Philadelphia adopts 1st master plan since 1960

June 7, 2011 7:25:55 PM PDT
Four centuries after William Penn laid out its initial design, the City of Brotherly Love is getting its first new comprehensive development plan since 1960.

The Philadelphia2035 master plan, which will guide land-use decisions in the nation's fifth-largest city, calls for continuing to build the thriving downtown area, growing existing residential neighborhoods and designating specific industrial areas in the sprawling city. It also focuses on preserving open space, historic areas and public spaces, and connecting transportation and utilities.

The city planning commission adopted the comprehensive plan during a meeting Tuesday evening at the Moore College of Art & Design. The document will guide development in the city for the next quarter century.

Commerce Director Alan Greenberger said the document, developed after an 18-month process that included community involvement, will be implemented by residents, the business sector, community groups and others.

"It's everyone's vision," Greenberger said in a statement, calling the plan a "living, working document" that will be updated and revised over time. The plan also establishes a "citizen planning institute," which will serve as the planning commission's education and outreach arm.

Work on the citywide plan began in January 2010 and was completed early this year. Now, planners will move on to blueprints for each of 18 districts in the city, covering all of Philadelphia's neighborhoods. Those plans are expected to be completed by the end of 2015, officials said.

Going forward, the city planning commission said in a statement, officials hope to refresh citywide and district plans every five years.