Background

Delaware Valley Region

Regionalization can be defined as the tendency to form decentralized regions. It involves the growth of societal integration within a given region, including the un-directed processes of social and economic interaction among the units (such as nation-states) (Kacowicz, 1998). Regionalization often leads to the formation of regional institutions that advance regional development. This wiki explores regionalization in the Delaware Valley region of the United States. Geographically and historically, the Delaware Valley Region included the counties through which the Delaware River flows. However, this wiki focuses on the counties that economically and politically interact as one region. Counties in the Delaware Valley include counties such as Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia in Pennsylvania; and Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Mercer in New Jersey.Written by five students at Rutgers University-Camden, this wiki focuses on how regional developments in Delaware Valley impact development in the city of Camden, New Jersey in particular. Author: Rasheda L. Weaver

9 county_map.png
Nine county map of the Delaware Valley Region



History of the Delaware Valley Region and Its Impact on Camden


Historical reports suggest that regional planning in Delaware Valley first occurred around 1928 with the creation of the Regional Planning Federation of the Philadelphia Tri-State District (Regional Planning Federation of the Philadelphia Tri-State District; RPFPTSD, 1932). Through the concerted effort among government officials, technicians, and concerned citizens from New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania a plan was established to solve community problems and generate growth in the Delaware Valley region (RPFPTSD, 1932). The first page of the plan conveys the importance of its focus on regional development as it reads “a region, such as the Philadelphia Tri-State District, comprises a group of politically independent governmental subdivisions so related geographically, physically, economically, and socially that they are interdependent in the development and coordination of the interrelated facilities upon which their common welfare depends”.

The RPFPTSD was the first regional planning organization in the Delaware Valley region, however today there are various institutions built to meet the challenges and inspire advancement in the region. Regional institutions include the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, which promotes environmental protection, smart growth initiatives, and transportation developments. Another organization called the Delaware Valley Regional Economic Development Fund (DVREDF) was created through the Philadelphia utility company PECO in 1994 (Delaware Valley Regional Economic Development Fund, 2014; PECO, 2014). DVREDF works with businesses throughout the region to foster employment opportunities for its residents and to improve its communities. The Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance (DVSMA) is another regionally-focused institution. The DVSMA provides support to developers, business owners, and social change agents that seek to open non-profit organizations, create municipal plans and engage in conservation projects (Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance; DVSMA, 2014).

Regional planning organizations like those described above are in essence strategies for gathering government officials, city planners, social change agents, and concerned citizens together to design and execute plans that foster the region’s development. Major initiatives and policies implemented by regional planning organizations often involve development in the areas of land use, transportation, and economic development. Regional efforts, institutions, and policies regarding these areas, as they are related to Camden are discussed in detail below.

Author: Rasheda L. Weaver


Land Use

In Camden and its surrounding areas it is becoming more apparent, each day that so much of the land in theses cites, and towns is vacant or rundown. Land that could be used to build up these areas and help the community thrive. Vacant land is not only visually negative; it also negatively affects the areas financially. There have been recent measures to try and take this vacant land and turn it into something that the will benefit the local community and its surrounding regions. As you will see, having vacant land not only affects the community visually, it also affects the communities small businesses, transportation, and housing departments.

Philadelphia has recently organized a local Land Bank to help take back some of this vacant land that is plaguing the city and its surrounding areas. You may be asking what a land bank is? “A land bank is a public authority created to efficiently handle acquisition, maintenance, and sale of vacant properties. Land banks have clear streamlined procedures to clear title, transfer properties to responsible owners, and acquire tax delinquent properties without risking their sale to speculators. Land banks are a best practice that more than 75 governments have adopted, including Cleveland, Louisville, Atlanta, and Genesee County, MI.” Their biggest concern is that the communities are losing money that is desperately needed by local school district and the cities themselves. This vacant land is bringing down the local housing property value, raising crime percentage, and costing the city millions in maintenance and unpaid taxes. It has been calculated that of the 10,000 available properties in the area only 1% of them are sold each year. ("Philadelphia land bank")

The plan for the Philadelphia land bank is to come in and buy up these vacant lots and give local business owners an easy place to go to, to acquire this land to start up their businesses. By turning these vacant lots into businesses or potential businesses, it can draw in more people, causing a boost in the use of local transportation, raise the housing property value and boost the local economy. It is amazing how much change this organization can make buy taking something decayed and putting it to good use.

Another committee that has been at the forefront of looking out for what’s best for the local community is the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. For years the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission has been working with local officials in their respective states trying to map out the best course of action for the local communities in terms of land use, transportation, and local businesses.
Their planning idea “Smart Growth” is the DVRPC’s way of mapping out the future for the local communities and how they can be better suited for the people.

“Smart growth describes an approach to land use planning that recognizes the relationship between transportation infrastructure and land use. It promotes a concentration of development and diversity of uses and encourages new development to take place near existing transportation facilities. Fiscally and environmentally sound, as well as socially conscious, smart growth planning promotes infill development and adaptive reuse of existing buildings, land and resource conservation, and mixed-use development that includes housing for different income levels.” ("Land Use")
These local organizations and committees will be extremely important in controlling the future of these vacant and rundown communities. With the guidance of their plans, and the help of the people it is only a matter of time before these areas begin to flourish.


Transportation

Regionalization directly impacts the transportation system in the Delaware Valley region. The use of private and public transportation can take many forms ranging from road vehicles and railways, to the less used waterways and trails. All of these methods of transporting the human population from one area to another is essential to having a functional economy across a region. Children attending school, commuters and emergency services all need a network of transportation services alone to work efficiently in the 21st century. While private transportation through personal automobiles has been the primary method most people commute by, public transportation is gaining steady popularity across the country, including the Delaware Valley region.The side effects from public transportation alone is significant in that it is a method to lower traffic, save individuals money, lower U.S. emissions and connect people to there jobs in convenient locations. To prove the environmental and economic impact of public transportation, an ICF international study in 2007 on U.S. public transportation showed that public transportation alone in the U.S. reduced the consumption of gasoline by 1.4 billion gallons over a year. To put this into perspective, the same study revealed that a household which did not have two cars and used public transportation instead could save on average $6251 a year just by savings from consumption of gas, insurance and automotive maintenance and repairs. The combination of different types of methods in transportation, through public options or personal vehicles, in the Delaware Valley region are a growing topic of interest among people living in the region. The societal and economic values to public transportation alone provide a huge impact allowing people to save money while living in various areas.

external image PATCO_Logo.jpg
In South Jersey, the Port Authority Corporation, PATCO, is one of the major transportation rail lines connecting Camden County to Philadelphia. In 2012 alone, PATCO had served 10,613,000 total passengers (DRPA Annual Report for the Year Ended December 31, 2012). This trend of public transportation through light railways is on the rise and has steadily increased over the decade.

PATCO Passenger statistics.png

(PATCO Passenger Ridership and Fair Revenues 2003-2012)


PATCO now wants to expand into Gloucester County, New Jersey. Known as the Glassboro-Camden Line (http://glassborocamdenline.com/), the 18-mile passenger rail line will run between the Glassboro and Camden (http://glassborocamdenline.com/). The new light rail transit would allow residents in the area to travel to Camden city where they would be able to board the PATCO line into Philadelphia. Stops along the line are going to include Rowan University, Pitman, Sewell, Mantua Boulevard, Wenonah, Woodbury Heights, Woodbury, Westville, Gloucester City and Camden. (Laday, 2013). This rail line will greater expand transportation for commuters going to Philadelphia and across the greater Delaware Valley.

Glassboro- Camden Line Railway and Stations


GCL.jpg

(Proposed stops in Gloucester County for the Glassboro - Camden Line)

While the idea of expanding the PATCO rail line into Gloucester County is , towns will have to adapt with the addition of the a new railway adjacent to the older railway already in place through the town. Many of the towns where there will be stops, such as Wenonah and Pitman, will need to find locations to accommodate these stations and new railways that go through the towns. This could very well impact the local historical sites and homes because the railway requires a larger space. This may result in the removal of historical buildings, such as train stations, and parks that are along the rail line. Some towns are now in the discussion of how to preserve there local community's culture while accommodating the new railway being installed.

