The North District Plan was adopted by PCPC on January 16, 2018.
ABOUT THE DISTRICT
This district is situated to the north of Lehigh Ave. and west of Kensington Ave. Neighborhood revitalization efforts are responding to multiple urban ills: unemployment, poverty, abandonment, drugs and crime. Planning for large industrial areas is a key issue. The Hunting Park East industrial area is expected to remain industrial in character, while the Hunting Park West industrial area has a plan calling for a mix of new uses on land vacated by the Budd and Tasty Baking companies.
Top planning issues include:
Expanding and enhancing open space near Tacony Creek
Reuse of abandoned railways, and maintenance of traditional neighborhood commercial corridors at 22nd & Lehigh, Broad & Erie, and 5th & Lehigh
Rail stations at Broad & Glenwood and 22nd & Allegheny create opportunities for higher density, mixed-use development
It is important to support the work of community development organizations while also addressing the needs of under-represented neighborhoods.
Broad and Erie Task Force
The Broad & Erie Task Force is led by the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC), the Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems (OTIS) and the Commerce Department. The Task Force brings community stakeholders together with City officials to discuss and coordinate plans, developments, and initiatives near this important intersection. The goal of this group is to organize these projects into an aligned vision and reestablish the area as an “Accessible Downtown of North Philadelphia.” Specific tasks include:
Respond to Mayor Kenney’s goal to “Provide Economic Opportunity” for Broad & Erie
Coordinate efforts and develop a shared vision across departments and agencies
Work with local businesses to improve their storefronts and increase living wage jobs
Improve the public environment and safety
Leverage private investment with public funds to benefit local communities
Commit to action for implementation of improvements
Image courtesy Interface Studio
NOR 1 - Strengthen commercial corridors
The Streets Department will be installing new LED lights under the Market-Frankford Elevated structure. Construction will begin in 2019. To complement this lighting upgrade, the Commerce Department will fund a K&A beautification project led by Impact Services. Improvements may include new signage, decorative lighting and trash receptacles. Impact will begin work with neighborhood stakeholders to finalize the project components and make the improvements over the next 12 months.
NOR 2 - Reestablish Broad and Erie as the "Downtown" of the North District
The Commerce Department, in partnership with Called To Serve, are working with business and property owners to revive the commercial corridor at Broad Street, Germantown Avenue, and Erie Avenue to provide living wage job opportunities for residents. During phase one, which was completed in December 2017, volunteers from the Community Design Collaborative met with business owners to show how improvements to their storefronts could represent "a signal of change." Renderings will be on display at the Philly Free Streets event on August 11, 2018. (Image by Community Design Collaborative)
Image courtesy Community Design Collaborative
Image courtesy Esperanza Health Center
NOR 13 - Facilitate the expansion of health facilities
Esperanza Health Center (EHC) will transform the four-story, 35,000 square feet former Kensington Trust Company building at 861 E. Allegheny Avenue into a health center and healthy Café in early 2019. EHC is also planning to build a community wellness center on a nearby lot, which will include a fitness center, gym, classrooms, and conference space. Together, these properties will comprise EHC’s new Kensington & Allegheny Health and Wellness Campus.
NOR 46 - Identify and designate historic resources
In June 2018, the Zion Baptist Church Annex located at Broad and Venango Streets was selected as a site for "Sacred Places/Civic Spaces," an initiative of the Community Design Collaborative and Partners for Sacred Places, and sponsored by the William Penn Foundation. The initiative pairs congregations with a community partner and design volunteers to envision ways to revitalize and re-purpose underutilized spaces for community benefit. Called To Serve is Zion's community partner and Studio 6mm is leading the team of Collaborative volunteers. A public reveal event for designs will be held on December 4th, 2018.
Image courtesy Called To Serve
Image courtesy DVRPC
NOR 24 - Improve Pedestrian Safety
In 2017, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) worked with City agencies to examine pedestrian and transit connections at the intersections of North Broad Street and Germantown and Erie Avenues. Through the development of the Erie Station Safe Routes to Transit Project, DVRPC and City agencies identified and prioritized past and present transportation recommendations. Although the area is a major hub in the transit network, bus stops are located in hard-to find and uncomfortable locations. Additionally, there are concerns regarding pedestrian and bicyclists’ safety, high traffic volumes and speed along Broad Street. Engineering work will start in the fall of 2018.
NOR 44 - Reduce the effects of excessive heat on residents
The Beat the Heat Pilot Project, managed by the Office of Sustainability, was launched in Hunting Park in July 2018. The project aims to understand how residents are currently coping with extreme heat temperatures, the tools they need to better cope, and the changes they would like to see in their community to make it cooler in the long run. From July 2018 to October 2018, the Office of Sustainability will work with a number of city departments, community leaders, and neighborhood partners—including: Hunting Park United, Hunting Park NAC, Lenfest Center, North10, and Esperanza. The team is currently administering heat surveys, providing information about the Urban Heat Island Effect and how to stay cool and safe in extreme heat, and giving out cooling items such as hand fans and water bottles. In October, there will be a series of heat workshops with residents to design specific interventions and recommendations that will be summarized in a Hunting Park Heat Plan. Lessons learned in Hunting Park can help other communities in Philadelphia become more resilient to our warming climate.
Image courtesy of the Philadelphia Office of Sustainability