• RCO Map detail

Planning Commission denies four RCO appeals

At its October meeting, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission delayed the Schuylkill Yards project, approved a bill introduced by Councilman Bobby Henon to require more signage for projects requiring zoning variances,…

    • Catching up with food and tunes at First Friday on Race Street Pier

Ten years later, five ways Philly should keep building on Civic Vision for Central Delaware

On this day in 2006 then-Mayor John Street signed an executive order to create a civic vision for seven miles of Philadelphia’s Delaware River waterfront. That vision, led by PennPraxis, was…

    • New Route 2 extension during peak hours to Wayne Junction Station

SEPTA Board approves changes to Routes 2, 310

SEPTA considered 187 proposed changes to its transit routes this year, but just two made the final cut: Extending Route 2 to Wayne Junction Station, and splitting Route 310’s long loop…



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



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