Note new date and time!

Thursday, June 25

6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Oshiver Community Room, 3901 Market Street

For more information about the Friends of 40th Street, please contact Iola Harper of SCI-West at (215) 382-7522 x316 or


News and Events


Check out the website for the 40th Street Community Arts Collective. For more info on the Collective and arts in West Philadelphia, click here.

Click here to see pictures from the Friends' free emergency cell-phone giveaway!

The Friends of 40th Street in the press!

Online Forum for Community Discussion


Welcome to Friends of 40th Street - promoting the evolution of 40th Street in University City as a vibrant link between people and communities - a reflection of the robust and diverse cultures that contribute to the character of this very public place. It's the place where the University of Pennsylvania and West Philadelphia meet. It's a place where local merchants, residents, University students, and visitors participate in the time-honored exchange of commerce and culture - an exchange that is the foundation for the great civic spaces of our times.

40th Street is about history and planning, about a multiplicity of visions, uses and users. It is part of an evolving continuum of time and people and place.

40th Street, South of Walnut, 1964

And it's also about the future - about coming to a common understanding of what makes for a great street in the heart of a neighborhood that holds so many riches - of people, traditions, culture and knowledge.

The Friends of 40th Street is implementing the principles for the evolution of 40th Street in West Philadelphia between Lancaster Avenue and Baltimore Avenue that were developed during a month-long community engagement process in the winter of 2004. The Friends of 40th Street meet monthly on the last Friday of each month with three working task forces focused on arts, quality of life, transportation, and the development of the corridor. A Steering Committee also meets monthly to discuss task force developments and plan presentations for the upcoming general meetings. The links in the menu above, and particularly the online forum, offer you a place to add your voice to the many who feel passionately about 40th Street.

Welcome to 40th Street - we hope you come back often.

40th Street, Corner at Chestnut, 1964



Creating unity while maintaining diversity
40th Street Planning Principles

The following is a summary of the principles that were developed during a month-long community engagement process in the winter of 2004, and updated during a design process in August 2006. As a set, these principles represent a coherent image for the evolution of 40th Street in West Philadelphia between Lancaster and Baltimore Avenues. The Friends of 40th Street grew out of the community forum process and has assumed the responsibility for advocating for these principles.

The many faces of 40th Street

    Promote and sustain a rich urban blend of culture, class, age, race and gender along 40th Street with shops, services, arts and culture that reflect a vibrant sense of place. Aim for a mix of uses, such as residential living above small-scale retail that will enhance the innate character of this very public and urban thoroughfare.
Here, there, everywhere
    Blur the sharp distinctions between people and cultures that currently line 40th Street. 40th Street is a living, social and cultural corridor. It is also a place where many traditions merge and blend, a place where differences are respected and a place for people to feel welcome along its entire length.
To market, to market
    Encourage development by balancing a strong sense of social responsibility towards existing and new local businesses and jobs with free market economics. It must reflect daily local needs, as well as the larger social and cultural identities of University City.
It's our house
    Create and sustain the highest quality public street life on 40th Street from Filbert Street to Baltimore Avenue. Design the street so that street life reflects the vibrancy and values of the community.
Destination 40th Street
    Build on the diversity of uses and customers on 40th Street that change throughout the day, week and year. Think of 40th Street as both a local street and a unique destination where community meets campus with a rich offering of commerce and culture reflecting the surrounding neighborhood.
Building community
    Keep the dialogue going. Citizens of University City want to enlarge the public conversation about 40th Street and create a community-based process that will ensure continued consultation, communication, dialogue and promotion aimed at sustaining a viable vision for the future.

40th Street Green

    Think globally, act locally. Make 40th Street a leader in demonstrating how urban neighborhoods can promote environmental sustainability practices. Promote and increase the use of the existing public transportation infrastructure. Encourage green building practices and recycling. Reduce energy consumption, stormwater runoff, and waste streams. Make 40th Street a more responsible and better place for everyone


© 2004, 40th Street Community Forum and Serendip