Potential Glassboro- Camden Line Impact at Woodbury Station

Woodbury station.jpgWoodbury Station Digital Representation.jpg

(Potential railway representation at a Woodbury Station. Digital representation of the railway courtesy of Parson- Brinckerhoff)

Currently, PATCO is in the midst of various improvements to the railways and stations. Under the Delaware River Port Authority, DRPA as project manager, PATCO is in the midst of replacing there cars fleet through the purchase of new cars and or renovation to the old fleet. The $84,000,000 dollar project, where $50 million was funded from the federal Safe Accountable Flexible Efficient Transportation Equity Act, will be completed in the FY 2016 (DRPA Annual Report for the Year Ended December 31, 2012).

Another source of transportation in the Delaware Valley is the Highway system that spans across the region, allowing individuals to take there own means of transportation. According to the DRPA, Bridge traffic across the Walt Whitman, Ben Franklin, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross bridges allowed 48,080,000 people to cross the Delaware river in the region during the year 2012. This statistic includes commercial and non-commercial vehicles over the course of the year, indicating the economic value toll revenues and magnitude of migration that the DRPA provides to the Delaware Valley population. The investment of infrastructure through highways and bridges is one way in which the regionalization allows 2,406,000 commuters to get to there destination during the year 2011 ( Annual Urban Mobility Report Texas A&M).

DRPA Bridge Traffic.png

(DRPA Bridge Traffic and Toll Revenues 2003-2012)


Economic Development


The most recent Census release drew attention to the city of Camden as the ‘poorest city in the nation’ and the social and economic crisis facing the city is widely acknowledged. The challenge posed by this reality is sharpened by Camden’s location in the midst of wealthy suburban communities, in the state with the highest median income in the nation. In order to provide a better understanding of the particular plight of the city of Camden, we compare data for the city to parallel data for the county and the state overall. The most recent population statistics, from 2005, show that Camden City had a population of 73,305, making up a little over 14 percent of the total population of Camden County. However, as the data indicates, the incidence of a variety of problems is disproportionately high in Camden City, given its share of the county population.


2009 Households


Total household : 192,758

Average household size : 2.63

Median household income: $60,946


Under the landmark 2002 Municipal Rehabilitation and Economic Recovery Act, $175 million was set aside for a number of capital investment and revitalization projects within Camden. What does this mean to the community.



Recent Policy


Land Use


The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA) has been working hard to continually create new programs in which could recreate some of the land in the surrounding area.
"Our work, authorized by Pennsylvania State Charter under the Urban Redevelopment Law of 1945, focuses on planning and developing balanced mixed-use communities to create thriving, well-served neighborhoods. As the public government agency charged with the redevelopment of the City of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority provides the foundations that enable private investors to revitalize neighborhoods. We have been deeply involved in the development of the city since the Urban Redevelopment Law passed and we continue to work towards identifying new opportunities, while responding to changing economic conditions."
("Philadelphia.Gov")

Some recent and ongoing programs the PRA has created are:

The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP)


The City of Philadelphia’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) is an innovative opportunity to turn vacant, foreclosed properties into owner occupied dwellings. The City will receive $16.8 million from The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to support this effort, which will be managed by the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia (RDA).

Philadelphia’s NSP will focus on select neighborhoods throughout the City. These neighborhoods were identified by the City’s Office of Housing and Community Development through a comprehensive process taking into account historic foreclosure data, indications of predatory lending, and the impact of vacant foreclosed homes on the value of residences in the surrounding neighborhoods.The NSP compliments other initiatives focused on the foreclosure crisis. The City’s first priority is to prevent foreclosure by encouraging residents to participate in the Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Program. The NSP will work with properties that become vacant due to foreclosure. All buyers of NSP homes will also complete eight hours of mortgage counseling.
("Philadelphia.Gov")


Percent for Art Program

To date, nearly 400 public art projects have been installed under the Fine Arts Program. Recently completed Fine Arts projects are "Wave Forms" by Dennis Oppenheim (Domus Building 34th & Chestnut Street), "Plateau" by Andrea Blum (University of Pennsylvania, 40th & Walnut Streets), "Open Air Aquarium" By Magdalena Abakanowicz (Dockside, Columbus Boulevard), and "Goldilocks" by Ming Fay (Tivoli Building, 20th & Hamilton Streets). Future projects include the Federal Reserve Bank Annex and 777 South Broad Street.

