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    • 4th and Bainbridge streets, Photo by Eyes on the Street
Eyes on the Street

An education in how to be a better neighborhood advocate

Learning how Philly government works can be a circuitous and sometimes frustrating thing. In my experience, it takes years. It takes walking the halls of City Hall, hours of random conversations…

    • A poster board with residents' comments at SEPTA's Route 49 open house last year

In Philly, planners increasingly want to talk with you, not at you

Public planning meetings can be contentious, to say the least. Randy LoBasso would know. As the communications director for the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, he attends a lot of these…

    • Society Hill

A master plan for Society Hill proposes new design guidelines -- and downzoning

The Society Hill Civic Association has presented a new master plan to the city’s Planning Commission, a proposal encompassing both an innovative way to manage the open space that laces throughout…

    • Girard Avenue trolley

Overhauling its bus network may be on SEPTA’s schedule soon

Buses are the sick man of SEPTA’s transit options. Though overall ridership has remained relatively flat, bus trips have fallen 33 million, or 17 percent, over the last five years. Now,…

    • Fishtown zoning meeting on St. Laurentius reuse, September 20, 2016 | Brad Larrison for WHYY

New bill would protect neighborhood groups from lawsuit-happy developers

City Councilman Bobby Henon has introduced a bill that would make city funds for insurance available to all registered community groups that hold zoning meetings regarding new development projects in their…

    • Girls play in Philadelphia's Dilworth Park (Photo credit: Matt Stanley for Center City District)

A movement for women-led cities launches in Philly

Meegan Denenberg often finds herself the only woman in the room. The co-founder of Philly-based Little Giant Creative and partner in several urban development and design-related initiatives and companies, she has…

    • Venise Whitaker (Photo credit: Lori Pedrick)
Eyes on the Street

Diary of a Philadelphia punk rock preservationist

By Venise Whitaker Generation X was described as the latchkey kids. We were the unfocused youth, the children of divorce. My two homes were both in Philly: my grandparents’ house in…

    • Philadelphia citizen planners participate in a workshop. Credit: Citizens Planning Institute

60 citizen planners will enter a very special Philly club tonight

Wish you could show up to your neighborhood civic association meeting and get people to listen to you the way they do to that know-it-all from down the block? Well, there…

    • Preliminary sketch of the proposed Temple on-campus football stadium. (Temple University)

Temple stadium moves forward, despite neighborhood opposition

Temple University announced today that it is taking the next step forward on a controversial 35,000 seat stadium in the heart of North Philadelphia. The university plans to file proposals to…

    • Recyclables being dumped at a recovery facility in Grays Ferry.

December 22: Catholic school redesign | HQ2 public doc available | Devil’s in the data

Hey what all did Philly end up submitting in the HQ2 bid? Jacob Adelman recaps the “heavily redacted” public document that outlines how the city would accommodate Amazon’s office space needs,…

    • A lone rower cruised under the setting sun

December 19: Women-led urbanism | Ghosts of train crashes | Car vending machine

Imagine women-led urbanism in practice and syllabus, urges Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman, contributing to Next City. Johnston-Zimmerman points out the maleness of seminal urban texts, the planning and architecture profession, and the contemporary…

    • A packed room at Pipeline Philly listens as Witty Gritty's/Urban Consulate's Michelle Freeman kicks off the discussion
Eyes on the Street

Design professionals discuss how to make room for all races in Philly public spaces

Sitting in front of a crowd of over one hundred, Tya Winn asked a row of audience members to stand. “There are about 25 of you standing,” the president of Philadelphia’s…

    • South Philly Library, Photo by Phillytrax

Down this Street before: Can Rebuild stick to its promise of data-driven, apolitical decisions?

The comparisons are irresistible: Less than three years into office, a Philadelphia mayor pushing through a major legislative initiative that promises to boost equity in long-neglected neighborhoods via a project financed…

    • Cobbs Creek

As it fills in final missing bits, Philly’s nearly-complete city plan exposes gap between neighborhood hopes and political realities

As Samantha Petty considered the Planning Commission’s proposals for her community, she experienced a wave of déjà vu. Standing in the hallway of West Philadelphia High School, at the last…

    • Leo Brundage in front of his house in Eastwick.

In Eastwick, belief that flooding during Hurricane Floyd was intentional still muddies the water

Eastwick residents have long endured regular flooding. The Southwest Philadelphia neighborhood is home to the lowest point in the city. The community sits within the federally-designated floodplain. Historically, Eastwick was a…

    • waterfront north of Benjamin Franklin Bridge
Eyes on the Street

Not built in a day: One of PlanPhilly’s creators reflects on a decade of dedicated built-environment coverage

Michael Greenle facilitated the process that created PlanPhilly in 2006, shaped its outreach strategy at PennPraxis, stewarded its move from Penn to WHYY, and is a member of PlanPhilly’s Advisory Board.…

    • Sharswood rowhouses, February 2016 | Kimberly Paynter/WHYY

Why does Philadelphia love downzoning so much?

Following the Planning Commission’s approval two weeks ago, a raft of zoning remapping bills sailed through a breezy City Council hearing on Tuesday. There were no questions from the arrayed councilmembers…

    • A skyline photo of Center City taken from West Philadelphia.

“Quality of Life” is Philadelphia’s biggest selling point. Can it survive an Amazonian invasion?

Like nearly every other city in North America, Philadelphia is putting the final touches on its bid to convince Amazon to build its second headquarters here ahead of Thursday’s deadline. The…

    • Fishtown zoning meeting on St. Laurentius reuse, September 20, 2016 | Brad Larrison for WHYY

Sleeping with the fishes: Fishtown Neighbors Association suspends operations after lawsuit causes insurance premium spike

Over the weekend, one of Philadelphia’s most visible civic organizations, Fishtown Neighbors Association (FNA), announced they would be suspending their activities. At the beginning of September , the community group received…

    • Gregory Heller, executive director of Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, told the resident the city will respect the outcomes of the study.

Ten months into planning process, Eastwick residents remain wary and divided

Eastwick’s Penrose Elementary School gym was packed and hot on last  Wednesday night, and it wasn’t because of a game. The school, located on 78th street, just two blocks from Cobbs…

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