PlanPhilly

Planning

    • 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…

    • Skyline from Drexel Park

“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…

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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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