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    • It was standing room only as protestors fill SEPTA's board room in opposition to a proposed gas plant in Nicetown

Amid angry protest songs, SEPTA board approves Nicetown gas plant, again

For a second time, SEPTA’s board authorized the construction of gas and heat cogeneration gas plant next to Roberts Rail Yard and the Midvale Bus Depot in Nicetown on Thursday. As…

    • Tacony community meeting about 'sex-positive community center' on March 23, 2017 | Jake Blumgart/PlanPhilly

Proposed 'sex-positive community center' gets fair hearing from Tacony residents

Thursday night’s community meeting in Tacony went better than anyone could have expected. A proposal to open a private sex-positive club in the midst of a residential neighborhood would likely stir…

    • PREIT/Macerich conceptual plans for the Gallery

March 24: Ed Bacon’s “Market East” | NKCDC’s new director | Game of Zones

Ed Bacon took on the wicked quest in 1961 to bring suburbanites back into the city by building combination mall and transportation center named “Market East.” While the design of The…

    • City permit desks in the Municipal Service Building | Steve Ives, EOTS Flickr Group

Council supportive of higher city permit fees, funds to support L&I, Historical Commission

The Philadelphia City Council is considering increasing fees across the board for most licenses and permits. That might seem like a potentially contentious proposition, inspiring pushback from the business community. Instead,…

    • Zoning notification diagram, 2016 RCO Fact Sheet

Councilman Henon proposes changes to RCO requirements and zoning notice

On Thursday Councilman Bobby Henon introduced legislation to tweak the regulations governing the city’s Registered Community Organizations (RCOs). A product of the 2012 zoning code, RCOs are geographically-specific organizations that developers…

    • Christine Knapp, Office of Sustainability, testifies at a City Council hearing on the environment, March 2017 | Catalina Jaramillo / PlanPhilly

Environmental leaders urge City Council to put climate change on ‘front burner'

“Climate is already changing,” said Liz Robinson, executive director Energy Coordination Agency of Philadelphia (ECA), at a Philadelphia City Council hearing held this Wednesday. “As we can all see from the…

    • Every which way tomorrow waits | Al BeFranke, EOTS Flickr Group
    • North District Plan: focus area map, March 2017 | courtesy of Philadelphia City Planning Commission

Planning Commission updated on North District plan, supports West Poplar and TOD zoning changes

Tuesday’s meeting of the Planning Commission unfolded briskly, with all of the bills considered by the commission getting recommended—with the exception of an “urban topiary encroachment” on 3rd Street just north…

    • One of Uber's self-driving cars being tested in Pittsburgh, August 2016  (AP Photo/Jared Wickerham)

March 22: PA legislators on self-driving cars | gender-neutral bathrooms | post-LIHTC equity

Yesterday Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams was charged by federal authorities on 23 counts of public corruption. NewsWorks has the details on the indictment and an Inquirer editorial says the…

    • Mayor Kenney says says income from the sugary drink tax will support schools and community centers in the city, March 2016 | Emma Lee / WHYY

Rebuild Initiative’s launch slowed by financial puzzle, hinging on soda tax

The gargantuan, highly anticipated city project known as Rebuild — Mayor Jim Kenney’s $500-million investment in parks, recreation centers, and libraries — is beginning to resemble an elaborate domino setup. As…

    • Eviction hearing in City Council, March 20, 2017

Council hearing examines evictions, substandard housing, and possible solutions

William Church didn’t look at ease in City Council’s high-ceilinged chambers. The 65-year-old former Marine experiences what he calls “extreme anxiety,” he informed the gathered politicians deliberately. Church also needs an…

    • Salvation Army building

March 21: Westmoreland Coal Company building | Energy-efficient school investments | Neuroscience and urban design

Hidden City uncovers the life, times, and new life of former Westmoreland Coal Company at 3rd Street and Willing’s Alley, a historically designated building that “lends distinction, density, and a dash of mystery…

    • Next Rotem will build 75 rail cars for Boston's MBTA and 56 rail cars for Denver's transit system

The way SEPTA buys equipment is sluggish and outdated, but fixing it means compromise

Last week PlanPhilly reported that SEPTA is expected to award a contract to build bilevel railcars for service on regional rail lines. Today Jim Saksa takes a step back to explain…

    • North Philadelphia Station turned discount store. | Brett Sturm
    • MBTA Rotem bi-level coaches

SEPTA to pick Massachusetts-based company to build bilevel railcars over Hyundai Rotem in South Philly

At its meeting next week, SEPTA’s board is expected to award CRRC MA Corporation a $137.5 million contract to build 45 bilevel railcars for Regional Rail. SEPTA picked the Chinese-owned company…

    • SEPTA is working to phase out tokens and paper transfers by mid 2014

SEPTA transit fares to go up starting July 1st

Starting July 1st, stepping onto SEPTA will set you back slightly more.  It's SEPTA's first fare increase since 2013. The authority planned to raise prices last year, but delayed the jump…

    • Tacony Music Hall (file)

March 17: Bethlehem Steel’s future | How Tacony survives | Left-lane cruising fine

After eight years in operation, Lehigh Valley Live reports that Sands Casino is negotiating the sale of its share of Bethlehem Steel’s former flagship plant. When the Las Vegas-based casino first…

    • A protested eviction in Germantown, July 2012 | Bas Slabbers for NewsWorks

North Philly couple suing landlord’s lawyer over right to evict

In 2013, Gerrell Martin and Curtis Sampson rented a property in North Philadelphia for their large family. The family is low-income and they have six children. Their two-year-old child suffers from…

    • Landlord-tenant court in the Widener Building

To reduce unfair evictions tenants need lawyers

In a city with a staggeringly high eviction rate, landlord-tenant court is one of the busiest corners of Philadelphia's municipal judiciary. To get to the court, walk into the lobby…

    • Merthus Mbonigaba at the Growing Together farm in South Philadelphia. | Catalina Jaramillo / WHYY

Seeds from home help refugees grow roots in South Philly

Growing roots in a new country? For refugees in South Philadelphia that transition is eased by growing a comforting taste from home. This story is part of an episode of The…

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