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Pennsylvania ( PEN-sil-VAY-nee-ə; Pennsylvania German: Pennsilfaani), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state spanning the Mid-Atlantic, Northeastern, Appalachian, and Great Lakes regions of the United States. Pennsylvania borders Delaware to its southeast, Maryland to its south, West Virginia to its southwest, Ohio to its west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to its northwest, New York to its north, and the Delaware River and New Jersey to its east.

Pennsylvania is the fifth-most populous state in the United States, with over 13 million residents as of the 2020 United States census. The state is the 33rd-largest by area and has the ninth-highest population density among all states. The largest metropolitan statistical area (MSA) is the southeastern Delaware Valley, which includes and surrounds Philadelphia, the state's largest and nation's sixth-most populous city. The second-largest metropolitan area, Greater Pittsburgh, is centered in and around Pittsburgh, the state's second-largest city. The state's subsequent five most populous cities are Allentown, Reading, Erie, Scranton, and Bethlehem. The state capital is Harrisburg.

Biodiversity[edit | edit source]

Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources - Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program

Open spaces[edit | edit source]

Centennial Commons

Civic Commons

Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

Community involvement[edit | edit source]

SeeClickFix, community issues in Philadelphia

Imagine Philadelphia: Laying the Foundation (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) on Participedia

Arts, sport and culture[edit | edit source]

City of Asylum, nonprofit in Pittsburgh

Cycling activism[edit | edit source]

Philadelphia's bike-share system[edit | edit source]

Philadelphia's Indego bike-share system offers affordable and convenient access to two-wheeled transportation. With 120 bike stations throughout the city comprising more than 1,200 bikes, the company has announced plans to double capacity to more than 250 stations in the next few years and expand to serve an additional 15 square miles of the city. The mayor recently announced plans to build 20 miles of separated bike lanes in the next two years, making biking safer throughout the city.[1]

Community energy[edit | edit source]

Food activism[edit | edit source]


Fair-Amount Food Forest, initiative to create a community food forest

Sharing[edit | edit source]

Sharing City Philadelphia[edit | edit source]

At over 11,000 residents per square mile, Philadelphia is among the most densely populated cities in the country. And those miles offer a rich history of community, shared spaces, and pooled resources. From thriving open markets to urban gardens and a wealth of public art, the metropolis has vast resources to help residents make do without the need for car ownership, large homes, or mass personal consumption.[2]

Eight examples of the city's bustling sharing economy: see also:

Sustainable transport activism[edit | edit source]

Towards sustainable economies[edit | edit source]

Lehigh Valley

The Mutual Aid Network of the Lehigh Valley addresses the social determinants of health of communities' most vulnerable members, including formerly incarcerated people, juveniles aging out of the foster care system, homeless populations, individuals recovering from addiction, and newly settled refugees. This project address tackles these issues by tackling social isolation, one of the key factors that contributes to poor life and health outcomes.[3]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Networks and sustainability initiatives[edit | edit source]

  • Imagine Millvale
  • Penn Future, Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future. Penn Future is a statewide public interest membership organization founded in 1998 with offices in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre. The organization's activities include litigating cases before regulatory bodies and in local, state, and federal courts; advocating and advancing legislative action on a state and federal level; public education; and assisting citizens in public advocacy.[4]
  • Pennsylvania Environmental Council
  • Sustainable Pittsburgh
  • Transition Town Media

Community resources[edit | edit source]

Free Library of Philadelphia[edit | edit source]

The Free Library of Philadelphia has more than books for loan. From a health lending library with food scales and blood pressure cuffs to kitchen cupboards stocked with cataloged cake pans and a musical instrument collection with banjos, steel drums, and keyboards, you can find almost anything you need to borrow among its 54 branches. Philly even has a "Tiebrary" as part of one branch's Job Readiness Lab.[5]

Other community resources[edit | edit source]

Millvale Community Library - West Philly Tool Library

Citizens data initiative[edit | edit source]

Energy Data & Statistics for Pennsylvania

Maps[edit | edit source]

Grounded in Philly, "facilitates the transitioning of vacant land into community-controlled green spaces, gardens and gathering places."

Lots to Love, "a guide for community organizations and residents who are interested in transforming vacant lots into well-loved spaces." Strengthening and greening the Pittsburgh region.

Video[edit | edit source]

Other resources[edit | edit source]

News and comment[edit | edit source]


Civic Commons: Spreading opportunity to the whole city, Jul 10[6]

Can parks save Philadelphia? Feb 21[7]


From isolation to interdependence: How Reimagining the Civic Commons is connecting Philadelphia, Nov 8[8]

City releases reworked sustainability agenda calling on all Philadelphians to participate, Nov 2[9]

Pittsburgh is using 10 goats and their donkey guardian to cut unruly grass, March 10[10]


Tracks from railroads' past seen as path to future, August 16[11]

University of Pittsburgh students plan urban ag law firm, May 17[12]

Transition Reflections: Joni Carley, Happiness Maker, April 9[13]


Transition Town Media opens a FreeStore in Media, May 1[14]


The New Philadelphia Story Is About Green Infrastructure, December 18[15]

Campaigns[edit | edit source]

Green Justice Philly, new coalition to protect Philadelphians' health and safety from the city's fossil fuel industry, and to create a sustainable 21st century economy that will support clean air and water and healthy communities.[16]

Near you[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Discussion[View | Edit]

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