Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Philadelphia's line up of transformational projects (courtesy of the Philadelphia Business Journal)

One of the participants in Philadelphia's Fashion Incubator.   PBJ photo. 

he PBJ did a nice feature on what they first termed the "Transformations: 50 things that will change Philadelphia in 2015."  Comments and communications on the piece led to a follow up, "Transformations: 50 projects that will change Philadelphia ... What did we miss?," with some additional projects.

Items include:
  • Camden, one of the metropolitan area's poorest communities, but across the river from Philadelphia, recruitment of the Philadelphia 76ers practice facility and headquarters.
  • Rise in the use of SEPTA, the area transit system, by younger demographic segments
  • The attraction of new residents to the city and the impact on an increasing number of inner city residents in terms of new construction and revitalization
  • various hospital mergers and expansions
  • the Live! (the brand of Baltimore-based Cordish Companies) Casino in South Philadelphia
  • pop up parks, the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk and Dilworth Park
  • Convention Center labor improvements
  • Failure of casinos in Atlantic City
  • Declines in funding for cultural institutions
  • Philadelphia's potential to become an energy hub because of its proximity to the Marcellus Shale natural gas production (and the revitalization of formerly declining refineries)
  • etc.
The Schuylkill Banks, the eight-mile river trail along the Schuylkill River, is undergoing long-term physical, social and economic developments, which includes the addition of the Grays Ferry Crescent Fishing Pier and the boardwalk and South Street ramp.  PBJ photo.

The lists are a good illustration of the wide variety of projects, issues, and entities that operate in and shape a community and a metropolitan area, the variety of scales at which the projects have significant effect (and sometimes not much effect at certain scales), the amount of time that is required to achieve any one of these projects, and the fact that everything isn't always rosy.



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