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University of Pennsylvania City Planning Program Partners with Newbold CDC

In Spring 2007, Newbold CDC partnered with the Master of City Planning program within the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania to help assess the Newbold area and produce a comprehensive plan under the guidance of planning professionals. The work was an academic exercise that consists of four main phases: data gathering and study of existing conditions, development of alternatives and analysis, visioning and recommendations, and the production of a plan with strategies for implementation.

UPenn & Newbold CDC Initiative

Measuring the flow of pedestrians at the intersection of Snyder and Passyunk Avenue

Phase 1: Existing Conditions

The planning team started the process of collecting information about Newbold by visiting the site, meeting with the clients, compiling census data, interviewing key community leaders, and taking an inventory of community resources and needs. the team focused on land use, zoning, demographics, crime, housing types, the housing market, and the business environment. the following are sources used for the collection of data:

  • 2000 and 1990 U.S. Census data at the tract and block group level
  • NIS neighborhoodBase and the crimeBase of the Cartographic Modeling lab at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Windshield surveys conducted by the team members
  • Stakeholder Interviews


Phase 2: Analysis

In the second phase, the planning team synthesized the data and focused on the issues most significant to both the client and the community and suggested two alternative approaches for Phase 3. From the two alternatives provided, the Newbold CDC selected the Passyunk/ Snyder corridor to be the team’s focus for the remainder of the project. the team conducted further analysis to formulate different methods for addressing the key issues of the intersection. the methods of research included:

  • Case study research
  • Market analysis
  • Survey of business owners and shoppers
  • Pedestrian flow analysis
  • Further stakeholder interviews
  • Urban Design / Streetscape analysis


Phase 3: Vision and Catalysts

As a culmination of the research and analysis, the team articulated a vision for the study area and presented recommendations for the Newbold CDC to best increase its efforts for neighborhood improvement. Urban design tools were used to portray how specific elements can impact the pedestrian and vehicular circulation and create a sense of place in the intersection.

Phase 4: Streetscape Plans with Implementation Strategies

The final plan provides strategies for implementation that enumerates goals for the immediate, near, and distant future. Wherever possible, the financial feasibility of the recommendations and potential funding sources are also included.

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