PlanPhilly

Planning

    • 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.…

    • 205 Race facing north - Gluck and Partners

205 Race first Philly development to offer affordable units in exchange for more density

An Old City apartment building can get bigger because rent for 15 of its 148 apartments will be smaller. A provision in the city's new zoning code offers developers a density…

    • Girard Station TOD Overlay

The tricky politics of transit-oriented development in Northern Liberties

Last Wednesday's morning news roundup led to an interesting discussion with PlanPhilly contributor and Northern Liberties Neighbors Association President Matt Ruben about whether it was fair to characterize opposition to an…

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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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