Action Plan for the Central Delaware
Format Action Plan
Client Penn Praxis and Central Delaware Advocacy Group
Date June 2008
Length 64 Pages

This action plan defines a set of concrete and doable actions needed to redevelop the underutilized, post-industrial Delaware riverfront. In 2007, Penn Praxis, the clinical arm of the University of Pennsylvania, brought together over 4,000 Philadelphians to create a vision for the future of the portion of the Delaware River that extends from the industrial port to the south through downtown and several river neighborhoods. This plan is an implementation guide to that vision and details how to redevelop the central Delaware riverfront as an open, green, active and connected community, a particular challenge because the vast majority of riverfront land is privately owned.

Working with Penn Praxis and fifteen river neighborhood civic associations, the Action Plan lays out a clear plan of action for the redevelopment of the river over the next ten years. The Action Plan describes what actions need to be taken, who has the authority to take each action, how much it will cost and what funding resources are available to pay for it. The action plan also explores the return on each dollar of proposed public investment so that the city can perform a cost benefit analysis weighing investment on the riverfront against other competing city objectives.


  1. Appoint an open, accountable, effective waterfront manager.
  2. Adopt clear zoning, a detailed master plan and a coordinated regulatory policy.
  3. Build a continuous 7-mile recreational trail along the Central Delaware riverfront.
  4. Create new parks and improve two existing parks on publicly owned land.
  5. Guarantee public access to the riverfront and make it easier for residents to walk and bike to the river.
  6. Extend transit to the river by adding a streetcar line along an existing right of way.
  7. Extend key east/west streets to the river to improve public access to the river.
  8. Manage traffic and parking in the Central Delaware area to avert a traffic crisis on already congested roads.
  9. Create a 100-foot greenway along the water’s edge.
  10. Create a natural river’s edge and restore habitat.

This action plan will guide public, civic and private actions that will determine the character and quality of the central Delaware for generations to come.