• Learn about the conditions that led to Frank Furness' most incredible masterworks, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts seen here, on Wednesday.
      Learn about the conditions that led to Frank Furness' most incredible masterworks, including the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts seen here, on Wednesday.

Lower Schuylkill from hidden to hotbed?

  • The Lower Schuylkill Master Plan study area has 68% of the city's vacant or underused industrial land. | PIDC


Is the Lower Schuylkill Philadelphia’s next great opportunity?

Harris Steinberg, executive director of PennPraxis*, had an opinion piece in Sunday’s Inquirer calling attention to the enormous potential presented by 4,000 industrial acres the Lower Schuylkill - an area of “mystery and promise.” The Schuylkill, from the Dutch for "hidden river," is being thrust into a planning spotlight.

The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, Commerce Department and Planning Commission have been jointly developing a plan for the Lower Schuylkill since November.

The area has 68% of the city’s vacant or underused industrial land, its transportation access is excellent, and it sits between two development hot spots: the Navy Yard and University City.

Steinberg describes the a possible future for the Lower Schuylkill:
An elegant 21st-century landscape of new industrial, office, and research buildings, historic industrial structures, sweeping recreational amenities, environmentally sensitive wetlands, and beautifully engineered bridge crossings.

State-of-the-art research and development facilities that build upon Philadelphia's leadership in the chemical, pharmaceutical, and life-sciences industries lining the riverfront, complete with the extension of the Schuylkill River Trail and parks that deftly manage storm water.
Could the Lower Schuylkill really become a new regional hub of economic, educational, environmental and employment opportunity? To Steinberg, “this area has the potential to become a clean, green, urban machine that will power the economic engine of Philadelphia well through the 21st century.”
Want more:
 

*PlanPhilly is an independent news gathering entity affiliated with PennPraxis.

 

About the author

Ashley Hahn, Contributor

Ashley Hahn started Eyes on the Street for PlanPhilly in 2011 and was PlanPhilly's managing editor from September 2015 until July 2017. She is interested in preservation, neighborhoods, and all things public – from policy to art. She holds masters degrees in City and Regional Planning and Historic Preservation from PennDesign. Ashley has lived in 12 zip codes that she can think of, including neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, New York and Philadelphia. She is proud to call 19147 home. 

Contact Ashley via email or find her on twitter: @ashleyjhahn.


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