Our Mission

Inform, Engage, Act

The Design Advocacy Group (DAG) is a public forum and advocate for design quality and equity in the planning, architecture, preservation and physical development of Philadelphia.

Racial Justice and Design Equity

Black Lives Matter.

The Design Advocacy Group (DAG) stands in solidarity with all those who demand racial justice.

DAG will act to meet the challenges of this time.

DAG will advocate for anti-racist design and community-centered planning and preservation.

DAG will create public programming that serves the diverse interests of our diverse city.

DAG will increase BIPOC representation in its membership and leadership.       

DAG's full statement, prepared by Verónica Ayala-Flores (chair of our Design Equity Task Force) on behalf of DAG's Steering Committee, is here.

Join Us in Supporting Advocacy of Design Quality and Equity in Philadelphia

Gattuso Development Partners believes that a high-quality built environment is central to Philadelphia’s realizing its potential as a world-class city. We strive to create an environment that promotes a sense of dignity, enhances our collective self-esteem, and motivates increased participation in civic life: an environment that fosters a deep emotional connection between our citizens and their larger community. 


The Design Advocacy Group’s mission—to advance excellence in planning and design, to promote design equity throughout our city’s neighborhoods, as well as increasing awareness and support for the preservation of our built legacy—is perfectly aligned with ours. And, it is now more important than ever.


As the principals of Gattuso Development Partners, and with over 50 years of combined experience, Anne Cummins, Janice Wong, and I believe that Philadelphia deserves excellence—in its architecture and planning, the quality of its public realm, and the craftsmanship of its buildings. From the Comcast Center to the Navy Yard Corporate Center, from a new bakery for Tastykake to our gene- and cell-therapy manufacturing facilities under development in South Philly, our projects demonstrate a continued quest for this excellence. 


Our mission is to create spaces that enhance the lives of the people who use them, pass through them, walk past them, or perhaps just view them from a distance. We believe our work punctuates and augments the Philadelphia cityscape—continuing to prove the city’s world-class potential. 


With much the same passion, DAG undertakes its important mission—working to make our city the best it can be. As we live through this extraordinary time, I hope you will join us in supporting DAG in its vital role as a public forum and advocate for design excellence and equity in Philadelphia. 


Please visit #DigDeepforDAG to make your tax-deductible contribution in support of the highest quality urban environment for our remarkable city.


Warmest personal regards,

John S. Gattuso
President & CEO
Gattuso Development Partners
Honorary Chair, #DigDeepforDAG

Priority Areas

Design Equity

DAG's ultimate and overarching goal is to create a culture – shared by all Philadelphia's residents, neighborhood groups, city agencies, business interests and the development community – that accepts nothing less than excellence in design and planning throughout every Philadelphia neighborhood.


The responsible development of Philadelphia’s two riverfronts is a priority for DAG. On the Delaware, challenges continue despite the intensive citizen engagement and planning and zoning reforms of recent years. The Schuylkill requires, but has seen much less, concerted attention as development pressure builds on both its riverbanks.

Complete Streets

Navigating Philadelphia’s dense urban core is an increasing challenge for
automobiles, bicycles, pedestrians and transit. DAG is committed to principles that support safety and mobility on its streets and sidewalks and for all modes of transportation.


Unprecedented development pressure, inadequate preservation planning and
under-resourced City agencies are an ongoing challenge to preserving Philadelphia’s historic buildings, neighborhoods and character. DAG is as concerned with the thoughtful reuse and rehabilitation of its building stock and streetscapes as it is with introducing sensitive new construction into the historic fabric of the city.