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  “The pseudoscience of city planning and its companion, the art of city design, have not yet broken with the spacious comfort of wishes, familiar superstitions, oversimplifications, and symbols. They have not yet embarked upon the adventure of probing the real world.” [pg. 13] -Jane Jacobs The Death and Life of Great American Cities  (1961)   This assertion that city planning is crippled by symbols and superstitions is nowhere...

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Engines of Growth   Cities are the impetus for economic growth. This statement is the thesis of a massive study published in 2010 by the United Nations. Since this revelation has become common knowledge, scholars and researchers have directed their efforts towards answering a more pointed question- what are the circumstances under which city’s become efficient engines of economic growth?   Innovation is one answer. Innovations in technology...

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An additional information request is sent by Licenses and Inspections whenever one of their plans examiners wants to know more about your project.  Getting this letter is not an indication of failure, it is actually considered a standard response as requirements for permits can be as unpredictable as the weather. However, in the off chance you do not receive a request for additional information, you deserve...

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Getting Signed Up   Putting up a sign is one of the most fundamental forms of advertising. If you own a business, you want people to be able to find you, to know who you are, etc. This is what a good sign conveys. However, in order to post a sign over your business in the City of Philadelphia, you must first get permission.   Most signs require...

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Do It Yourself   The City’s Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I)  has an online platform called Eclipse which allows users to do a number of things online. This tool is great for license renewals including trade license and housing rental licenses. Once you set-up an account you can apply for new licenses, renew old licenses, and schedule inspections for existing permit applications all without every stepping...

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By Right Development   Projects which are allowed by the zoning code are known as by-right developments. Every parcel and property in the city of Philadelphia falls into a distinct category of the zoning code which can be found by searching the address in the City Atlas. This tool allows users to see the zoning classification, relevant overlays, registered neighborhood associations, past appeals, and more. The value...

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