What will Philadelphia look like in five years, 10 years, 20 years?
In recent years, a mix of private and public sector organizations have developed their own long-term agendas to try and answer this question. High-profile examples include the Economy League’s World Class Greater Philadelphia (started in 2009) and the Philadelphia 2035 Comprehensive Plan (adopted in 2011).
There have also been issue-specific plans such as Shared Prosperity Philadelphia, a cross-sector strategy to reduce poverty, and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s (DVRPC) Connections 2040 plan to improve transportation infrastructure in the region.
At a neighborhood level, organizations like the Center City District and University City District, as well as countless community development corporations, have produced neighborhood plans and data-heavy reports in an attempt to both understand and improve their communities. The Center City District has taken this approach with a steady release of reports on jobs, housing and other important indicators, while also offering specific policy ideas on how to improve the city at-large.
Each of these initiatives have to some degree combined research, planning and engagement to create a picture of what is and vision for what could be.
One of the latest additions to this line-up is the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce’s Roadmap for Growth for the City of Philadelphia: 2015 — 2020. The campaign, sponsored by the region’s business community, aims to engage local leaders around reforms to expand economic growth in the city. Reducing business net income taxes, improving educational and workforce development resources, and developing the region’s infrastructure are just a few of its suggestions.
Similar to the initiatives that have preceded it, the Roadmap campaign has brought forth useful data and ideas. While forward-thinking is always welcome, let’s take a moment to take stock: What do these different initiatives have in common, in terms of goals, recommendations and data points? How are they engaging the city and region to make their goals happen?
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Are there opportunities for these agenda-setting initiatives to work together?
It is up to the organizations themselves to answer the last question. But the other questions can be answered by continuing to track these initiatives as they unfold. Listed below are just some of the reports/plans/visions out there now. Let us know what we missed, and help us use this date for better coverage of social impact in Philadelphia.
Roadmap for Growth for the City of Philadelphia: 2015 — 2020 – Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce
Philadelphia 2035 City-Wide Plan – Planning Commission
Shared Prosperity Philadelphia – Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity
Connections 2040 – Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC)
Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness – City of Philadelphia
Center City Reports: Pathways to Jobs – Center City District
University City District annual report – University City District
Photo via Flickr user Dirk Knight-30-
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