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, lots 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 the 2013 and 2014 editions.
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: Lower South, West Park, Lower Northeast, Central, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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: City capital dollars in FY14 committed to support a new CHOP-sponsored library/recreation center/health center at Broad and Morris.
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 authorized by City Council and the Mayor October 2013.
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 within TOD Overlay areas on land zoned CMX-3. This also applies in CMX-4 and 5. The City continues to encourage senior housing developments in smart locations. Case study.
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’s 2013 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.
2.1.1g – 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 in place to add new runways, terminals, and landside transportation services. Recent service additions include Virgin America, Jet Blue, Spirit Airlines, and Alaska Airlines.
Navy Yard Master Plan Update released. The Navy Yard surpassed the 10,000 employee mark this year 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 set to come online in early 2014. 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.
2.3.1 Encourage institutional development and expansion – ONGOING: As of November 2013, there are 11 major institutional construction projects ongoing at CHOP, HUP, Penn, Drexel, Temple, the Wistar Institute, the University of the Sciences, and the Franklin Institute.
2.4.1 Maintain Philadelphia’s strong role in the national and international tourism market – ONGOING: 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 and Western Europe are cementing the region’s reputation abroad and strengthening relationships with other economic hubs.
Early discussion for a 2024 Olympic bid and a 2026 celebration of the nation’s 250th birthday are ongoing.
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.
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 for 2014, and Regional Rail for 2015. Details here.
4.1.1c Support ongoing efforts to improve real-time information and way-finding - IN PROGRESS: Center City District is seeking proposals 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.
4.2.1 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.
Bikeshare RFP released. Proposals due November 26.
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.
4.3.1 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.
For a complete summary of recent transportation and utilities achievements, review the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities 5-year report.
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 boardwalk is under construction, with anticipated completion in Fall 2014. Additional segments, including South Street to Christian, the swing bridge over the Schuylkill, and Bartram’s Mile, are in design.
Additional trail segments completed in 2013 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 PROGRESS: The Trust for Public Land is working with Parks and Recreation, the Water Department, and the School District to design and build green school yards and playgrounds on previously asphalt lots in Parks and Recreation and School District property. The current goal is to complete 10 such projects.
District 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. Penn Praxis is also currently conducting a public outreach and planning process to understand current use of Fairmount Park and desired improvements.
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
8) HISTORIC PRESERVATION
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: Fundraising for Phase I of the Viaduct is in progress; preliminary design for the swing bridge is underway; final design for the Manayunk Bridge trail is complete, with construction expected in 2014.
8.1.3d Promote reuse of school buildings for housing and other compatible uses – ONGOING: With 32 schools closed at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, the City is actively seeking community input and redevelopment proposals throughout 2014.
9) PUBLIC REALM
9.1.1d Launch a Pedestrian Plaza Program to improve the quality and safety of key intersections and street segments – ONGOING. 2 pedestrian plazas constructed in partnership with University City District (43rd and Woodland, 48th and Baltimore). There is no funding currently available for additional plazas.
9.2.1a Implement the Civic Design Review process as proposed in the draft zoning code – COMPLETE