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News > Context Spring 2023 > Philadelphia's Next Mayor Must be an Agent for Change

Philadelphia's Next Mayor Must be an Agent for Change

The built environment must be among the primary concerns of the new mayor of Philadelphia because community development, housing policy, sustainability, resiliency, historic preservation, and design review touch on everything that happens in our city and its many diverse communities. 

Bold change is needed. Minor adjustments and alterations to current policy will not get us where we need to go. The recommendations made in the following pages are beyond politics. We call on all our readers to consider them carefully, and we challenge those who want to be our next mayor to address each of these issues in their platforms. Those who face these challenges with a combination of realism and vision will find a dedicated community of allies ready to work hard to advance forward thinking policies. 

We have brought together, both in this edition, and in person at the BUILDPhilly Mayoral Forum on March 14, some of the boldest thinkers in the fields of planning, design, development, and construction, all of whom share the goal of making our unique city even greater. 

Across the breadth of the specific recommendations made by our contributors, based on their own experience and expertise, we are aligned in our steadfast belief in a greater Philadelphia. Greater means more equitable, more thoughtfully designed, more resilient and sustainable, and more eager to make the best use of our historic resources. We will have made progress towards this goal when all Philadelphians are able to live and work in a well-designed environment that provides comfort, safety, and inspiration.  

As professionals who work on private and public projects, we engage closely with the agencies that review, regulate, coordinate, and manage our city’s built environment. It is only with their support and professionalism that we are able to create, and it is important to note here, as others will reiterate later in this issue of CONTEXT, that we harbor no antipathy for these agencies. These public servants, collaborators on all our projects, must be supported to the fullest possible extent. With their success comes success for us all. We must support them with adequate funding and engaged leadership. 

 

ELI STORCH, AIA, LEED AP 
Senior Associate, LRK 
Chair, Design Advocacy Group 
CONTEXT Editor 

REBECCA JOHNSON 

Executive Director,  
AIA Philadelphia and Center  
for Architecture and Design 

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