The Redevelopment Authority pioneered the Percent for Art Program in March 1959, becoming the first city in the United States to create a program requiring developers to commission art as part of the development process. The Redevelopment Authority’s Percent for Art Program obligates developers who are building on land acquired and assembled by the Authority to dedicate at least one percent of the total building construction costs toward the commissioning of original, site-specific works of art. Since the inception of the Program, nearly 400 works of public art have been installed in all areas of Philadelphia. Works of public art can be found in such diverse developments as high-rise commercial and residential towers, housing for families and the elderly, shopping plazas, parks, hotels, universities, schools and libraries.

The Authority’s Fine Art guidelines are structured to ensure that an early dialogue exists between the redeveloper, architect and artist. Each art project is more than a single or isolated work – the public space in its entirety is considered, in order to make the greatest contribution to the urban fabric, the streetscape, and the places that citizens populate. Each project is completely site-specific.

The Fine Arts Committee, a standing committee appointed by the Redevelopment Authority, is composed of civic leaders and visual arts professionals – educators, curators, artists, architect and landscape architect – who are sensitive to, and knowledgeable about, the many complex issues of public art. The Committee is responsible for the review of all fine arts proposals and monitors their progress from concept through the various design phases and ultimate installation and public dedication.

Email Julia Guerrero for more information regarding the Percent for Art Projects or download the Program Introduction Packet and Fine Art Policy, which discuss the process of initiating a Percent for Art Project.
("Philadelphia.Gov")

As the PRA continues to work on these programs and create new ones it can only be a positive step for Philadelphia, the surrounding area, and the community. The sooner the community and the leaders of these areas realize how precious this land really is, the sooner they will work hard to make a difference.

Transportation

The city of Philadelphia can often appear as the epicenter of the Delaware Valley Region. With Highways spreading across the entire city into suburban communities around the adjacent counties, Philadelphia is readily accessible for any personal mode of transportation. In the city itself, the various streets connecting the various districts and neighborhoods are attached within and among the larger part of the state with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority's (SEPTA). SEPTA offers various public options for its population within the city and the greater Philadelphia area include railways, trolleys and busing. At the river, there are three bridges called the Commodore Barry, Betsy Ross and Walt Whitman bridge that connect the city to the state of New Jersey. Communities like Camden City and the various suburban, boroughs and townships in Camden, Gloucester and Burlington County greatly contribute to the city in various ways. The region is connected beyond what it sees with the addition of two railways, for transportation trains like AMTRAK, and the Philadelphia International Airport, which allows individuals to travel within the country and internationally. This allows the city of Philadelphia and the greater Delaware Valley Region to accommodate the transportation needs of the fifth largest urban area, servicing 5,381,000 people (TEXAS A&M).
external image Philadelphia_Transit_and_Commuter_Rail_System.png
(Image created by Lucius Kwok)

Besides the network of roadways that are used in the city for personal modes of transportation, SEPTA is the public transportation alternative that offers numerous ways to navigate the city. Offering 86 routes in total, SEPTA allows the people to navigate within the city, lowering street congestion while arriving to there destination at an affordable price. During SEPTA's 2013 fiscal year, 946,800 people on average weekly basis (SEPTA). Annually, this amounts to 279,296,060 trips that people over the course of the fiscal year (SEPTA 2013 Fiscal Year Report). From the annual number, 146,062,980 trips are taken through SEPTA's extensive 75 busing routes in the city transit system, amounting to 8,122 bus/trolley stops annually (SEPTA 2013 Fiscal Year Report).

