An image from the University of Pennsylvania’s Civic Design Review submission for a new college house at 3300 Chestnut. Image courtesy of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
After some light agendas in the beginning of 2013, March finds us with a jam-packed Civic Design Review schedule. West Philadelphia owns the agenda, with four university-related agenda items.
As a reminder, CDR is a new advisory process mandated by the zoning code. How is something both mandatory and advisory? Well, the review of projects that hit certain triggers is a mandatory activity, but the output of that review does not necessitate action by the developer. What CDR does is provide a standardized and predictable format for reviewing the impacts that a project might have on the public realm. So what’s on the docket for March? Read on… READ MORE
On Thank Goodness Thursdays, we like to revisit previous plans and projects and consider just how lucky Philadelphia is that they did or didn’t happen. This week we have a little twist.
Here in Philadelphia we’re constantly evaluating our city in comparison to our big, bad neighbor to the northeast – New York City. We hear it all the time: “Why can’t we be more like New York? They have 10 Apple stores, zero crime, Super Bowl rings, Kardashians, and the United Nations.”
Well we say let them have it. There are so many things that make us awesome that NYC can’t claim – intimate rowhouse blocks, a great (inexpensive) beer scene, Mark Wahlberg movies, John’s Roast Pork, Forbidden Drive, etc, etc. And the U.N.? Ha! We don’t need the U.N. — even though we almost had it. “What’s that you say?”
Yup. Almost had this.
A large barge carries construction equipment for the Schuylkill Boardwalk. Caissons will be going in throughout the coming weeks.
Look at that skyline! Look at the cranes and construction! And get a load of that barge. You know what that barge means? Progress, that’s what. Construction of the Schuylkill Boardwalk continues apace, inching us closer to the glorious day when riding your bike south of Locust Street along the river will not mean slamming into a fence or hurling oneself into the chilly waters of the river. Instead, you will fly out over the water where you will be able to take in a view that few have ever seen before (unless you spend lots of time on boats on the lower Schuylkill). We don’t know if you like watching construction as much as we do, but if you’re bored, you should head over to the south street bridge someday and check it out.
Elsewhere on the interwebs, lots of interesting snippets to cheer for:
At the zoo: Today, better circulation and parking. Someday: a train station?
This project relates to our West Park District Plan, which recognizes the importance of the zoo and surrounding area as a gateway into the city and more specifically the Centennial District. READ MORE
Most Wednesdays we challenge Philadelphians to DEFINE THAT PLANNING TERM, an esoteric game where the prize is…knowledge! This week’s topic is one from the realm of transportation, a topic near and dear to a lot of people with way too much time on their hands (we kid, we kid…without people like these, we’d have no one to speak with at cocktail parties).
Today’s topic: LIGHT RAIL! Here’s Camden representing (though technically, even the fancy RiverLine behaves more like a streetcar in downtown Camden and then more like light rail outside of it…you’ll see what we mean).
Specifically, we want to clarify this whole rail situation, as in, heavy vs. light. It is just insane how many people throw these terms around inappropriately. Consider these true or false statements:
1) “Light” in light rail refers to the weight of the vehicles themselves
2) Philadelphia County is currently served by light rail routes
If you said either of these were true, then we just arched one eyebrow and went to refill our drink at the cocktail party, Lucille Bluth style. Here’s why: READ MORE