Twenty five years ago this month, Philadelphia hosted Live Aid at the dear, departed John F. Kennedy Stadium, a sprawling venue that could jam in 100,000 people without breaking a sweat.
Twenty five years from now, city planners are betting that a whole JFK-load of newcomers will call the city home. That’s right – Philly is set to expand by 100,000 citizens by 2035, according to official estimates.
That bit of information came to light Tuesday at the monthly meeting of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, during an update of the city’s Philadelphia2035 long-term comprehensive plan.
“We’re very comfortable with this,” said Alan Urek, the commission's director of strategic planning and policy. “We think it’s modestly aspirational.”
Craig Schelter said he was “furious” – angry enough to depart his summer home in Cape Cod and hop on a plane in Providence, R.I., Tuesday morning to attend the Planning Commission meeting later in the day.
There was also an “information only” presentation on the Philadelphia Zoo’s new parking and transportation plans, presented by Nina Bisbee, the Zoo’s vice president of facilities.
The Zoo has been working on a new traffic and transit study for its surrounding neighborhood, around 34th Street and Girard Avenue, since 2003. Combined with the recently completed Centennial District master and economic development plans, it has resulted in a concept plan for a new “Centennial District Intermodal Transportation Center” in partnership with PennDOT, Fairmount Park, the Streets Department, SEPTA, the Philadelphia Commerce Department, and Planning.
Bisbee is targeting 2013 to 2014 as a realistic time frame for the changes and additions.
Greenberger reported the sad news of the death of community planner Cornel Pankey, one of the commission’s most senior staffers, having worked there for more than three decades. Pankey was a “pretty special guy,” Greenberger said. “In 33 years, you do an awful lot of work in one place. ... We’re going to miss Cornel. Whenever he spoke, he had a lot of really good things to say.”