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About This Project

Philadelphia has a gun violence problem. Clean & Green Philly empowers Philadelphians to take action to solve it.

The Gun Violence Problem

With homicides trending up since 2013, and a record high of 562 gun deaths in 2021, community members need concrete solutions. Many solutions focus on long-term impact, including nearly 80% of the City of Philadelphia’s anti-violence spending. But immediate, actionable approaches are also needed.

The Research

Research shows that greening and cleaning vacant properties is one of the most impactful, cost-effective interventions available to reduce gun violence in a neighborhood. For example, Dr. Eugenia South and her team have demonstrated that greening vacant lots in Philadelphia reduced gun violence by as much as 29% in the surrounding area.

The Challenge

Transforming Philadelphia’s vacant lots should be a key strategy to combating gun violence here. But in a city with nearly 40,000 vacant properties, the main obstacle is figuring out which properties to prioritize and how to get access to them.

Our Vision

Our vision was to empower local residents, non-profit organizations, and government stakeholders to find and prioritize vacant properties for interventions, understand how to transform the properties they’ve identified, and connect users to resources that can support them.

Our Methodology

We created a dataset based on the original research conducted by Dr. Eugenia South and her colleagues, as well as many conversations with stakeholders, including community residents, CDCs, City government offices, academic researchers, and more. We analyzed and combined many data sets on crime, green space, and properties.

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Clean & Green Philly was built by a team of Code for Philly volunteers. The project was created and led by Nissim Lebovits. Will Budreau was responsible for user testing and research, Brandon Cohen was the lead developer, and Nathaniel Sidwell led the UX team. Thanks, too, to the many other contributors along the way.

Our efforts have been informed and advanced by local residents, community leaders, City staff, faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and Thomas Jefferson University; and many others. Special thanks are due to the Code for Philly leadership, Jon Geeting, Dante Leonard, Mjumbe Poe, and Vicky Tam.

Lastly, we are grateful to Dr. Eugenia South and her colleagues, whose work this project depends on.


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Removing Properties

If you would like to request that we remove a property from the dashboard, please see our Request Removal page.