SEPTA's Transportation Network
external image slayer2.jpg

Outside of Philadelphia, The Southeastern region containing Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery county are all linked within the SEPTA transportation services. According to the 2012-Census Estimate, excluding Philadelphia, the counties combined account for a population of 2,503,200 people within its 2059 sq. mile area. In this area, the suburban communities are integrated into SEPTA's Victory and Frontier districts. These two districts account for the communities outside of Philadelphia, providing light rail, rapid transit lines like the Norristown High Speed Line and the multiple busing routes. This allows the general population in the counties an alternative option of transportation, mobilizing the region more effectively.

Other than the continual investment into the maintenance and repairs of the infrastructure already standing, SEPTA is discussing the consideration of extending its Norristown High Speed Line with the population, local municipalities and organizations to discuss possible routes, feasible economic alternatives. In particular the King of Prussia area is currently under investigation to be extended from the NHSL.

King Of Prussia Area
King of Prussia areas.png
SEPTA is currently pursuing this investment in infrastructure because of the steady increase in traffic congestion that King of Prussia experiencing from its observation with the increase in use of busing that SEPTA offers in this area. While busing is already a feasible option for people, buses are still at the prone to traffic congestion because they share the same roadways as automobile drivers. Where the railway extension is supposed to stop at can be seen as to where the greatest increase in busing is directed towards. According to SEPTA's Draft Scoping Meeting Technical Memorandum,most recent accounts determined that ridership was over 4000 daily bus passengers that were embarking and disembarking in areas in close proximity to the King of Prussia Mall. This would produce the greatest economic impact to the area of study while increasing efficiency in rider patrons and lowering traffic congestion. By having a stations near the King of Prussia Mall, the local business park and the Village of Valley Forge will have greater access to faster transportation within the region and Philadelphia.


Over the course of the past two years, the discussion and multiple tier planning phase of alternative routes has been presented to the general public. From the diagram below provided by the draft, SEPTA is currently in tier 1 discussing the alternative routes. The multiple alternatives presented in a draft were presented below.

SEPTA's Multi-Tier Planning King of Prussia Site Screening

Tier Stages for prussia line.png
Alternative prussia routes.png

Map of Passed Alternative Routes

Tier 1 alternatives.png


While SEPTA is under the investigation of determining alternatives, options are under discussion with the local communities, producing mixed perspectives. Among these perspectives, the discussion of route that will be the most beneficial to the area in question while maintaining cost, optimal efficiency that benefit the region among automobile users and public transportation riders in mind. Because a railway is a connection between two locations, many people in the area are trying to determine where the most effective locations for stops would be that would provide the most riders with greatest access while disturbing the least amount of neighborhoods possible.

Among one of the many concern that the local communities and riders share is whether the cost is worth the reward of having an extension. Because the cost of infrastructure is large, requiring FTA support that is to be determined, many question if the cost is worth it to an area that according to the SEPTA Draft and scoping is the largest suburban employment are that primarily travels by an automobile. The question of whether people in the region would even consider taking public transportation, increasing the ridership to lower traffic congestion. One comment in particular from an anonymous person in the draft addressed his/her concern on whether the SEPTA's funding is being spent properly all together:

“Philadelphia's inner-city subway/rail is extremely lacking if you don't live along the Broad, Market, or Frankford corridors. So please, don't waste what little money SEPTA has on a rail line to serve an auto-centric populous, please spend that money on regions that would actually contribute to the ridership.”

Mike Liebowitz, an advocate of public transit living close to a station, in a public testimony supporting the project also made a comment concerning that while he supports SEPTA working on the expansion that it is important to save a portion of investment to maintain the station that will be and are already built:

“I sometimes feel that my stop specifically, adjacent to my home, is under-maintained, and I hope that if we can expand the line, expand transit opportunities, each of the existing stations along the line is an entry point to this project. And I hope that the resources will be there to make sure that those entry points are maintained and improved.”

Even lifelong resident of King of Prussia Robert Lenz made a public testimony regard if the funding would be presented in the most cost effective way that benefits the majority of the population in the region. His argument, while supporting the extension, is if the proposed extensions passed in tier 1 are the best alternative. He argues that SEPTA didn’t consider supporting the idea of the dismissed Abrams Yard. Coming from a cost control background, Robert Lenz discusses his perspective on the Abrams Yard location in the draft:

“I think the best solution that we have is Abrams section there. It's already – already constructed; it's not pie in the sky. It's basically using rights of way where there's (unintelligible) rail, going up to (unintelligible) servicing your area, which I think it seems like primarily you're looking to serve the mall and the industrial park. And basically that puts you directly into that, with -- with probably the least cost of any, and yet it seems to be dismissed automatically.”

