PlanPhilly

Planning

    • Harris Steinberg / photo by Michael Ahearn

Harris Steinberg: "With time, comes change"

Cities are all about change. People come and they go. New development masks past lives. Economic pressures press on the fabric of existing neighborhoods. And old economies fall to new technologies.…

    • Renters survey

Philadelphia renters highly involved in their neighborhoods, planning survey finds

Many Philadelphia renters are highly committed to their neighborhoods, concludes a new city planning commission survey. Outside Center City, “many” becomes the majority. This and the other facts found in the …

    • Visual summary of Lower Northwest input, Wissahickon Gateway

"Protect our character!" Lower Northwest District Plan taking shape

Community participants tell planners they want to sustain open space and housing styles and density, fill in the gap in the Schuylkill Trail, focus commercial development and move a transit center.…

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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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