Tracking and Reporting Implementation
Implementation is happening all the time! Through the ongoing work of the Planning Commission, city agencies, non-profits, developers, and community groups, dozens of individual projects are adding up to real change and improvement across Philadelphia’s built environment. Each year, we highlight our collective progress in an annual report that doubles as a wall calendar. Read each year’s Annual Implementation Report – 2015, 2014, and 2013.
This page is a running and frequently-changing list of implementation highlights for citywide objectives and strategies identified in the Citywide Vision, the overarching document that created the framework for the District Plans now underway. To follow implementation efforts for specific district plans, visit the pages of our adopted plans: Central, Central Northeast, Lower North, Lower Northeast, Lower Northwest, Lower South, South, West Park, and University Southwest. Zoning-related implementation updates can be found within each district’s Zoning Remapping tab, while projects outside of zoning will be listed under the Implementation tab.
We are making every effort to keep the information up-to-date. It’s a big city, and we’re happy to say there’s a lot going on! We welcome feedback, questions, corrections, and additions at email@example.com
Citywide Vision Project Updates
Recommendations from the Citywide Vision typically affect multiple districts or the entire city, and can include policy, regulatory, and physical changes.) Projects are listed according to the citywide objective or strategy that they advance, organized within the nine planning elements.
1.1.1a Co-locate, consolidate, and modernize community-serving public facilities – ONGOING: A new CHOP-sponsored library/recreation center/health center at Broad and Morris Streets is under construction. The South District describes changes and upgrades to the Municipal Complex at 11th and Reed Streets. The FY16 Capital Budget has money to perform a facilities master plan for the Police and Fire Departments.
1.1.2a Focus commercial zoning on the strongest retail blocks of commercial corridors – ONGOING: see District Plans for individual zoning remapping recommendations for commercial corridors
1.1.2b Transition non-commercially viable portions of commercial corridors to more appropriate land uses – ONGOING: see District Plans for individual zoning remapping recommendations for commercial corridors
1.1.2d Continue to establish business improvement districts and special services districts – ONGOING: Germantown SSD was authorized by City Council and the Mayor in October 2013.In 2015, City Council and the Mayor authorized the Mayfair BID. See District Plans for recommendations for specific corridors.
1.1.3 Strengthen neighborhood centers by promoting Transit-Oriented Development – ONGOING: Adopted District Plans propose 7 new TOD Overlay areas and several upzonings near transit stations. See District Plans for specific recommendations. In addition, SEPTA, the City, and developers continue to enhance Wayne Junction as a viable TOD.
1.1.4 Provide convenient access to healthy food for all residents – ONGOING: The Department of Public Health documents current efforts to improve food access. The creation of 9 farmers’ markets, the expansion of the healthy corner store network to include over 600 locations, and the opening of several new supermarkets across North Philadelphia has improved food access for tens of thousands of residents over the past 3 years.
The 2012 zoning code offers height, density, and parking incentives for projects involving fresh food markets. It also allows urban agriculture as a by-right use in most zoning districts.
1.2.2 Ensure a wide mix of housing is available to residents of all income levels – ONGOING: The 2012 zoning code offers density bonuses for projects that incorporate mixed-income housing for CMX-3, -4 and -5 zoning classifications. Philadelphia City Council initiated a program to build 1500 units of workforce housing over the next few years. The City continues to encourage senior housing developments in smart locations. Case study.
1.2.3 Promote new affordable housing developments to strengthen existing neighborhood assets – ONGOING: In 2014, PHA has received a federal Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grant to build affordable housing in the Lower North District, east of Broad Street and a Choice Neighborhoods Planning grant to replace the Blumberg Housing project in the Sharswood neighborhood.
2) ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
2.1.1 Support and promote Center City/University City as the primary economic center of the region – ONGOING: In addition to the achievements below, please see the Central and University Southwest District Plans and implementation tabs for current implementation efforts addressing this objective.
