PlanPhilly

Planning

    • Lisa Strickland and her mother Ann love their Eastwick neighborhood but would welcome more amenities within walking distance.

Mapping Philly’s most walkable neighborhoods

Ann Strickland, 87, has lived in the southwest corner of Eastwick for 37 years. Her small community of single-family homes sits right across from the John Heinz National Wildlife Conservatory at…

    • Fishtown residents debate a development project at a neighborhood zoning meeting.

Risky business: City Planning Commission votes down bill that would help community groups pay for insurance

The city will not be paying your local community organization’s insurance bill anytime soon. That’s the upshot of a City Planning Commission meeting that ended Tuesday with commissioners unanimously voting against…

    • 4th and Bainbridge streets, Photo by 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…

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ABOUT PLANNING

Urban planning is relatively new as an official profession, but most settlements and cities were created with varying degrees of consideration for layout and functionality.  All cities have been shaped and reshaped, from their street fabric to the details of the sewer lines all elements of the city are brought together into a cohesive whole.

It is not something we’re always conscious of, but our lives are shaped by urban planning – how far we live from our work, what transportation we use to get around, the size of our neighborhood park (if we have one), etc. Literacy in many different disciplines is required in order to shape the built environment, but planning mainly focuses on the integration of land use and transportation needs.

What constitutes good city planning has evolved over the years. For example, the urban renewal movement of the mid 20th century used eminent domain to tear down thousands of blocks of structures because they were considered slums. Many people were displaced without relocation plans from their neighborhoods, many of which would have likely been reborn today considering the trends of many current downtown renewal projects. Further, land that was once agricultural suddenly became ripe for residential development once a large-capacity road was built nearby, which has slowly deflated America’s farming industries.

There are many elements that factor into city planning processes.  They include:

  • Design/aesthetics
  • Safety/crime
  • Environmental sustainability and energy consumption
  • Transportation
  • Community involvement and input in the planning process

UPCOMING EVENTS IN PLANNING

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