To meet the Greenworks goal of providing park and recreation amenities within 10 minutes of 75 percent of residents by 2015, the Parks and Recreation Department is leading a project, Green2015: An Action Plan for 500 New Acres of Public Open Space, in coordination with the City Planning Commission's comprehensive planning process. Grants from the William Penn Foundation and Lenfest Foundation are funding work on the project by PennPraxis, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and the Penn Project for Civic Engagement. The report will be based on an inventory of previous planning efforts, data gathering and analysis, case studies, and civic input. It will suggest specific parcels appropriate for use as open space and help the City develop criteria to use when considering options that arise in the future.
A reasoned and equitable open space plan will help achieve many City goals. Open space can help the Philadelphia Department of Public Health prevent obesity and promote physical activity. The Philadelphia Water Department benefits when open space absorbs stormwater. Understanding which neighborhoods lack open space will help the Planning Commission as they rewrite the comprehensive plan and the Zoning Commission as they edit the City's land use maps.
Parks and Recreation Commissioner Michael DiBeradinis and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Alan Greenberger convened an advisory group including City agency leaders, local nonprofit representatives, City Council members, and park advocates to give feedback on the project. PennPraxis will hold six civic engagement sessions during summer 2010 to get public input on the process. Green2015 will be completed by the end of the year. For more information, please visit www.planphilly.com/green2015.