Drexel, Amtrak, Brandywine Realty Trust, PennDOT and SEPTA were honored for their collaborative efforts on the 30th Street Station District Plan with a 2017 Institute Honor for Regional & Urban Design from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) on Jan. 13.
The 30th Street Station District Plan was selected from more than 500 submissions from around the world; the honor and is awarded to only the best projects relating to urban design, regional and city planning and community development. The collaboration received one of the most prestigious awards in the architecture industry for its plan to revitalize the area surrounding 30th Street Station, the third-busiest Amtrak station in the country and a major transportation hub for travelers using public transit in Philadelphia.
In announcing the 30th Street Station District Plan’s achievements, the AIA stated, “The final plan, daring in its scope but achievable in its details, will create a new city fabric through a tapestry of streets, open space, and infrastructure while sparking renewed excitement about the future of Philadelphia.”
As previously reported in DrexelNow, the 30th Street Station District Plan, which is a collaborative two-year joint planning effort, proposes 40 new acres of open space and 18 million square feet of new development, including a new mixed-use neighborhood on top of 88 acres of rail yards along the western bank of the Schuylkill River.
Additionally, the plan calls for a $2 billion investment in roads, utilities, parks, bridges and extension of transit services, which could lay the grounds for $4.5 billion in private real estate investment as well as the $3.5 billion reported for Drexel’s Schuylkill Yards project being developed by Brandywine Realty Trust. As a result, the impact of the 30th Street District Plan could amount to incredible economic benefits for the neighborhood and the city — such as generating $3.8 billion in city and state taxes and creating 40,000 new jobs.
“All of the development concepts found in the plan are a direct response to universal stakeholder priorities about placemaking, preparing the historic station for the rest of the 21st century, and improving the connections to the city’s diverse neighborhoods and cultural assets,” the AIA stated. “Achieving those goals will mean working among some of the most complex infrastructure found in a single area.”
The 30th Street Station District Plan’s collaborators will be honored alongside the other AIA Institute Honor Awards recipients at the AIA Conference on Architecture 2017 in April.