East Falls Neighborhood Plan
This project was for the first year Planning Problems Workshop in the City Planning department at Penn. I worked with a team of 4 other planning students to develop a neighborhood plan for the East Falls Development Corporation. The following is the introduction to our final report. You can download the full report using the link to the right.
East Falls is a neighborhood on the brink of renewal and with tremendous potential to achieve its community and economic development goals. However, several key problems – namely parking, vacant store- fronts, and flooding – hinder future development. In order to tackle these issues in a comprehensive man- ner and guide East Falls toward a coherent, thriving future, The East Falls Team (“the Team”) believes that a unifying vision is necessary. This plan represents one such vision of how the future of East Falls could unfold.
The plan is organized around three themes: represent, recreate, restore. Through the theme “Represent East Falls”, residents and visitors alike will come to see the future of East Falls and the problems it must address in a new light. East Falls is a neighborhood whose potential is only beginning to be realized and is much more than just “the next Manayunk”. This plan is the beginning of a process through which East Falls can announce itself to Philadelphia with a voice that is uniquely East Falls. One of the strongest assets East Falls possess is its location on the Schuylkill River in the nook between Fairmount and Wissahickon Parks. The plan recognizes this fact with the theme “Recreate East Falls”. We hope it will act as a catalyst for the neighborhood to take better advantage of its stunning waterfront location and natural amenities. We believe that East Falls has the opportunity to become a prime recreational destination for all of Philadelphia.
Finally, the plan introduced the theme “Restore East Falls”. Retail development will breathe new life into the commercial corridor along Ridge and Midvale Avenues. New development can offer shopping, dining, and entertainment opportunities that will foster economic prosperity, solidify East Falls as a regional draw, and provide a range of much needed goods and services for this diverse, mixed income community.
The work that follows is an account of the research, analysis, and design that the Team engaged in to develop this vision and to provide recommendations for how it can be achieved. This plan represents a starting point for a conceptual vision of the neighborhood that we hope will be adopted, shaped, and implemented by the East Falls Development Corporation and the community of East Falls.