About Us Expertise Speeches & Press Contact Us

case study

Next Great City


Change Created Made sustainability key issue for City of Philadelphia.
Achieved 13 out of 15 reform agenda items.
See the chart of accomplishments
Tools Used Built enduring coalition of more than 100 citywide organizations.
Client PennFuture
Timeframe 2007 – present

The Next Great City Coalition was founded in 2007. The city’s largest foundation, the William Penn Foundation, reached out to PennFuture and May 8 Consulting to explore whether Philadelphia’s environmental and sustainability groups could join together around a single city agenda. May 8 facilitated an 8-month long process in which the organizations reached consensus. The development of criteria to be used to select agenda items proved critical in achieving consensus.. This criteria included the need for recommendations to be within the Mayor’s power, to be capable of being accomplished within four years, to be important to rowhouse and business Philadelphia as reflected in surveys, and to be high-impact and feasible. This criteria continued to be used in both 2007 and 2015 agenda setting efforts.

The 2007 Coalition reached consensus on ten recommendations and then brought those recommendations to other city leadership organizations asking for their support. As a result, the Next Great City formed an enduring coalition made up of over 100 civic associations, labor unions, businesses, public health organizations, environmental nonprofits, faith-based organizations, and social service groups.

The Coalition continues to work 8 years later to create a positive future for Philadelphia by advocating for common sense, cost-effective policies that enhance environmental quality, strengthen neighborhoods and increase our economic competitiveness. Since 2007, we have identified and implemented fifteen recommendations. To see how much we have achieved to date, see the impressive chart of accomplishments.

The Coalition has identified six key initiatives for the four-year Mayoral term beginning in 2015. Go here for more information.


case study



Change Created Reformed city’s development review process and zoning.
See the case study
Tools Used Brought non-profit, government and business practitioners together to reform the economics of building in Philadelphia.
Client Building Industry Association
Timeframe 2004-2012

The FixItPhilly Coalition was founded in 2004 when ten non-profit groups endorsed a Building Industry Association of Philadelphia report written by May 8 Consulting titled, If We Fix It, They Will Come. The report identified ten key challenges to developing real estate in Philadelphia and articulated a detailed action plan to eliminate these obstacles. Armed with a common agenda, May 8 facilitated the coalition as they reformed the city’s development review process over seven years and two mayoral administrations. This case study explores what this coalition has achieved to date and what made the collaboration both innovative and effective.

For more information, read FixItPhilly: A Coalition Case Study.