Featured Series

The 2015 primary season may be a slow motion horserace, but it’s also the season for fresh ideas and we’re excited to air some of them out here. For many Philadelphians this year’s election will hinge on huge questions like the state of our public education system. But the next mayor and the next City Council will have to tackle more than schools. This election is also about what kind of city we want to be. What will it take to make Philadelphia a well-planned, more equitable and livable city? Where do the 2015 crop of candidates stand on our core issues, like transportation, public space, planning, sustainability and preservation? 

For our spring 2016 series we're bringing you design postcards from around Philly. Thousands of architects are coming to the city in May for the national AIA convention. So we're asking Philadelphia architects to take us to their favorite underappreciated or misunderstood buildings in the city, and explain what makes them great. 

Series supported by the Center for Architecture and Design.

In 2011, PlanPhilly reported deeply on the Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha and its role in Eastern North Philadelphia’s revival. Stories explored the experiences of  area residents, the politics and racial dynamics of urban recovery, the design and architecture of low-income developments, and the massive investment of taxpayer funds that enabled the neighborhood’s transformation. This series is made possible by a grant from the William Penn FoundationReporting by Patrick Kerkstra. Photography and video: Neal Santos. Art direction and interactive: Brian James Kirk. Editing: Matt Golas

Where and how does Philadelphia find common ground? Eyes on the Street is exploring that question in 2018 through a series of stories we’re calling In Common. It’s a chance for us to explore the spaces where neighbors come together, and to look closely at a few projects remaking the places we share toward building a stronger, more inclusive city.

Words by Ashley Hahn, images by Neal Santos. This series is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, through its strategy to foster informed and engaged communities through public space.

This landing page is the place to keep up with the Philadelphia School District's facilities master planning process. The School District is compiling a comprehensive facilities master plan designed to "right-size" its physical plant. The goal is to maximize educational availability, quality, and equity, which will involve closing, consolidating, and selling schools. Decisions on how to manage this process call for wide community dialogue and close collaboration between the School District and city government. The The Philadelphia Public School Notebook is partnering with PlanPhilly to cover this process and inform and help foster that dialogue. This coverage is supported by a grant from the William Penn Foundation.

In partnership with WHYY's NewsWorks, Amy Z. Quinn covered planning, design and development issues in Chestnut Hill, East Falls, Germantown, Manayunk, Mt. Airy, Roxborough, Stenton/Ivy Hill and West Oak Lane.

Part 1: The staggering true costs of Philadelphia’s tax delinquency epidemic.
Part 2: Who’s to blame? The delinquents, and the neighborhoods they damage.
Part 3: Enabling deadbeats. The city’s failings, and some potential fixes. 
Part 4: Best practices and some possible solutions 

About this project: For this effort between the Philadelphia InquirerPlanPhilly and AxisPhilly, Patrick Kerkstra interviewed property owners, city officials and redevelopment experts and analyzed millions of property, delinquency, billing and code violation records. The reporting was complemented by an economic analysis of delinquency’s impact on property values by Kevin Gillen. The project was made possible through funding by the William Penn Foundation. Contributors include AxisPhilly's news application editor, Casey Thomas, PlanPhilly journalists Jared Brey and Ashley Hahn, researchers Evan Croen, James Robertson and John Dailey and designer John Suvannavejh.

The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) has embarked on a sweeping, half-billion dollar plan to replace its aged Norman Blumberg Apartments complex and remake a substantial portion of the surrounding Sharswood neighborhood, a section of North Philly just north of Girard College. NewsWorks and PlanPhilly reporters are producing a series on Sharswood that will trace the history of the Blumberg site, PHA’s evolving plans for Sharswood, and stories from the neighborhood as its promised transformation begins.

On March 19, 2016, PHA imploded two of the towers at the Norman Blumberg Apartments, a 1960s public housing complex on an eight-acre site comprised of three towers and 15 low-rise buildings. In razing Blumberg, the authority is making good on a long-standing promise to improve the state of public housing in this corner of North Philly. It will mark the beginning of the authority’s most ambitious project ever, promising not only to replace the aging housing complex but remake its neighborhood too.

"The Abandoned City" series was developed through a partnership between City Paper, PlanPhilly and Technically Philly, and funded in part by J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism.

This report is the result of a collaborative effort between the Philadelphia Inquirer and PlanPhilly. The project was made possible by a competitive award funded by the William Penn Foundation and awarded by J-Lab, a division of the School of Communication at American University. All records of tax delinquencies and sheriff sales were obtained from the City of Philadelphia through right to know requests. The aggregate property tax figures cited in this report reflect outstanding debts to the city as of April 30, 2011.

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