<p>The plan proposes investment in high-quality public spaces, not only to provide valuable recreational, cultural, and entertainment attractions, but also to yield increased value on nearby privately-owned parcels. Higher value on these private parcels will allow property owners and developers to achieve a denser, higher quality reuse of their properties.</p>

The plan proposes investment in high-quality public spaces, not only to provide valuable recreational, cultural, and entertainment attractions, but also to yield increased value on nearby privately-owned parcels. Higher value on these private parcels will allow property owners and developers to achieve a denser, higher quality reuse of their properties.

<p>Focusing on low- to mid-rise housing, shown here at Washington Avenue, will help extend the fabric of existing neighborhoods to the waterfront.</p>

Focusing on low- to mid-rise housing, shown here at Washington Avenue, will help extend the fabric of existing neighborhoods to the waterfront.

<p>A rendering shows a wetlands park looking north from Dickinson Street. Multiple objectives are met at this site, where sustainable residential development, new parks, waterfront activitation, and wetland restoration are planned.</p>

A rendering shows a wetlands park looking north from Dickinson Street. Multiple objectives are met at this site, where sustainable residential development, new parks, waterfront activitation, and wetland restoration are planned.

<p>The Spring Garden area is a highly developable section of the waterfront, rich in history and anchored by substantial buildings and vibrant neighborhoods.</p>

The Spring Garden area is a highly developable section of the waterfront, rich in history and anchored by substantial buildings and vibrant neighborhoods.

<p>This rendering shows mixed-use residential development at Festival Pier. The buildings will be organized around a new park and public plaza activated by restaurants, retail, and public events.</p>

This rendering shows mixed-use residential development at Festival Pier. The buildings will be organized around a new park and public plaza activated by restaurants, retail, and public events.

<p>The plan proposes an adaptive reuse of the historic Delaware Generating Station, a power plant next to Penn Treaty District, and envisions redeveloping it for a vibrant mix of cultural, museum, arhicval, office, studio, gallery, retails, and entertainment uses.</p>

The plan proposes an adaptive reuse of the historic Delaware Generating Station, a power plant next to Penn Treaty District, and envisions redeveloping it for a vibrant mix of cultural, museum, arhicval, office, studio, gallery, retails, and entertainment uses.

<p>A key principle of the plan is to create a network of civic and public spaces that are distinctive public amenities as well as catalysts for private development.</p>

A key principle of the plan is to create a network of civic and public spaces that are distinctive public amenities as well as catalysts for private development.

<p>High-quality transit service connecting waterfront destinations with the city is critical to the success of the master plan. The first phase includes improvements to existing public transit, with a light-rail/streetcar system proposed in the long-term. This rendering shows improvements at Delaware Avenue and Spring Garden Street.</p>

High-quality transit service connecting waterfront destinations with the city is critical to the success of the master plan. The first phase includes improvements to existing public transit, with a light-rail/streetcar system proposed in the long-term. This rendering shows improvements at Delaware Avenue and Spring Garden Street.

<p>Mixed-use development and grand civic spaces combine at Penn's Landing in the center of the waterfront. Port uses are concentrated at the north and south ends of the project area. </p>

Mixed-use development and grand civic spaces combine at Penn's Landing in the center of the waterfront. Port uses are concentrated at the north and south ends of the project area.

<p>At the Penn's Landing basin, mid-rise residential development is proposed, with waterfront restaurants and retail on the bottom two floors, and floating restaurants attached to the quay.</p>

At the Penn's Landing basin, mid-rise residential development is proposed, with waterfront restaurants and retail on the bottom two floors, and floating restaurants attached to the quay.

<p>Open space in the master plan was designed to accommodate diverse uses. The plan shows wetlands in appropriate locations where piers are deteriorated, civic spaces at the center, and neighborhood parks spread throughout.</p>

Open space in the master plan was designed to accommodate diverse uses. The plan shows wetlands in appropriate locations where piers are deteriorated, civic spaces at the center, and neighborhood parks spread throughout.

<p>The plan proposes investment in high-quality public spaces, not only to provide valuable recreational, cultural, and entertainment attractions, but also to yield increased value on nearby privately-owned parcels. Higher value on these private parcels will allow property owners and developers to achieve a denser, higher quality reuse of their properties.</p>

How can we redefine the land along the central Delaware River so that Philadelphia can advance a vibrant, resilient waterfront and establish a greener and more equitable city?

Over 300 years ago, in founding a new colony, William Penn sought to define Philadelphia as a “Greene Countrie Towne” in a verdant land of rivers, streams, marshes, hillocks, and valleys. As the region developed and progressed, however, Philadelphia moved away from this verdant vision and became a center of industry and commerce, with a bustling port on the Delaware River. Factories and shipyards polluted the waterfront landscape, turning it into a gritty industrial zone. In the last 50 years, when traditional “smokestack” industry moved on, brownfields and abandoned piers and buildings were left behind.

The Delaware River has historically been the front door of the city, and the waterfront was once the source of Philadelphia's wealth and power, but many of its functions have become obsolete, leaving the deterioration we see today. The Master Plan for the Central Delaware envisions transforming Philadelphia's central waterfront into an extension of the thriving city. It draws on the rich history of the land, the city's strong cultural assets, the character of adjacent neighborhoods, and a vital connection to residents and visitors through recreation and programming to create an authentically Philadelphia waterfront

The master plan encourages resource conservation by promoting innovative, high-performance goals for all new development.

Green Space

The 25-year plan offers the opportunity to balance areas of industry and development with significant green landscape and public space, reviving Penn's original vision. It proposes a public realm composed of parks, trails, and roads with the primary goal of reorganizing the formerly industrial waterfront into a landscape of twenty-first century urban development. The project was carefully formulated in critical dialogue with property owners and stakeholder groups, including neighborhood associations, elected officials, heads of state, and local agencies. At the end of each project phase, a public meeting was held to solicit feedback and provide progress updates.

Principles in the development of the master plan included the creation of a network of civic and public spaces as public amenities and catalysts for private development, and the promotion of new low- to mid-rise neighborhoods (in keeping with Philadelphia's historic building stock) to bring activity and life to the waterfront. Based on careful parcel-by-parcel studies of constraints and opportunities, a land use plan allows for diverse purposes, such as heavy industry versus neighborhood-scale development, with transition zones between them. Developing a public transportation dynamic that supports the walkability of the waterfront and its strong connection to the rest of the city and region is another integral component.

It is essential to the master plan that new development complement the distinct character of Philadelphia's neighborhoods.

Strategy

The plan sets forth an economic strategy based on rigorous cost estimating and analysis. It provides a practical implementation approach for the phasing and funding of public realm enhancements to encourage private development, including parks located at half-mile increments and a variety of multi-use trails and watershed restoration areas. A highly detailed short-term strategy to invest limited public funding in concentrated areas will stimulate the transformation. A waterfront that is environmentally as well as economically sustainable is a crucial goal, and the plan outlines best practices in sustainability for architecture, landscape architecture, and city planning.

A 270-page planning document and 24-page executive summary aggregate planning work that was begun in 2003 and finalized in 2011 by a multidisciplinary design team that included Cooper, Robertson & Partners, OLIN, and KieranTimberlake. The master plan was adopted by the City of Philadelphia in March 2012.