PlanPhilly

Planning

    • Orinoka Mills, June 2014

Pinning future for New Kensington on Orinoka Mills reuse

The story of Orinoka Mills is tangled in the many tired, typical Philly tropes about disinvestment, deindustrialization and decrepitude. Once known for producing fine textiles, Orinoka Mills’ more recent history is…

    • Stephen Goldner presents Manayunk Main Street plan

Opinions abound over development scheme for Manayunk's Lower Main Street

A 73-apartment development proposed for Manayunk's lower Main Street is pitting some community members' and city planners' hopes for a livelier streetscape against what others say is the present and future…

    • Councilman Henon points to Fish & Boat parcel

With Dietz & Watson transaction, city looks to kickstart reindustrialization

Early last September, an 11-alarm fire destroyed a 300,000-square-foot meat-packing plant in Delanco, New Jersey, owned by Dietz & Watson, a 75-year-old company headquartered in Northeast Philadelphia. Firefighters fought the blaze…

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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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