North Philadelphia can be divided into three minor districts which include the East and West Oak Lane or Olney area, the Upper North Philadelphia and the Lower North Philadelphia.
The previous decades proved to be a challenge for residents of North Philadelphia because of the diminishing economy. The rich wealth of history, education and culture became an irony with the increasing crime rate and surmounting poverty that earned North Philadelphia the status of a being slum area, although some did not readily accept this generalization.
Areas in Olney, Allegheny and Erie, though having active communities, are dealing hardly with drugs, rising crime rates and lack of funds. The city government’s effort to revive areas of North Philadelphia had varying results. Efforts of gentrification especially in the Brewerytown, Francisville, North Liberties, Poplar and West Kensington resulted in more positive outcomes. Other districts, however, remained stagnant. Community residents also oppose these gentrifying measures and view this as a deterioration of the neighborhood’s traditional character.
The Northeast area of Philadelphia is more commonly known for its Irish-American populace, as multitude of Irish immigrants settled in this area decades ago. With the mass departure of the white population to the suburbs, an influx of Hispanic and Asian immigrants increased over time, calling this once white-dominated area their home. Neighborhoods in Northeast Philadelphia include Bustleton, Crescentville, Frankford, Fox Chase, Holme Circle, Holmesburg, Lawndale, Mayfair, Morrell Park, Oxford Circle, Parkwood, Pinewood, Rhawnhurst, Tacony, Torresdale, and Somerton. Northeast Philadelphia occasionally includes the Bridesburg, Port Richmond and the Fishtown districts also.
Development in this region has been consistent with a more relatively stable economy. However, it has also been affected by downfalls in manufacturing. At present, Northeast Philadelphia has a thriving real estate, with increasing numbers of residential units being offered.
Philadelphia’s Northwest region is divided by the Wissahickon Creek into two sub- areas with Gemantown, Mount Airy and Chestnut Hill on the east, and Roxborough and Manayunk on the west. Each of these areas has their particular groups of neighborhoods. Northwest Philadelphia is unique among the other city areas as it preserves its suburban characteristic. It is well-known for its hill landscapes found along the Manayunk and Roxborough areas.
West Philly, as it is generally called, includes the city area west of Schuylkill, including some neighborhoods in Southwest Philadelphia. The increase in population was evident during the early 1900’s. The middle class citizens once dominated this area and some of the exclusive real estate properties in the country were abundant especially in the western areas. The following decades, however, led to its deterioration. Along with the escalating crime rates, much of the middle and upper class residents transferred to the suburban regions and other city areas.
Over the years, renovation of the neighborhoods in West Philadelphia was made by the University of Pennsylvania. The gentrification efforts lured many professionals and families to move to the area.
South Philadelphia, also labeled as ‘South Philly’ includes the area bordered by South Street on the north, Delaware River on the east and south and the west by the Schuylkill River. This area contains a diverse population with Italians, Americans, Irish-Americans, African Americans and Asian immigrants settling in the district. Most neighborhoods in South Philadelphia are known as ‘Little Italys’ as they are dominated by mostly Italian-Americans. The transfer of the South Philadelphian majority led to new opportunities for many migrants, thus molding the areas’ unique and diverse culture. It is also a traditionally working-class region and substantially unionized, thus very much having a Democratic population.
The Southwest Philadelphia district has a population of more than 80,000, with a majority of black American residents. This can be referred to as the area south of Baltimore Avenue, which was then called the ‘Hub of Southwest Philadelphia’. Southwest Philadelphia can be described as the region extending from the west side of the Schuylkill River up to the city line. The railway line SEPTA R3 Media-Elwyn is the common reference point that divides it from West Philadelphia and also serves as its border on the north.
The Center City
The Center City or ‘downtown’ is Pennsylvania State’s Central Business District. It has a population of over 88,000, also making it the third most inhabited downtown in the country. This district is bordered by South Street on the south, the Delaware River on its east side, the Schuylkill River on the west and the Vine Street on the northern side. The areas bounded by 11th Street, the Broad Street, Chestnut Street and Pine Street was chosen as vicinity called Gayborhood in 2007.