Philly: “A City With a Rich History of Municipal Incompetence.” But for Once We’re Not Alone.
In Next City, Patrick Kerkstra makes Philly negative exceptionalists feel better by pointing out that while Philadelphia demolition regulations are, indeed, lax, it’s far from alone. His lede is priceless:
“In Philadelphia, a city with a rich history of municipal incompetence, there’s a natural impulse to assume the worst about city government when tragedy strikes…”
But that wouldn’t be fair, he says. In fact, Kerkstra analyzed 12 cities and found that Philadelphia’s inadequate supervision of demolition is typical of many large cities. So much so that this could, Kerkstra points out, happen anywhere.
Other failings that have gotten people angry and forced Nutter to act would be unusual in most cities. For example, pre-demolition engineering reports, inspections during demolition, and demolition instructions are simply not the norm.
So, don’t feel bad, Philly: This time we’re just as lousy as everyone else.
Now, for other headlines:
• Battle brewing over Dunkin’ Donuts at Washington Crossing [phillyburbs.com]
• Inga Saffron: Apartment towers growing toward Phila.’s west [Inquirer]
• Why Are We Abandoning Germantown? [Hidden City]
• Cedar Park: Church Helps Community Flourish by Providing Space
• Racial disparities in PA increased in 50 years [PublicSource]