August 11: School District going after under-assessed properties | Palladian windows | Best bike commutes

The School District of Philadelphia will hire an outside firm to challenge inaccurate property assessments for properties believed to be underassessed by $1 million or more, Avi Wolfman-Arent reports. As PlanPhilly reported, the Office of Property Assessment plans to reassess all commercial properties for 2018.

The city launched a new Community Health Explorer site with dozens of charts illustrating health-related metrics, many of which intersect with planning topics. You can even view statistics broken down by Planning District. 

Ken Finkel explains the prevalence of Palladian windows in Philadelphia at the Philly History Blog. “[T]he Palladian window offered Philadelphians classical flair and an unmatched grand flavor. It fulfilled needs of all kinds: civic, religious, business and domestic.”

Commerce Director Harold Epps and city planning officials toured the commercial corridor on Frankford Avenue in Upper Holmesburg last week, as part of their listening tour of commercial corridors, writes William Kenny. “The pop­u­la­tion is un­der its his­tor­ic­al ca­pa­city, so there’s go­ing to be va­can­cies,” Epps said. “But today I saw more va­can­cies in the North­east than I thought I’d see.”

Anna Orso at Billy Penn has suggestions for the best bike commuting routes to and from Center City and various other neighborhoods.

New York City will kick off its first “shared streets” pilot in lower Manhattan this weekend, in which pedestrians and cyclists will have priority right-of-way on streets, though slow vehicle traffic will still be allowed. 

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