By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Harris Steinberg is Drexel University’s specialist in urban planning and civic engagement. He was tapped to serve as chairman of the panel.

“I think this is a watershed moment for Philadelphia in terms of preservation. The development pressures that we’ve seen, which suggest growth for the first time in over half a century, really are kind of forcing us to take seriously how we manage and balance growth and preservation,” Steinberg said.

Mayor Jim Kenney, who appointed the task force, says the city has a rich architectural heritage.

“Drive through our neighborhoods and you see residential structures and commercial structures that are absolutely stunning. And we want to make sure that we save those. And, there are ways of reusing those buildings on the inside and maintaining what’s on the outside,” he said.

The task force begins work in June and is to present its final recommendations by December 2018.

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