• Washington and Passyunk, August 2015

December 3: Vision Zero Conference ticket giveaway

Over the last year we’ve talked a lot about Vision Zero, the international policy movement geared at eliminating traffic deaths. The premise: Crashes are preventable. Mayor-elect Jim Kenney has endorsed…

    • Rendering of Race Street at 7th looking west with fully buffered bike lanes

Planners prescribe road diet for Race Street

When your midsection grows a bit too wide, it puts your health at risk: Time for a diet. When the midsection of a street grows a bit too wide, it also…

    • Proposed Schuylkill River Swing Bridge

Full funding secured for Schuylkill River Swing Bridge, construction could begin next summer

Hammers could start swinging on the Schuylkill River Swing Bridge as early as summer 2016, thanks to the recently awarded federal TIGER grant. The pedestrian and bicycle bridge will cost…



There are many important factors and themes within the built environment that must be addressed in successful urban design. Planning at this scale goes beyond act of designing into the realm of public policy, civil engineering, environmental studies, social science, real estate finance, and others. 

Literacy in many different fields is required in order to bring all the elements of a city together into a cohesive whole. Listed below are some of the themes and disciplines that are important to navigating the built environment. Each page provides general overviews of the topics and how they relate to urban design, as well as how they come together in the City of Philadelphia’s planning process.

Each city has different mechanisms in place, so we hope these pages help explain what role each topic plays in Philadelphia, and demystifies the public process by showing how a citizen can work within it to address issues concerning the built environment.

We see this as a community resource and invite your participation and input. Please help us as we build out this resource by sharing information: email with suggestions for content or to request links to your site.



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