September 30: Saffron v. ‘Suburbanizers’ | Philadelphia’s disappearing identity | Locus Partners, disruptors

Inga Saffron goes another round with Council President Darrell Clarke for his support for suburban-style development in his district (and Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell for pushing for regressive, increased parking minimums that undermine the city’s new zoning code). The older “mini-suburbs” that already exist in North Philadelphia are a design legacy from an era when the city was struggling to manage the fallout of population loss. “Neither Clarke nor PHA seems to understand how their attachment to low-density development sabotages their stated goal of creating affordable housing. Yards and driveways will only drive up PHA’s already bloated building costs. Where will the money come from? The agency, [spokesman Kirk] Dorn confirmed, is running a $21 million deficit and layoffs are being discussed.” Join Inga for an online chat at 2pm.

An Inquirer editorial calls out the city for its inability to protect its built heritage, one our strongest assets, and uses the Jewelers’ Row example as case-in-point. “That’s the real, insidious crisis threatening Philadelphia: its disappearing identity.” The editorial calls for conducting a citywide survey of historic buildings, increasing resources for the Historical Commission, and promoting the 10-year tax abatement for rehabs. “That’s the real, insidious crisis threatening Philadelphia: its disappearing identity.”

The Philadelphia Citizen has a ‘disruptors’ profile of local design firm, Locus Partners on their approach to community-centric urban design and collaborative practice focused on the social power of design.

Closed for four years, the former St. Francis of Assisi Church on Greene Street in Germantown will see new life as part of DePaul Catholic School next door, reports Hidden City. In its vacancy the church has become something of a nuisance property, and near-neighbors Emaleigh and Aine Doley say they’ve felt the loss of the church as a community anchor. Will DePaul’s control mean a new day?

Regular weekday service will resume for SEPTA’s regional rail lines on Monday. There are modifications, however, for four trains with leased rail cars from other agencies.

And because it’s Friday: Watch as the West Philadelphia Orchestra meets the UArts Royals Band dance team on South Broad, via Philebrity.

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