Here’s Philadelphia’s ambitious plan to build a neighborhood over a railyard on the Schuylkill River

East News Urbanism
SOM is leading the redesign of the area surrounding Philly's 30th Street Station (Courtesy SOM)

SOM is leading the redesign of the area surrounding Philly’s 30th Street Station (Courtesy SOM)

Cap and trade agreements are a standard tool in the climate change fight. Philadelphia, in collaboration with an urban design team led by SOM, is getting in on the game.

Primary study area (Courtesy Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan)

Primary study area (Courtesy Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan)

Recently revised plans for the 30th Street Station and surrounding neighborhoods call for capping 70 acres of Amtrak and SEPTA-owned land, trading the underutilized space for a mixed-use neighborhood, parkland, and three pedestrian bridges across the Schuylkill River, linking University City with Logan Square and Center City.

SOM partnered with Parsons Brinckerhoff, OLIN, and HR&A Advisors on the $5.25 million study. Through citizen input, the design team developed three iterations of the plan, all of which were presented and debated at a December 16th meeting, PlanPhilly reported.

Philadelphians debated the merits of three plans (Courtesy Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan)

Philadelphians debated the merits of three plans (Courtesy Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan)

The study reviews land use over 175 acres, 88 of which are owned by Amtrak and SEPTA. The main project partners are Amtrak, Brandywine Realty Trust, Drexel University, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), and SEPTA, along with twelve other stakeholders. Once adopted, the plan will guide the area’s development through 2040.

In addition to the capping and bridges, all three plans propose doubling the size of Drexel Park, boardwalks, a river overlook, and a bus terminal.

There will be two more public meetings on the plan in spring and summer 2016.

(Courtesy Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan)

Proposed pedestrian bridge (Courtesy Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan)

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