Books | Publications | Video


Fixing Broken Cities: The Implementation of Urban Development Strategies

(Routledge, 2009)

FIXING BROKEN CITIES is about the planning, execution, and impact of investment strategies designed to bring about transformative changes in urban downtowns and neighborhoods. Each chapter addresses a major concern, from enlivening the downtown area to eliminating industrial-age blight, repopulating high-vacancy zones, and providing quality public education options.

“Given the current economic crisis and the new direction in urban policy from the Obama Administration, this book is a must read.”

Parris N. Glendening, President, Smart Growth Leadership Institute and former Governor of Maryland

Neighborhood Recovery: Reinvestment Policy for the New Hometown

(Rutgers University Press, 2000)

How can we help distressed urban communities recovery from a generation of economic loss and reposition themselves for success in today’s economy? Although many have proposed solutions to the problems of neighborhoods suffering from economic disinvestment, John  Kromer, in his role as Philadelphia’s housing director, has actually put solutions to work. Part war story, part how-to manual, and part advocacy for more effective public policy, Neighborhood Recovery describes how a blending of public-sector leadership and community initiative can produce successful and lasting results.

“John Kromer’s analysis is grounded in real-world experience and proven accomplishments. This book is a primer on how to revitalize an American city.”

Henry Cisneros, former Secretary, U.S. Department of  Housing and Urban Development


Money, Mojo and Votes: Political Reform and Election Reality in Philadelphia  With Julie Proulx and Andy Denison (2012)

This eBook provides unique insight into the campaign experiences of Philadelphia’s reform-minded candidates. The candidates reflect on the high-stakes strategic decisions that determined their success or the miscalculations that meant failure on Election Day. The book also shows how new low cost, high-tech innovations let any candidate “micro-target” like-minded voters throughout the city and produce an Election Day upset. The authors expose the dynamics of reform candidates’ campaigns through revealing in-depth interviews, a robust array of digital map illustrations and precise analysis of newly available voter data. Money, Mojo, and Votes is a must-read for current and future political candidates, for members of civic, business, and community groups interested in reform candidacies, and for anyone interested in influencing constructive change in municipal government via the ballot box. It is available on

Money, Mojo and Votes Support Material

Maps | Figures | Illustrations

Tables | Election Results | Finances


Money, Mojo and Votes: John Kromer, Stephanie Singer and Brett Mandel  talk about their experiences and provide insights important to any political reform effort that wants to win. Watch Video

Policy Papers

Kromer Campaign for Philadelphia: “Last Sheriff” Archives (2011)

Vacant Property Reclamation through Strategic Investment in Eastern North Philadelphia, 1998-2010 (2010).

Neighborhood Stabilization and Safety in Eastern North Philadelphia, 1998-2010 (2010)

Beyond the Foreclosure Crisis: Reconstituting the Rental Housing Market in Pennsylvania (2009)

Allentown Progress Report: Housing Asset Management Strategy in Allentown, PA (2009)

Vacant Property Reclamation and Neighborhood Change in Southwest Center City Philadelphia (2008)

A Housing Strategy for Allentown’s Central City Neighborhoods (2007)’s-downtown-neighborhoods.

Philadelphia’s Residential Tax Abatement: Accomplishments and Impacts (2005)

West Philadelphia Initiatives: A Case Study in Urban Revitalization (2005)

Vacant Property Reclamation and Development in York, PA (2004)

Vacancy Inventory and Reinvestment Strategies for Reading, PA (2004)

Vacant Property Policy and Practice: Baltimore and Philadelphia, (The Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy, 2002)