Disregarding the image a few posts below, the More Park, Less Way meeting — where plans were discussed for the future of the Ben Franklin Parkway — took place Monday night at the Academy of Natural Sciences. The meeting was a result of collaborative idea-sharing between Parks and Recreation, PennPraxis, and the Penn Project on Civic Engagement, with the much-needed goal of bringing the Parkway into the future.
According to Plan Philly, “The plan centers on transforming four under-used swaths of green — totaling 17 acres — into programmed open spaces offering a variety of active and passive recreation options.” Those four under-used spaces were specified as “the patch of green surrounding Iroquois, the iconic red sculpture by Mark di Suvero; Eakins Oval; a 3-acre area in front of Parke Town Place; and the edges of Von Colln Memorial Field.” The transformation of these spaces could be made to include, “Yoga stretches on the grass. Food trucks on Eakins Oval. And … an ice sculpture from Andy Goldsworthy.” But these things are years away. A plan to remove the cars from Eakins Oval and make a Porch-like “flexible plaza space,” could however be in place by Memorial Day.
The area, which we referred to as a “slice of pain-in-the-ass,” would be made more walkable, hang outable, and marketable. Plus, it would have things (have you ever had to use the bathroom while in the middle of the parkway? Wanted to buy a bottle of water? Do something?), and we can totally get behind that.
The whole presentation — led by Michael DiBerardinis, deputy mayor, environmental and community resources — can be seen over at Plan Philly.