Place Published: Philadelphia
Publisher: Saint Joseph's University Press
Date Published: 2005
Book ID: 30
357 pages + foreword, preface, bibliography, and index | 10.5 x 8 inches
Philadelphia: A New Urban Direction poses the question: What must city government do to make the City of Philadelphia a preferred place to live, work, and play into the next century? Philadelphia City Controller Jonathan Saidel and his associates in the City Controller's Office treat the reader to an extraordinary insider's account of the inner workings of city government, utilize sophisticated modeling techniques to present a vision of Philadelphia's future, and present a plethora of novel ideas for improving the city for the 21st-century. It presents the fullest assessment to date of the overall economic, governmental, and social dynamics shaping Philadelphia and the region; serves as a primer to understanding city government and public policy for citizens, policy professionals, and elected leaders alike; and convincingly demonstrates the interconnectedness of the city and its suburbs.
Philadelphia: A New Urban Direction, Second Edition builds upon the impressive work of the initial publication and presents an update of Philadelphia's economic, budgetary, and social condition. It tracks the progress of the recommendations for action to improve Philadelphia offered in the first edition. Philadelphia City Controller Jonathan Saidel and his staff explore recent and relevant opportunities and challenges facing the city, such as Homeland Security and Environmental Sustainability. Credible and creative proposals to preserve and enhance the quality-of-life for Philadelphians are advanced to ensure that the city is, and remains to be, a preferred place to live, work, and visit.
Philadelphia: A New Urban Direction received the 1999 "Special Project Award" from the National Association of Local Government Auditors. The unprecedented consideration of the "state of the City" was declared a "must read" for all local government audit professionals. The Philadelphia project, a massive review of the City's governance, was cited as a fascinating, forward thinking analysis full of clever and convincing arguments and theories, as well as being packed with relevant data.
"With this book, Jonathan Saidel and the Controller's Office make an important contribution to the debate about the future of Philadelphia and all cities. Through two terms as Mayor, my Administration has moved Philadelphia in the right direction. The concepts and ideas put forth in this book can fuel discussion designed to continue this progress."
The Honorable Edward G. Rendell, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
"We can wholeheartedly endorse the boast in the book's blurb that it is 'an extraordinary insider's account of the inner workings of city government.' [...] This is a fascinating book at many levels, and not merely for those interested in the specific case of Philadelphia: most of its lessons can be applied to any metropolis. [...] In summary, this is a valuable contribution to urban history and social science. Congratulations to Saint Joseph's University Press for having tackled such an innovative venture.
Philip Jenkins (The Pennsylvania State University), Pennsylvania History
"It is refreshing to read an analysis of the issues facing Philadelphia coupled with a charge to its government that it can make a difference. If the city government were to adopt this process as a means of shaping its programs, the results would be truly revolutionary. Saidel's presentation combines traditional liberal government policies (addressing community needs) with conservative operating assumptions (the city as business) and a communitarian ethic (the government is responsible to the people, and should be evaluated by the quality of its work). What Saidel promises, he provides, in a well-written and engaging style. It should be of interest for all those who are concerned about the future of Philadelphia."
David Bartelt, Professor and Chair, Geography and Urban Studies, Temple University