ISSUE 214 | July 13, 2023

The Institute is an economic research and applied research and consulting group that provides customized client solutions and strategies to facilitate decision making and planning that enhances growth, impact, and sustainability for organizations.
From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News

Statewide conversations emphasize importance of outdoor recreation 

PA’s Director of Outdoor Recreation has engaged stakeholders throughout the Commonwealth in discussions about the community, economic, and public health value of outdoor recreation.

The establishment of an official state office could help facilitate funding opportunities for park projects and land conservation, while enhancing outdoor recreation infrastructure.

The state’s outdoor economy is the sixth largest in the nation.

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Local music program performs for seniors  

Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic expanded their outreach to include senior citizens at nursing homes and assisted living centers.

With funding from the Scranton Area Community Foundation and Temple B’Nai B’Rith, musicians perform small concerts at facilities throughout the region.

Music elevates moods and soothes anxiety while bolstering focus and memory and encouraging movement and communication. 

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Developer promises fossil-free site at former refinery


A refinery in South Philadelphia is undergoing redevelopment for enhanced sustainability.

When operational, it was among the largest oil refineries in the east – and the largest source of particulate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in the city.

The site is anticipated for use as a life sciences campus and a warehousing and logistics hub, though concerned residents are interested in greater assurance regarding the use of renewable energy.

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From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News

Innovative resource tool aims to advance public health equity    


Design thinking is the process of aligning strategic vision with technological possibilities.

It aided the development of the Public Health and Equity Resource Navigator (PHERN), which in turn promotes design thinking, coalition development, and knowledge management.

PHERN is a no-cost public tool that allows users to explore more than 1,000 resources that address COVID recovery, equity-building, and sustainable public health care. 

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Lack of charging access hinders EV use in communities of color

Consumer Reports survey data indicates that people of color are interested in electric vehicle usage.

Thirty-three percent of White respondents, 38 percent of Black respondents, 43 percent of Latino respondents, and 52 percent of Asian American respondents would “definitely” or “seriously consider” purchasing or leasing electric vehicles (EV).

Individuals who are Black or Latino are less likely than others to own homes, however, so lack of charging capability presents a significant challenge and an equity issue.


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Community land trusts respond to climate change 

Natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and wildfires, have increased in frequency and severity.

They also lead to substantial economic cost, and households often regarded as low-income (such as mobile homes, RVs, and some rental units) face the brunt of impact and displacement.

In response, community land trusts (CLTs) have begun investing in disaster-resilient neighborhoods.


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