Jake Blumgart

Jake Blumgart

Jake Blumgart is the development, planning, and housing reporter with WHYY's PlanPhilly.

There’s Something About Gritty

How a Philadelphia hockey mascot become a symbol of resistance for an angry time.

A mural on the side of a building shows a man standing in a city street.

The Polarizing Mayor Who Embodied ‘Blue-Collar Conservatism’

Frank Rizzo, Philadelphia’s mayor from 1972 to 1980, appealed to “law and order” and white working-class identity—a sign of politics to come, says the author of a new book.

The skyline of an edge city

Return to Edge City

It was one of the most talked-about urbanist books, and ideas, a generation ago. What ever happened to Joel Garreau’s concept of the “edge city”?

Cabrini-Green, foreground and mid-photo, seen against the Chicago skyline in 1996

The Rise and Fall of American Public Housing

In High-Risers, Ben Austen recounts the hopes, travails, and vilification of Chicago’s Cabrini-Green.

Should We Retire the Word 'Slum'?

In a new book, an urban historian argues that the term distorts the policies meant to help poor neighborhoods.

The Building Code Profession Is Dying Out, and That's a Problem

Many of the officials who check construction plans and inspect buildings for safety are on the cusp of retirement—and they’re not being replaced.

What If You Could Take the Safety Net With You?

A sharp critic of the gig economy says a “portable safety net” would help today’s untethered workers.

The Pain of the Permalancer

No security, no employer benefits, always having to hustle: these downsides of self-employment are well known. But what about the workload?

The Unseen Philadelphia

The city’s outlying working and middle-class neighborhoods are beginning to look increasingly unstable.

Navigating Philadelphia's Antiquated Mass Transit System: A Delegate's Guide

Good luck figuring out the bus schedules, using the concourses, and holding on to your tokens.

What Will Become of Levittown, Pennsylvania?

The archetypal postwar suburb has less socioeconomic diversity—and hardly more racial diversity—than it did in the 1950s.

The Bad Economics of Balkanized Suburbs

In Pennsylvania’s Delaware County, a patchwork of municipalities can easily find themselves with little room to maneuver.