The Top 5 Things Smart Philly Residents Care About [UPDATED]

SEPTA, are you listening?

UPDATE: The below has been clarified to reflect the fact that PlanPhilly was concerned only with issues around the built and natural environments, as they wrote in their post. Another clarification: My original title for this post was “Top 5 Things Planning Nerds Care About,” but I chose to make it more positive. Readers of PlanPhilly, in my experience, are all very bright. Who else would read devotedly about planning and zoning?

In order to create a more perfect Philadelphia as we move toward an election year, PennPraxis and PlanPhilly presented PlanPhilly’s readers with a list of what they described as the “most important issues facing Philadelphia’s built and natural environments” and asked their readers to answer one important question: “Which three of these issues do you feel are the most important for Philadelphia’s future?”

“We’ll use this information to help shape research and civic engagement by PennPraxis staff and reporting by PlanPhilly journalists,” writes Evan Croen, PlanPhilly’s website administrator and A Person Who Moved Here From Brooklyn.

The survey results showed that the top 5 issues are:

1. The state of Philadelphia’s transportation infrastructure
2. Neighborhood stability and growth
3. Vacant land disposition and reuse
4. Transparency in government and accountability of public officials
5. Property tax enforcement

(I like No. 5, myself.)

Below, all 17 issues ranked in an appealing teal and gray color scheme.

Screen shot from

Screen shot from

PennPraxis / PlanPhilly survey results [PlanPhilly]

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  • Claire

    What about education? No? Maybe?

    • Ryan

      This specific poll is by PlanPhilly and reflects the issues in development.

    • John Egan

      Charter schools are the last best hope for public education…

  • Desmond M.


  • Jonathan Geeting

    Hi all – I’m Jon Geeting, engagement editor at PlanPhilly. Just to clarify, this survey only asked our readers about the built environment issues that we cover – not political issues in general.

    If you aren’t familiar with us, PlanPhilly exclusively covers planning, development, transportation and other issues in that universe. We have covered the school sales and development issues, and we’ll continue to follow those stories. But if you’re looking for deep-dive, public interest journalism on issues like charter schools, education funding, and labor politics, Philly has a great daily education publication called The Notebook that does a much better job of covering education than we could with our small staff of reporters. We’re happy to let them do what they’re good at, and stick to what we’re good at. And we hope you’ll come check in regularly to read our coverage of the 2015 campaign.

  • ProudBHMember

    What an interesting title: “The top 5 Things SMART Philly Residents Care About.” Curious to know the criteria…especially the demographic make-up of all participants…used to determine that one. And I bet these SMART Philly Residents are transplants to the city for the most part…but what else is new. Go NEW YORK, I mean NEW Philly. SMH