Urban planning not priority to Philly’s mayoral candidates

Inga Saffron, writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, wrote two great articles, published this week, on how the candidates for Philadelphia’s upcoming mayoral election don’t include planning among their priorities.

Inga’s says in her first article, “Forum shows urban planning not priority in mayor’s race,” that “This was supposed to be the year in which urban planning took center stage as an issue in Philadelphia politics, along with crime and schools. But if last night’s mayoral forum on urban design was any indication, the subject is still stuck with a bit role in the campaign.” Candidate Chaka Fattah thinks planning is about looks and a niche issue for the elite, saying, “”I’m interested in rebuilding the lives of people and not just the skyline.”

Interestingly, the American Planning Association is holding its annual conference in Philadelphia this weekend. Inga used this as an opportunity to write a commentary piece called, “Changing Skyline | Welcome, welcome, city planners.” In it, she explains how a lack of planning in the past led to what’s called the “privatization of planning” that leads to little resident input, and lack of forward thinking.