South Street Headhouse District announces assistant director 

Photo Credit: Beaumonde Originals (from left to right: Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman and Mike Harris)
Photo Credit: Beaumonde Originals (from left to right: Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman and Mike Harris)

The South Street Headhouse District named Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman in the role of assistant director. A resident of the district for 6 years Johnston-Zimmerrman has been an active volunteer, chairing SSHD committees, serving on the board of directors and working in tandem with the district to facilitate a thriving commercial corridor. Prior to this role, Katrina worked with the South Street Headhouse District in various capacities as a consultant, including a Knight Foundation grant that conducted pedestrianization studies during the pandemic and gathered South Street Stories from over 2,000 neighbors and visitors via an online survey. This project resulted in an on-street SSHD office and museum, which is now manifested in the South Street Off Center location at 407 South St.

“I moved to Philly because of South Street,” Johnston-Zimmerman said. “After visiting a friend who lived at 8th and South, I immediately fell in love. They say South Street has a soul and I could feel it. I’ve lived on 4th Street (north and south of South Street) ever since. My roots are here and it’s here that I am taking root. I’m so excited to be continuing my commitment to this special place as the assistant director of the South Street Headhouse District.” 

In this role, Katrina will be assisting executive director Mike Harris on a variety of projects from grant writing to community engagement to ongoing research on the pedestrian and economic data of the district. One of her key responsibilities will be managing a business community-led taskforce that will craft the five-year vision plan for the Business Improvement District. She will be working closely with local politicians and more than 450 small business owners to advocate for increased visibility and vibrancy within this iconic Philadelphia destination.

Prior to joining the South Street Headhouse District, Katrina worked for the City of Philadelphia as a Data Fellow for the Smart Cities Department, conducting comparative research on data equity and privacy policy for public data toward a “master data strategy” for the city. 

She brings more than 10 years of experience working with organizations including Copenhagenize, Project for Public Spaces and City ID to bring humanist philosophy and practice into city planning and design. Additionally, she has taught as an Adjunct Professor for the Masters of Urban Strategy at Drexel University and as a guest lecturer for the Masters in Urbanism program at the Royal Institute for Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.