Woodland Avenue Pedestrian Plaza Unveiled

Aug 29, 2012 10 years ago

University City District (UCD) has partnered with the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities and the Philadelphia Streets Department to transform a lifeless traffic island and a redundant stretch of street into a verdant oasis with trees, planters, bistro tables, and umbrellas. On Wednesday, September 19 at 1-2:30pm, all are invited to join Mayor Michael Nutter, UCD and other stakeholders in celebration of this exciting new pedestrian plaza adjacent to University of the Sciences’ campus.

The Woodland Avenue Pedestrian Plaza is the first completed project of the City of Philadelphia’s Pedestrian Plaza Program, which seeks to reclaim these unused swathes of asphalt and concrete by quickly and inexpensively turning them into new public plazas and parks. “Pedestrian Plazas are yet another example of how the City and community partners can drive innovation and make Philadelphia more vibrant through the creation of small public spaces. With Ped Plazas and Parklets popping up across the city it is clear that there is demand for high quality, low cost, pedestrian amenities," added Mayor Michael Nutter.

The success of these plazas will be evaluated to understand what adjustments need to be made, and ultimately, whether the temporary closure should be a long term community investment. Last year, the City awarded three grants through its Pedestrian Plaza Program. UCD was the recipient of two of those grants; next spring, another pedestrian plaza will be unveiled at the intersection of 48th Street and Baltimore Avenue. “This project shows that with a little imagination we can build safer and more vibrant communities for neighborhoods across the city,” said Rina Cutler, Philadelphia’s Deputy Mayor of Transportation and Utilities.

“University of the Sciences would like to thank the University City District and the City of Philadelphia for partnering with us to turn this once barren corner into a pleasing destination for the community,” said USciences President Dr. Helen Giles-Gee. “From the environmental benefits to the added amenities, the new pedestrian plaza is a welcome addition to the neighborhood.” Adjacent to the USciences’ campus, the college will share in the upkeep of the small plot.

“Sustainability is also a major goal of the pedestrian plaza,” said UCD’s Seth Budick. In creating a new green space that links together The Woodlands, Clark Park and the USciences campus, the plaza’s planters will capture rain that would otherwise runoff as stormwater, and incorporate salvaged wood, both in the form of fallen trees from Woodlands Cemetery and elsewhere, as well as old lumber from a building renovation in University City. The project was designed and assembled by Think Green LLC of Glenside, PA.

The public is invited to the Wednesday, September 19 program, where complimentary treats will be provided by Little Baby’s Ice Cream and Woodland Avenue’s Four Worlds Bakery and Starbucks.