Interesting article yesterday on philly.com titled “SEPTA is our key to a green future” by Councilman Bill Greenlee and Beverly Coleman, Executive Director of NeighborhoodsNow. You can tell somebody is planning for a green windfall from the stimulus. But if the powers that be are going to throw some money at a problem, let some of it land in Frankford. It’s about time.
THE OBAMA administration plan for America’s future calls for the U.S. to create jobs, jump-start growth and transform our economy to compete in the 21st century.
This includes becoming the world leader in green technology and adopting progressive environmental policies. As the nation’s sixth-largest city, with the fifth-largest regional public transit system, our impact is huge, our responsibility profound. Given the stimulus money that will flow to the city and the state, we face hard choices about priorities.
Philadelphia is uniquely positioned to respond to this call to increase access to jobs and reduce our carbon footprint by supporting development that takes full advantage of our public transportation system – transit-oriented development (or TOD).
So we’re talking about Transit Oriented Development. Frankford has some weak areas but our strong points are access to transportation and a wide selection of housing.
Transit-oriented development isn’t new, but now is the time to capitalize on the asset we have in SEPTA by learning from past successes. Philadelphia has stellar examples of commercial TODs in the new Comcast Center and the Cira Center at 30th Street. Demand for walkable urbanism is expected to represent a third of the U.S. housing market by 2030. Chicago, Washington and Oakland, Calif., have aggressively capitalized on their infrastructure with great success.
Now all we need is somebody with some money to start capitalizing on those positives rather than focussing on the negatives.