Philadelphians: Good planners

A DN editorial:

Call it extreme makeover, waterfront division. Before-and-after images were unveiled last night as part of a public presentation of the Central Delaware Master Plan. These are more than pretty pictures of what a transformed waterfront could look like. They are pictures of what a transformed public-planning process can look like. The master plan, which segments the central Delaware into three major planning sites - Spring Garden, Washington Avenue and Penn's Landing - combines low-rise residential development, retail, parks, trails and boat basins, and is the result of a public process begun by Penn Praxis that involved thousands of citizen hours. That civic vision has been translated by the Delaware River Waterfront Planning Corp. into concrete land use, zoning and transportation plans that will transform the waterfront in a realistic way. Realistic, as in a long timeline that balances public interests with market forces. In other words, it's not all parks and trails, and it's not all high-rises.

We hope city leaders don't underestimate just how significant this process has been, especially as they continue debating the citywide zoning-reform process. Meanwhile, the public should take credit for a job well-done.

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