Housing and Demographics
Staff members compile demographic and socio-economic data from the U.S. Census Bureau, along with other research reports and analyses of housing and socio-economic conditions in the City of Philadelphia and the region (often in coordination with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission). Division staff also works with the City's housing agencies on formulating development strategies and housing policy.
Transportation is a primary determinant of urban form and, consequently, transportation decisions are some of the most important urban planning decisions that communities make. Division staff members work at the confluence of transportation planning with land use and development, including such responsibilities as:
• Assessing proposed development projects for potential impacts on transportation systems;
• Preparing or providing input into transportation elements of community and comprehensive plans; and
• Evaluating requested transportation projects and making recommendations about their inclusion and level of funding in the City’s Capital Program.
Staff also undertakes planning studies related to transportation and development. Current and recent projects include the Philadelphia Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan
, a citywide Trails Master Plan
, Complete Streets reviews
, and periodic updates of the Center City parking inventory. The most recent 2015 Parking Study Inventory can be found here
Division staff members lead or participate in studies of economic sectors that have particular implications for land use and infrastructure planning. These include, but are not limited to, the retail, construction, industrial, hospitality, business-services, and transportation sectors. Staff also provides economic-development expertise—both within and outside of the agency—on regional, citywide, district, and neighborhood plans. A recent example is the Industrial Market and Land-Use Strategy prepared by the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation. Staff also monitors and analyzes economic and market trends to support City Planning Commission review of specific development and policy proposals.
In making decisions about different aspects of the built environment - land use, transportation systems, open space, and zoning - city planners affect the design of communities and, by extension, the health of their residents. As part of a coordinated effort to improve health outcomes for all Philadelphians, Division staff members work to incorporate public health considerations into planning policy and development decision-making. This work includes conducting Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) to estimate the potential impacts of projects and plans on health-related built environment factors such as access to healthy foods or use of non-automotive transportation modes. Additionally, staff incorporate health-supportive recommendations into Philadelphia2035 District Plans, and participate in ongoing development review processes to determine project impacts on health issues including walkability, pedestrian safety, and air quality.
The Capital Program
Every year Division staff leads an interdepartmental effort to prepare the City’s Capital Program, the six-year blueprint for investing in Philadelphia’s physical and technology infrastructure, community facilities, and public buildings. The Capital budget is the Program’s first year spending plan. Limited financial resources dictate that priorities be established among the competing needs of more than 20 City agencies and departments. Staff establishes priorities based upon several considerations, including:
• Philadelphia2035; and recommendations contained in community plans, which reflect the needs of the City’s neighborhoods and population;
• The need to maintain and enhance the City’s physical plant so as to deliver public services as effectively as possible;
• City government’s fiscal policies and constraints; and
• The ability to leverage capital funding from other government and private sources.
View a copy of the most current Capital Program.