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Mantua Community Plan: More Retail, Less Students

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Community planning processes in Mantua have yielded a new plan for the redevelopment of the Mantua neighborhood. Though the neighborhood is located just above Drexel and Penn, the plan prioritizes residents' needs over the development of student housing in vacant single family properties.

The planning process, which took two years, helped to create a Mantua CDC. The process involved 250 residents meeting weekly on seven different committees. Each committee corresponded to one of seven priorities identified by residents for Mantua's redevelopment. Those priorities are:
· Education
· Health and Wellness
· Workforce, Economic Development, & Supportive Services
· Safety
· Civic Association
· Youth Development
· Physical Development

The plan looks to capitalize on the newly reopened 40th Street bridge, and to expand the West Bank Greenway, which would run along the Schuylkill River. Another priority is to encourage retail and commercial development in the neighborhood, which currently only has 3% of its real estate dedicated to retail use. The revitalization of Haverford Avenue as a commercial corridor is key to bringing retail back to Mantua.

One of the most serious problems facing the neighborhood is the quantity of vacant property left by population decline. The plan calls for improvement of single family homes, and preventing single family homes from being converted into homes with multiple units for students.
· Designing a community improvement plan brings Mantua residents together [Plan Philly]