Category: Citybuilding

cities, planning, best practices, transportation, waterfront, green building, local economy, recycling, clean air, clean water, complete streets

The People’s Waterfront

by Caryn Hunt “What if?” asks native Philadelphian and PennPraxis executive director Harris Steinberg. What if Philadelphia could transform itself into a truly world-class city? What if we created “one of the greatest boulevards in the world”? What if that plan was for a “public realm along the waterfront that is so Philadelphian that all…

End Homelessness in Philadelphia

At a forum last week on homelessness, the audience was presented with a frightening fact: the rate of homelessness is rising in Philadelphia. This is happening just at the time of greatest prosperity for many neighborhoods, and in fact, gentrification and higher property taxes have forced people who used to be able to afford their…

SBN: People, Planet, Profits

True success cannot always be measured, even in business. For over a decade the Buy Local movement has been gaining ground, promoting a view that supports economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable business practices that strengthen communities. The sustainable business model advocates profitability through such unorthodox practices as collaboration, even with competitors, profit sharing with employees,…

Slow Cities

Across the world, cities are joining the “Slow City Movement“. The idea is to counter the ever-quickening pace of life in the wake of globalization with a conscious effort to build community, foster sustainable goals for businesses and within cities, and preserve the uniqueness of smaller cities. The main idea is to slow down and…

Pushing Philadelphia Forward

The proper function of government has to start with respect for citizens, but what else should we demand? Philadelphia Forward has authored a comprehensive Citizen/City Hall Compact which lists guidelines for creating a city government with greater transparency, efficiency, accountability and responsiveness. It states that citizens should always be engaged in policy processes, so we are developing…

A ‘GreenPlan’ for Philly

GreenPlan Philadelphia’s Open Spaces Plan How do you grow the city in a responsible way? How do you ensure that what you plan for is sustainable? How do you integrate existing community plans into a comprehensive plan for the city’s future? These are some of the questions the City of Philadelphia seeks to answer through…

‘City Harvest’ Grows Community

On October 12th, in the improbable surroundings of a Philadelphia prison, members of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the Philadelphia Prision System, and representatives of regional food cupboard distribution agency Self-Help and Resource Exchange (SHARE), met to celebrate a successful first year of their innovative pilot project, City Harvest. The City Harvest Project connects an extensive…

NABR Covers the Waterfront

Perhaps you are familiar with Neighbors Allied for the Best Riverfront (NABR) from their citywide “CasiNO” campaign, whose signs are in the windows of many homes, especially those closest to the proposed casino sites. Perhaps you’ve gotten literature about the state stripping Philadelphia of zoning authority over casinos from a NABR member running a table…

Six Steps to Zoning Reform, Part 2

Last week was Part 1 of my interview with community activist Vern Anastasio, where we talked about some of the steps that need to be taken to promote true zoning and development reform in Philadelphia. The interview continues in Part 2: I was alarmed to read about the recent rulings that stripped taxpayers and certain…

Can We Take the Heat?

by Nathaniel Popkin In six to ten years, in a minor but important step in the response to Global Warming (air travel is the fastest growing emitter of carbon dioxide), a substantial portion of express air travel is likely to be outlawed or heavily taxed. To the delight of many of us, the federal government,…