Is the Lower Schuylkill Philadelphia’s next great opportunity?
Harris Steinberg, executive director of PennPraxis*, had an opinion piece in Sunday’s Inquirer calling attention to the enormous potential presented by 4,000 industrial acres the Lower Schuylkill – an area of “mystery and promise.” The Schuylkill, from the Dutch for “hidden river,” is being thrust into a planning spotlight.
The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, Commerce Department and Planning Commission have been jointly developing a plan for the Lower Schuylkill since November.
The area has 68% of the city’s vacant or underused industrial land, its transportation access is excellent, and it sits between two development hot spots: the Navy Yard and University City.
Steinberg describes the a possible future for the Lower Schuylkill: An elegant 21st-century landscape of new industrial, office, and research buildings, historic industrial structures, sweeping recreational amenities, environmentally sensitive wetlands, and beautifully engineered bridge crossings.
State-of-the-art research and development facilities that build upon Philadelphia’s leadership in the chemical, pharmaceutical, and life-sciences industries lining the riverfront, complete with the extension of the Schuylkill River Trail and parks that deftly manage storm water. Could the Lower Schuylkill really become a new regional hub of economic, educational, environmental and employment opportunity? To Steinberg, “this area has the potential to become a clean, green, urban machine that will power the economic engine of Philadelphia well through the 21st century.”
- Philadelphia’s promising land along its hidden river [Harris M. Steinberg, Philadelphia Inquirer, February 26, 2012]
- At public meetings in April, PIDC and the Planning Commission will put forward some early concepts for the Lower Schuylkill Master Plan and you’ll have the chance to learn more and offer feedback.
*PlanPhilly is an independent news gathering entity affiliated with PennPraxis.