PennPraxis is working with the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) and a team of community-driven consultants from across Philadelphia to shape the identity of the future Park at Penn’s Landing, a new 12-acre civic space that will replace the existing Grand Plaza and extend as a “cap” over portions of I-95 and Columbus Boulevard, reconnecting the city with the Delaware River. This investment is a key part of a decade-long process to transform the Delaware River Waterfront, and is being designed and constructed by PennDOT with a consultant team that includes Pennoni, AECOM, and Hargreaves Associates.
The 18-month project includes working closely with Little Giant Creative and several community-based organizations: the Village of Arts and Humanities, SEAMAAC, and the Make the World Better Foundation. Together, the PennPraxis team is working to craft an engagement approach that is connected and driven by residents, and touching many corners of the city, rather than just “near neighborhoods.” PennPraxis’ incremental approach to engagement includes neighborhood-based focus groups, topic based focus groups, such as “food as social capital,” “freedom in public space,” “diverse musicians and promoters,” “accessibility,” and “cultural entrepreneurship.” Feedback is given directly to designers through an iterative design process, so that the park design will be a direct reflection of the diverse perspectives of Philadelphians that contributed to this process. The programing and character recommendations created through this process will result in a distinctive waterfront space inspired by the unique community spirit of Philadelphia.