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.
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:
- The south side of Walnut Street is developed with active street level uses.
- 31st Street is extended south of Walnut Street to engage the new development opportunities and provide a convenient north/south access route.
- 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 over the Schuylkill River, via a new pedestrian bridge.
- 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 improve pedestrian connections over the SEPTA line, and to create a major gathering space for associated sports and recreation along an extension of Locust Walk.
- The Penn Tower will be demolished, making way for a new urban open space for the Health System campus.
The Penn Compact
Penn Connects is a significant element of President Amy Gutmann’s strategic plan,The Penn Compact, which includes:
Increased access to education;
Integration of knowledge from different disciplines and professional perspectives in research and teaching; and,
Engagement at a local and global level to advance the central values of democracy: life, liberty, opportunity and mutual respect.