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Letters to the Editor: You Can Help Sustain Center City's Recovery


Philadelphia has restored all 120,000 jobs that were lost in the spring of 2020, according to recent federal employment data. But that doesn’t mean everyone is back.

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On weekends, visitors, shoppers, and tourists are at 92% of 2019 levels and 74% on weekdays. There are more people living in Center City than three years ago, but only 64% of all workers are back on a regular basis with return rates at 50% in the office district. 

While the world in 2024 will be different from 2019, the vitality of Center City and the jobs it provides for residents of our neighborhoods means it’s essential that we make everyone feel welcome to come back.

During the last three years, contributions to the CCD Foundation have enabled the Center City District (CCD) to expand services and park programming to meet this moment’s unique challenges. 

We have expanded our public safety bike patrol and our Ambassadors of Hope homeless outreach, supplementing the work of Community Service Representatives and sidewalk cleaners supported by CCD assessments.

Property owners and businesses along West Walnut Street funded dozens of planters to enhance a prime retail corridor while building owners on West Market Street and JFK Boulevard funded similar landscape enhancements and bike lane improvements. A grant from the State will enable even more bike lane planters in the office district. These new planters, along with more than 400 existing planters and 800 trees, are maintained by CCD with support provided by generous, individual donors to the CCD Foundation. Donors also help fund a wide variety of events and activities in Dilworth Park and Sister Cities Park.

With the arrival of spring, we invite you to build on this positive momentum by supporting the CCD Foundation with a charitable gift. There are many challenges remaining and much more work to be done. 

A gift to the Center City District Foundation is a gift to all Philadelphians. Make your impact today by giving online at

Recovery depends on the basics—clean and safe— as well as amenities like landscaping, quality parks, and arts and cultural programming. Your generosity can sustain the Foundation’s programming for children, showcase Philadelphia’s arts and cultural institutions in our parks, and green our retail, residential and office corridors while supporting essential public safety services through our bike patrol and homeless outreach.

We can’t fill all the gaps, but with your support we can expand our impact, raise our sights and lift the spirits of Center City residents, workers and visitors. 

Paul R Levy
President and CEO Center City District