Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic, asks the question: Can Anne Fadullon, Philadelphia's new Director of Planning and Development, be all things to all people?
Philly.com: Changing Skyline: Can Philadelphia's new planning chief be all things to all people?
By Inga Saffron | January 1, 2016
Jim Kenney ran for mayor as the great coalition-builder, bringing together a collection of the city's strangest bedfellows: New Philadelphians and the old. Bike-riding millennials and the building trade unions. Real estate developers mining the city for buildable lots and people unsettled by the explosion of new housing in their once-unchanging neighborhoods.
This week, Kenney pulled off a similar magic trick when he named a planning director who manages to appeal to all those groups.
Anne Fadullon, 52, who takes over the newly created Department of Planning and Development on Monday, has been a city planner, a real estate developer, an influential lobbyist for the construction industry, and an advocate for affordable housing. She has done stints at the Redevelopment Authority, which focuses on helping blighted neighborhoods, and the Dale Corp., a development company nestled in suburban Glenside. All the while, she has remained a darling of the city's Jane Jacobs-loving urbanists, serving on the boards of PlanPhilly and the Design Advocacy Group.
So it's no surprise her appointment was lauded by the folks who spend their days parsing zoning bonuses and planning guidelines.
I checked in with a half-dozen people, representing the full spectrum of ideologies, and nearly all called Fadullon an inspired choice.
For Kenney, Fadullon's greatest strength is that she's practical.