Context - Fall 2016 - 15

and runoff volume by more than 2 billion gallons per year in 2021.
Ultimately, implementation of Green City, Clean Waters will reduce
runoff and overflow pollution volume by 85 percent from 2011 to
2036 - an overall reduction of nearly 8 billion gallons per year in
25 years.
Better. Rebuild dovetails with DPP's initiatives and Green City,
Clean Waters by making several generations' worth of improvements in the City's parks, recreation centers, and libraries. Rebuild
is planned to be a $500 million, seven-year capital program funded
by $348 million in City funds - including bonds supported by the
City's new sweetened beverage tax - as well as philanthropic funds,
private contributions, and state and federal grants.
Investments in these facilities are necessary because of the role we
need them to play in community life. For example, Philadelphia recreation
centers are the largest after-school care provider in the city and also
provide joint programming with City schools. Thousands more students
per day attend Free Library Literacy Enrichment Afterschool Programs.
Libraries provide access to the Internet, assistance with job searches,
and services to new Americans. These facilities should be clean and
functional, but they must be able to support services that help communities thrive and provide opportunities for Philadelphia's neediest
families to improve their quality of life. In neighborhoods where there
are more crime, greater poverty, and deeper health problems, investments in parks, rec centers, and libraries are more urgently needed.
Because Philadelphia has over 400 parks, rec centers, and libraries,
Rebuild cannot address the needs of the whole system. A planning
process funded by the William Penn Foundation and Knight Foundation
began with the results of other planning processes, like Philadelphia2035,
and created a data-mapping structure to prioritize City neighborhoods
with greater needs. This process, led by urban planner Interface Studio,
also included an adjacency analysis, identifying other "community
assets" close to potential Rebuild sites like schools, PAL centers, Keyspots,
and high-quality pre-Ks. Relative proximities revealed opportunities
to achieve economies of scale in service delivery, like the new South
Philadelphia Community Health and Literacy Center - if the library is right
next to your doctor's office, maybe you're more likely to stop in after
an appointment. That analysis will be combined with information about
conditions at specific sites and other information, such as stormwater
management opportunities, to select Rebuild sites.
Physical improvements are only one of three components of Rebuild.
The others are community engagement and workforce diversity and
inclusion. While Philadelphia departments already collaborate with
communities to plan capital projects, Rebuild's public engagement
process will be a vehicle for building capacity in neighborhood groups.
By providing a set of supports like leadership training, programming
assistance, website and marketing help, and financial management
training, more and better-functioning recreation advisory councils and
"Friends of" groups will be in place when Rebuild ends. These groups
will not only be empowered to be effective stewards of their improved
facilities and use them to the fullest, but to work together on other
community priorities.

Rebuild's workforce diversity and inclusion agenda is based on the
premise that a program of this scale offers an unprecedented opportunity
to diversify the building trades in Philadelphia and to build the capacity
of minority and women-owned construction and professional services
firms. Disadvantaged firms will be on contract for multiple years, freeing
resources for quality work and capacity-building. Developing construction firms will receive customized technical assistance from construction
management firms, as well as cash flow assistance and insurance and
bonding support. And the City will partner with the building trades to
establish a pre-apprentice program and a pipeline of Philadelphians into
sponsored apprenticeship positions, ultimately resulting in a shift that
will be visible on job sites and a measurable improvement in employment rates in Philadelphia's poorest neighborhoods.
Mayor Kenney's infrastructure policies begin and end with sound
planning. The Office of Planning and Development is building on the
Philadelphia2035 work initiated under Mayor Nutter to help ensure that
investments in parks, rec centers, libraries, police, and fire stations are
not just one-offs, but are coordinated and positioned to catalyze privatesector development. The City's investments may be the stimulus needed
for other property owners to battle blight or make their own improvements. Housing is another key piece of the puzzle for Philadelphians who
are left out of the current building boom - success in school is harder
for kids whose families are homeless or keep moving to find lower-cost
housing. The City's role here is not only planning and coordination, but
taking action by capitalizing on limited City resources like under-utilized
land. What will ultimately move the needle for Philadelphia's poorest
residents are integrated communities where relationships and resources
provide a holistic set of supports.
Still, infrastructure investments within a powerful planning framework won't be enough to both retain Philadelphians who have
choices and provide the resources needed by the more than 26%
of Philadelphians living in poverty. Philadelphia needs the regional
philanthropic community to follow the lead of the William Penn
Foundation in investing in Philadelphia neighborhoods. Philadelphia
needs regional institutions and corporate leaders to help enrich community life and leverage funds by partnering on more public-private
developments like the Community Health and Literacy Center. And
Philadelphia needs private sector developers to act on the ideas that
mixed income housing, walkable commercial corridors, and excellent design are not just bureaucratic requirements adding to project
expenses, but contribute to a "higher tide" of long-term economic
growth. That is Mayor Kenney's infrastructure policy: that we all
work together to improve the quality of life of Philadelphians, in
every neighborhood. ■
Nicole Westerman is a consultant who has been assisting with the Rebuild
planning process and working with local governments on financial management.  Nicole has also held positions with the City of Philadelphia,
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and School District of Philadelphia; she has
a Government Administration degree from the University of Pennsylvania and
a Bachelor of Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design.

AIA Philadelphia | context | FALL 2016 15


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Context - Fall 2016

Editors’ Letter
Up Close
Design Profiles
Index to Advertisers
Mayor Kenney’s Infrastructure Policy
Green Infrastructure in Philadelphia: The Reading Viaduct Rail Park
Streets: They’re Not Just for Cars Any More
Context - Fall 2016 - ebelly1
Context - Fall 2016 - ebelly2
Context - Fall 2016 - cover1
Context - Fall 2016 - cover2
Context - Fall 2016 - 3
Context - Fall 2016 - 4
Context - Fall 2016 - Editors’ Letter
Context - Fall 2016 - Community
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Context - Fall 2016 - 8
Context - Fall 2016 - 9
Context - Fall 2016 - Up Close
Context - Fall 2016 - 11
Context - Fall 2016 - Mayor Kenney’s Infrastructure Policy
Context - Fall 2016 - 13
Context - Fall 2016 - 14
Context - Fall 2016 - 15
Context - Fall 2016 - Green Infrastructure in Philadelphia: The Reading Viaduct Rail Park
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Context - Fall 2016 - Streets: They’re Not Just for Cars Any More
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Context - Fall 2016 - Expression
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Context - Fall 2016 - Design Profiles
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Context - Fall 2016 - Marketplace
Context - Fall 2016 - Index to Advertisers
Context - Fall 2016 - cover3
Context - Fall 2016 - cover4