Philly 2035 Coming to a Forum Near You by David Hincher, CPN Board Member

This post originally published in the June 2012 edition of the Cedar Park Neighbors Newsletter. In the fall of this year, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC) will begin a district planning effort for University/Southwest Philadelphia. This is part of the Philadelphia2035 initiative that builds upon the citywide comprehensive plan and new zoning code both adopted in 2011. The city will complete eighteen district plans over the next several years. Last year, the Planning Commission finished plans forWestParkand Lower South districts and is currently working on the Central and Lower Northwest districts.


The district plan is a community/public process to review all existing properties and uses towards developing recommendations for future land-use. The planning process will involve three public meetings over approximately six months. PCPC has asked CPN and other community organizations to participate in the new district plan for University/Southwest Philadelphia. The district plan will look at previous community plans for input, such as the Baltimore Avenue Community Corridor Design Study that emerged from our 2010 Baltimore Conversation, as well as establish priorities for future neighborhood plans.


To inform land-use recommendations, the Planning Commission will comprehensively review location and efficacy of City-owned facilities such as libraries, recreation centers, playgrounds, etc. to assure they are properly zoned and centrally located within neighborhoods. The district plan also inspect underutilized areas at prominent locations, such as intersections of major transit lines, and help formulate plans and appropriate zoning designations to aid in their transformation.


The plan will also recommend improvements to public spaces such as streetscape, landscape, storm water management, parks and plazas. To improve community health, district plans will seek to improve access to healthy foods, facilitate physical activity, and promote healthy lifestyles.


Civic engagement is an important part of district plan.  For more information on the district plan for University/Southwest Philadelphia and how to participate, go to the following web address: