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Aug. 17, 2012 10:00 am

Planeto: City Planning Commission launches blog that makes zoning actually feel exciting

The city’s Planning Commission, a mayorally appointed advisory board on all things zoning and planning, just got into the blogging game, PlanPhilly’s Eyes on the Street reports. And turns out, the team over there is pretty good at it. By that, we mean the bloggers — primarily two City Planning Commission staffers — actually make […]

The city’s Planning Commission, a mayorally appointed advisory board on all things zoning and planning, just got into the blogging game, PlanPhilly’s Eyes on the Street reports.

And turns out, the team over there is pretty good at it. By that, we mean the bloggers — primarily two City Planning Commission staffers — actually make the business of zoning (snore) feel light, funny and engaging.

Check out the blog HERE.

The blog’s got Zoning-Code-for-Dummies-style Q&As, infographics and even, wait for it, cat graphics. Also see some of the blog’s tags: along with serious tags like Citywide Vision and Open Space, there’s also PCPC Biznass and City Planimals.

Though author names aren’t explicitly on the blog, the posts are primarily written by a staffer named Clint Randall who works as the Healthy Communities Coordinator for the City Planning Commission and the city’s Department of Public Health, says community planner Jennifer Barr, who also sometimes writes posts.

Barr said the commission discussed including initials of the staffers who were blogging but management felt uncomfortable with that, so the posts are currently left nameless.

Community response to the blog has been great, Barr says, adding that the number of unique visitors to the blog has been doubling every day.

The blog does a great job of explaining why even start the thing in the first place, but here’s Barr on why engagement with the public is so important to the Planning Commission: Since the Planning Commission is advisory-only, she says it relies on the public to advocate for issues like smarter zoning.

“We can’t do this alone,” Barr says. “We need the public.”

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Juliana Reyes

Juliana Reyes began as lead reporter at Technically Philly in July 2012. Previously, she was a city services beat reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News, as part of a project called “It’s Our Money.” She is learning to drive, learning to bike (in the city) but is an expert at taking SEPTA. She grew up in North Jersey and Manila, Philippines but she left the tropics for Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in linguistics. She now lives in West Philly.

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