$500 Million to Beautify Public Areas in Philadelphia
Through Rebuild Philadelphia, the city council intends to repair parks and recreational centers in the next seven years.
If you were given 500 million dollars to change the face of Philadelphia, where would you start? If you thought about your neighborhood, it is not far from what the city council intends to do over the next seven years.
All on behalf of the Rebuild program, a plan that began to develop from the beginning of last year when the Jim Kenney administration presented to the city its 2017-2021 financial and strategic plan, in which they sought to "rebuild the community infrastructure" to improve the quality of life of Philadelphians.
According to the program’s official website, currently 400 public spaces could be hosted by Rebuild Philadelphia, given their conditions: 128 parks, 130 playgrounds, 54 libraries, 93 recreational centers and 14 other facilities that, in other words, need an urgent labor to regain the glow they once had.
However, not all are good news. Although the 500 million dollars are necessary, the truth is that they are not enough. According to an article published recently by BillyPenn, Philadelphia is below average among the largest cities in the country that budget more to care for their parks.
This year, the Parks and Recreation Department earmarked $ 58 million to maintain 460 public sites in the city, including parks, courts, swimming pools, historic structures, and so on. A budget that - although keeping the proportions - leaves Philly behind, if compared with the 10 greater cities of the country.
For example New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, larger cities than Philly, destine 480, 449 and 266.8 million respectively, which is easy to understand. On the other hand, the city only surpasses - and very lightly - smaller cities like San Antonio, Washington DC and Baltimore, which invest 50, 48 and 44 million respectively, and whose public areas (except San Antonio) are smaller than ours.
Of its total budget, the city only takes 1.38% for the maintenance of public facilities, while the average among the 12 largest cities is 2.6 percent.
Comparing is unpleasant, we know, but it also often provides clues about experiences from other cities that could be implemented here. From the example learned and with Rebuild Philadelphia, the Mayor seems to have understood that a good step to improve the environment of some of the most depressed sectors of the city is precisely investing and recovering those places for the communities, where families can meet and enjoy the fresh air.