Released in 2011 and adopted by the Philadelphia City Planning Commission in 2012, the goal of the Master Plan for the Central Delaware is to transform a six-mile length of Philadelphia’s Central Delaware River waterfront into an authentic extension of the thriving city and vibrant neighborhoods immediately to its west. Breathing life back into an abandoned industrial waterfront that was once at the heart of the Philadelphia economy is a tremendous challenge, but meeting this challenge will yield great benefits to the city and the region. The City of Philadelphia is informal, innovative, proud, relaxed, walkable, resilient, and vibrant. Those qualities should be extended to the Delaware waterfront.
The Delaware River has historically been Philadelphia’s front door, a center of activity, industry, and commerce, bounded at its north and south ends by active port facilities. The Master Plan for the Central Delaware recognizes this character and aims to create region-serving amenities while also reconnecting the city’s residents and visitors with the waterfront.
The inspiration and foundations for this plan are found in the waterfront’s distinctive qualities:
The singular geography: a sweeping and gentle bow of piers and wetlands that offers broad views up, down, and across the river;
The many historical and cultural resources that are identifiable and integral to the character of Philadelphia’s waterfront;
The vibrancy and low-rise scale of the many adjoining upland neighborhoods; and
The powerful integration of the manmade piers and structures with natural ecological systems.
This master plan, created through the collective work of the design team, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC), governmental, nonprofit and civic organizations, property owners, and other stakeholders, provides a roadmap for transforming Philadelphia’s distinctive Central Delaware River waterfront.
Master Plan for the Central Delaware Transforming Philadelphia's Waterfront DOWNLOAD (174MB)