PlanPhilly

Development

    • Dormont Station plaza level

Keystone Crossroads: Pileggi bill aims to clear the regulatory debris from the fast-track to transit oriented development

A bill to overhaul Pennsylvania's underutilized Transit Revitalization Investment District Act is currently working its way through Harrisburg, exciting proponents of transit oriented development who have been underwhelmed so far by…

    • Settlement was made last month for the purchase of the site of the former Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute in East Falls by NewCourtland Senior Services. (Brian Hickey/WHYY)

Residents await plans for former EPPI building in East Falls

Settlement was made last month for the purchase of the site of the former Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute in East Falls by NewCourtland Senior Services.  The Pennsylvania Department of General Services…

    • Nelson Diaz (Photo courtesy of Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Q&A: Nelson Diaz on affordable housing, attracting new business, and expanding SEPTA

PlanPhilly sat down with former Common Pleas Judge, Department of Housing and Urban Development General Counsel, Exelon Director and current Mayoral contender Nelson Diaz last week for a wide-ranging conversation that…

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ABOUT DEVELOPMENT

Though it often has a negative connotation, development represents the absolutely crucial element of demand to use the urban form. Once completed, the development project ends up helping to define the built environment for future generations. Without development, there would be no city to plan. Despite the stigma often attached to it, development can meet both community needs and earn a profit when its design and program contributes to the larger urban framework.

It is important that development be regulated so that it supports the public health, safety, and welfare of a neighborhood, though this can be difficult to achieve today given the pressures facing the public sector due to rising social services needs and decreasing tax bases. Private developers often have leverage in these cases, which can lead to some unhealthy compromises that negatively affect our built environment. It is possible for development to be over-regulated, which often discourages investors from investing in particular cities. Philadelphia is often seen as a city that has outdated local controls, which in turn delays the development approval process. However, the re-zoning process currently underway by the Zoning Code Commission should go a long way in addressing this.  The goal is to set standards that encourage a balance of public good and private development.

UPCOMING EVENTS IN DEVELOPMENT

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