PHILADELPHIA, PA -- (Marketwire) -- 09/28/11 -- The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation has received two prestigious awards from the 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania during the 2011 Commonwealth Awards at the Hilton Harrisburg, in Harrisburg, PA. A crowd of developers, planners, legislators, local government officials and others involved and interested in responsible and efficient land use practices were in attendance as the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation received the Commonwealth-Gold award for Plans and Planning for the Master Plan for the Central Delaware and received the Commonwealth Award for Public Infrastructure for the Race Street Pier.
10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania is an alliance of organizations and individuals from across the state who are committed to land use policies and actions that will enable Pennsylvania to strengthen its diverse urban, suburban, and rural communities and reduce sprawl. 10,000 Friends seeks development that will support the social and economic viability of Pennsylvania's cities and towns, protect environmental quality, conserve fiscal resources, and preserve our state's exceptional rural and heritage resources.
The Commonwealth Awards is a juried state-wide program honoring smart growth projects, but also the Pennsylvanians who are leading the way on smart growth. A record number of high caliber submissions that enhanced the quality of their communities were received from companies and organizations that have contributed to a wide range of project types -- urban infill, historic preservation and rehabilitation, adaptive reuse, brownfield redevelopment, revitalization plans, traditional neighborhood development and farmland preservation.
The Race Street Pier received the Commonwealth Award for Public Infrastructure Projects. The Race Street Pier is a one-acre park located on the Delaware River at Race Street adjacent to the old City section of Philadelphia. Opened in May 2011, its cutting-edge design by James Corner Field Operations takes advantage of the breathtaking views up and down the river, as well as the monumental Benjamin Franklin Bridge. The formerly vacant municipal pier has been repurposed as stunning public recreation and green space.
Jack Machek, President of the 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania adds, 'The Race Street Pier is already showing that it is successfully transforming and revitalizing the waterfront into a vibrant space for visitors and businesses, and nearby residents. Not only is this dynamic project catalyzing development on nearby parcels and drawing visitors to the park and other waterfront destinations, but very importantly it aligns with the City of Philadelphia's greenworks goals, the Master Plan for the Central Delaware waterfront.'
Machek congratulates the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, '10,000 Friends salutes the dynamic leadership of the Delaware Riverfront Corporation in making the Race Street Pier project a stunning urban park. The completion of the Race Street Pier project is a promising sign that the Master Plan for the Central Delaware can be implemented when there is the will and commitment from the City and all the riverfront's stakeholders.'
For the category Plans and Planning, the Master Plan for the Central Delaware received the Commonwealth Gold Award. The Master Plan for the Central Delaware provides a detailed plan for six miles of the Delaware waterfront through central Philadelphia, covering nearly 1,100 acres of land and spanning a variety of uses from vacant brownfields to active industrial, to new residential, to parkland. The plan envisions a revitalized waterfront that both enhances the working aspects of the river, such as the port facilities at both the north and south of the planning area, as well as new mixed-use development that complements the scale and character of the existing Philadelphia neighborhoods.
The plan integrates the waterfront with the city; by focusing development along the central part of the city, it helps to guide development and reduce land consumption by advocating for reuse and many diverse uses of brownfields and underutilized parcels. The plan includes a highly-detailed strategy of limited public investment that aims to begin the transformation of the waterfront through the development of improved public space -- such as the Race Street Pier -- at key locations in order to catalyze private development on adjacent parcels. Combining a long term vision for the Delaware River waterfront with a practical understanding of funding realities the plan is a superb example of the of comprehensive, farsighted and pragmatic urban planning.
Machek, again comments that, 'The Master Plan for the Central Delaware River offers a brilliant blue print for revitalizing the waterfront and intelligently integrating it with the character of the city's many neighborhoods along the Delaware River. The plan's detailed strategy of limited public investment smartly aims to begin the transformation of the waterfront through the development of improved public space at key locations -- such as the Race Street Pier -- in order to catalyze private development on adjacent parcels.'
'We are honored to receive these two prestigious awards from a statewide organization dedicated to supporting the best practices in urban planning and sustainable development,' said Tom Corcoran, president of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation. 'We were proud to have been selected from such a high caliber field of submissions,' added Corcoran.
The 2011 Commonwealth Awards Project Categories this year were: Public Infrastructure, Commercial, Housing or Community Institution, Mixed Use Development, Plans and Planning and Model Projects still in Construction. The Jury conducted two conference call sessions to discuss and establish criteria and the review process. It then met in Harrisburg for the better part of day to review and discuss the merits of all of the projects submitted in this year's awards competition to select the winners.
About 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania:
Founded in 1998, 10,000 Friends was established to cultivate a statewide voice on land use issues, ranging from specific legislative initiatives to housing, transportation, infrastructure, and the conservation of rural, heritage, and natural resources, and to develop communication and education programs around the Commonwealth that focus on these issues. Our principles have been endorsed by 310 organizations representing over 300,000 Pennsylvanians. The main office is in Center City, Philadelphia. Legislative and advocacy efforts are centered in our Harrisburg office. In August, 2004, an office in Pittsburgh was opened.
ABOUT DRWC: The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) is a nonprofit corporation organized in January 2009, exclusively for the benefit of the City of Philadelphia and its citizens. DRWC acts as the steward of the Delaware River waterfront to provide a benefit to all of the citizens and visitors of the City.
The fundamental purpose of DRWC is to design, develop and manage the central Delaware River waterfront in Philadelphia between Oregon and Allegheny Avenues. DRWC intends to transform the central Delaware River waterfront into a vibrant destination location for recreational, cultural, and commercial activities for the residents and visitors of Philadelphia. DRWC will serve as a catalyst for high quality investment in public parks, trails, maritime, residential, retail, hotel and other improvements that create a vibrant amenity, extending Philadelphia to the river's edge.
DRWC is open, transparent and accountable in connection with its operations and activities with respect to the waterfront. Through the judicious use of financing, land acquisition and development capabilities, the Corporation will work cooperatively with city, state and federal agencies to ensure the realization of the City's vision for the central Delaware River.
Delaware River Waterfront Corporation
(215) 629 -3218
(267) 228-1990 (cell)