Hagert Street Playground Conceptual Design for Renovation: EKNA and the Friends of Hagert Street Playground applied for and received a service grant from the Community Design Collaborative to work on a conceptual redesign for the playground. The volunteer team from the Collaborative developed a vision for a renovation of the playground through a series of meetings with the design team and the community task force, made up of the Friends of Hagert Street Playground, nearby neighbors, and others who use playground. The conceptual design adds extensive landscaping, seating, a multi-use area, improved play areas, and safety improvements. Hagert Street Playground Conceptual Design for Renovation.
East Kensington Transportation and Community Development Plan: EKNA worked with the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC) to request funding through the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) for a neighborhood planning grant through the Transportation and Community Development Initiative (TCDI) program. Through this grant, Interface Studio was contracted to prepare a plan for the East Kensington neighborhood concentrating primarily on developing land use recommendations that will inform the zoning remapping of the area. The goal of this planning process was to gather public input about land use and zoning and the community’s concerns and hopes for the future of their neighborhood. East Kensington Transportation and Community Development Plan.
Green Spaces Plan: EKNA members continue to work on smart planning for the East Kensington Neighborhood. A plan regarding targeted open space preservation has been completed. East Kensington Green Spaces outlines priority spaces in the neighborhood for green space protection, enhancement, and creation. Seven priority spaces are highlighted with narrative, data, and maps. The plan also addresses issues facing East Kensington such as vacant land management, public ownership, surging development, guerrilla gardens, abandoned buildings, Sheriff Sale debacles, and the vital importance of quality green spaces to this neighborhood. East Kensington Green Spaces
EKNA has laid the groundwork for an informed resident driven neighborhood planning conversation. Steps already taken:
Goal Setting: In Fall 2009- A resident brainstorming/goal setting session was held for residents- ‘protecting neighborhoods’ and neighborhood planning were identified as high priorities.
Mapping: A series of professionally rendered inventory maps are currently being created for the neighborhood
Policy and Process: EKNA is now involved with both city zoning policy changes and the current work of the City Planning Commission (PCPC). EKNA has been deeply involved in the work of the Phila Planning Commission as it has charged the ZCC ( Zoning Code Commission ) with the process of rezoning / remapping / and coordinating planning efforts throughout the entire city. EKNA’s President and Zoning Chair recently testified before the ZCC with City Council leaders present at the October hearing in City Council chambers, providing feedback on the new draft of the Zoning Code.
Engage Neighborhood Planning Organizations/Resources: EKNA has begun discussions with the City of Phila. Planning Commission, Planning Collective, DVRPC, Community Design Collaborative, and other area non-profits to facilitate the next stage of resident driven planning. Contacts have been established with Department of Parks and Recreation, Water Department planning, and the Phila Parks Alliance.
Increase resident awareness: In fall 2009 EKNA began to highlight the importance of neighborhood planning and incorporating planning primers at all monthly and special meetings. Increasing awareness of the existing 2003 Neighborhood Plan prepared by WRT for the New Kensington CDC and PA Horticultural Society has been one item for attention. Residents will decide to seek further implementation and/or revisions of the older WRT plan, or to take advantage of the resources available to author a new comprehensive plan altogether.
Guidance: Amy Miller, a resident and planner from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), volunteered to facilitate the resident planning conversation.
Contributing Members: EKNA- Robert Fritz, Brian Kantorek, Jeff Carpineta, Dave Nelson, Kerry Nelson, Dan Scholnick, Patita Shadday NKCDC- Sarah Corlett , Kathryn Doherty-Chapman, Shanta Schachter, Rich Levins, Sandy Salzman, Duane Wilcox, FNA- Paul Kimport, Sarah Thorp, Herb Shallcross, Micah Hanson, Matt Pappajon, Nives Milotich, Cosmo Lovecchio, Marilyn Pitt, Mildred Schaeflein, Whitney Wexler, Marcus Acheson, Ted Artz
The Neighborhood Design Guidelines (NDG) committee: A special hybrid committee formed in the summer of 07′ with members of EKNA, FNA, and NKCDC staff. This kind of cooperation was a first-time experiment that yielded great results. The groups were coming to the table to co-operate and vision a healthy future rather than citing personal differences or quote historical divisions between the local organizations. The result was incredible- a highly professional document with insight from many gifted people- builders, architects, planners, realtors, restauranteurs, and community organizers. The document guides new development by asking thought provoking questions to developers rather than imposing rules or stifling creative approaches. Thanks again to the Design Advocacy Group for their earlier work that paved the way, and thanks to the NKCDC whose paid staff summoned this committee, took minutes, prepared an attractive document with a Powerpoint for the community. The end result is that the local Civic Groups will adopt the Guidelines as a means of promoting well-thought development in the area. We have learned that FNA has adopted the Guidelines. The recommendation of the committee members was to adopt the Guidelines for EKNA territory. Click Here for the NDG final draft. Neighborhood Design Guidelines 07′ (final draft)