Planning for the Philly Waterfront

June 26, 2008 8:12:02 PM PDT
For decades, attempts to develop the Philadelphia Waterfront have been foiled by economic limitations, neighborhood opposition, government corruption and that's just the beginning. However, tonight, Mayor Michael Nutter gots his chance at setting a grand vision of the riverfront in motion.

Nutter addressed plans that encompass a 7-mile stretch from Oregon to Allegheny Avenues.

The goal is to turn the currently post-industrial hodgepodge into a rational greener riverfront where people could live, visit, and relax.

Harris Steinberg heads PennPraxis, a moving force behind the vision.

"What's lacking is an interconnecting series of roads, a network of bike paths to get you to the riverfront; it's a disconnected part of the city," Steinberg said.

New rules for builders and developers would have to passed as the new waterfront connects with existing streets.

Green space might grow from 8 to 300 acres.

Mayor Nutter showed Action News Pier 11, a wasteland now, but could soon become a new pocket park surrounded by water.

"It's something that we can do almost immediately," Mayor Nutter said.

A possible conflict comes over the existing designs for riverfront casinos. Some say they would not fit in the pedestrian friendly waterfront vision.