Context - Fall 2015 - (Page 7)

EDITOR'S LETTER 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 Welcome Back to Context 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 AIA PHILADELPHIA'S 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 ARE DOING. 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

Editor’s Letter
Up Close
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
Design Profiles
Index to Advertisers

Context - Fall 2015