Philly's renewed urbanity

"There is a quiet revolution sweeping through Philadelphia. Just look at the bumper crop of new public spaces popping up across the city. From last year's breakaway standouts - the Porch at 30th Street and Sister Cities Café and garden - to this year's leafy-bowered pop-up beer garden across from the Kimmel Center, Philadelphians are being treated to a renewed form of urbanity. This is a new Philadelphia that fills in the rough edges lost to urban renewal and decades of disinvestment; a new Philadelphia born in the spaces we left for dead in the mad dash to modernize, revitalize, and remain relevant in the 20th century. If the postwar years were as much about saving the soul of our city as about accommodating the car, we are now blazingly conscious of what we gave up in urban refinement as we allowed the car to determine city form. Look no further than the stultifying impact of Interstate 95 on the Delaware waterfront; the speedways hewn from our gracious river drives; the destructive swath the Schuylkill Expressway cuts through West Fairmount Park; and the traffic-clogged conduit that the Ben Franklin Parkway had become. We nearly paved the precious urban patrimony left by generations of prudent, prescient, and practical forebears."