Imagine Philadelphia in 2040?

Today when you think of key places in Philadelphia you think of City Hall, Rittenhouse Square, The Italian Market, 30th Street Station, or Benjamin Franklin Parkway.  These are place that have shaped our city and have forged images here and in the eyes of the world.  Now imagine Philadelphia in 2040, just 30 years from now?  Where will we work?; How will we Travel?; How much has our population grown?;  Are we better connected and integrated through industry, health, transportation, and recreation?  How do we get there from here?  As part of the University of Pennsylvania's studio entitled Philadelphia Futures 2040, 34 city planning graduate students embarked on a 5 month challenge in 2009, envisioning the best possible future, then working backwards to create concrete steps for reaching that goal.  The project was broken down into 3 themes: the Global City, the Green and Mobile City, and the City of Neighborhoods.  The clients for a project of such immense proportions was none other than the city of Philadelphia itself, represented by deputy mayors Andy Altman, Rina Cutler, and Mark Alan Hughes, and city planning director Alan Greenberger.

This compelling idea has the power to make people take risk, imagining possibilities for the city that traditional planning might have forced us to leave behind.  Issues were addressed from various spectrums of industry, livability, connectivity, growth, education, and employment.  Two of the most impressive studies involved the planning of a Frequent Rapid Access Network (FRANK) comprised of a light rail system connecting all major transportation systems to newly formed Metro Centers spread throughout the city forming downtown business centers for 8 designated regions in the city; Southwest, Stadiums, 52nd St, Germantown, Erie, Aramingo, Frankford, and the Northeast.  The FRANK light rail lines will be; Loop Line, Roosevelt Line, Germantown Line, Park Line, washington Line, and the Airport Line.  The Metro Center would geographically diversify Philadelphia's economy.  They are instrumental in fostering a new creative, energetic, and competitive economy.  Metro Centers are high-density, high-activity, mixed used places that provide a broad array of services, resources, and opportunities.  A cluster of predominately eight-to-ten story buildings centered around a key intersection, a Metro Center brings together, residential, retail and office uses, education, entertainment, open space, and rapid transit access. Take a look at the links below to read more about this exciting vision for our future Global City!


Philadelphia 2040: A New Kind of Global City

Philadelphia 2040: Neighborhood Choice

Philadelphia 2040: A Green + Mobile City