The new zoning code mapped a “super CMX-5″ district along the transit spine of Market Street and JFK Blvd from Market East to the area surrounding 30th Street Station. This permits higher density development in the areas best served by our transit network, making larger projects that mix office, residential, hotel, retail, and other uses that much easier. Additionally, the Central District Plan expands CMX-5 zoning to both sides of West Market Street.
Currently, the Metropolitan Center is experiencing billions of dollars in new development. Rental multi-family housing and new educational/research facilities are the two largest drivers of this construction boom. University City District’s2013 report documents the largest projects west of the Schuylkill. Center City District offers periodic updates of major developments on their website.
StartUp PHL launched by the Commerce Department and PIDC.
2.1.1f Redevelop Market East to become a more vibrant retail destination – IN PROGRESS: In the spring of 2015, the City approved a package of bills to facilitate the redevelopment of the Gallery mall. The $325M redevelopment will open the mall onto Market and Filbert Streets, upgrade all of the public spaces within the mall and fill retail vacancies in the building. Developers have also begun construction on the East Market development in the 1100 block of Market Street, creating a mixed-use project with retail, office and residential units.
2.1.1g Create a transition plan for the Callowhill Industrial Area – COMPLETE
2.1.2 Strengthen Metropolitan Subcenters (PHL/Navy Yard/Sports Complex) – ONGOING: Philadelphia International Airport expansion plans are in place to add new runways, terminals, and landside transportation services. Recent service additions include Jet Blue, Spirit Airlines, and Alaska Airlines.
Navy Yard Master Plan Update released. The Navy Yard surpassed the 10,000 employee mark and continues to welcome new companies. Urban Outfitters announced future expansion plans that will add 2,000 employees to their headquarters alone. The Corporate Center continues to expand with 201 Rouse Blvd getting under construction in late 2013 and a Marriott Courtyard Hotel has opened. Jefferson Hospital has also set up a satellite office, providing medical services to workers in the area. New green spaces continue to be designed and constructed to maintain a high quality environment.
2.2.1 Ensure an adequate supply of industrially zoned land and 2.2.2 Reposition former industrial sites for new users – ONGOING: All District Plans address industrial land from a land use planning and zoning standpoint at various levels. In some locations, the plans recommend the preservation of current industrial zoning to attract and retain new industrial businesses, while other areas are transitioning to lighter industrial, commercial, residential, or a mix of those uses. Zoning remappings can help to both preserve and transition areas as diverse as Washington Avenue, American Street, Callowhill neighborhood, the Port of Philadelphia, different sections of the Navy Yard, and the Lower Schuylkill. Please consult individual district and master plans for detailed recommendations.
After a land swap to create a larger tract, Dietz & Watson relocated to the North Delaware District with a new manufacturing and processing facility. In 2015, the PCPC, in conjunction with the Commerce Department, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation and the Department of Environmental Protection, created an Area-wide Plan to manage and reposition key brownfield sites in the River Wards and North Delaware Districts.
2.3.1 Encourage institutional development and expansion – ONGOING: Major institutional construction projects continue at HUP, Penn, Drexel, Temple, the Wistar Institute, and the University of the Sciences. Temple finished a new Master Plan for the campus and Philadelphia University is undergoing a master plan process. The Franklin Institute finished construction of their expansion along Race Street. CHOP has started construction of new dry-bench research facility in the Southwest Center City neighborhood, along the Schuylkill River.
2.4.1 Maintain Philadelphia’s strong role in the national and international tourism market – ONGOING: The Visit Philadelphia (formerly the Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Corporation (GPTMC)) and the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PCVB) continue to grow Philadelphia’s leisure and business travel. Nutter Administration trade trips to Southeast Asia, Israel and Western Europe are cementing the region’s reputation abroad and strengthening relationships with other economic hubs.
2.4.1a Continue to seek and host national and international visitor events – ONGOING: For the past few years, Philadelphia has hosted JayZ’s Made in America concert event. In September 2015, the city will host the World Meeting of Families, a Catholic conference that meets every three years. This is the first time an American city has hosted this conference and Pope Francis is expected to participate and say mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. In August 2016, Philadelphia will host the Democratic National Convention, where the Democratic candidate for President will be chosen.
