The competition offers Philadelphia a chance to jumpstart development on its waterfront. But instead of focusing on large-scale projects that never come to fruition, the city is starting with a small plot.
"It is reasonable, however, to expect the project to demonstrate that Philadelphia is not a place where design goes to die. This park - funded with a grant from the William Penn Foundation - needs to look great and feel great. Given the city's parlous finances, the park may provide the only ribbon for Mayor Nutter to cut before the next election.
The pier should be a hipster magnet, not unlike New York's new High Line - designed, incidentally, by one of the finalists, James Corner's Field Operations. At the same time, the park needs to be a comfortable respite for walkers, bikers, and families. Right now, not a single blade of grass or soft surface can be found along Center City's stretch of Delaware riverfront."
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