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Learn About the Data

Citywide, Philadelphia has more than 400 possible Rebuild sites:

  • 128 parks
  • 130 playgrounds
  • 54 libraries
  • 93 recreation centers
  • 14 other facilities (such as older adult centers, environmental centers, trails, etc.)
  • 8 watershed parks that serve the entire city and region

In early 2016, a robust data analysis and planning process was completed to inform how sites will be selected. The analysis focused on information such as the physical condition of sites, communities presenting the greatest need for investment, and communities presenting the greatest opportunity for economic growth.

Community and Site Conditions

The physical conditions of sites vary greatly and present needs ranging from basic upgrades of sidewalks to the partial or complete overhaul of a library or recreation center.


Rebuild investments will target facilities selected from the 400+ possible sites. The site condition data will inform guide decision making by answering the following questions: 

What is the condition of each facility, and what does it need?

For example:  Is the recreation center in need of a major reconstruction or just some minor repairs?  Does the playground need a new play surface or entirely new play equipment and lighting? Is the library often closed due to lack of heat or air conditioning, or is its roof leaking, causing damage to books and other materials?


What work is already underway to improve the site?

For example: Which sites have recently had some money invested, but not enough to upgrade the site fully? Where have Council members committed resources in partnership with residents or Friends groups to upgrade their local park or library?

What is the neighborhood context around each facility?

For example: Where is population increasing or decreasing? Which parks and libraries are in areas that face the greatest health risks? What is the poverty rate?

Where are the opportunities to coordinate and improve services?

For example: Where does a library share a location with a park?  Where could a library and a health center - located close to one another - be considered as an opportunity to improve both sites, and in doing so, increase access to information and assistance? 

Learn more about how you can provide your input here. 

Equity Factors

Data analysis identified communities with great need that present opportunities to address inequity across the city. Citywide mapping explored population density, demographics, income and poverty, crime, and neighborhood health indicators.

After extensive mapping, analysis, and discussion with civic leaders and City staff, three core data sets were chosen, which will help identify communities in need:   

  • Poverty – Percent of Families with Income below Poverty Level
    • Source: American Community Survey, 2009-2013
  • Criminal Activity – Drug/Narcotics Offenses
    • Source: Philadelphia Police Department, Open Data Philly, 2012-2014
  • Neighborhood Health Indicators – Asthma, Diabetes, Obesity
    • Source: PolicyMap, Centers for Disease Control, 2013

Economic Growth Factors

To identify opportunities for Rebuild to drive economic growth and support positive change or stability in Philadelphia neighborhoods, data analysis included a review of household growth, building permits for new residential construction, and demographic and housing data.  Three core data sets were chosen to help identify communities where Rebuild can reinforce stable neighborhoods or improve park and library facilities in areas that are growing:

  • Household Growth
    • Source: Census, 2000-2010
  • New Residential Construction Permits
    • Source: Philadelphia City Planning Commission & Licenses & Inspections, 2010-2014
  • Market Value Analysis
    • Source: The Reinvestment Fund, 2016

Every park, playground, library, and recreation center was mapped to reflect where the site falls on the hotspot maps for each of the six datasets. This information will help inform how to prioritize potential Rebuild sites based on surrounding neighborhood context.

Other Factors

In addition to the six primary datasets analyzed, Rebuild also considered the following factors for every park, playground library, and rec center:

  • Level of programming offered by Parks and Recreation and the Free Library compared to population density; with the goal of identifying areas that have limited programming even though there is a large number of residents living in the neighborhood 
  • Opportunities for co-location, to highlight potential Rebuild sites that are either:
    • on the same piece of land,
    • right next to each other, or
    • near schools, high-quality childcare and pre-K providers, health centers, Police Athletic League (PAL) centers, or Keyspots (community computer center for job seekers)
  • Opportunities to leverage additional resources, such as projects that present priorities for the Philadelphia Water Department to invest in stormwater management infrastructure.
  • Input from Councilmembers and civic leaders, to ensure that the data accurately reflects the realities in communities.

Example of Co-Location

Community Health & Literacy Center

The South Philadelphia Community Health and Literacy Center is an example of a cutting-edge co-located project, rebuilt through a public-private partnership to include a City Department of Public Health community health center, a Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHoP) pediatric primary care clinic, a branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, and a playground and recreation center operated by Parks and Recreation.

See below for more examples of co-location opportunities.