Early discussions for a 2026 celebration of the nation’s 250th birthday are ongoing.
2.4.1.b Encourage development of hotel rooms to support expanding markets – IN PROGRESS: In 2015, several new hotels have begun construction, including the W/Element hotel at 15th and Chestnut Streets, a new Four Seasons in the Comcast 2 Tower on Arch Street, SLS International on South Broad Street and the rehabilitation of the former Family Court Building at 18th and Vine Streets into a Kimpton Hotel. This will be the third Kimpton Hotel in the city, following Hotel Palomar in the former AIA building on 17th Street and the Hotel Monaco at 5th & Chestnut Streets.
3) LAND MANAGEMENT
3.1.1 Centralize land management – IN PROGRESS: City Council voted 16-1 on legislation to create a Land Bank on October 28, 2013. In the fall of 2014, City Council adopted the first Strategic Plan for the new Land Bank. The Land Bank now has properties in its control and issued its first RFP in the Winter of 2015.
3.1.3 Reuse vacant land and structures in innovative ways – ONGOING: The new zoning code created two new zoning classifications for industrial properties, allowing for mixed-use commercial, industrial and residential uses in the same complex. This allows more flexible reuses for the many industrial buildings in the city. Several projects, such as the Oxford Mills, Globe Dye Works, and the Crane Arts, all rehabilitated vacant, former industrial buildings to new uses, including live-work space, residential units and cooperative manufacturing space.
3.2.1 Use topography to direct land development – ONGOING: The new zoning code includes new regulations for steep slope properties, forbidding development on properties that are greater than 25% and require ground disturbance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in 2015 release new floodplain maps that reflect new 100 year and 500 year flood plains. Also in 2015, the city created a Flood-Risk Task Force to evaluate the effects of flooding and sea-level rise and to create regulations to mitigate the problems associated with these issues
3.3.1 Reduce expenditures for municipal support facilities – ONGOING: District Plans address the needs of these facilities and make recommendations for upgrades, relocations and consolidations.
4.1.1a Install a system-wide, seamless, unified electronic fare collection system – IN PROGRESS: New fare equipment has been installed in select stations and vehicles for testing. Full deployment on City Transit is planned for2015, and Regional Rail for2016. Details here.
4.1.1b Continue implementation of Transit First policies – ONGOING: SEPTA has begun implementing Transit First on several key bus routes throughout the city. See the District Plans for recommendations for specific routes.
4.1.1c Support ongoing efforts to improve real-time information and way-finding – IN PROGRESS: Center City District evaluated the possibility to install real-time information at select trolley station entrances; with data publicly available, several smart phone and computer apps have been created to allow tracking of vehicles in real time, including Next To Arrive, System Status, and TrainView on SEPTA’s website.
4.1.1e Improve transit stops and stations using universal design principles – ONGOING: The City has signed with CBS Outdoor to replace the current bus shelters and install 300 additional bus shelters around the city. This street furniture contract also includes new benches and stand-along signage. See the various District Plans for recommendations for other transit stops and stations around the city.
4.1.1h Rehabilitate City Hall and 15th Street Subway Stations – IN PROGRESS: With the implementation of Dilworth Park, elevators have been installed at the City Hall station to serve the Green line trolleys. Money has been allocated in the SEPTA capital budget to upgrade the City Hall and 15th Street stations, with work already begun on the 15th Street station platforms.
4.1.1l Transform existing trolley infrastructure into a modern network with ADA compliant vehicles – IN PROGRESS: PennDOT and SEPTA are working to rebuild Richmond Street in the River Wards District and upgrade the transit loop as a prototype for new ADA-accessible vehicles. The new construction will include changes to the sidewalk to allow level boarding from the sidewalk.
4.1.2a Build a new transit extension along Roosevelt Boulevard corridor through Northeast Philadelphia – IN PROGRESS: The city, in conjunction with DVRPC, has hired consultants to perform a feasibility study for transit along the Boulevard. This study will review several transit options, including Bus Rapid Transit, possible station locations and other infrastructure to make the boulevard safer for all users.
