Grounded in Philly – www.groundedinphilly.org – is a web mapping and organizing tool that provides access to data on vacant land throughout Philadelphia and offers resources to individuals interested in starting or preserving community-based vacant land projects.
Data on the more than 40,000 vacant lots in Philadelphia is extremely difficult to come by and can be even harder to use. The city’s current land management policies are severely lacking in transparency. Grounded in Philly consolidates vacant land data from the multiple city agencies who currently manage vacant lots and makes that data accessible to residents and activists. Additionally the site provides resources for individuals interested in securing legal use of a vacant lot or making one’s current use of a vacant lot more permanent.
This app also allows users to interact with data by correcting it, marking vacant lots if they are currently in use, and connecting with other users who are interested in starting a project on vacant land. Once users of Grounded in Philly elect to become a “watcher” or “organizer” on a particular lot, the site connects watchers and organizers and site facilitators can help these individuals start a conversation about initiating community-use of a piece of vacant land.
Grounded in Philly was created through a partnership between the Law Center’s Garden Justice Legal Initiative and 596 Acres out of Brooklyn, New York. 596 Acres launched a similar mapping tool two years ago and has since engaged with 14 groups that have started initiatives on vacant lots.
Grounded in Philly in the News
Grounded in Philly: Interactive map of 32k+ vacant lots – Technically Philly, July 2, 2013
Two Awesome New Resources for Philly’s Urban Gardeners – Philadelphia Magazine’s Be Well Philly, June 27, 2013
Website Connects Interested Parties with Vacant Lots – KYW Radio/CBS Philly, June 26, 2013
Residents Get New Tools to Help Vacant Lots Become Productive – Weekly Press, June 26, 2013
New website helps gardeners secure vacant land – Plan Philly, June 26, 2013
Putting Vacant Land on the Map: A Tech Tool to Solve Philly’s Blight Problem – Citypaper, June 25, 2013
Web tool aims to help Philly residents rescue blighted lots – Newsworks, June 24, 2013
Powerful App, New Coalition to Turn Vacant Lots into Green Spaces – Grid Magazine, June 20, 2013