PlanPhilly

Join Us: A Community Vision for East and West Fairmount Park

Dear PlanPhilly reader,

We have an exciting new project underway in partnership with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation that we thought might be of interest to you.  This one takes us beyond the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to the place where our city park system first began: East and West Fairmount Park.
 
At 2,050 acres, East and West Fairmount Park is the undisputed heart of Philadelphia’s park system.  East and West Fairmount Park is one of the greatest gifts ever given to Philadelphia, for the drinking water it protects and the beautiful outdoor space residents can enjoy as a result.  However, with spikes of use higher than ever and no recent long-term planning for the whole, barriers continue to limit its potential.  The City is interested in creating new areas of activities and ways to get around without sacrificing the natural beauty of the park that makes it such a jewel for Philadelphia residents.
 
PennPraxis and the Penn Project for Civic Engagement have begun "A Community Vision and Action Plan for East and West Fairmount Park" in partnership with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, the Parks and Recreation Commission, the Fairmount Park Conservancy, and the William Penn Foundation.  We will be working through 2013 and into 2014 to learn what residents (especially those nearest neighbors) value about the park, how they would like to use the park, and what new improvements would allow them to do so.  Our goal is to craft a vision that is based on community input and provides the Department with long-term recommendations as well as short-term project ideas to create the 21st century version of our 19th century watershed park.
 
We have spent the summer doing site research and speaking with community leaders and park stakeholders, and now we want to hear from you.  We are halfway into a series of public meetings that we hope will give us some rich input into the opportunities and impediments that citizens see to their use of the park.  We have received great feedback so far and we hope next week will be just as insightful.  Please see below for meeting information:

All meetings will be from 6:30-8:30pm, with sign-in and refreshments at 6pm.  Meetings are free and open to the public, but we ask that you RSVP if you can: email praxis@design.upenn.edu or call 215-898-1112. 
 
Thank you for your interest, and we hope to see you next week along the park.

Sincerely,
Harris Steinberg, FAIA
Executive Director, PennPraxis


About the author

Andrew Goodman, Community Engagement Director, New Kensington Community Development Corporation

Goodman is currently the Community Engagement Director at the New Kensington Community Development Corporation.

Previously, Goodman worked as a city planner and project manager for PennPraxis. His focus was on projects that combined community engagement and public space design, including the Central Delaware Waterfront Planning Process, the Green2015 initiative for Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, and the Bartram’s Mile project in Southwest Philadelphia.  Goodman was an early contributor to PlanPhilly and helped shape the site in its first iteration.  As PlanPhilly grew, Goodman represented the publisher and provided professional planning input and project management support as the site expanded its beat coverage, went through multiple redesigns, conducted an internal strategic plan, and researched revenue generation opportunities.



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