4.1.2f Extend the Broad Street Subway south to the Navy Yard – IN PROGRESS: The city, in conjunction with PIDC and DVRPC is performing a feasibility study for the project.
4.2.1 Implement a complete streets policy – COMPLETE: Following a mayoral executive order establishing a Complete Streets policy, a Complete Streets Handbook has been published and adopted through the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities. Enforcement of the handbook will be ongoing.
4.2.2 Expand on- and off-road networks serving pedestrians and bicycles -ONGOING: Recent additions to the active transportation network include the Penn Street Trail, the Port Richmond Trail, Fairmount Avenue bike lanes, Sansom Street sharrows, 8 bicycle parking corrals, over 1400 parking meter bike parking racks. The new zoning code requires bicycle parking in most commercial, industrial, and large residential properties. Many recent development projects have exceeded the minimum requirements significantly.
4.2.2e Implement a bike sharing program – COMPLETE: In April 2015, the city unveiled Indego, a bike-share program that offers residents another commuting option. Phase 2, which will expand the service area is set to begin in Spring 2016.
4.2.2f Identify funding to implement a complete streest and transit furniture system – COMPLETE: See 4.1.1e above.
4.2.3 Improve safety and reduce pedestrian and bicycle crashes – ONGOING: Give Respect, Get Respect, a campaign of the Streets, Health, and Police Departments targeting all road users, has had two deployments since 2011, with targeted citations handed out to cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists alike to raise awareness of good behavior. Ongoing revenue from red light camera tickets is allocated to small-scale road-safety improvements, including pedestrian countdown signals, new crosswalks, and redesigned intersections. The city has documented fewer accidents on Pine and Spruce streets where buffered bike lanes were introduced. A summary of safety efforts is available through the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities here.
4.2.3h Launch a pedestrian plaza program,- COMPLETE: The Mayor’s Office of Transportation sponsored several pilot projects to demonstrate the advantages of these small pedestrian plazas. City Council has passed legislation to allow parklets. There are now several of these around the city.
4.3.1 Upgrade and modernize existing streets, bridges, and traffic control infrastructure – ONGOING: The Revive 95 project is underway with close coordination between PennDOT and local agencies. The city has been successful several times over throughout the Nutter administration in securing large transportation grants for new and improved infrastructure. Summary here. In 2015, construction has started on the bridges that carry streets over the Vine Street Expressway, west of Broad Street. In early 2016, construction will begin to rehabilitate the Chestnut and Walnut Street bridges over the Schuylkill Expressway. PennDOT is continuing its replacement of I-95.
For a complete summary of transportation and utilities achievements between 2008 and 2013, see the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities 5-year report.
4.4.2 Elevate the competitive position of Philadelphia ports on the Eastern Seaboard – ON GOING: In 2014, the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority issued an RFQ for developers of the South Port section of the port. The board is reviewing these and will then issue an RFP sometime in 2015. The dredging of the Delaware River is ongoing.
4.4.3 Modernize freight rail assets to ensure efficient goods movement to and through Philadelphia – ON GOING: In the Spring of 2015, CSX announced major investment in the 25th Street Viaduct to repair the concrete piers and the viaduct itself.
5.1.1 Reduce consumption – ONGOING: The new zoning code offers incentives for green building. The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and City Council passed Energy Benchmarking legislation to encourage competition and innovation for energy efficiency. Additionally, city buildings are receiving retrofits.
5.1.2 Waste reduction – ONGOING: The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability introduced single-stream recycling and has made great strides in reducing waste at both large-scale events and in everyday life for Philadelphians. The 2013 Greenworks Update provides complete details.
6) OPEN SPACE
6.1.1 Create a citywide Trails Master Plan to coordinate the planning and construction of trail systems within Philadelphia – COMPLETE. Adopted July 2013.
