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    • 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…

    • Alex Peay in his North Philadelphia neighborhood

How redlining segregated Philadelphia

About a third of the homes on West Oakdale Street between 15th and 16th in North Philadelphia are empty. Six vacant lots interrupt the narrow rowhouse block. On a recent November…

    • Queen Lane Apartments: West Penn St and Pulaski Ave. | Bastiaan Slabbers for NewsWorks
Eyes on the Street

HACE CEO: City Council should pass inclusionary zoning bill

Philadelphia’s housing market is red-hot. Building permits issued from 2013 through 2016 exceeded the previous seven years combined, and thousands of new rental apartments have been added downtown in the last…

    • Work begins on a residential development on Fairmount Avenue in Northern Liberties. | Emma Lee/WHYY
Eyes on the Street

NLNA President: City Council, don’t fumble inclusionary zoning bill away on the two yard line

A mixed-income housing bill making its way through City Council aims at an important goal, but could miss the mark badly and hurt our city if Council rams it through next…

    • Maria Quiñones-Sánchez | Emma Lee/WHY

Hold the zone: Vote on inclusionary zoning delayed a week in wake of opposition

Facing opposition from neighborhood civic associations and the real estate industry, Councilmember Maria Quiñones-Sánchez asked City Council’s Rules Committee to push back a vote on her controversial inclusionary zoning bill on…

    • Provident Mutual Life Insurance Building, 2014

Blackwell proposes transit oriented development around Provident Mutual Life Insurance building

On Thursday, West Philadelphia’s Jannie Blackwell became the first City Council member to take advantage of new zoning language to promote transit oriented development (TOD). Blackwell introduced a bill to encourage…

    • blight bw

Pew Report: Philly’s poor have been stuck in the inner city, separated from suburban job growth

On Wednesday, Pew Charitable Trusts released a new study exploring the city’s infamous status as America’s poorest big city. “We know that Philadelphia is the poorest big city in the United…

    • Maria Quiñones-Sánchez | Emma Lee/WHY

Is mandatory inclusionary zoning the answer to Philly’s affordable housing question?

City Council’s attention of late has been focused on keeping rent and mortgages affordable for all in Philadelphia as steady, year-over-year population gains increase housing prices. But the bills introduced to…

    • Drew Nugent and his band play while the Peek-A-Book Revue gets ready to start dancing the Charleston at a realtor's open house in East Kensington.

As Philadelphia’s housing market booms, economists warn the city may be in a bubble—or something worse

Stephanie Somers knows how to throw a party. At an open house for a set of townhouses built out the shell of an 105-year-old rectory, the realtor picked a Prohibition theme.…

    • 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…

    • 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…

    • Darrell Clarke

Clarke Park: Council President wants builders to make more space for cars

In the last City Council session before summer recess, City Council President Darrell Clarke introduced a bill that might reopen the battle over parking in Philadelphia. The proposed legislation would double…

    • 1911 Walnut - Sansom Street rendering | Southern Land Company, June 2017

1911 Walnut tower plans updated as project nears final legislative approval

The Southern Land Company’s final plan for the development at 1911 Walnut Street came into clear focus at Tuesday’s meeting of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission. The project will fill in…

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

Waterfront advocates push back on Squilla's plan to increase height limit for Central Delaware development

The Delaware Waterfront has seen more than its share of beautifully rendered glassy towers with sweeping waterfront views, and heard many promises of thousands of new residents. Back in 2007 PlanPhilly…

    • Portable feather signs hanging at an auto lot in Northeast Philadelphia | Google Street View, 2014

Henon bill aims to rid sidewalks of inflatable tube men, portable signs

Sidewalk advertisements are everywhere, blooming from the pavement and parking lots in colorful bursts. Fluttering flags in Center City hawk cell phones, while inflatable men of disquieting size billow on the…

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

Squilla calls increased Delaware waterfront height limit ‘progressive’ – waterfront advocates say it would undercut plan

Harris Steinberg fears that Philadelphia’s Delaware waterfront may be returning to the bad old days. Almost 10 years ago, when Steinberg ran PennPraxis, he presented a civic vision for seven miles…

    • PPA lot at 1339 South 12th Street| Dena Driscoll

Parking Authority plan to put billboards on neighborhood parking lots contested

The Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) wants to make a little extra cash by selling advertising space in a handful of its parking lots and garages. Community activists, who don’t want billboards…

    • RCO Map detail

Council still reworking rules for community orgs in development process

Friday’s Rules Committee hearing centered on two bills related to Registered Community Organizations (RCOs), neighborhood groups that are deeply embedded in Philadelphia’s development process. RCOs are geographically-specific organizations, created as part…

    • Frank DiCicco, 2017 | Emma Lee / WHYY

Q&A with Frank DiCicco, former councilman turned new zoning board chair

Through the last half of the 20th century, Philadelphia’s mid-century zoning code was Frankenstein-ed into an impenetrable tome, creating a convoluted development process, and empowering the local politicians who became its…

    • Walking Uptown, 16th and Ridge

Francisville downzoning objections come to Council too late

The public comment period near the end of each City Council session is rarely a forum for reasoned criticisms of pending legislation. If a critic enjoys the clout or the know-how,…

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