DAG Dispatch

By Lachelle Weathers, DAG Fellow

Start the week off with a wrap up of Philadelphia area news, public proposals, and happenings in the world of design, architecture, and planning. Follow us @designadvocacy on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and subscribe to our email list to keep up with DAG Dispatch. Articles are shared to spark dialogue and keep our members informed, and do not represent DAG’s endorsement of an idea or project.

Philadelphia is struggling with retaining affordable housing across the city. Small landlords make up 73% of all licensed landlords and are largely responsible for a lot of the city’s affordable housing. Due to the struggles of the pandemic and rental protection programs, small landlords are having difficulty staying afloat. However, a new study recommends that they be subsidized. 


A new perspective of Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River? The Schuylkill River is undergoing a large boom in building with projects such as the JFK Towers, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia expansion, and greater attention to public parks along the riverfront. Another addition that is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2022, is Howler  + Yoon’s FloatLab installation on the river. The lime green, ring-shaped islet will offer a whole new way of engaging with the river.


The Ben Franklin Parkway is due for a makeover! Recently the city’s Department of Parks & Recreation and Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability selected three firms to move forward with a public engagement process preceding the final redesign selection. The three finalists include MVRDV, the Design Workshop, and DLANDstudio joined by DIGSAU. The teams will present on July 14th and the city will later select the winning plan.


Affordable housing has been a hot topic as many developers are building new residential projects across the city. It's an argument of what zoning allows, the concerns of the current residents, potential gentrification and the percentage of affordable housing included. The Editorial Board at the Inquirer suggests that supporting affordable housing in Philly means supporting an increase in density, which isn’t necessarily what neighborhood residents are looking for. 

The Carousel House, the city’s only rec center designed for people with disabilities, may be closing down for good! The Carousel House Advisory Board hope they can convince Philly to keep it open, but so far the outcome doesn’t seem too bright. In April the Department of Parks and Recreation gave notice that the facility wouldn’t open post-COVID due to unattended repairs that have made the building unsafe...Sadly, demolition might be the outcome.