Pulse: Chatter: Five Questions for Janice Woodcock


Janice Woodcock, newly appointed executive director of Philadelphia’s City Planning Commission, who will try to follow in the footsteps of William Penn and Ed Bacon in an era of $3 million condos and wi-fi.

Does Philadelphia even have a city plan?
The last comprehensive plan we had was in the late ’60s — that’s our zoning code, which is more than 600 pages. Right now, we’re working on a plan for the Delaware waterfront.

You mean Penn’s Landing. There have been quite a few ideas, but they never work. How will yours be different?
Some of those plans were driven by developers, some didn’t think about the neighborhoods along the waterfront, and none of them had the plan for civic engagement. That’s where we come in.

What are your favorite spaces in Philadelphia?
The inside of Reading Terminal Market, because of its activity and long-standing tradition — it’s a combination of architecture and people. Outdoors, Forbidden Drive in Wissahickon.

Are you much of a planner in your personal life?
Sometimes I would be the cobbler without shoes, but I guess I’m a pretty organized person overall.

Your boss is on his way out. Who do you like as a replacement?
I gotta wait to answer that.