For the first time in more than 50 years, the city has come up with a comprehensive long-term plan for how to improve neighborhoods, promote business growth and best use land.
On Monday, the Philadelphia Planning Commission issued its draft version of its vision for Philadelphia in 2035. And from now until the end of March, the commission wants to hear what the public thinks.
The city has not done such long-term planning since at least the 1950s for many reasons, including that big-picture approaches to urban issues fell out of favor for many decades as planners focused on developing specific projects over shorter periods.
But that thinking has changed as planners have determined that viable cities require sustained, long-term thinking.
"This is a very exciting first step," said Alan Greenberger, executive director of the Planning Commission. After the draft version is revised and, presumably, approved, the commission will create 18 district plans covering every city neighborhood.
The plan includes many specific suggestions, including creating green schoolyards for neighborhood use, extending the Broad Street subway to the Navy Yard, and rapid transit along Roosevelt Boulevard with neighborhood centers at stations.
The report emphasizes boosting public transit to achieve other goals, including improving the environment and decreasing traffic.
For example, the report estimates that a new fixed-rail transportation option on Roosevelt Boulevard could attract 124,500 daily boardings and also divert about 83,300 daily trips from automobiles to transit, reducing traffic on Roosevelt Boulevard and I-95.