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Streets, sidewalks & alleys

Apply to install a plaza

Pedestrian plazas convert underused parts of streets into public space. A plaza can:

  • Encourage engagement with neighborhood street life by providing space for seating, tables, and other amenities.
  • Offer space for community events and activities.
  • Calm traffic and improve the design of intersections.

Local businesses and community organizations are key partners in the City’s pedestrian plaza program. The Department of Streets permits individual plazas, but the spaces are managed and maintained by the applicants.

Who

Organizations that can install and maintain a pedestrian plaza can apply. Partnerships are encouraged.

Applicants must demonstrate that their proposed plaza has an appropriate design and location, and that it has the community’s support.

The permit holder will be responsible for maintaining the plaza. They must be the same person or group that holds the required insurance.

When

The City reviews pedestrian plaza applications on a rolling basis.

All pedestrian plaza designs must be approved by the Streets Department’s design and traffic engineers. Because each pedestrian plaza is unique, the design and review process can take several months and may require more than one round of revisions. Make sure to allow enough time for revisions to designs, if required.

How to apply

To learn more about the process and apply, contact the pedestrian plaza program manager at completestreets@phila.gov. They can:

  • Provide guidelines for plaza placement, design, and operation.
  • Explain the online permitting process.
  • Answer questions about the pedestrian plaza program.

What happens next

Once the Streets Department reviews and approves the plaza, you will receive a one-year pedestrian enhancement permit.

The permit holder is responsible for installing, operating, and maintaining the plaza.


Renewing a permit

You can renew your pedestrian enhancement permit for up to three years.

The City may not renew the permit if the plaza poses a safety hazard or the permit holder hasn’t complied with the City’s guidelines.

After three renewals, you must reapply for a new permit.


Construction projects and parklets

Construction projects may require the temporary removal or relocation of pedestrian plaza elements. This can happen when construction in the street overlaps with some or all of the area of a pedestrian plaza.

In this case, the Streets Department will notify the pedestrian plaza’s permit holder and put them in touch with the manager of the construction project.

The permit holder is responsible for coordinating with the construction project manager during permitted construction. The pedestrian plaza program manager can help facilitate coordination as needed, appropriate, and possible.


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