PlanPhilly

Planning

    • Paine Plaza

Before design community, chief of new Department of Planning & Development charts course ahead for Philly’s real estate development

The myriad departments overseeing property development in Philadelphia have acted like islands, marooned on different floors of government buildings. But a recent tidal shift has ended their isolation: the new Department…

    • The Zoning Code Commission sent its final report to City Council last fall

Five years into remapping process, City Council has yet to rezone half of the city

The remapping of Philadelphia’s neighborhood zoning is unfolding at a halting pace, although the process picked up speed in the last year, according to data presented at a Planning Commission meeting…

    • Some of the Acela train sets are 15 to 16 years old. At best, Amtrak expects their lifetime to be about 20 years

Can new federal plan really bring high-speed rail to Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor?

Taking them might beat driving, but trains on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor (NEC) are not very fast. It takes about an hour and fifteen minutes to get to New York from Philadelphia…

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ABOUT PLANNING

Urban planning is relatively new as an official profession, but most settlements and cities were created with varying degrees of consideration for layout and functionality.  All cities have been shaped and reshaped, from their street fabric to the details of the sewer lines all elements of the city are brought together into a cohesive whole.

It is not something we’re always conscious of, but our lives are shaped by urban planning – how far we live from our work, what transportation we use to get around, the size of our neighborhood park (if we have one), etc. Literacy in many different disciplines is required in order to shape the built environment, but planning mainly focuses on the integration of land use and transportation needs.

What constitutes good city planning has evolved over the years. For example, the urban renewal movement of the mid 20th century used eminent domain to tear down thousands of blocks of structures because they were considered slums. Many people were displaced without relocation plans from their neighborhoods, many of which would have likely been reborn today considering the trends of many current downtown renewal projects. Further, land that was once agricultural suddenly became ripe for residential development once a large-capacity road was built nearby, which has slowly deflated America’s farming industries.

There are many elements that factor into city planning processes.  They include:

  • Design/aesthetics
  • Safety/crime
  • Environmental sustainability and energy consumption
  • Transportation
  • Community involvement and input in the planning process

UPCOMING EVENTS IN PLANNING

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