Collingswood - a “Classic Town”
Collingswood starts its second year as part of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission's (DVRPC) marketing program entitled Classic Towns of Greater Philadelphia. The program aims at growing, revitalizing and supporting the region’s older suburbs and urban neighborhoods - designed to promote 11 Classic Towns as great places to live, work and play.
Collingswood is part of the inaugural Classic Towns class of 2008 which also includes Ambler, Bristol Borough, Doylestown Borough, Lansdowne, Media and West Chester in Pennsylvania; the Philadelphia neighborhoods of Manayunk and Overbrook Farms; and Collingswood, Haddon Heights and Riverton in New Jersey. A new set of towns for 2009 will be announced soon. Only a totaly of approximately 30 towns will be honored as Classic Towns - a very selective and distinguished title.
“DVRPC has selected some of the best communities in the region as part of this initiative,” said Barry Seymour, Executive Director of DVRPC. “It’s designed to capitalize on the strength and diversity of our region and to rediscover these great towns. We want to help them attract new businesses, new residents, and to brand themselves as the best of what the Delaware Valley has to offer.”
Approximately 100 City officials, tourism executives and representatives from the 11 Classic Towns attended the press conference and launch of the program. During the event, the mayors from each Classic Town signed a symbolic declaration presented by historic interpreter Benjamin Franklin. The declaration affirms a commitment to walkable neighborhoods that are accessible to transportation and feature a strong sense of community.
“Collingswood jumped at the chance to participate in the program,” said Jim Maley, the borough’s mayor. “Like many of the other participating towns, Collingswood has had a terrific resurgence. Our location, combined with picturesque streets and quaint merchants, offers a quality of life you just can’t get in other suburban communities.”
More than one million people re-locate within the Greater Philadelphia region every year so this program highlights the “classic” communities and helps residents re-discover the beauty and diversity of our older towns.
Although the Greater Philadelphia region as a whole is promoted as a tourist destination and business center, many suburban communities lack the resources necessary to launch sophisticated and effective marketing programs that target specific demographic groups.
Understanding that the lifestyle and community amenities people desire may change as they move through different life stages, Classic Towns of Greater Philadelphia was developed to appeal to three target markets: young professional/childless couples, young families and empty nesters.
The Classic Towns program’s genesis dates to 2004 when, with funding from the William Penn Foundation, DVRPC launched the Strategies for Older Suburbs Initiative to stimulate and support reinvestment in the region’s older suburbs and urban neighborhoods through multiple and varied efforts. As part of that initiative, DVRPC
worked with a team of marketing and branding professionals to develop Classic Towns.
A new Web site for Classic Towns of Greater Philadelphia has been established at www.classictowns.org. The Web site will allow individuals to learn more about these communities as a whole, as well as specific neighborhoods and their amenities.
About the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission
DVRPC serves as the official planning and review agency for the nine-county metropolitan region, which comprises Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania; and Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Mercer counties in New Jersey. Through data collection, research, coordination, and planning efforts, DVRPC sets a framework for governmental decisions affecting development within the Delaware Valley. DVRPC fully complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and related statutes and regulations in all programs and activities.