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    • Some of the Acela train sets are 15 to 16 years old. At best, Amtrak expects their lifetime to be about 20 years

Can new federal plan really bring high-speed rail to Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor?

Taking them might beat driving, but trains on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor (NEC) are not very fast. It takes about an hour and fifteen minutes to get to New York from Philadelphia…

    • PATCO entrance

Going up: PATCO to build elevators at six stations

The DRPA board authorized a $31 million, four year project to install eight elevators in six PATCO stations at its monthly board meeting Wednesday. The project will make all PATCO stations…

    • 33 new pedestrian-scale street lights were recently installed along North 3rd Street in Old City.

July 19: Testing “eyes on the street” | Wells Fargo sued again | Philly’s First Navy Yard

A team of three statisticians and an architect released in June a study that tests the famous Jacobsian ‘eyes on the street’ theory, writes Jared Brey, contributing to NextCity. Using publicly…

    • Fliers along Lombard Street in Fitler Square looking for witnesses of a recent car crash that injured a cyclist

Hundreds pack Fitler Square school auditorium to disagree over proposed protected bike lane pilot

City residents gathered Monday evening in Fitler Square to fight over what may be the neighborhood’s most precious commodity: space. Curb-to-curb, Lombard and South Street both sit just 26-feet wide.* On…

    • 30 Pelham Road was designated to the local historic register in July (Photo credit: Historical Commission)

Pace of Philly historic preservation accelerates as Historical Commission matches last year’s total by July

At its July meeting, the Philadelphia Historical Commission accepted eight new nominations to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, bringing the total number of newly protected individual sites in 2017 to…

    • Hazelwood Second Ave

July 18: CRA effects on lending | $26M Newark station makeover | Philly’s media industry

Philadelphia’s Federal Reserve Bank has published new research on the effects of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) on mortgage lending in the city, writes NextCity’s Oscar Perry Abello. In CRA-eligible census…

    • Manuel Ortiz said he was not notified of the water main replacement happening in his block in North Philadelphia.

Philadelphia’s building boom gives rise to another hidden lead risk

About five years ago, doctors found high levels of lead in the blood on Manuel Ortiz’s oldest son. Ortiz and his wife were scared. And surprised: Manuel Jr. acted like a…

    • Lead Awareness Philly Campaign workshop in West Philadelphia.

Things to know about lead in water

Ed. Note: Our environmental reporter, Catalina Jaramillo, investigated the Philadelphia Water Department's efforts to notify residents about the risk of lead in their water supply. PlanPhilly compiled the information below for…

    • Bartram's Farm One Year Mark

July 17: Demolition delay | Phantom tollbooths | Less affordable future?

Councilwoman Quiñones-Sánchez’s proposed inclusionary zoning bill looks ahead to a less affordable future, writes Jared Brey for NextCity. Brey looks at a similar bill introduced to council in 2007, inclusionary zoning…

    • Big crowd for PennEnvironment's Climate on tap event with U.S. Sen. Bob Casey | Evil Genius Beer Co.

Climate change could skunk your beer, environmentalists warn

Sipping a cold beer on a hot summer day, you might not think about how climate change can hurt your favorite fermented beverage. PennEnvironment’s Adam Garber thinks you should. “What we…

    • James Turrell's proposed Skyspace, situated directly in front of the Art Museum's columns

Art Critics: Proposed “Skyspace” behind Art Museum provokes controversy at Historical Commission

For a moment Friday morning, it looked as though the Historical Commission might have a problem with world-renowned artist James Turrell and his plans to grace Philadelphia with one of his…

    • 2016 rendering of K4 development 'Liberty on the River' | Barton Partners

Cry me a River: Central Delaware advocates debate changes to waterfront zoning, height limits

Thursday night, the Central Delaware Advocacy Group (CDAG) gathered to hear Mark Squilla explain his  proposal to allow the construction of  significantly taller buildings along the waterfront. In the Independence Seaport…

    • Kids splashed in the new Shissler Rec Center sprayground plant feature

July 14: Blatstein’s $40M tax credit | Rebuild prelim work | PPA’s TNC rules?

The city’s deal with Bart Blatstein for the former Inquirer Building allows the developer to retain $40 million in federal historic tax credits, Jacob Adelman reports. A city spokesperson says that…

    • Darrell Clarke

Clarke Park: Council President wants builders to make more space for cars

In the last City Council session before summer recess, City Council President Darrell Clarke introduced a bill that might reopen the battle over parking in Philadelphia. The proposed legislation would double…

    • Shalimar Thomas, director of North Broad Renaissance (Brad Larrison for NewsWorks)

July 13: An “unfortunate casualty” | 30 Philly walks | North Broad Renaissance

The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation’s outgoing first president Tom Corcoran discusses the organization’s major accomplishments and challenges with NewsWorks Tonight’s Dave Heller. Corcoran speaks about the successes: Spruce Street Harbor Park,…

    • 30th Street Station Plaza rendering. Credit: Amtrak

July 12: Sunoco pays for water | EPA, DOT cuts | Augmented reality in parks

Sunoco will pay for public water for about 30 Chester County homes affected by the Mariner East 2 pipeline drilling, StateImpact PA’s Jon Hurdle reports. The company committed to supply residents…

    • 5th Street / Independence Hall station, July 2016

July 11: PennDOT safety improvements | Eric Blumenfeld’s dreams | Bedell mansion

The Divine Lorraine’s renovation is well underway, but will North Broad’s current state be enough to make the connection to Center City? Billy Penn’s Mike Dent tours work-in-progress with developer Eric…

    • Gary Jastrzab | Jonathan Wilson for WHYY

After 37 years of planning ahead, retiring Planning Commission chief Gary Jastrzab takes a look back

2017 was Gary Jastrzab’s 37th year at the Philadelphia City Planning Commission; it’s also his last. Jastrzab joined the institution right out of the University of Pennsylvania’s planning school in 1980,…

    •  camp in Kensington (Emma Lee/WHYY)

July 10: Comeback cities | Conrail cleanup delay | Collingswood architectural treasures

Cities making a comeback—Keystone Crossroads’ Naomi Starobin discusses economically distressed communities in small American cities with Atlantic magazine writers James and Deborah Fallows on the Grapple podcast. Looking to cities…

    • municipal waffle | Steve Ives, EOTS Flickr Group

Philadelphia reorganizes development-related agencies into single Department of Planning and Development

In a reorganization this week, most of Philadelphia’s distinct housing, development, and planning agencies have been officially united under a single Department of Planning and Development. The department will be divided…

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