re ·cy ·cled    [ree-sahy-kuhld] verb – to alter or adapt for new use without changing the essential form or nature of

Philadelphia has so much to offer as a muse for community planning. If you can make your way to an Amtrak station, I encourage you to take the train to Philly and meander, literally. Just wind your way from 30th Street Station to Penn’s Landing. You will not be disappointed. Study the paving, the signage, the construction of the new, the preservation of the old, the parks ~ big and small (we can’t all have a Rittenhouse Square), but most of all, keep your eyes open for inspiration when you least expect it.

philly skating

For example, while attending the commissioning ceremony for the Navy’s new amphibious ship the USS Somerset over the weekend, this view from the flight deck caught my eye. It was Penn’s Landing Winter Fest, a temporary skating rink below the Chestnut Street pedestrian connector. What is so inspirational is the use of recycled shipping containers to create the adjacent support spaces. As skaters warmed up with hot cocoa and snacks, they were able to do so by passing through an assemblage of old cargo containers which form both a physical and historical connection to the Delaware River’s shipping heritage.

What elements of your own community can be recycled in unique, creative ways? It does not need to be shipping containers or a skating rink. How can you combine recycled content into your plans, special events, and everyday community revitalization efforts at all scales?