PlanPhilly

Planning

    • Plans for Kelly Drive and Laurel Hill

PHS begins to plant plans for transformed spaces, including new Kelly Drive entrance for Laurel Hill

In 2013, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society identified seven areas across the city where its Civic Landscape Initiative would work to “transform the landscape” and create “memorable public art spaces.” While that…

    • A pedestrian walks by a gated lot located along Washington Ave. in Southwest Center City. | Photo: Neal Santos

Planners endorse temporary zoning overlay for Washington Ave.

The Philadelphia City Planning Commission voted on Tuesday to recommend a new zoning overlay for Washington Avenue west of Broad Street. The measure is intended as a temporary bulwark to keep…

    • US Rt. 202

Planning continues for NHSL extension to King of Prussia

The lines at the King of Prussia Mall can wrap around counters and outside of shops on Black Fridays and the occasional no-special-color, just-busy Saturdays. The lines at the Auntie Anne’s…

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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
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