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Kevin Dow | Lessons from GreatPHL

Two Philadelphians came together to answer the question, “What can we do with the abandoned railroad lines?” Friends of the Railpark was the result of two advocacy organizations joining together to create change.

The project has since garnered significant support, and the Railpark board is now working with Center City District, the City of Philadelphia, and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation to make their vision a reality. Less than a year ago, Kevin was hired as Executive Director of Friends of the Railpark to help ensure that its goals and objectives were met.

Upon completion, the Railpark will extend 3 miles, 50 city blocks, and through 11 neighborhoods including Center City, Spring Garden, and Fairmount. Kevin discusses the Viaduct, the Cut, and the Tunnel – the three main sections of the Railpark that are currently under construction in Phase One of development.

The focus of the Railpark project is to both adapt to change and preserve Philly’s rich history.

“We need to invest in public spaces … It’s not necessarily about place-making … Where this Railpark exists, the place is already there. The community is already there. So rather than place-making, let’s create value by place-keeping.”

The park is designed to accommodate walking, running, and bicycling along much of the rail line.

Kevin explores the importance of engaging communities, encouraging events and conversation, and increasing real estate value through the Railpark project.