Gritty Philly Tries on a New Reputation: Sustainable City

Darby Minow Smith profiles Katherine Gajewski, Director of Philadelphia's Office of Sustainability, and looks at the efforts she's leading to give vision to the next phase of the city's history.

With 300 years of compact development around the rational plan of William Penn, Philadelphia has great bones around which to build a sustainable city for the 21st century. And as the Director of the city's Office of Sustainability, it's Katherine Gajewski's responsibility to lead the effort to transform the way the city looks and works over the next 20 years, reports Smith. "Gajewski works to implement the ambitious city-wide Greenworks Philadelphia plan [PDF], directs a five-county energy-efficiency program, and even organizes a social group of city employees nicknamed the 'Young-ish City Government Workers.'"

"In 20 years, half of the city is going to be covered in green infrastructure. That means everything from smart streets to parks and open spaces to green roofs," says Gajewski. "We're only four years into our [sustainability] plan and already people's perceptions of Philadelphia are changing. Our population is on the rise. We have more people who are moving into the city."


Full Story: Philadelphia’s Katherine Gajewski is turning a gritty city green


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Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.