• City Council chambers.

The evolution of councilmanic prerogative and what to do about it

Ever wonder how the practice of "councilmanic prerogative," the process by which 10 district councilmembers control land use and public property decisions in their jurisdictions, came to be? Community contributor John…

    • municipal waffle | Steve Ives, EOTS Flickr Group

Proposal to coordinate planning and development on Tuesday's ballot

Next week, Philadelphia voters will be asked to elect a new mayor, new state Supreme Court judges, and at least a few new members of City Council. Turnout is expected to…

    • Gretz Brewery complex after the corner building's demolition | November 6, 2013

Judge questions city's 'Doors and Windows' ordinance

Philadelphia has recently received a round of plaudits in the national press for its efforts to force landowners to keep vacant properties in decent shape. Among those efforts is the “Doors…



Government is an inescapable authority in urban planning.  This relationship largely arose out of necessity; one example is the creation of Euclidean zoning in American cities, where smoke-billowing factories where built across the street from high-density residential neighborhoods, which proved to have drastic health impacts.  The government’s function has always been to uphold citizen’s basic health, safety and welfare, and it is likely that you would hear different responses from different people as to how successfully government meets this requirement.  Each government approaches this requirement differently, with various committees, task forces, and agencies.  What has proved important in planning efforts in recent years is that there is a clear vehicle for public input to contribute to a process led by or funded by government.



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