3401 West Girard Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19104
Call Us 267.225.8356
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3401 West Girard Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19104
267.225.8356 info@centennialparkside.org

Chris Spahr

Chris Spahr

Executive Director

My family has a long history in West Philadelphia. My mom grew up in Southwest Philly and I was born in the suburbs in Exton. I grew up in Mechanicsburg, PA just outside of Harrisburg but spent much of my childhood visiting family in the western suburbs of Philadelphia with occasional visits into the city. These awe-inspiring visits to the streets of Philadelphia sparked my love for cities and the energy that flows through them and inspired me to become an urban planner.

Beyond my work at the CDC and when I’m not chasing after my 2 year old daughter, I’m pursuing a PhD in Urban Planning from the University of Wisconsin. My research primarily focuses on how policy and urban design can help to build community and promote health and wellness across a spectrum of economic levels and demographic characteristics. These are the same topics that motivate me to serve the East Parkside community.
I have a varied background, which has allowed me to work in east Africa and South America as well in non-profit youth development in Harrisburg and as an urban planner in the private sector in Pennsylvania and in Wisconsin. The events in my life that have led me to Philadelphia are numerous and diverse, but all point in the direction of service to communities striving to reach their fullest potential. It is with this spirit that I am motivated to serve the East Parkside Community as the Executive Director of the Centennial Parkside CDC.

Education: University of Wisconsin, Madison – PhD in Urban and Regional Planning (ongoing); Shippensburg University – Masters in Geoenvironmental Studies; Penn State University – Bachelors in Environmental Resource Management

Work Experience: Peace Corps (Paraguay), 2005 – 2009; Michael Baker International (Harrisburg and Madison, Wisconsin) 2009-2014; State Smart Transportation Initiative (Madison, Wisconsin), 2013-2015; Obesity Prevention Initiative (Madison, Wisconsin), 2015 – 2017.

Extra-curriculars: Guitar, Soccer, Basketball, and doing puzzles with my 2 year old