What raises the quality of a city? According to Better! Cities & Towns editor Robert Steuteville, there are four things that are key to creating a “strong sense of place” within any given town: walkability, the presence of culture and arts, history and its preservation and, finally, a “connection to nature.”
Does that sound like any place you know?
Philadelphia may meet the first three, but it’s only in the last few years that the last element has started to aim for its full potential. Steuteville points to New York’s High Line as a dramatic example of this city-nature relationship, but says Philly now has a similar thing going on with its Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk:
In Philadelphia, a city that has turned itself around in the last decade after 50 years of decline, the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk has a similar impact. This facility allows residents and visitors to view the city in a new way: On a bike-walk trail that hovers over the Schuylkill River, connecting nature trails to the south and north.
Plus, whereas the High Line was “an expensive, high-design, architectural creation,” the Schuylkill Boardwalk is utilitarian construction that cost significantly less–not even “a third of the High Line per linear foot.”
• Philly walks on water [Better Cities & Towns]
In other news…
• As digital signs encroach, public realm sold short [Eyes on the Street]
• 16 companies vie for vacant Navy Yard site [Inquirer]
• Community brainstorms new uses for vacant schools [the Notebook]
• Revel Buyer Brookfield Walks Away From Casino Deal [Philly Mag]
• Conshohocken’s proposed 2015 budget holds line on taxes [Times Herald]