6.1.1a Construct the waterfront trail as described in the North Delaware Riverfront Plan (2001) and the Central Delaware Waterfront Master Plan (2011) – IN PROGRESS: The Port Richmond Trail, a segment of the North Delaware Trail, opened on October 29, 2013. Three additional North Delaware trail segments are in the design stage: K&T Trail, Baxter Trail, Delaware Avenue Extension. On the Central Delaware, the Penn Street Trail opened in May 2013. New grant funding from the William Penn Foundation will support construction of two additional segments over the next several years, as well as design documents for the portion between Spring Garden Street and Washington Avenue, where the Right Of Way is narrowest.
6.1.1c Complete the tidal Schuylkill River Trail – IN PROGRESS: The Locust to South Street segment opened in 2014. Additional segments, including South Street to Christian, the swing bridge over the Schuylkill, and Bartram’s Mile, are in design.
Additional completed trail segments completed include the Navy Yard Trail (January 2013), Shawmont to Port Royal Schuylkill River Trail (March 2013), Tacony Creek Trail, section A (April 2013), 58th Street Greenway (June 2013), West Bank Greenway Zoo Trail (July 2013), Ben Rush State Park Trails (August 2013), Schuylkill River Parks Connector Bridge (October 2013).
6.2.1 Improve and increase waterfront recreation opportunities – IN PROGRESS: Pier 53 Park broke ground on October 31, 2013. New funding is available for design and construction of Pier 68 Park in South Philadelphia, as well as to design or install improvements on key connector streets including Spring Garden, Columbia, and Tasker.
6.3.1 Ensure that all Philadelphians live within a 10-minute walk of a neighborhood park or a recreation center – IN PROGRESSDistrict Plans make area-specific recommendations to improve access to existing open spaces. The West Park District Plan focuses on increasing access to West Fairmount Park, while the Lower North District Plan is exploring ways to better connect neighborhoods to East Fairmount Park.
6.3.1a Convert opportunity sites such as school yards and recreation centers into neighborhood green space – ON GOING: In 2015, the Community Design Collaborative released design guidelines for transforming school yards to open space that provides park space to the community and learning opportunities for the school attendees.
6.3.3d Promote programming in various parks to encourage users – ON GOING: There are several park spaces that demonstrate that programming increases park usage. In West Philadelphia, the University City District provides programs for The Porch, a public open space in front of 30th Street Station. At Clark Park, just having café tables and chairs increased visitors to the park space. The Center City District provides programming at Sister Cities Park and Dilworth Park, drawing people to these spaces during the day and after sundown.
7) ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES
7.1.1 Reduce overall and per capita contributions to air pollution – ONGOING: Annual Vehicle Miles Traveled – the aggregate amount of driving taking place across Greater Philadelphia – decreased 10% from 2005 to 2011, from 5.9 billion miles to 5.3 billion miles. The City is doing its part to reduce reliance on automobiles, thereby reducing emissions and improving air quality. Strategies include the continued attraction of jobs to transit accessible employment centers such as Center City, where nearly two thirds of all employees travel to work without a car, as well as ongoing improvements to transportation systems to increase the appeal, safety, and service levels of mass transit, walking, and biking. SEPTA’s New Payment Technologies, the bike share program, and more mixed-use development will all contribute to increased mobility via active transportation and increased non-automotive access to goods and services.
7.2.3 Support stormwater regulations set by the Philadelphia Water Department to capture stormwater – ONGOING: PCPC partners with PWD during every District Plan to identify suitable locations for Green Stormwater Infrastructure, or GSI. Follow PWD’s progress at http://www.phillywatersheds.org/BigGreenMap
7.3.1 Increase the overall tree canopy across the city to 30 percent – IN PROGRESS: The city has sponsored TreePhilly programs that offer free trees to residents as both street and yard trees.
8) HISTORIC PRESERVATION
8.1.1 Preserve culturally, historically, and architecturally significant buildings, sites, structures and districts – ONGOING: Each of the District Plans lays out recommendations for sites that should be nominated to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. Staff of the Planning Commission has been writing nominations and several properties have been listed, including the Japanese House and Gardens and the West Philadelphia Branch of the Free Library.
