Making a place for place making

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Philadelphia is hosting a national Urban Land Institute conference today and tomorrow on “place making,” or creating a public space — large or small — where people can gather, hang out and enjoy themselves.

Place making has become such an important part of urban planning that both University City District and Center City District have made it one of their priorities. I haven’t seen place making become a priority for the suburban planners or developers but maybe this conference will help change that.

The meeting, which is being held at the Inn at Penn, has the potential to have ramifications for Philadelphia and the region.

Developers, architects, planners, financial institutions and others from across the country have ascended on the city and will see what’s going on here. Maybe it will even pique an outside developer’s interest to do a project here. Some attendees include Howard Hughes Corp., Garnier & Garnier, Belmont Investment Corp. and Cathartes Private Investments.

Part of the program includes taking tours of the Philadelphia Navy Yard and University City, both areas that have focused on place making as an integral part of its overall planning. One of the most popular place making spots in University City is the Porch at 30th Street. It’s nice that Philadelphia gets to show off some of the innovative place making work it has done.

Local developers, planners, architects, investors and real estate consultants are also attending the conference, which has a list of who’s who of speakers and panelists. There just might be some new ideas that get planted for Philadelphia from the event.

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