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Guiding Principles and Action Steps

January 29th’s public input session and conversation at Smith Playground in South Philadelphia
January 29th’s public input session and conversation at Smith Playground in South Philadelphia.


Any vision for this site must respond both to the urgent and immediate needs of the most affected communities and address the long-term priorities of justice and equity, climate adaptation, and inclusive growth and design.

Social justice and equity:

  • Recognize past harms to the community and plan with their health, safety, and economic well-being as a top priority
  • Repair the social compact between the city and the communities surrounding the site through transparency, resource allocation, and sustained communication
  • Expand mobility through and around the site

Climate adaptation:

  • Prioritize remediation of toxins to prevent increased contamination with sea level rise
  • Strategically adapt to sea level rise through a phasing plan

Inclusive Growth and Prosperity:

  • Regenerate the surrounding neighborhoods through identifying resources to address health impacts, and advance living-wage jobs, education and job training, local hiring incentives, and inclusive economic growth and wealth-building, while designing these systems with long-term resiliency in mind around market forces and economic cycles
  • Building on the above, leverage the site’s centralized location and redevelopment as major employment hub to create network of economic opportunity in Lower Schuylkill and throughout region
  • Redevelop the site in a way that supports a diversity of uses rather than purely industrial, with considerations of where existing residential neighborhoods can be better buffered from industry  Establish more convenient and equitable access to the riverfront

Diagram of PES Site

Action steps

Those who live along the fenceline of the PES site have faced a foreboding barrier for generations. To truly integrate the site into the urban fabric of Philadelphia, we must breach the barrier of the Schuylkill Expressway at the northern end of the site and create urban-scaled blocks that can eventually be developed and connected to the regional transit, mobility and public trail systems.

  • Create a street grid (1), central boulevard (2), and bridge (3) to the western bank of the Schuylkill River across the site to integrate the site into the surrounding city.  The grid can be broken down over time to allow the site to evolve from logistics and light industrial to allow for a greater diversity of uses including residential, commercial, institutional and civic.
  • Boulevard the Schuylkill Expressway at Point Breeze where it is currently on-grade to eliminate this barrier to the site (4).
  • Extend Point Breeze Avenue to the river (5). Extend the Schuylkill River Trail to the site (6) and provide new green and open spaces for the adjoining neighborhoods and the city’s park system (7).
  • Expand public transit connectivity through new hubs of activity (for example, mixed-use centers, park space, or other employment hubs) across the site.