Context - Fall 2015 - (Page 7)
Welcome to the revival of Context, the journal of the Philadelphia Chapter
of the American Institute of Architects. In this issue we return to the roots
of Context - looking at the big picture through the lens of city planning and
examining the relationships among diverse players who design, plan and
steward our built environment. A city, by definition, is not a monolith but
BY HARRIS M. STEINBERG, FAIA
TODD WOODWARD, AIA
Co-Editors and Co-Chairs of the
Context Editorial Committee
rather an aggregation of citizens working on a daily basis, both independently
and in concert, on a multitude of matters that impact the physical form of the
metropolis. From transportation policy codified into law to a group of volunteers planting flowers around an old train station, a plethora of civic actors
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across multiple platforms contributes to the vibrancy of 21st century urban life.
We are writing and thinking about these issues at a propitious moment.
Philadelphia is poised to elect a new mayor and we have the opportunity to look
both backwards and ahead. Will Philadelphia continue on its upward trajectory -
EIGHT YEARS AGO THE
FIRST ISSUE OF CONTEXT
WAS DISTRIBUTED TO
MEMBERSHIP. AFTER A
BRIEF HIATUS, WE ARE BACK
AND STRONGER THAN EVER.
COMMITTED TO BRING
TO LIGHT THE CONCERNS
OF OUR INDUSTRY AND
HIGHLIGHT THE AMAZING
THINGS OUR MEMBERS
attracting people, jobs and national attention to a revitalized urban core and
a revived sense of potential? Will the next administration maintain the focus
of its predecessor on sustainable urbanism and quality of life improvements
in the neighborhoods and continue to view equity as a driver of progressive
urban policy? Will Philadelphia's Old World plan continue to be "discovered"
by young pioneers who use the city as a canvas for urban parkour?
Time will tell. What we do know is that Philadelphia is a beehive of activity
these days. Whether it is the "eds and meds" propelling development along
the Schuylkill River to new heights or a think tank that helps us see gold in the
post-industrial dross around us, urban planning is a topic that is on everyone's
lips. It seems that every empty lot is a pop-up beer garden and the social
networks are buzzing with conversations about planning and urban design.
Cities are cool for the generation that is just coming of age and Philadelphia
is reaping the rewards of being a city well planned. We are, after all, a place
with real urbanism. We cannot rest of our laurels, however. We must continue
to be active participants in the intergenerational conversation about cities
and people and place - continually trending towards an equitable urbanism.
Together, we create our own context and it is incumbent upon all of us to
ensure that we are leaving the built environment better than we found it. ■
AIA Philadelphia | context | FALL 2015 7
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Context - Fall 2015
Re-Envisioning Philadelphia’s Industrial Spaces With Transatlantic Expertise
Fairmount Park: Philadelphia’s Past, Present and Future
The Philadelphia Region as America’s Next Big Energy Hub?
The Public Benefits of Private Planning: Eds, Meds, and the University City Renaissance
Index to Advertisers
Context - Fall 2015