Is Today The Day The Delaware Riverfront Begins The End Of Its Age Of Our Great Civic Shame?

northviewofriverfeatureGod save Penn Praxis, and all who sail in them; and while we have no idea exactly how or why the City of Philadelphia had the good sense to start chumming up to a bunch of design and planning nerds from Penn, more and more, it becomes apparent that we should all be thankful they did. Penn Praxis is at the heart of a new $1M major grant from the William Penn Foundation announced yesterday. The grant is directed squarely at Penn Praxis’ Action Plan for the Central Delaware, which was created last year to wide praise — after decades upon decades of the Delaware being a symbol of everything that was wrong with politics and development in Philly, it is, perhaps, the first sensible plan of the modern age for what to do along the river. Here’s the fine print:

This grant provides funding for the revitalization of the Delaware riverfront by creating a sustainable recreational amenity for residents and visitors. The grant will also fund the development of a Central Delaware Public Access Master Plan that will guide future public and private investment along the waterfront. Councilman DiCicco will announce legislation that will protect public access to the river while laying the groundwork for future recreational, cultural and commercial uses. A recreational trail that is currently under development is a vital component of the Delaware riverfront revitalization effort. The first two phases of the trail, to be completed by July, will run continuously from Penn’s Landing to Pier 70. Development of the Delaware riverfront will provide residents and visitors with accessible, walk able and sustainable amenities. Infrastructure investment in the Delaware riverfront will position Philadelphia for long-term growth and establish it as a sustainable, world-class destination.

Recreational trails? Walkability? Oh baby, if this is a dream, please don’t wake me.
[Image courtesy PlanPhilly]