Author: Ryan Briggs
Ryan Briggs has covered politics and development issues for Philadelphia City Paper, Hidden City, Next City, and Metropolis.
Articles by Ryan Briggs
- In Print: Becoming Jane Jacobs
Published on May 06, 2016 in Planning & Design
Jane Jacobs, best known as the author of Death and Life of American Cities, would have celebrated her 100th birthday this year. A new biography, Becoming Jane Jacobs, by Clemson University professor Peter Laurence purports that the most venerated figure in urban planning today is also among the most underappreciated and misunderstood, even by her staunchest supporters.
- Learning in Real Time: Forecasting Three Years of Slower Growth
Published on April 26, 2016 in Capital Markets
The economic forecast for the next three years likely will be mixed, panelists said at the ULI Spring Meeting in Philadelphia, thanks to slowing productivity, job growth that is relegated primarily to low-wage sectors, and imbalances in real estate markets driven by shifting consumer preferences and incomes.
- Developers Seeing Value in Shared Communal Spaces
Published on April 22, 2016 in Development
Concepts like cohousing and similar models of development are poorly understood oddities or pigeonholed as student housing.
- Inner-Ring Suburbs, Secondary Markets Benefiting from Waterfront Revivals
Published on April 21, 2016 in Market Trends
At ULI’s 2016 Spring Meeting in Philadelphia, three developers explained how increasingly crowded downtown markets are driving denser waterfront projects at marginally built-out sites in inner-ring suburbs. As Jim Tinson, CEO of Hart Howerton, said, his company was honing innovative ways “to unlock the waterfront’s potential.”
- Trading Parking Spots for More Public Space on Philadelphia’s Grays Ferry Avenue
Published on April 14, 2016 in Infrastructure
A decade ago, the 2200 block of Grays Ferry Avenue, the one-third of a triangular intersection girding an inoperative 19th-century fountain, was mostly prized for the handful of parking spaces it offered. Today, the street is closed to vehicular traffic and festooned with planters, painted asphalt, café tables, and a bike-sharing station.
- In Print: City in a Park: A History of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park System
Published on April 11, 2016 in Planning & Design
Of the hundreds of visitors who climb the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art each day, few are likely aware that they are standing in the midst of a colossal failed experiment in water treatment.
- In Print: Public Pensions and City Solvency
Published on April 04, 2016 in Capital Markets
A recent study concluded that unfunded liabilities total nearly $100 billion at the city level and nearly $1 trillion at the state level. As the first chapter of this book lays out, the total cost of U.S. pension shortfalls may exceed $4 trillion.
- Contagious Density: Embracing Urban Aspects of Suburban Development
Published on March 16, 2016 in Development
For suburban developers, density used to be a dirty word, but not anymore. “It’s really about using less land to generate more tax revenue and income. I think everybody’s figuring this thing out now,” said James Mazzarelli, senior vice president of Liberty Property Trust, speaking at a recent ULI Philadelphia event.
- Cities Incentivizing Greener Infrastructure to Better Manage Water
Published on March 10, 2016 in Sustainability
Rather than a prohibitively costly replacement of the existing sewer system, Philadelphia and other cities are undergoing one of the largest green infrastructure projects in the United States.
- Revitalizing Philadelphia’s Market Street
Published on February 12, 2016 in Planning & Design
Once boasting the world’s first Wanamaker’s location and nine similarly hulking stores like Snellenburg’s, Philadelphia's Market Street was for decades a desolate echo of its former self. Today, a new generation of developers is betting big on downtown.
- World Heritage Designation Could Boost Philadelphia Hotels, Landmarks
Published on January 17, 2016 in Development
Philadelphia has historically been known as “a city of firsts”—the first library, hospital, and post office in the United States were all founded there. So perhaps it is fitting that it has become the first World Heritage City in the United States, a designation that could be a boon for local tourism.