Bacon Awards, new futures for closing schools, Family Court gets extra floor, Manayunk Canal dredging, Philly had worst construction job loss

For this year’s Ed Bacon design competition, 57 student teams re-imagined the city’s interface with the I-95 corridor, submitting ideas as diverse as using it for energy generation, all-out removal, burial, reports PlanPhilly’s Kellie Patrick Gates. The winning design, called Float Your Boat, came from University of Toronto Students who hid parts of I-95, added more recreation and business near the water’s edge, and made the grand gesture of clearing the sight line from City Hall to the river culminating in a wide staircase drawing Market Street down to the river.

As 34 Catholic schools are set to close or consolidate, the time is ripe to plan new futures for each facility. In an Inquirer opinion piece, Michael Greenle (former PennPraxis communications director), advocates for a community-based planning process for each school to ensure these places continue to serve their neighborhoods. Greenle wrote, “It’s time to develop an action plan for the transition of these buildings long before they are slouching inexorably toward blight.”

The Art Commission approved the new Family Court building’s extra floor, after confirming that zoning requirements for height and floor-area were met. JoAnn Greco also reports that the signage debate for a Fossil store at 1616 Walnut remains deadlocked.

As improvements to the Manayunk Canal Towpath are drawing to a close, the canal itself is about to be dredged, reports Amy Z. Quinn for PlanPhilly/NewsWorks. Dredging the canal will improve the waterway’s flow and environmental quality, and should be ongoing until 2014.

The Philadelphia region lost the most construction jobs of any metro area in the nation last year, reports the Inquirer. The area lost 4,800 construction jobs last year, according to a report from the Associated General Contractors of America.

And, yes, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow. But with the winter we’ve had, 6 more weeks of winter doesn’t seem that bad.

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