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    • A packed room at Pipeline Philly listens as Witty Gritty's/Urban Consulate's Michelle Freeman kicks off the discussion
Eyes on the Street

Design professionals discuss how to make room for all races in Philly public spaces

Sitting in front of a crowd of over one hundred, Tya Winn asked a row of audience members to stand. “There are about 25 of you standing,” the president of Philadelphia’s…

    • South Philly Library, Photo by Phillytrax

Down this Street before: Can Rebuild stick to its promise of data-driven, apolitical decisions?

The comparisons are irresistible: Less than three years into office, a Philadelphia mayor pushing through a major legislative initiative that promises to boost equity in long-neglected neighborhoods via a project financed…

    • Cobbs Creek

As it fills in final missing bits, Philly’s nearly-complete city plan exposes gap between neighborhood hopes and political realities

As Samantha Petty considered the Planning Commission’s proposals for her community, she experienced a wave of déjà vu. Standing in the hallway of West Philadelphia High School, at the last…

    • Leo Brundage in front of his house in Eastwick.

In Eastwick, belief that flooding during Hurricane Floyd was intentional still muddies the water

Eastwick residents have long endured regular flooding. The Southwest Philadelphia neighborhood is home to the lowest point in the city. The community sits within the federally-designated floodplain. Historically, Eastwick was a…

    • waterfront north of Benjamin Franklin Bridge
Eyes on the Street

Not built in a day: One of PlanPhilly’s creators reflects on a decade of dedicated built-environment coverage

Michael Greenle facilitated the process that created PlanPhilly in 2006, shaped its outreach strategy at PennPraxis, stewarded its move from Penn to WHYY, and is a member of PlanPhilly’s Advisory Board.…

    • Sharswood rowhouses, February 2016 | Kimberly Paynter/WHYY

Why does Philadelphia love downzoning so much?

Following the Planning Commission’s approval two weeks ago, a raft of zoning remapping bills sailed through a breezy City Council hearing on Tuesday. There were no questions from the arrayed councilmembers…

    • Skyline from Drexel Park

“Quality of Life” is Philadelphia’s biggest selling point. Can it survive an Amazonian invasion?

Like nearly every other city in North America, Philadelphia is putting the final touches on its bid to convince Amazon to build its second headquarters here ahead of Thursday’s deadline. The…

    • Fishtown zoning meeting on St. Laurentius reuse, September 20, 2016 | Brad Larrison for WHYY

Sleeping with the fishes: Fishtown Neighbors Association suspends operations after lawsuit causes insurance premium spike

Over the weekend, one of Philadelphia’s most visible civic organizations, Fishtown Neighbors Association (FNA), announced they would be suspending their activities. At the beginning of September , the community group received…

    • Gregory Heller, executive director of Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, told the resident the city will respect the outcomes of the study.

Ten months into planning process, Eastwick residents remain wary and divided

Eastwick’s Penrose Elementary School gym was packed and hot on last  Wednesday night, and it wasn’t because of a game. The school, located on 78th street, just two blocks from Cobbs…

    • West District map

West Philly residents plan, in the hopes they won't get planned for

On Tuesday night, at West Philadelphia High School, a committed core of community leaders and civic activists came together to vote on the priorities for the West District plan. The citywide…

    • Vacancy of Major Commercial Corridors and Centers, from the preliminary draft of North District Plan

In North Philly, neighbors and the Philadelphia City Planning Commission look to the future

On Monday night, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission held its final public meeting about the North District, which covers many of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. The open house offered a glimpse…

    • Schuylkill River flooding, May 2014 | Rob Lybeck, EOTS Flickr Group

Harvey-level damage probably won’t happen in Philadelphia, but intense flooding already does

The heart-wrenching scenes from Houston’s devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath have started a national discussion about flood control and water management. Experts and city authorities say it’s unlikely…

    • East and West Fairmount Park -- Kelly Drive

Hunting Park offers a preview of Rebuild

Earlier this summer, 6abc Action News ran a headline that was familiar to a lot of longtime residents of North Philadelphia: “Man Dies After Shooting in Hunting Park.” The…

    • Paine Plaza

Before design community, chief of new Department of Planning & Development charts course ahead for Philly’s real estate development

The myriad departments overseeing property development in Philadelphia have acted like islands, marooned on different floors of government buildings. But a recent tidal shift has ended their isolation: the new Department…

    • The Zoning Code Commission sent its final report to City Council last fall

Five years into remapping process, City Council has yet to rezone half of the city

The remapping of Philadelphia’s neighborhood zoning is unfolding at a halting pace, although the process picked up speed in the last year, according to data presented at a Planning Commission meeting…

    • Some of the Acela train sets are 15 to 16 years old. At best, Amtrak expects their lifetime to be about 20 years

Can new federal plan really bring high-speed rail to Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor?

Taking them might beat driving, but trains on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor (NEC) are not very fast. It takes about an hour and fifteen minutes to get to New York from Philadelphia…

    • 2016 rendering of K4 development 'Liberty on the River' | Barton Partners

Cry me a River: Central Delaware advocates debate changes to waterfront zoning, height limits

Thursday night, the Central Delaware Advocacy Group (CDAG) gathered to hear Mark Squilla explain his  proposal to allow the construction of  significantly taller buildings along the waterfront. In the Independence Seaport…

    • Gary Jastrzab | Jonathan Wilson for WHYY

After 37 years of planning ahead, retiring Planning Commission chief Gary Jastrzab takes a look back

2017 was Gary Jastrzab’s 37th year at the Philadelphia City Planning Commission; it’s also his last. Jastrzab joined the institution right out of the University of Pennsylvania’s planning school in 1980,…

Philadelphia reorganizes development-related agencies into single Department of Planning and Development

In a reorganization this week, most of Philadelphia’s distinct housing, development, and planning agencies have been officially united under a single Department of Planning and Development. The department will be divided…

    • Cobbs Creek Parkway flooding, April 2014 | AP

StateImpact PA: How one Philadelphia neighborhood battles rising tides

Joining dozens of communities across the country Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced Wednesday he has committed the city to the goal of using 100 percent clean energy. It’s part of a…

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