Last night former Philadelphia Mayor, Pennsylvania Governor, Democratic Party Chair and current Eagles color commentator Ed Rendell received the Edmund N. Bacon Prize, which “is bestowed annually on an accomplished figure who has achieved outstanding results in urban planning, development, and design through conviction of vision, effective communication, and commitment to improving their community.”
Rendell, as a tireless advocate of infrastructure investment, is founder of Building America’s Future, which pushes insistently for such spending, along with co-founder Michael Bloomberg and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The award ceremony was at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and hosted by the Philadelphia Center for Architecture and the Better Philadelphia Challenge & Edmund N. Bacon Prize for Urban Planning & Design. Some of the local luminaries/engaged stakeholders present: interior designer Karen Daroff and Karen Daroff’s fur coat; city planner Ariel Ben-Amos; Pennsylvania state political blogger Jon Geeting; urbanist writer and photographer Bradley Maule; Philadelphia Center for Architecture Board President Bob Hsu; Philadelphia Center for Architecture Executive Director John Claypool; Ed Bacon’s daughter, Hilda Bacon; urban planner Greg Heller, author of Ed Bacon: Planning, Politics and the Building of Modern Philadelphia; Diana Lind, executive director and editor in chief of Next City; longtime Philadelphia city planner Craig Schelter, former executive VP of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. and current senior advisor to Econsult; Director of Federal Affairs for Philadelphia Terry Gillen; Jeff Hornstein, director of Financial and Policy Analysis for the Controller’s office… and, well, you get the idea.
Rendell was introduced by his longtime colleague Rina Cutler, who first came to work with Ed (we will call him Ed) in 1993, when he brought her in to head the Philadelphia Parking Authority, a thankless job in those days if ever there was one. Rina’s introduction included the information that Ed “was not always the easiest person to work with” and that, despite their great friendship, they were both stubborn, they both could yell, and they occasionally stopped speaking to one another.
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