The Philadelphia City Planning Commission received the American Planning Association's National Planning Excellence Award for a Best Practice at the APA's national conference in Chicago this week.
The PCPC was recognized for the symbiotic relationship between the new Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Code and Citizens Planning Institute.
The APA's website says of the PCPC's work: the “integrated Planning and Zoning Process is an innovative approach to leveraging the synergy between citizen education, planning, and zoning reform. The PCPC coordinated three distinct planning activities — the Citizens Planning Institute (CPI), Philadelphia2035 (the city's comprehensive plan) and a new zoning code and map revision. Individually, these activities educated hundreds of citizens and professionals, and engaged thousands in envisioning the future of Philadelphia and improving the way development is regulated. Collectively, they created an environment that hadn't existed for 50 years. The city not only adopted a new comprehensive plan and zoning code, but did so in the same year and has moved forward with implementation.”
The Citizens Planning Institute has graduated 145 citizen-planners so far, with another graduation coming this spring. Learn more about CPI here.
PCPC Executive Director Gary Jastrzab actually got stuck in Chicago due to the bad weather's impact on flights. Acting Deputy Executive Director Alan Urek ran Thursday's meeting, and also filled the commission and audience in on the PCPC's achievement. Jastrzab, former Deputy Director Eva Gladstein – who oversaw the development of the new zoning code – and Deputy Mayor/PCPC Chairman Alan Greenberger accepted the award from APA.
Kellie Patrick Gates writes about planning, neighborhood development and the Central Delaware Waterfront. A journalist for more than two decades, she worked for daily newspapers in Central Pennsylvania, Upstate New York and South Florida before coming to Philadelphia in 2003 to write for the Inquirer. Her work has appeared on PlanPhilly since 2007, and she also writes Love, the Inquirer's weekly wedding column. A native of Elk County, Pa., Kellie lives with her husband, Gary, and their dog and two cats.
Follow her on Twitter @KelliePGates