Regional Study Shows That New Hope Lived Up to Its Name During the Pandemic

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New Hope, PA Visitor Center
Image via Wally Gobetz at Creative Commons.

A new study by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) found that Philadelphia-area downtowns with a diverse mix of uses — such as New Hope — fared better during the pandemic, writes Natalie Kostelni for the Philadelphia Business Journal

The DVRPC reported several characteristics that shielded downtowns like New Hope from the worst of the pandemic’s implications: 

  • Mix of residential and retail uses 
  • Transportation options 
  • Permanent residential populations 
  • Access to trails 
  • Walkability 

Communities without these assets didn’t fare as well. 

The study looked at 75 downtowns in the Philadelphia region and analyzed data from before the pandemic, during lockdowns, and now, as restrictions are easing. 

“I was excited to see the findings,” said Spencer K. Gober, a senior planner at DVRPC who conducted the study. “It reinforces what planning professionals have been advocating for and that’s diversity, allowing for development, a mix of uses and walkability. As a walk score went up, the pandemic impact score went down.” 

Read more about the study’s findings in the Philadelphia Business Journal

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