Philadelphia Reflections

The musings of a physician who has served the community for over six decades

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City of Rivers and Rivulets
Philadelphia has always been defined by the waters that surround it.

Measures of Philadelphia

The City of Philadelphia and the County of Philadelphia have had the same borders since the consolidation of 1855.

Their area is 135 square miles.

There are 14 square miles of municipal parkland.

Philadelphia has 22 miles of riverfront.

Since the days of William Penn, the streets have been laid out in a grid. The North-South streets are almost but not quite due North. The perpendicular East-West streets are, therefore, also, almost but not quite in true compass direction. At the time of the spring and fall equinoxes, it can be seen that the error from true compass direction is about 10%.

30,000 gun permits are in circulation in the City, compared with 16,000 in New York City, and 1000 in the entire state of New Jersey.

The former Managing Director of the City, Philip R. Goldsmith, responded heatedly to the statistical lack of population growth, particularly when compared with other large cities. Phoenix, San Antonio, and Las Vegas have grown all right, but have done so by increasing their land mass by 45, 55, and 105% respectively, in the past decade. He points out that the population growth of Austin, Phoenix, Houston and Dallas is composed of foreign-born persons to the degree of 35, 51, 68 and 91 percent, respectively.

Originally published: Friday, June 23, 2006; most-recently modified: Thursday, May 23, 2019

I took the Philadelphia skyline photo. Please give me credit.
Posted by: Tom Caldwell   |   Jan 29, 2010 6:27 PM