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At Development ... for Good: Women Built It

How the changing face of development in Philadelphia is helping shape a city by and for women.

Join us June 18 starting at 5pm at the Fitler Club Ballroom for another installment of The Citizen’s Real Estate Development… for Good, powered by Drexel University’s Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation and Fitler Club, on—literally—building a better, more inclusive, and prosperous Philadelphia featuring:

Melissa Schrock, Hilco Redevelopment Partners’ EVP of Mixed-Use Development, including Philly’s Bellwether District; Andreina Perez Hein, Executive Director of Everybody Builds, which is working to diversity the building trades; Lindsey Scannapieco, Managing Partner of Scout, designer and developer of the Bok Building; and Monica Miraglilo, founder of GirlBuild, which holds workshops that teach women how to manage home rehab projects. Moderated by Drexel’s Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman, founder and director of THINK.urban.

$5 for entry. Free to Philadelphia Citizen and Fitler Club members. Complimentary drinks and light bites will be available for guests to enjoy.



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The Citizen Recommends: Women Build It

The next in our Development … for Good series explores how a city designed by and for women could transform Philadelphia

The Citizen Recommends: Women Build It

The next in our Development … for Good series explores how a city designed by and for women could transform Philadelphia

Take a look around any modern city, including Philadelphia, and you’ll find evidence of streets and neighborhoods designed to work best for the people who have traditionally designed them: Men.

This has often meant bus stops that are poorly lit and feel unsafe. Intersections with cars turning every which way that pose a hazard for children — who are still overwhelmingly cared for by women. Narrow sidewalks that make pushing a stroller, or carrying groceries, difficult. Too few public bathrooms (women need them more often)..

“If you look out your window at a city that you live in anywhere around the world, it’s likely everything that you’re looking at and living in and moving through has been designed and managed by men,” says Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman, an urban anthropologist at Drexel University and founder of THINK.urban.

That has, thankfully, started to change here in Philadelphia, where women increasingly are overseeing development, construction and urban planning — traditionally male-dominated fields — in both government and the private sector. Four of these women will talk about the work they are doing to create a city that is inclusive and welcoming of all at The Citizen’s next Development … for Good event on June 18, in partnership with Fitler Club and Drexel’s Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation.

The event will feature:

  • Melissa Schrock, executive vice president of Mixed-Use Development for Hilco Redevelopment Partners, who is overseeing the building of the Bellwether District, Hilco’s ambitious multi-use industrial project on the site of the former Sunoco refinery that promises to bring 19,000 jobs to Southwest Philly.
  • Lindsey Scannapieco, managing partner of Scout, which bought and redeveloped the shuttered Bok School into a hub of arts and wellness studios, and light manufacturing facilities — along with a day care, health center, cafe and restaurants that serve the whole neighborhood.
  • Andreina Perez Hein, a former construction industry and nonprofit officer, is now executive director of Everybody Builds, working to diversify the building trades to be inclusive of people of color and women, who as recently as last year still made up only 10.8 percent of construction workers.
  • Monica Miraglilo, a former QVC model-turned interior designer-turned real estate developer, who founded GirlBuild, which holds workshops that teach women how to manage home rehab projects.

The conversation will be moderated by Johnston-Zimmerman, who co-founded the Women Led Cities Initiative, a project aimed at making cities better places for women to live — work that earned her a spot on the BBC’s 100 Women 2019 list.

Changing the face of who designs cities is not about favoring women over men; cities that are safer, more pleasant and easier to live in are better for everyone. Wider sidewalks make it easier for people who use wheelchairs. Better lighting and more benches also help older people at bus stops. Safer intersections are better for bikers and all pedestrians, including children. And everyone can use more public bathrooms.

The way we think about buildings, too, changes when we consider how best they can serve all the people who are using them. As Johnston-Zimmerman put it in The Citizen a couple years ago: “When you think of [a city] more like a home, rather than thinking of it as an accumulation of buildings you look at it differently. You’re thinking about giving everybody the opportunity to thrive.”

Development … for Good: Women Built It will be held at the Fitler Club Ballroom, 1 South 24th Street, 5pm happy hour with the program to follow at 6pm. $5 for entry. Free to Philadelphia Citizen and Fitler Club members. Complimentary drinks and light bites will be available for guests to enjoy.


The panelists and host of Women Built It, from left to right: Andreina Perez Hein, Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman, Monica Miraglilo, Melissa Schrock, and Lindsey Scannapieco

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