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2011 was busy planning year for Philadelphia officials

12/30/2011 | Real Estate Blog

PlanPhilly recently ran a short reflection on the planning milestones of 2011 for the city of Philadelphia. As can be seen, there has been a lot of development planning activity this year, and more to follow in the coming year.

The first item mentioned as memorable from 2011 was the Philadelphia City Planning Commission’s adoption of the first city-wide comprehensive plan in June, the first in 50 years. That plan set out broad planning goals, including incorporating more open spaces, bike lanes and preservations efforts, as well as extension of the Broad Street subway to Navy Yard, improvement of the Delaware River waterfront, and rejuvenation of Market Street.

In addition to those city-wide plans, 18 different districts set out plans to expand on the city-wide projects. Two such plans have already been completed by two districts, Lower South and West Park. The former reportedly will improve public access to the waterfront, mass transit and shipping routes, and establish better connections between neighborhood amenities and neighborhoods.

The West Park plan will set out to improve the area in and around Centennial Park and City Line Avenue, as well as the significant number of vacant properties in the East Parkside, West Parkside and Cathedral Park neighborhoods. One of the goals of the Centennial Park improvements is to place more emphasis on amenities for those living nearby.

District plans for Central, University/Southwest and Lower Northeast will reportedly begin in 2012.

A Master Plan for the Central Delaware Waterfront was also adopted in 2011, with the central goal of revitalizing the waterfront. As part of this effort, there will be a reconnection of city neighborhoods to the waterfront but implementing a mix of uses along the waterfront, including mid-rise residential developments, restaurants, shops, light industrial and port uses, as well as public and green space. While some early phases of the effort were completed or begun in 2011, it will reportedly be decades before it is all realized.

In our next post, we’ll pick back up with the Race Street Pier project and the many other planning activities of 2011.

Source:, “2011: A year of planning milestones, and some development controversy,” Kellie Patrick Gates, December 27, 2011.