While the planning process is still underway and many alterations could be made that can change the path set so far. Because SEPTA has been opened to the comments and contributions to the general public through social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, public communication is key in order to ultimately determine where ridership will increase if such a large investment is to follow through. As the primary purpose is to lower traffic congestion, if the amount of time it takes to get from King of Prussia to Center City Philadelphia is greater than commute with an automobile, then the purpose of the extension wouldn’t be as beneficial. People would continue taking there own personal mode of transportation and the investment would turn into another decaying piece of infrastructure.

Philadelphia International Airport

external image PHL_Airport.jpg

The Philadelphia International Airport is also another mode of transportation that connects the Delaware Valley Region Nationally and on a global scale. According to a Federal Aviation Administration annual 2012 forecast, air travel is predicted to double from 815 billion to 1.57 trillion. Domestic travel alone, this forecast is supposed to increase to 1.2 billion by 2032 (Federal Aviation Administration annual 2012 forecast). With the increase in travel and the growing economic development within the Delaware Valley Region, the Philadelphia area will have the opportunity to connect itself globally more in the coming decades.

The Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) consisting of seven terminals, six cargo facilities and four asphalt runways constitutes approximately 2354 acres of space southwest of center city Philadelphia. Based on the 2013 PHL Financial Report, in the fiscal year 2013, the airport allowed 15,215,885 passengers, many primarily within the region, to travel to destinations in the United States and Internationally. Compared to the 2012 Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the entire country of enplanements of 744,278,000, Philadelphia accounts for 2.0%. While in recent years, the path of enplanements has remained steady over the past five years, the future forecast will allow a greater access to the airport from regions abroad with various enhancements in aircraft technology like as increasing load factors and improvements of safety standards (2013 PHL Financial Report). Despite only being an airline hub where it is used mainly as a stop along the way for passengers to get to there destinations, PHL remains one of the busiest airports in the United States.

Philadelphia International Airport Map
external image PHL.jpg

With an ever increasing use of the airplanes for cargo and passengers, the Philadelphia International Airport like other major airports are under large investments from the state and federal governments. Despite being one of the major airports in the United States, Philadelphia International Airport is reaching its maximum capacity and can appear congested. In 2011, The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued approval for PHL for the Capacity Enhancement Program (CEP). This multi year development program gives PHL the ability to expand and make improvements to its infrastructure to allow a greater capacity of cargo and passenger planes to use the airport in the future. Amounting in approximately $1.156 billion in investments, the capital involved will make these improvements and more below (2013 PHL Financial Report):

- 1,500- foot extension to Runway 9R-27L
- Redesign and enhanced ticketing area at Terminal B/C
- New multistory rental car facility
- More automated people-mover facilities
- Improved holding bays/aprons for aircraft to queue effectively
- Security Upgrades
- Roadway Improvements
- Escalator Upgrades


Economic Development

In regards to regionalization, some goals for economic development in the region include:
  • Analyzing the region’s economy and identify regional challenges and opportunities
  • Integrating economic development with land use and transportation planning
  • Integrating human and physical capital planning
  • Establishing regional economic development goals and objectives
  • Leveraging EDA funding for regional goals

Through a grant from the William Penn Foundation, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission is coordinating two inter-related task force groups, focusing on transfer of development rights (TDR) in New Jersey. DVRPC is leading a task force to assess the vision and opportunities for a regional TDR program in Salem County, NJ. New Jersey Future is spearheading a task force to formulate state-level policy recommendations to improve TDR implementation.



Critiques

When it comes to land use in urban cities such as Camden and Philadelphia, vacant land/properties cause eyesores and a never-ending cycle of backed taxes and crime. One of the main ideas to help this issues is the idea that was mentioned in the earlier parts of this wiki page which has been adopted by over 75 governments around the United States. This idea is the idea to hire a “land bank”, their job is to take care of the sales and collection of the backed taxes without risking their sales. “Their biggest concern is that the communities are losing money that is desperately needed by local school district and the cities themselves. This vacant land is bringing down the local housing property value, raising crime percentage, and costing the city millions in maintenance and unpaid taxes.”

