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Curbed Cup 1st Round: (4) University City vs. (13) Germantown

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Which neighborhood should advance to the second round?

Courtesy of Jordan Adkins/

The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 16 neighborhoods vying for the prestigious (fake) trophy. Let the eliminations commence!

University City

To understand the transformation of University City, all one has to do is look at its growing skyline on the west banks of the Schuylkill River. The eds and meds hub, home to various universities and hospitals, now boasts city’s first so-called “vertical neighborhood” with FMC Tower, and construction has begun on two huge, multi-billion dollar innovation districts called uCity Square and Schuylkill Yards (which were pitched as two contenders for Amazon’s HQ2.) The growth of University City is in the numbers: The number of construction permits in this neighborhood has skyrocketed more than 500 percent(!) from pre-recession levels and dozens of projects big and small are still in the works, and 30th Street was just named one of the most expensive streets in the U.S. Clearly, University City is nowhere near finished its meteoric rise.


The historic neighborhood of Germantown has come a long way in its long history. It’s one of Philly’s oldest neighborhoods, and its historically significant sites dating back to the American Revolutionary War are neighbors to Germantown’s mom and pop shops and newer retailers and restaurants. The historic neighborhood in Northwest Philly has also seen an interest in revitalization, with programs like JumpStart Germantown launching to help first-time developers work on smaller rehab projects throughout the area, while the community recently rallied to win grant money to restore its African American landmarks located along the Germantown Avenue corridor. Even bigger changes are afoot with the redevelopment of nearly a dozen properties around the Wayne Junction station.

Should red hot University City or historic Germantown advance to the next round? Polls are open for 24 hours, so vote now!