REPORTING FROM THE STREET: Surveyor Nellie K

Ace intern surveyor Nellie K reports with selfies:

20150727_142431  Here is me and a dog.

20150727_140208  Here is me and weak walkability.

20150727_134001  Here is me and a big drive way with a far setback to the house.

20150727_133744  Here is me and a milkshake and some houses that fit in very nicely.

20150727_141759  Here is me and a friendly fountain.

Branding and Shooting

This may be the wild Northwest (of Philadelphia) but we’re not ranchers and gunslingers, we’re graphic designers and photographers. Since we last posted, it has been a busy few weeks for the Neighborhood Conservation Kit team.  NCK team member Wynn Geary, an urban farmer and designer who graduated from high school just last month, branded us beautifully with this logo:

neighborhood _conservation_kit_final_draft

The white space is bold and Street Trip loves it. Ready for urban infill!  Meanwhile, out on the range, the NCK effort has expanded to the Wissahickon neighborhood, shown here in a map provided by urban planner Jillian Puleo Dierks. The large parcels to the right are part of the heavily wooded Wissahickon Valley Park (the “Wiss” or “Wissy” in the vernacular).  The yellow area is already within the Wissahickon Watershed Overlay District, important for water quality because the creek joins the Schuylkill River immediately above one of our drinking water intakes.WICA_ALLCompact walkable development patterns like those found in Roxborough are also important for watershed health, as they preserve large swaths of forest and wetland, and, compared to sprawl, reduce impervious pavement area per capita.

If a civic association decides to pursue a Neighborhood Conservation Overlay (NCO) to protect its walkable character, every building in the overlay area must be photographed and carefully labeled. Here’s intern surveyor Matt Sawyer photographing in his neighborhood, getting a head start on this big job.

Matt_Surveyor

Even if the “civics” don’t end up pursuing NCOs, these surveys are a great way to showcase local architectural precedents, and get to know one’s neighborhood.

Here are some delightful details we found along the way.

Flowers_Rochelle WhiteStoop Brickwork_1 RedDoor

In an upcoming post we’ll look at some beautiful driveways we found. Hard to believe, Harry*, but so is a no-hitter by Cole Hamels in his last start as a Phillie. Forgive us, out-of-towners, we are homers, which is why we strive to be Hall of Fame stewards of neighborhoods.

*Harry Kalas, late beloved Phillies broadcaster, laid to rest in Laurel Hill, the historic cemetery a mile from that red door.

A NEIGHBORHOOD WALK

As part of the Neighborhood Conservation Kit training for civic associations, about fifteen of of us Roxborough residents recently walked some of the newly-developed blocks that have been causing the most distress. Our neighbor Addison Geary made this short video of some of the highlights and lowlights. We hope it helps you think about some of the issues confronting our older walkable neighborhoods that are under development pressure. Not surprisingly, much of our discussion revolves around parking, parking, parking.

How are you balancing cars and pedestrians in your neighborhood?