Philadelphia 2035: What does your city look like?

Imagine what changes you could make as the city planner for Philadelphia. Would you add more affordable housing, better access to healthy, locally grown foods? How about safer bike lanes and an expanded, more efficient public transit system?

These are just some of the changes the Philadelphia City Planning Commission proposes in their Philadelphia 2035 document and accompanying video. This city-wide vision was officially adopted this past Tuesday at a special meeting of the City Planning Commission where the Spring 2011 graduates of the Citizens Planning Institute were also honored.

City planning in Philly hasn’t been tackled on a large scale since the 1950’s when Edmund Bacon, executive director of the City Planning Commission, made his name as “The Father of Modern Philadelphia.” Bacon is known for his many now iconic projects like Society Hill, Penn’s Landing, and Penn Center, which houses LOVE Park.

Described by the Commission as a “framework” and “working document,” the Philly 2035 plan looks at the big moves the city wants to make in the next 25 years and identifies some of the steps to getting there. Transit and sustainability were recognized as priorities and the plan is growth orientated, meaning it takes into account the city’s population growth over the next 25 years.

The plan will be implemented through 18 strategic district plans over the next six years. These plans aren’t detailed in the Philly 2035 document, although it does recognize community support and approval of the new zoning codes as critical to the plans’ success.

Philly 2035 is a long-range, city-wide vision. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can look at the more than 200-page (but easy to read) document. Otherwise there’s a summary available on the Philly 2035 website.