top of page
the plan

Philadelphia2035 establishes the vision for the City of Philadelphia in the year 2035 and is the road map to achieve that vision. Philadelphia2035 is the product of a multi-year, comprehensive planning process. It is grounded in the Citywide Vision, and has followed through with strategic District Plans for each of Philadelphia's 18 Planning Districts. 


Philadelphia2035 is an aspirational, yet realistic vision for the City. Its main purpose is to set forth a collective, well-conceived plan --and the means for achieving it--for improving the quality of life for the people who live, work, learn, and visit. 

The goals and recommendations of Philadelphia2035 are organized into three forward-looking themes: THRIVE, CONNECT, and RENEW.


Philadelphia2035 envisions a thriving metropolis where residents live in healthy neighborhoods served by well-maintained public facilities, such as libraries and recreation centers. Residents can choose from a variety of housing choices to match all income levels and vibrant commercial corridors meet the demand for convenient local shopping. Cultural and institutional resources and new enterprises flourish, and land is used in suitable and vibrant ways.

Economic development goals are built on a vision of a diverse economy offering opportunity to everyone. Despite the loss of industry, Philadelphia continues to diversify its economy with growth in its successful education, healthcare, cultural and hospitality sectors. Philadelphia’s many neighborhood-oriented commercial corridors also provide opportunities for jobs and business growth, especially among our growing immigrant communities.


Although Philadelphia is gaining residents again after decades of loss, our infrastructure was built to support twice our current population. Philadelphia2035 calls for coordinated policies for vacant land and structures, care in protecting sensitive lands such as steep slopes and floodplains, and a consolidation of redundant or underused municipal support facilities as our city becomes leaner, greener, and more efficient.


The THRIVE theme addresses issues related to neighborhoods, economic development, and land management.

Philadelphians THRIVE in the middle of a competitive metropolitan region.


Philadelphia’s robust transportation system is one of its finest assets. Philadelphia2035 proposes improvements and expansions to this network to best serve the City and region. Dedicated mass transit funding from the Commonwealth opens up possibilities for extending the network and introducing new technologies. A new era of “Complete Streets” will accommodate all modes—transit, cycling, driving, and walking. Connections to areas outside the region will be made stronger by renewing our interstate highways and international airport. And since the transportation network supports not just passenger travel, but also the movement of goods from our ports and factories to the nation and world, Philadelphia2035 calls for improvements in freight mobility through thoughtful integration and investment in rail freight and truck routes.


Public and private utility companies and City agencies process and distribute energy, information, water, heating and cooling, and handle the disposal and recycling of wastewater and solid waste for Philadelphia’s residents and businesses. This is accomplished through a vast infrastructure of cables, conduits, pipes, transmitters, signals, vehicles and buildings, some of which is over one hundred years old. Investment in new, state-of-the-art infrastructure is key to providing these services with the least impact on the environment.


The CONNECT theme focuses on public infrastructure and includes recommendations related to Transportation and Utilities. 

Philadelphians CONNECT seamlessly to the region and the world.


Philadelphia’s open space assumes many forms from watershed parks to urban plazas, recreation fields to riverfronts, community gardens to playgrounds. These spaces offer many benefits – well-maintained open spaces can improve the quality of the immediate and regional environment, the health of the neighbors who frequent the spaces and the local economy by raising the value of nearby properties. Philadelphia2035 aims to improve access to open space, so all citizens can reap the benefits.


Renewing our environmental resources is essential to the health of our city and region. Increased energy efficiency, use of renewable energy, decreased energy consumption and mitigation of future sea-level rise will not only prepare Philadelphia for a better future, but can also provide new opportunities for jobs and growth.


Philadelphia is well known as a “Colonial and Federal City” and many of the buildings that date to that era have been recognized and are protected by listing on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. However, large swaths of our city’s historically and architecturally important areas remain threatened by development and demolition. We need to protect resources that tell the whole story of our city – the “Victorian City,” the “Music City,” and the “Industrial City” among others.


Citizens and visitors alike share Philadelphia’s public realm—those spaces and places where we walk and gather, such as sidewalks, streets, parks and plazas. The physical surroundings that define our public realm contribute to creating a sense of place and quality of life that is unique to Philadelphia. Philadelphia2035 calls for great design in these spaces so that we feel the need to linger and play, celebrate and interact with our fellow citizens.


The RENEW theme presents strategies about Open Space, Environmental Resources, Historic Preservation, and the Public Realm. These planning elements make up the final components of the built environment.

Philadelphians RENEW valuable resources to sustain a bright future.

healthy Communities

Our focus on Healthy Communities in Philadelphia2035 is the result of an exciting partnership with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, which engaged the City Planning Commission to be a part of Get Healthy Philly. This initiative was made possible by funding from the Department of Health and Human Services, and involves a number of city agencies and private partners working together for a healthy, active, and smoke-free Philadelphia.

bottom of page