Central Philadelphia Development Corporation (CPDC) is a membership organization that is affiliated with and managed by the staff of the Center City District and committed to enhancing the competitiveness and attractiveness of Center City. Since 1956, CPDC has been a highly effective vehicle for private-sector leadership to shape the future of downtown through research, planning, advocacy and civic engagement.
Today, more than one hundred major businesses and institutions support CPDC, including those in the real estate, financial services, design, legal, insurance, arts and culture, hospitality, and communications sectors.
CPDC counts among its many achievements in the last half century the revitalization of historic Society Hill, an improved Vine Street Expressway, advocacy for the establishment of the Avenue of the Arts, the creation of the Center City District, a new generation of improvements on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the diversification of Center City as a 24-hour downtown.
Working in partnership with business, government, and other civic organizations, CPDC’s current initiatives include:
- Implementing a plan to enhance the Benjamin Franklin Parkway as an animated cultural campus through improved landscaping and lighting, pedestrian enhancements, new cafes and renovation of existing parks;
- Partnering with the City’s Commerce Department and Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) to retain downtown office tenants and help them expand;
- Undertaking research and advocacy to encourage a more competitive municipal tax structure;
- Planning and designing a range of public space and infrastructure improvements to link together the city’s two largest employment nodes: Center City and University City;
- Retaining Center City families with children by promoting quality schools and the extensive “family-friendly” opportunities downtown through the website www.KidsInCenterCity.org;
- Producing well-researched and graphically attractive reports on economic, demographic and development trends to encourage investment in Center City. Reports include the annual State of Center City report, and other topics such as residential development, retail trends, tax policy and incentives and employment. They may be found on the Publications page;
- Promoting public transit, engaging the private sector in improved transportation management, making physical improvements to transit entrances to increase its attractiveness and accessibility, planning new landscaped bicycle lanes on West Market Street and JFK Boulevard and partnering with regional organizations on the development of high-speed rail on the Northeast Corridor.
CPDC, through shared staff, strongly supports the Center City District on many significant initiatives, including:
- Transforming Dilworth Plaza, west of City Hall, into a high-quality, well-managed civic space, gateway to transit, and centerpiece that links together Philadelphia's primary employment, hospitality and cultural districts;