PlanPhilly

Development

    • This small lot at 147 Gay Street — which offers spots for 30 vehicles — has become a flash point pitting residents against developers. (Neema Roshania/WHYY)

Parking issues pit residents vs. developers in pocket of Manayunk

Forget the Joni Mitchell song about paving Paradise. In Manayunk, the neighbors are fighting to save a parking lot.  In a section of the city where on- and off-street spaces are…

    • Hudson Philadelphia Concept Rendering | DAS Architects

Bill permitting new Center City hotel on hold until next year

A plan to build a 12-story hotel at 17th and Chancellor streets in Center City, currently home to a parking garage and the iconic diner Little Pete’s, is on hold after…

    • Councilman Kenyatta Johnson joined project leaders at the ground breaking ceremony

On the record with Kenyatta Johnson: Development, politics, planning, and more

Last Wednesday, PlanPhilly sat down with 2nd District Councilman Kenyatta Johnson to talk about development in his district, his upcoming reelection campaign, and accusations of cronyism lodged by his opponent, developer…

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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 Philadelphia is often seen as a city that has outdated local controls, which in turn delays the development approval process.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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