Each month we meet to discuss planning, zoning and development issues and address challenges facing Philadelphia, its neighborhoods, and the region. These challenges are constantly evolving and, as we address them in real-time, we want to make sure the public has access to good information and that Philadelphians are well-informed about the forces and decisions that reshape our city.
Philadelphia Development News
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At the start of 2020, Philadelphia continued to be largely a tale of success, expanding upon years of economic progress and demographic change. But the rise in violent crime had become a central element in the city’s story, with the potential to change Philadelphia’s positive overall trajectory—especially when combined with its ongoing challenge of high poverty.
How the picture will change in the wake of the far-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic remains to be seen. Through 2019, Philadelphia remained a city where people wanted to live, work, and visit. Its population rose for the 13th consecutive year, albeit marginally, reaching 1,584,064. That’s a strong gain of more than 95,000 since 2006, when the population bottomed out after a half-century of decline—but still nowhere near the peak of more than 2 million in 1950. Download the report here.
Report of the Special Committee on Poverty Reduction and Prevention
Download City Council's Poverty Action Plan here. Published March 2020
Download City Council's report here. Published March 2019
Kevin C. Gillen, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow, Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation, Drexel U. presented the state of Philadelphia's Housing Market. Download the presentation here.
Lei Ding and Peter Birke explore how Opportunity Zones were selected in Philadelphia, and how they compare with the eligible neighborhoods that were not selected. Download the report here.
Like many cities, Philadelphia has some neighborhoods that are thriving and others that are faltering. But it has more of the former than it did a decade ago. Even so, the numbers at the heart of this year’s “State of the City” report show the contrasts between the city’s neighborhoods to be as dramatic as ever. Download the report here.
Economic growth is essential to ensuring increased economic opportunities for Philadelphians, yet growth left to its own devices — rather than fostered intentionally to promote inclusion — can exacerbate inequality and impact affordability. The goals and strategies outlined in this plan tie together current programs and new initiatives into a framework that advances growth with equity. You can view the Executive Summary and Full Report.
The Plan is a shared effort between the Mayor's Office, City Council, and a broad group of community stakeholders. It addresses homelessness and eviction, production and preservation, affordable, workforce, and market-rate housing as well as offering innovative and effective strategies to address Philadelphia's housing needs.
Elizabeth Greenspan & Randall Mason from PennPraxis released a March 2017 white paper on urban infrastructure and public/private partnerships.
State of Center City 2016
The annual State of Center City report is designed to measure the progress of Philadelphia’s downtown, to document continuing challenges, and to be of use to those who seek to develop, locate, lease, invest or meet in Center City.
The State of University City report provides a guide to the developments – academic, commercial, public, residential and more – that are driving 22 million square feet of planned growth and expansion in the neighborhood.
Central Philadelphia Development Corporation hosted a panel discussion with business leaders and asked them to highlight both the opportunities for more dynamic job growth in 2019 and the challenges and hurdles that Philadelphia needs to overcome to capitalize on these opportunities. A presentation is included from the event.
To help understand the dynamics of the relationship between historic preservation and new construction in Philadelphia today, Mayor Jim Kenney convened the Philadelphia Historic Preservation Task Force in 2017 and charged it with offering actionable recommendations to help balance preservation and new construction. The task force has released its final report and executive summary.
This year the City conducted a new study of Philadelphia's 10-year Property Tax Abatement. The study was commissioned by the Finance Department to better inform the public debate and City Council's deliberations over the Mayor's proposed Budget and Five Year Plan. You can find the full 2018 study here and the overview here.
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