See How Philadelphia Ranked Among Large Cities Based on Downtown Pandemic Recovery


Center City at dusk.

Philadelphia ranked in the lower part of the list among 31 large cities based on how quickly their downtowns surged back after the pandemic shutdowns, writes Amy Larson for PHL 17.

Researchers at the Institute of Governmental Studies’ public policy research center looked at various economic health factors for 31 major large cities to determine which seemed to be the least damaged by the economic uncertainty that lasted for nearly three years.

Downtown vitality was measured using three key indicators:

  1. Office vacancy rates
  2. Public transportation ridership
  3. Retail spending

“With the initial shock of the pandemic, downtowns emptied out,” reads the study. “Even as life has gradually returned to malls and neighborhood commercial corridors, the urban core is no longer a bustling center of activity. This trend has led many to wonder: Is this finally the death of downtown?”

Philadelphia came in at No. 24 on the list, with a 47 percent Downtown Recovery Quotient. The city also ranked in fifth place among the five Northeast cities included on the list.

Read more about the downtown recovery in PHL 17.


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