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American Planning Association - Opportunity and Empowerment

The HUD Secretary's Opportunity & Empowerment Award honors excellence in community planning that has led to measurable benefits in terms of increased economic development, employment, education, or housing choice and mobility for low- and moderate-income residents. The award stresses tangible results and recognizes the planning discipline as an important community resource. It emphasizes how creative housing, economic development, and private investments are used in, or in tandem with, a comprehensive community development plan.

American Street Empowerment Zone Neighborhood Philadelphia

Since authorized as one of six federal urban empowerment zones in 1994, the American Street Empowerment Zone Neighborhood has brought in more than 100 new businesses to the area including a supermarket, several restaurants, four national retailers, and eight warehouses and distribution centers. Helping attract these businesses to the area has been a community-based lending institution, which has secured more than $21 million in private and public investments. Other changes through the Emowerment Zone include $8 million in streetscape improvements; operation of a new light-rail trolley along Girard Avenue; clean up of vacant lots; and improved neighborhood security.