One of the main problems that comes along with the idea of a land bank is that they have to come in and purchase the land that is vacant, while at the same time maintain control of the land and the collection of the backed taxes that is costing the city money. Another issue is that these land banks have to fix up the vacant plots of land in hope that companies will move into the city and help contribute to the city as a whole by attracting new businesses and people so that the city is not in the financial hole that we are currently in at this point in time.

One of the main projects of extending the PATCO train system into Gloucester seems to be a great idea; it also raises some questions as to whether or not it is a good idea. Some of the complaints received about the extension of the railways are that the people in the city will have to get use to the different traffic patterns. This could potentially cause commutes to work to take longer; this is because the commuters would have to get use to the different light patterns and traffic patterns.

Children attending school, commuters and emergency services all need a network of transportation services alone to work efficiently in the 21st century. Using the different types of transportation that are offered can help the process of commuting in more than one-way. One of the major issues when it comes to extending the railways is the issue of over crowding on the trains and in the train stations. This could potentially cause danger and also cause for longer commutes to work or school, the additional time could cause issues for the citizens who do not have personal vehicles.

Hotel Plaza built in 1900's lived in two redevelopment projects, 2014 was the end to this building, it is a plan to redevelopment in the water front as what?

Philadelphia


History



The vision for the Market East District will put the district on the path to a more sustainable future. By consolidating bus drop-offs, the intermodal transportation center will reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMTs), improve street level air quality, and facilitate transit ridership. On a broader level, it will help the City of Philadelphia achieve its larger agenda of becoming a more sustainable city in several ways including: helping to focus future development in the district that has the best transportation infrastructure in the city and directing development to existing, underutilized sites, including the area around Franklin Square and along Market Street.

The plan transforms 8th Street between Filbert and Arch Street, a covered street lined with largely vacant retail, into the casino’s bus pick-up and drop-off area. Turning this area into one of the casino’s front doors would provide what is presently an unmanaged and threat- ending environment with a sense of ownership, and a source of funding for much needed physical improvements. Automobile should be located off Market Street and ideally on the north side of Filbert Street.

History

Recent Policy


Critiques
Transportation:
Every city has public transportation such as buses, cabs, etc. In the city of Philadelphia there are numerous different types of transportation such as the SEPTA, Philadelphia International Airport, Patco and Broad street line train systems, with these different types of transportations there will always be discussions on how to improve public transportation.

While SEPTA is under the investigation of determining alternatives, options are under discussion with the local communities, producing mixed perspectives. Among these perspectives, the discussion of route that will be the most beneficial to the area in question while maintaining cost, optimal efficiency that benefit the region among automobile users and public transportation riders in mind. Because a railway is a connection between two locations, many people in the area are trying to determine where the most effective locations for stops would be that would provide the most riders with greatest access while disturbing the least amount of neighborhoods possible. One of the problems that comes along with adding stops to the railway system can cost more money that the city may not be able to afford, it will also affect employees of the railway system.

“Philadelphia's inner-city subway/rail is extremely lacking if you don't live along the Broad, Market, or Frankford corridors. So please, don't waste what little money SEPTA has on a rail line to serve an auto-centric populous, please spend that money on regions that would actually contribute to the ridership.”

Philadelphia International Airport is reaching its maximum capacity and can appear congested. With this international airport getting so congested it opens the door for expansion of the airport and runways. The main issue or complaint that people may have in regards to exactly how much this project, that has been approved by the FAA, will cost.


