City of Philly Goes Public with Building Inventory

The City of Philadelphia this week publicly released a GIS database of all city facilities.

The release is part of the City’s ongoing Open Data initiative and marks a major step forward by providing for the first time ever a comprehensive inventory of City operating locations and fixed capital assets.  Like other city data releases, the data is available from Open Data Philly in Shapefile format.

The database provides locational information for all City-owned, leased and managed sites and includes details on primary uses, occupants, square footage, and age.  Also provided are the location and use of various fixed assets eligible for Capital budget funding such as playground equipment, basketball courts, baseball/athletic fields, pools, park dog runs, piers, etc.

The GIS layer was prepared by the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC) to support the 25-year master plan, Philadelphia2035. Data points were sourced from various internal City records and are consistent with existing City GIS data on park and recreation assets.  As the first comprehensive digital inventory of buildings and fixed assets ever produced for Philadelphia city government, it has been adopted by multiple departments as the City’s “Master Facilities Database” and now supports routine maintenance and annual capital planning operations.

Analysis of the data has been used to inform  forthcoming recommendations (fall 2013) to improve City facility management and leasing policies by a blue ribbon task force appointed by Mayor Nutter.

The database will be updated and enhanced on an on-going base by PCPC in cooperation with the Office of Innovation and Technology.  For more information on the contents of the “City Buildings and Fixed Assets,” database contact Mark Wheeler, City Planner at

[Note – this post was authored by Mark Wheeler of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission.]

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