November 2023

News + Updates


Opportunity Lives Here: An Economic Development Master Plan for Delaware’s Three Rivers Area

Earlier this month, Vice President Frank Robinson presented ESI's recent master plan for Delaware's Three Rivers area at the Opportunity Lives Here Symposium. 

Opportunity Lives Here: An Economic Development Master Plan for Delaware’s Three Rivers Area is a comprehensive strategy to build the local economy of a distressed area that has key assets for inclusive growth. ESI led a team of land use planners and community outreach strategists in developing a master plan that is informed by implementable examples and presents real opportunities for equitable economic development.

Read the full report here.

The Reimagining of FDR Park: The Economic Impact and Return on Environmental Resiliency

In 2022, Fairmount Park Conservatory commissioned ESI to conduct and economic impact analysis on FDR Park. FDR Park is a great asset for all Philadelphians. Using IMPLAN's input-output model, our team was able to calculate the economic and fiscal impact of the park today, as well as during and after redevelopment. 

Read more to learn about the environmental, health, and recreation benefits the park provides. 


Yesterday, Vice President Frank Robinson spoke on a panel at the ULI Philadelphia Real Estate Forecast 2024. Planning for a Competitive Future: Housing, Infrastructure, and Regional Solutions examined how cities are evolving with decreased revenue from office vacancies.

Learn more about the event here.

ESI will once again sponsor the Annual State of North Broad as an Underwriting Sponsor! The North Broad Renaissance will hold their annual Thank-A-Thon to thank sponsors and supporters.

Principal Steve Mullin spoke at the PICA Fall Conference this month which focused on the costs of climate change and how the City of Philadelphia can prepare. His presentation examined how climate change impacts local governments.

Staff and Senior Advisor Updates

Senior Advisor Maud Lyon was appointed the Interim President of the Belle Isle Conservancy, the non-profit advocacy and support organizations for Belle Isle, the 965-acre island park in Detroit, Michigan. 

Senior Advisor Steve Tang's book, "A Test for Our Time: Crisis Leadership in the Next Normal," debuted in March and reached "#1 New Release" status on Amazon in Public Health, Organizational Behavior, and Biographies of Scientists. In early 2024, he will begin the second part of his book and keynote speaking tour. Steve was also elected to the Board of Trustees for Lehigh University.

Congratulations to Senior Advisor Geoffrey Roche who was recruited to Siemens Healthineers to lead the company's workforce development in North America!

Joyce Lee, Senior Advisor and of the Philadelphia Environmental Justice Commission served on the working group jury to select the inaugural group of grantees of the Environmental Justice Grant.

Senior Advisor Bernie Markstein produced a report on estimates of September state construction unemployment rates for the Associated Builders and Contractors. He will also present his economic outlook at the annual meeting of the Chain Link Fence Manufacturers Institute in Palm Springs on November 17.

Senior Advisor Sylvie Gallier Howard and her team at Equitable Cities Consulting partnered with Connect the Dots to gauge demand for a direct flight between Philadelphia and Mexico for the PHL Airport and the Mexican Consulate. Fill out the survey by December 8 to make your voice heard!

ESI congratulates Senior Advisor Michael Golden on being named to the National ESOP Committee of The Private Directors Association, a national organization dedicated to promoting strong Boards of Directors in private companies.

Senior Advisor Yvette Nunez was promoted to Mastery Schools' first Chief of Staff after joining as Chief of External Affairs in January. With this promotion, her work in education continues further.

On October 18 and 19, an ESI cohort attended the Spatial Data Science Conference in New York City. The event consisted of 11 different workshops which focused around learning new techniques and applications of spatial data science. Some of our team commented on how the event was and what they found interesting.

Read more here.

U.S. - China Research

The Structural Obstacles and Technical Improvement in U.S.-China Relations

While the statement that “the U.S.-China relationship is the most crucial bilateral relationship in the world” may be disputed in the field of diplomacy, when considering the impact of such relations on the world, there is little room for doubt. Both the U.S. and China are the world's two largest economies, holding significant influence in terms of market size and trade volume on a global scale. Regardless of the state of their relationship, be it peaceful coexistence, mutual rivalry, or military confrontation – both countries have an unprecedented and substantial impact on the world.

Read more here

Present Value

Moving Cities: Montreal

by Lechuan Huang

Montreal's public transit system is the third largest in North America, and recently debuted a new light rail line: the REM. Phase 1 of the REM is now in service and additional phases will open over the next few years. Analyst Lechuan Huang examines influences and funding mechanisms for the system and the new line. 

Read more

The Importance of Down-Ballot Races

by John LaVaccare

Down-ballot races are frequently forgotten but no less important than the headlining races for mayor and city council. These ballots allow votes for commissioners, Sheriff, Register of Wills, and more more positions in government. Senior Analyst John LaVaccare examines historical trends with turnout in down-ballot races. 

Read more

Why Leadership Programs Like GPLEX are Good for Economic and Civic Vitality

by Frank Robinson

GPLEX gathers around 200 leaders from the Philadelphia area every year to connect and educate them, and strengthen our region’s communities and economic vibrancy. Vice President Frank Robinson, who attended the conference in New Orleans this year, speaks about his experience and the benefits of such events. 

Read more

Client Spotlight

The Navy Yard will begin to see changes as construction begins. Mosaic and Ensemble's plans include ultimately developing 4,000 residential units in order to transform the Navy Yard into a new neighborhood.

Pennrose and the Allegheny County Housing Authority celebrated the opening of Heritage HIghlands. The apartment units have gone through redevelopment in order to add onto affordable housing in the Pittsburgh area.

SEPTA gathered with elected officials for their ribbon cutting event at the new Conshohocken Station on November 9th. Service to the $15 million station began November 6.

Independence Blue Cross celebrates their 85th anniversary this month!

The City of Philadelphia welcomes back the annual Christmas Village in Love Park for its 16th season this year. Hours have been extended this, and a special weekend preview will be held November 18.

New Jersey Transit will be testing new QR code signs at multiple bus stops for riders. More than 50 stops in New Brunswick will now display these signs. 

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