A Checklist For Good Planning

<p>Harris Steinberg, director of PennPraxis of the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania, offers 10 steps for good urban planning.</p>
July 16, 2007, 10am PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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Among the 10 steps:

"1. STREET SMARTS

Does the project respect the Philadelphia block structure or does it sprawl over many acres? Does the building squarely meet the sidewalk or float in a suburban-style landscape?

Philadelphia city blocks are easy to walk along with a fine-grained city street grid that disperses multiple building uses and traffic efficiently.

2. DOES SIZE MATTER?

How big is the project? Macy's and Wal-Mart are both big retail boxes but Macy's (the old Wanamaker's) sits on a city street with parking below grade and shop windows on the sidewalk. Wal-Mart is an island surrounded by a sea of surface parking. Which would you rather walk past?

3. CITIES ARE FOR PEOPLE

Cities and riverfronts are made for people. Is the development pedestrian-friendly, designed in a way that will encourage walking, biking, strolling and jogging? Is there public art to lift the spirit?

Do the public spaces encourage people to linger and socialize or is it a gated community designed to keep the public out?"

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Published on Monday, July 16, 2007 in The Philadelphia Inquirer
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