has been named the 2011 Public Works Leader of the Year by Penton’s American City and County Magazine. This award is given annually to those who demonstrate outstanding leadership in public works. Deputy Mayor Cutler has been instrumental in the completion of the South Street Bridge, the expansion of Philadelphia’s green infrastructure, the addition of bike lanes, and the increase in recycling rates, according to the magazine’s release.

“I could not be more proud of Deputy Mayor Rina Cutler,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “The City is lucky to have such a knowledgeable, visionary and passionate individual leading Philadelphia’s transportation, infrastructure and greening efforts. Deputy Mayor Cutler understands how to get things done. She has helped transform Philadelphia into a more beautiful city while reducing costs and improving efficiency in her departments.”

Deputy Mayor Cutler added, “I am honored to be recognized as the Public Works Leader of the year by American City and County Magazine. The work we are doing to make Philadelphia a more livable, sustainable and economically dynamic city would not be possible without the leadership of Mayor Nutter, our Streets and Water commissioners, our Airport CEO and the tireless work of thousands of City employees. We have done some amazing work in the last several years including the South Street Bridge, a strong focus on green infrastructure, expanding the bike lane network, launching an airport capacity enhancement program and a spectacular gateway mural at the Philadelphia International Airport. We will continue to work hard at being innovative and meeting the needs of Philadelphians.”

Deputy Mayor Cutler was appointed to the job by Mayor Michael Nutter in March, 2008. She is responsible for the coordination and oversight of all transportation functions in the City of Philadelphia. In addition, Ms. Cutler oversees the operations of a variety of City agencies including the Streets Department, the Philadelphia Water Department, the Philadelphia International Airport, and the City’s interests with a variety of transportation agencies including SEPTA, the Philadelphia Parking Authority, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority.

Prior to returning to Philadelphia, Ms. Cutler was the Deputy Secretary for Administration at PennDOT since 2003. In addition, Ms. Cutler served for almost 2 years as the Acting District Executive at PennDOT for the 5 county Philadelphia region. Her prior experience includes Transportation Commissioner for the City of Boston, the Director of Parking and Traffic for the City of San Francisco and the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

The subscribers of American City & County submit nominations for the Public Works Leader of the Year Award. The magazine’s editorial staff selects the award’s recipient each year.

American City & County has been the voice of state and local governments since 1909. The magazine serves a nationwide audience of city, county and state officials who are charged with developing and implementing local government policy, programs, and projects. American City & County is published monthly by Penton. For more information about the magazine, visit http://www.americancityandcounty.com

Mayor Nutter, U.S. Senator Casey Unveil Unique Farmers Market at Frankford Transportation Center

Praise offered for collaborative effort to improve health and livability of neighborhoods.

Philadelphia, September 13, 2011 – As part of the City of Philadelphia’s continuing efforts to make neighborhoods healthier, Mayor Michael A. Nutter, U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, SEPTA General Manager Joseph Casey and Deputy Mayor Donald F. Schwarz officially opened a new farmers’ market at the Frankford Transportation Center in Northeast Philadelphia.

The farmers’ market at the Frankford Transportation Center represents a collaborative effort between the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, the Food Trust, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities, and SEPTA to increase the accessibility to healthy food options to low-income Philadelphians. It is one of 10 new farmers’ markets to open in the past 16 months under Get Healthy Philly, a federally-funded initiative to prevent obesity and make it easier for people to engage in healthy behaviors.

“The City of Philadelphia is committed to finding innovative ways to encourage people to be proactive about their health,” said Mayor Nutter. “The Frankford Transportation Farmers’ Market combines access to healthy options with sustainable food systems, local economic growth and transit-oriented development. Making healthy and affordable food more readily available to all Philadelphians is a goal of the Greenworks plan.”

SEPTA now hosts two Get Healthy Philly farmers’markets with another located at the Olney Transportation Center in North Philadelphia.

“The Frankford Farmers Market represents an innovative way to promote Pennsylvania agriculture, stimulate the local economy, create jobs and improve access to fresh, healthy foods for the community,” said Senator Casey. “Through programs like Get Healthy Philly we can continue Pennsylvania’s proud agriculture tradition to support jobs and health throughout the state.”

The 25 Get Healthy Philly farmers’ markets across the city are made accessible for low-income residents through the Philly Food Bucks program. For every $5 of SNAP (food stamp) benefits that are spent at participating markets, individuals can receive an additional $2 of free fruits and vegetables. Through Philly Food Bucks, SNAP redemption has more than doubled at farmers’ markets across the city.

“As the region’s primary provider of transit services, SEPTA recognizes the substantial role we play in connecting people to life’s necessities,” said General Manager Joe Casey. “Improving access to fresh local foods at our stations is one of the social goals outlined in SEPTA’s Sustainability Plan.”

Deputy Mayor and Health Commissioner Dr. Donald Schwarz said, “Too many people in this city and across the country live in communities that make it difficult to be healthy. In Philadelphia, this market is part of the solution.”

For more information about Get Healthy Philly, visit: http://www.foodfitphilly.org or http://www.phila.gov/health/Commissioner/CPPW.html.