January 3: DAG talks “public interest”

Just what is in the “public interest” and who decides?

Join the Design Advocacy Group on Thursday morning for a discussion about the thorny issue of the public interest, and two debates about public benefit that came up in 2012. Last summer the Historical Commission approved the Episcopal Cathedral’s hardship appeal based on “necessary public interest,” allowing the Cathedral to demolish brownstones (seen above) to make way for a developer-built, income-producing property. Another public interest argument was recently made to justify the huge advertising wrap planned for the Electric Factory building in exchange for a share of the profits pledged for three public schools.

Participating in DAG’s roundtable discussion are: John Gallery, outgoing executive director of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia; Richard De Marco, a land use attorney with Elliott Greenleaf who served on the Zoning Code Commission; and Rogers Smith, the Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Penn.

DAG’s next meeting is Thursday, January 3 at 8am (sharp) at the Center for Architecture (1218 Arch Street).

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