The PHS Landcare program, begun over a decade ago by PHS, stands as an international model for post-industrial cities seeking to clean, green, stabilize and ultimately reduce their inventory of vacant land. A collaboration between PHS and the City of Philadelphia, PHS Landcare leverages public and private investment to provide and maintain interim landscape treatments to over 6,000 parcels of land in key transitional neighborhoods.
Although the intervention is simple—removing debris, planting grass and trees, and adding post-and-rail fencing—the results have been extraordinary. To date, approximately 15% of PHS Landcare properties have been sold and developed. Representatives from over 20 cities have visited Philadelphia to learn more about the PHS Landcare program, and it has become the subject of nationally-funded academic research. This research has demonstrated that the program dramatically raises property values, helps reduce crime, improves stormwater management, fosters healthier lifestyles, and strengthens communities through job and business growth.
Going forward, PHS will continue to engage with academic, community, and government partners to expand this widely recognized program.