May 6, 2007
Philadelphia voters, City Council members have a small favor to ask this May 15: They're hoping you will agree to hand them a bigger club with which they can menace the city's next mayor. Well, don't do it. Council members propose scrapping the City Charter provision that requires them to quit Council to run for mayor or another office. Sounds innocuous enough. In fact, it's a change that even strikes some people of good faith as a reform - so much so, it has backing from the government watchdog group Committee of Seventy.
February 11, 2009 |
THE mayors are coming! For the first time ever, the Mayors' Institute on City Design will hold a national session in Philadelphia, tomorrow through Saturday. It's a big deal. In good economies and bad, civic design is critical to a city's economic development, quality of life and image. For generations, the planning and design decisions we make today will affect our identity, the form of our development projects and their relation to the rest of the city, the quality of our neighborhoods, strength of our downtown and transit network.
February 13, 2001 |
United by a vision of thriving businesses in a quaint atmosphere, efforts to revitalize Souderton and Telford seem to be in full swing. The first phase - gathering from residents and business owners their ideas for the downtown areas - should be complete by the end of this month, said Chris Lankenau, an urban planner working with the two municipalities on Montgomery County's first joint-planning experiment for boroughs. So far, it appears residents have set their sights high.
April 19, 2001 |
ROUGHLY HALF of the neighborhoods in this city are considered "distressed" or "transitional" by the mayor's blight task force. Distressed neighborhoods, in particular, suffer from obvious signs of physical decay, have depressed housing values and have higher-than-average concentrations of old building stock and public-assistance housing. Perhaps even more critically, these distressed neighborhoods - concentrated primarily in the Northeast and along the Delaware River wards as well as in parts of South and Southwest Philadelphia - are home to a disturbing demographic: They have suffered substantial population loss.
March 25, 2004
Here are a few of the things Gary Hack has done in his career: He was the urban planner behind the winning design for rebuilding ground zero in Manhattan. He also helped plan Battery Park City in lower Manhattan. The Boston mayor recently invited him to serve on an elite panel that will help decide how to remake that city in the wake of its "Big Dig" project. In his day job, he is dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. Last year, he spurred the public process on the future of Penn's Landing that produced a set of citizen-crafted principles for developing Philadelphia's central waterfront.
September 15, 2005 |
The New Jersey Nets could leave the Meadowlands for Flatbush Avenue as early as 2008 under a deal the Metropolitan Transportation Authority approved yesterday to sell the team a downtown Brooklyn arena site. The nation's largest transit agency voted to take team owner Bruce Ratner's $100 million offer for the rail yard where urban planner Robert Moses turned down the Brooklyn Dodgers' push for a domed stadium, helping prompt the team's 1957 move to California. Ratner opponents blasted the decision as a political fix that brought the MTA far less than the 8.3-acre site's $214 million appraised value.
October 24, 2003 |
About 10 years ago, when the Avenue of the Arts was created, an egalitarian approach was adopted. One avenue would be south of City Hall, and one would be to the north, each with thriving arts venues. Since then, South Broad Street has flourished as the epicenter of all sorts of arts. Conversely, there is hardly any notice of the north section, and little arts thereon. Only the lonely Freedom Theater struggles there. With recent developments between City Hall and Spring Garden Street, it is odd that the other Avenue of the Arts gets no respect.
February 26, 1999 |
Sam shone. Marty misfired. And Happy handled herself well on a stage-full of men. Those impressions of Republican Sam Katz and Democrats Happy Fernandez and Marty Weinberg were among the leading reactions of a random sampling of guests at the Rethinking Philadelphia candidates forum yesterday. There was a preference among the audience for clear, straight-forward answers, and low tolerance for anything that sounded like standard campaign pabulum. "I have to say, this is the first time I've seen them together," said public affairs specialist Sharon Gallagher.
June 20, 1997 |
What to make of all the beautiful projects sketched in the Daily News? Will this new architecture enhance the Philadelphia cityscape? Who benefits? What will be the effects on Philadelphians? How much will it cost us? As a certified curmudgeon, it's my duty to ask. As an architect/planner, at first blush, should I jump for joy? But there is a down side. "Destination:Philadelphia," pumping up a "new mindset," omitted critical details. Two big negatives are implicit in "Destination:Philadelphia": Bad planning.
June 13, 1997
There was a flurry of phone calls to the new president of the National Constitution Center (NCC) some months back - all but one from creditors pestering the then-financially ailing nonprofit. The other call was from University of Pennsylvania president Judith Rodin. Good thing she got through. Dr. Rodin called to ask if there was anything the university could do to help. As NCC president Joseph Torsella recalls, that led to the announcement yesterday of a multifaceted partnership with Penn.