Goals of the Plan

The plan is based on a rigorous planning analysis of the opportunities and constraints of the eastern expansion area and it draws upon the organizational framework established in the 2001 Campus Development Plan. It also addresses, in more detail, several sub-areas of the campus that provide significant opportunities for new development.

Aerial view of University City showing acquired postal lands highlighted in red.

Key features of Penn Connects:

  • Establish new connections and gateways between the campus, Center City, and the neighboring communities.
  • Concentrate mixed-use, dense development at strategic locations by taking advantage of existing transportation hubs.
  • Create a new signature urban park that includes recreational and athletic amenities.
  • Provide new public gathering spaces and pathways to link the core campus with the newly acquired land to the east.
  • Accommodate significant development potential for future academic, research and cultural programs.
  • Establish a University presence along the Schuylkill River Corridor.

Urban Design Goals of Penn Connects:

  • Available parcels along Walnut Street will be developed with mixed-uses and active street level activity.
  • A significant new public green is created in front of the Palestra as a new center of campus life in this emerging precinct.
  • Locust Walk is extended east, through new urban and landscaped open spaces to connect the campus core with the redeveloped postal lands.
  • The existing Highline railroad is utilized for its linear nature as an armature for organizing the open space structure of the land.
  • A pedestrian plaza is proposed between Franklin Field and the renovated Palestra complex to provide additional gathering space for events such as Penn Relays.
  • The Penn Tower will be demolished, making way for a new urban open space for the Health System campus.