Creating a Civic Vision for 40th and Market Streets


In August 2006, the Friends of 40th Street, in partnership with The Partnership CDC and PennPraxis, gathered community stakeholders together to create a shared civic vision for 40th and Market Streets and the surrounding area.

Over 100 people attended the initial public forum and discussion session on August 22, 2006, and 25 participated in a subsequent working session with planning professionals to formulate the principles into actual urban design recommendations on August 28, 2006.

The result was a three-phase plan. Although each phase is designed to be implemented independently, they leverage each other powerfully when considered as a comprehensive effort.

“Preening and Greening” focuses on pedestrian-scale, physical improvements, such as better signage, street trees, a green median on Market St, and pedestrian lighting that can be implemented in the near term. “Renovate and Refurbish” emphasizes using available grants and funding to upgrade the existing building stock through façade improvements and redesigned signage. “Town Center” advocates reshaping Market Street into a denser urban environment by building mixed uses on existing parking lots and reconstructing underutilized areas, namely ‘The Market’ as a 9-10 story housing building with a farmers’ market on the ground, and the southeastern green space as a Town Square in the Philadelphia tradition of Rittenhouse Square.

PennPraxis presented these concepts to the Friends of 40th Street on September 29. Next steps include revisions to the design according to the comments received, and continued discussion of the plan with institutional stakeholders who have the organizational capacity and fund-raising capability to support this plan into reality.


Averil, Jesse -- Partnership CDC
Benner, Amanda -- University City Green
Bey, June -- Center for Community Partnerships, U of PA
Davis, Edward -- City and Regional Planning, U of PA/Penn Praxis
Goodman, Andrew -- City and Regional Planning, U of PA/Penn Praxis
Hewson, Carolyn -- University City District
Hood, David -- Architecture, U of PA/Penn Praxis
Kerman, Lucy -- Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition
Laws, Kathy -- University Square Apartments
Love, Gweny -- The Cadence Company
Maits, Scott -- Lancaster Corridor Group
Nairn, Michael -- Urban Studies, U of PA
Sneed, Alisa -- The Partnership CDC
Sokoloff, Harris -- Center for School Study Councils, U of PA
Steinberg, Harris -- Penn Praxis
Wolfe, Matthew -- University City Republican Committee


Part I: Introduction and Civic Engagement (PDF, 7MB)

Part II: Design Phases (PDF, 8MB)



© 2004, 40th Street Community Forum and Serendip