Green Plan 2015 For Philadelphia

Mayor Nutter announced “a bold action plan to transform 500 acres of empty or underused land into publicly accessible green space in neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia” over the next five years.

The debate over keeping the Fairmount Park system intact versus merging parks with the Recreation Department was often bitter and contentious.

One side argued that if the city took over, it would start selling off parkland to the highest bidder. Other side argued that decades of neglect and funding shortfalls were directly tied to lack of leadership, and that parks were suffering as a result.

In 2003 the investigators found that one of the largest urban park systems in the country had become a dumping ground for old appliances and a graveyard for cars, and that public space was unkempt and sometimes unsafe.

Now, seven years later Mayor Nutter is talking about Green2015 plan for adding 500 acres to the park system – 500 acres will be made up primarily of lots of unused land scattered around the city.

Mayor’s Greenworks goal is to have a park within a walking distance of every resident. It will also help integrate the city’s approach to its inventory of vacant land; historically lots have been subject to a patchwork of jurisdictions, regulations and planning efforts.

How the city pay to manage more parkland is a question. Current park management, led by Michael DiBerardinis, wants the city to work with nonprofits, foundations and developers to help take responsibility.

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