Architecture Lab

Reuniting Philadelphia With Its Waterfront

The Philadelphia City Planning Commission unanimously adopted the Master Plan for the Central Delaware Waterfront in its entirety

Reuniting Philadelphia With Its Waterfront

“It’s an ambitious plan,” said Commission Vice Chairman Joe Syrnick before the vote. “It’s not perfect, but this area has languished for far too long, and it needs a road map for moving forward.”
The action was a great relief to advocates for the master plan – which aims to reunite the city and the waterfront with a system of linked parks and extended city streets – and the quasi-city agency that oversaw its development.


CDAG and other fans of the plan say it will re-tie the city to the waterfront, create new recreational and green space and spur economic growth. Queen Village Neighbors Association President Jeff Hornstein told commissioners that his is one of the communities most cut-off from the waterfront by the creation of I-95. “We see the plan as a remedy,” he said.

The Central Delaware Waterfront Master Plan was years in the making. At the urging of former First District Councilman Frank DiCicco, former Mayor John Street hired PennPraxis, the practical arm of Penn School of Design, to determine what Philadelphians wanted for the riverfront. Thousands of residents participated in a series of events to gauge that interest, and the Civic Vision for the Central Delaware was created.

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