Recommendations


Baltimore

Land Use


Baltimore is a vastly growing, and thriving city much like Camden once was. However even a thriving city still has some areas in which it can get better. It is all up to the people to determine whether or not those areas get turned around or if they continue to be an issue for the city. Baltimore has taken vacant land around its urban areas and done something extraordinary with it. The Baltimore City Farm Alliance has teamed up with the city government to take vacant lots in the city, and offer them to people in the community as areas to build urban farms. Not only does this put the un-used land to use, it gives the community something to work together on. The BCFA also uses all the produce grown from the farms and gives it back to those in need in the city. This making it a complete cycle for success in the city of Baltimore. Recently Baltimore has announced a $22 million dollar project “Vacants to Value” to tear down decaying and vacant buildings to make way for future opportunities. This project is set to take 2 and a half years to complete, and will help the local government which is already spending $2.5 million on vacant land demolition per year. By tearing away this decaying buildings it makes way for things such as urban farms, which could then attract local businesses to want to build there.

Camden could greatly benefit with a program similar to this. Not only does it get rid of the negative look of the vacant land, and turn it into something beautiful, it also brings the community together, and helps out those in need. Bringing in more programs like this could also reshape the image of Camden and give it the positive image that it needs to re-emerge as a successful thriving city in the future. Yes these programs do cost money, however the money already being poured into these vacant lots is tremendous and a total waste. By filtering the money into the right projects and getting the right people involved, Camden can return to being the great city it once was.

http://www.farmalliancebaltimore.org/the-alliance/how-to/access-land/

Critiques:
Land Use-
In the city of Baltimore the city has made a big change to the problem of vacant properties. What they did was allow people and organizations to create urban farms to create produce that gives multiple benefits such as, using the produce within the city to help give a healthy alternative for foods other then fast food chains and restaurants, while also helping the problem of having "eye sores" throughout the city. But, with every great idea there will always be people who have a problem or a critique of the idea being implemented. One of the main critiques regarding these urban farms is that it will take away from the possibility of businesses coming to those vacant lots and starting businesses. However, this plan for the urban farms will inevitably bring in more income for the already thriving city.


References



Camden, New Jersey. "DRPA Annual Report for the Year Ended 2012", (26 July 2013). Retrieved from the Delaware River Port Authority website: http://www.drpa.org/

College Station, Texas. "2012 Urban Mobility Report", (December 2012). Retrieved from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute website: http://tti.tamu.edu/


Delaware Valley Regional Economic Development Fund. (2014). History. Retrieved from: http://www.dvredf.org/our-history-2608.html

Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance. (2014). Retrieved from: http://www.delawarevalleysmartgrowth.org/
Fairfax, Virginia.“Public Transportation and Petroleum Savings in the U.S.: Reducing Dependence on Oil", (January 2007). Retrieved from ICF International website: http://www.icfi.com/

Kacowicz, A.M. (1998). Regionalization, globalization, and nationalism: Convergent, divergent, or overlapping? The Helen Kellog Institute for International Studies. (pp.1-47)

Laday, Jason. “Glassboro- Camden Commuter Rail Line Continues Slow Progress”, (15 February 2013). Retrieved from nj.com: http://www.nj.com/gloucester-county/index.ssf/2013/02/glassboro-camden_commuter_rail.html.


Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (2012). Land Use. Retrieved from: <http://www.dvrpc.org/LandUse/>.

PECO. (2014). About Us. Retrieved from: https://www.peco.com/AboutUs/WhoWeAre/Pages/default.aspx

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. " Draft Scoping Meeting Technical Memorandum", (January 2014). Retrieved from the King of Prussia Rail Website: http://www.kingofprussiarail.com/default.html

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania " Philadelphia International Airport Financial Report 2013", (30 June 2013). Retrieved from the Philadelphia International Airport websie: http://www.phl.org/Pages/HomePage.aspx

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. " SEPTA Operating Facts Fiscal Year 2013", (2013) . Retrieved from the Southeaster Pennsylvania Transportation Authority website: http://www.septa.org/index.html

"Philadelphia land bank." . N.p., 01 01 2013. Web. 19 Feb 2014. <http://www.phillylandbank.org/>.

Regional Planning Federation of the Philadelphia Tri-State District. (1932). The Regional Plan of the Philadelphia Tri-State District. The Pennsylvania State University Libraries.

"Philadelphia.Gov." Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority. N.p., 02 15 2014. Web. 5 Mar 2014. <http://www.phila.gov/pra/index.html>.