The City Planning Commission hopes to make Philadelphia's neighborhoods more livable and the city more economically competitive and environmentally friendly by 2035.
Yesterday, for the first time in 50 years, the commission approved a comprehensive plan that will guide Philadelphia's growth over the next two decades.
Officials unveiled the plan at the Moore College of Art and Design.
"This is a plan that will transform Philadelphia for decades to come; it's gonna happen right in front of your eyes," Mayor Nutter said. "We're gonna get this plan done here in this city, and make the investments that are necessary, put the funding sources together - local, state, federal, philanthropic and others."
The proposed plan has a roughly $40 billion price tag, however. Officials said that phasing projects over the next 25 years will help moderate the costs and that they'll cast a wide net for funding, including institutional and private-sector partners.
"Every little step is hard. In every little step there's contention, there's argument, naysayers and the usual stuff," said Alan Greenberger, deputy mayor of planning and economic development and chairman of the Planning Commission.
"But eventually you gotta get stuff done. We're gonna get this stuff done little by little."
The plan, "Philadelphia 2035," splits the city into 18 regions and aims to achieve 73 objectives divided into three themes: thrive, connect, renew.
"Thrive" is centered on economically developing the city and upgrading its neighborhoods while preserving the attributes that make them unique.
"Connect" focuses on improving transportation infrastructure and updating public utilities to match evolving consumption patterns and technology.
"Renew" is a plan to preserve historic resources and to improve access to green spaces and air and water quality throughout the city.
The commission projects that Philadelphia will grow by 100,000 people and that there will need to be 40,000 more jobs available to accommodate for the growth by 2035.
Tackling the problem of vacant and abandoned lots and buildings throughout the city is also one of numerous initiatives the commission outlined in the plan.
The amount of vacant space in Philadelphia will be trimmed to about 2,000 acres under the proposal, Greenberger said, which represents about one-third of the vacant land in the city today.