The Collaborative has just wrapped up a conceptual master plan for the redevelopment of 1.8 acres of vacant land at 8th and Berks Streets—the focus of last November’s Compass, Connector, and Catalyst design charrette.
8th and Berks is a key redevelopment site in Eastern North Philadelphia. The 1.8-acre site represents one of the last large-scale redevelopment opportunities within the neighborhood. It also holds the potential to form a vital link between residential Eastern North Philadelphia, transit-oriented development surrounding Temple Station, and the Temple University campus.
The design charrette engaged the Eastern North Philadelphia community in developing a vision for 8th and Berks. Nearly fifty designers, community leaders, public agencies, and students participated, generating five redevelopment scenarios.
Since then, charrette partners Asociasion de Puertoriqquenos en Marcha (APM), LISC Philadelphia, and the Office of Housing and Community Development have worked with the Collaborative’s volunteer design team to synthesize the five scenarios into a single plan.
The conceptual master plan for 8th and Berks captures guiding principles articulated through the design charrette. Here are the highlights from the plan:
- Development that shifts in density from east to west to make a transition between rowhouse blocks and transit-oriented development
- Multi-generational living—development that offers housing options for people of all ages
- Sustainable design elements
- Open space that doubles as gathering places and green stormwater infrastructure
- Space for a “third place,” a locally-owned store, restaurant, or cafe that serves as a neighborhood gathering place and anchor