Our friends at the Natural Resources Defense Council sent us a few links today for new steps in sustainability for Philadelphia, and we wanted to share. Kaid Benfield, a blogger and Director of Sustainable Communities for NRDC, posted yesterday that
If you care about green cities, you have to like a lot of what’s happening in Philadelphia lately, from land use planning to watershed management to the greening of vacant and blighted lots and, now, the opening of a lively new public space that makes the city a better place to live, work and visit.
Well, as Philadelphia natives, we have to agree that Philadelphia is quickly becoming a better place to live. As Benfield wrote in his post yesterday, for those of us who commute via 30th Street Station, a new park called “The Porch” has made the walk from the train more fun. On any given day, there could be a pianist playing the outdoor upright piano, people playing minigolf, a farmer’s market or an art installation. The relatively-new Schuylkill Banks park has increased the green space along the river and now hosts kayak tours, interpretive nature signage and a “movies on the green” series. Penn Park, the University of Pennsylvania’s expansive revitalization project, has also added to the green space along the riverfront, with trees, playing fields and walking trails.
Adding to the “nature-ifying” of Philadelphia are “pop-up gardens” and urban farms. This year, the Philadelphia Horticultural Society created three pop-up gardens in the city, providing both green views and fresh fruit and vegetables as well. Greensgrow Farm in Kensington transformed a SuperFund site into a beautiful farm, complete with a farm stand, cooking classes and other community events. Other intrepid guerrilla gardeners have taken it upon themselves to revitalize blighted land and create more beautiful landscapes.
On the political side, Philadelphia’s ambitious new 2035 city-wide plan and stormwater policies have been lauded on the NRDC blog and by planners worldwide. Green space will continute to grow as Philadelphia plans to retrofit nearly one-third of its impervious areas to green space and impervious surfaces, to help with stormwater runoff and water pollution.
We are excited to see what happens next!