Photos by Ed Hille
Action Plan for Central Delaware Waterfront
By Kellie Patrick Gates
Thursday night Mayor Michael Nutter whipped up the riverfront faithful with the news that he, too, believed in their Central Delaware vision.
"I share your vision for our waterfront," he said. "Tonight, we talk about a Declaration on the Delaware."
Nutter thanked the citizens, the waterfront neighborhood organizations, the politicians and the planners for the months of brainstorming that led first to a vision of a river of play, of work, of public access and then to the plan on how to make that vision real - the action plan that was unveiled that night.
Nutter shared their faith in Philadelphia, he told them, but that was not enough - not if this plan was to be kept off a dusty shelf. It was time for work, he said, and he told his rapt audience he had already started.
The vision needs a manager, a guide to take it from paper to reality, so says the Action Plan for the Central Delaware – 10 steps designed to implement the civic vision for the Delaware over the next 10 years. Nutter said he has begun work on a new agency whose sole mission is to shepherd the plan from paper to reality.
To make way for it, he will demystify the secretive and often-criticized Penn's Landing Corporation, he told the crowd of 500 gathered, ironically enough, at Penn's Landing - in the Independence Seaport Museum.
Nutter pledged to name new board members within a month. Maybe the group needed a new name - he casually called it the Delaware Waterfront Corporation. It would certainly have a new way of doing business, he said. Meetings will be open, as will the books. The website will contain helpful information. He queued the music, and "Let the Sunshine In" flooded the auditorium. The audience got it - they got everything about the mayor's address. They liked his wit, they liked his charm, they really liked his plans to re-examine the casino question.