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Continuous and Connective: A vision for the City Branch

The City Branch is the underground cousin of the Reading Terminal Viaduct. Branching off from the viaduct at Noble and 13th Street, it chugs westwards with a dramatic dip under Broad Street before swinging north along the edge of Fairmount Park.

The Collaborative worked with Friends of the Rail Park (formerly VIADUCTgreene) to envision the five-block piece of the City Branch between Noble and North Broad as a post-industrial public park.
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A volunteer team drawn from OLIN, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, CVM, and VJ Associates worked with Friends of the Rail Park to fully explore the possibilities of the City Branch—repurposing the rail right of way as a linear green space for walking and cycling.

They also came up with some great ideas for repurposing forgotten remnants of adjacent land to build new connections between North Broad Street, Community College of Philadelphia,  and the larger city:
  • an graded entry to the park at North Broad that doubles as a outdoor screening room... ready to watch movies projected on the side of the Inquirer Building?
  • a steel bridge that connects CCP's campus with parking and housing across the branch on Callowhill Street
  • a terraced student plaza that connects CCP’s campus to the new park

Recent coverage of the City Branch:

Nathaniel Popkin for Hidden City: Plan for City Branch Rail Park Emerges

Dave Heller for Newsworks Tonight: Reading Viaduct would be transformed under plan


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