8.1.2b Promote reuse of industrial infrastructure for new uses, such as the Reading Viaduct, swing bridge over the Schuylkill River, and the Manayunk canal – ONGOING: The Center City District has finalized construction drawings and fundraising for Phase I of the Viaduct is in progress, with construction set to begin in the fall of 2015. Preliminary design for the swing bridge over the Schuylkill River is complete and the city is searching for construction funding. The Manayunk Bridge trail is now complete.
8.1.2c Promote the conversion of historic industrial buildings to new uses – ON GOING: In the zoning code, adopted in 2012, the city created two new zoning classifications for industrial properties: Industrial/Commercial Mixed Use (ICMX) and Industrial/Residential Mixed Use. Having zoning classifications that provide greater flexibility for uses will help developers as they find new uses for these legacy industrial buildings.
8.1.3d Promote reuse of school buildings for housing and other compatible uses – ONGOING: Over the last several years, the School District of Philadelphia has closed and sold over 40 schools around the city. Most of the buildings are being reused for charter schools, housing and other community support services.
8.1.4c Support projects that educate the public about archaeology and important Philadelphia sites – ONGOING: As part of the I-95 reconstruction, PennDOT has hired AECOM to perform archaeological study of the area. The study has yielded tens of thousands of artifacts dating back 10,000 years.
8.1.5 Ensure maintenance and management of cemeteries and religious properties – ON GOING: In 2014, a new board has assumed control of Mount Mariah cemetery in Southwest Philadelphia.
9) PUBLIC REALM
9.1.1a Preserve and extend the city’s street grid, especially through mega-blocks and large parcels of land and to connect to the waterfronts – ON GOING: There are several projects around the city that plan to break mega parcels into smaller blocks. The plan for the Blumberg Housing complex in Sharswood calls for demolishing several of the towers and reinstating 23rd Street through the site. In Callowhill, PCPC staff is working on a bill that would give density bonuses to property owners who restore Noble Street for better circulation through the area. As part of the I-95 reconstruction, PennDOT is working with various community groups to improve streets that connect to the Delaware Riverfront, including Race Street, Columbia Avenue, and others. See the District Plans for more recommendations.
9.1.1d Launch a Pedestrian Plaza Program to improve the quality and safety of key intersections and street segments – COMPLETE: See 4.2.3h above.
9.1.2b Preserve acess to public light and air by managing andshaping the mass, height and bulk of new development – COMPLETE. While the previous zoning code had regulations about the size, mass and bulk of new towers in Center City, the regulations were cumbersome and didn’t allow architectural flexibility. With the new code, developers can choose to follow Sky Plane regulations that ensure that new buildings allow access to light and air, but also offer flexibility for many tower designs.
9.2.1a Implement the Civic Design Review process as proposed in the draft zoning code – COMPLETE
9.2.2a Transform Center Square into a destination park – IN PROGRESS: Dilworth Park opened in the fall of 2014, with programming provided by the Center City District. SEPTA now has money to rehabilitate the City Hall Station and elevators have been installed as a part of the Dilworth Park upgrade. The City has allocated money in its capital budget to rehabilitate parts of the apron, starting with the north side, and install new wrought-iron gates in the four portals. These gates are based on the original gate design created by John MacArthur when he designed City Hall.
9.2.2e Invest in street furniture, including benches, bus shelters,etc – IN PROGRESS: See 4.1.1e above.
9.2.3c Support the imstallation of public art in parks, plazas and other sections of the public realm – ON GOING: The Association for Public Art purchased and installed Roxy Paine’s “Symbiosis” near Eakins Oval. The new upgrades to Dilworth Park include a public art installation by Janet Echelman that includes lights and the fountain.
9.2.4 Ensure maintenance and protection of public works of art – ON GOING: The Department of Parks and Recreation, along with the Association for Public Art, provides routine maintenance and conservation of the many works of art in City ownership.