West Philadelphia Landscape Project
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Urban Design
We design projects with an open structure that inspire people to invent and embellish. Our proposals are frameworks for action which structure, welcome, and inspire the contributions of diverse actors, from individuals and small groups, to private organizations and public agencies. Our designs for community gardens and proposals for the Mill Creek watershed embrace this approach.


In partnership with members of the Mill Creek community and with non-profit organizations and public agencies, WPLP has proposed and built designs to rebuild neighborhoods and provide an opportunity for residents to shape their own community. The West Philadelphia Landscape Plan (1991), a five-part series of reports, describes the power of landscape projects to both improve how West Philadelphia looks and functions and to serve as catalysts for community development.

From 1996-2002, WPLP partnered with Sulzberger Middle School on the Mill Creek Project, where university students worked with middle school students to develop new visions for the future of Mill Creek. Since 2010, Anne Spirn's classes at MIT continue to study the Mill Creek watershed and to make design proposals that integrate environmental restoration, community development, and the empowerment of youth, taking a top-down/bottom-up approach that brings together public officials and neighborhood residents where education and landscape literacy are key ingredients.

Learn more by exploring these and other urban design initiatives listed below.