Linda Harris, Director of Communications
The Center City District (CCD) is a business improvement district created in 1990. Its initial plan and budget were approved by Center City property owners in August 1990 and by the City of Philadelphia in November 1990. The CCD began operations on March 20, 1991. Its mission: to make Center City Philadelphia clean, safe and attractive.
In 1994, CCD was authorized to finance and implement a comprehensive program of streetscape improvements and to extend its lifespan to 2015.
In 2004, CCD was once again reauthorized through 2025, enabling it to refinance its 1995 streetscape improvement bonds at a lower interest rate.
Most recently, in 2007, with a significant increase in new office, hotel and residential properties, property owners and the City of Philadelphia approved a new CCD plan and budget that allows it to provide expanded levels of service while continuing to keep annual cost increases in line with the rate of inflation.
To download the 2008–2012 Plan and Budget (PDF), click here.
In 1997, CCD entered into an agreement to manage the Central Philadelphia Development Corporation (CPDC). Through research, planning and advocacy, CPDC seeks to improve the competitiveness and attractiveness of Center City.
CCD is funded by Center City property owners who pay an annual charge directly to the District based on their property tax assessment.
CCD is governed by a 23-member board of directors representing a wide cross section of Philadelphia's leaders in business, labor, education, and cultural and health care institutions. Services are provided directly by staff and by competitively selected private contractors.
- Deploys 89 sidewalk sweepers, mechanical sweepers and mechanical scrubbers daily to ensure that every walkway is cleaned at least three times a day and power-washed at least monthly (except in winter).
- Has zero tolerance for graffiti. In 2007, CCD crews removed over 400 graffiti tags and thousands of stickers from buildings, bus shelters, signs and street furniture.
- Collected 3 million gallons of trash in 2007.
- Deploys uniformed Community Service Representatives on foot seven days a week to provide public safety, hospitality and homeless outreach services.
- Participates in a unique cooperative effort with the Philadelphia Police Department in which police officers and civilian CSRs stand roll call together each day and jointly plan deployment strategies.
- Pioneered the use of computerized crime tracking in 1993 in partnership with the police.
- Has worked in partnership with the police to bring down major crime in Center City by nearly 39% and nuisance crime, such as theft from auto, by almost 79% between 1996 and 2007.
- Provides an array of crime prevention programs including safety audits for office buildings and retail establishments, retail safety seminars, and welcome events for downtown office workers.
- Dramatically improved the perception of public safety, with 73 percent of respondents to the CCD's annual customer satisfaction survey, indicating that they feel safe most of the time or always in Center City.
- Is the primary sponsor of the Philadelphia Community Court, an innovative, problem-solving court that combines criminal justice and social services to provide a comprehensive response to quality-of-life crimes.
- Installed more than 2,000 pedestrian-scale lighting fixtures throughout Center City that have doubled and even tripled nighttime illumination.
- Planted and maintains 850 trees, 130 decorative planters and other landscaping.
- Designed, installed and maintains the award-winning Walk!Philadelphia system of directional signs.
- Designs and installs festive and colorful banners, transit shelters maps and posters to enhance the attractiveness of Center City's pedestrian environment.
- Makes physical improvements to Center City, including innovative lighting applications and reconstruction and regreening of public open spaces.
- Is the downtown business community's research, planning and advocacy arm.
- Works to make Center City Philadelphia attractive and competitive to office tenants, developers, retailers, entrepreneurs and residents.
- Celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2006. CPDC was founded in 1956 as Old Philadelphia Development Corporation (OPDC), a private non-profit corporation to augment and support public efforts at comprehensive renewal in Center City. In 1982, OPDC changed its name to Central Philadelphia Development Corporation. CCD assumed management of CPDC in 1997.
- Initiatives include the Central Philadelphia Transportation Management Association (CPTMA), dedicated to promoting the use of alternatives to the automobile for travel to and from Center City, housing, and business attraction and promotion.
- Members represent more than 125 businesses and non-profit institutions with a stake in the future of Center City.