Sustainable communities are places which have a variety of housing and transportation options. They’re communities where people don’t need to rely on cars because they can easily walk or use public transportation to go to work, to shop, to visit a doctor or to enjoy a show or eat out. They are greener by their very nature — reducing pollution by reducing the need for cars. And their emphasis on a mixture of housing options allow residents at all income levels to enjoy the benefits of living in these communities.
Advancements in technology have added convenience and availability to so many aspects of our lives with seemingly nearly everything being a mere mouse click or smartphone app away. One area which has lagged behind is local governments. For example, back in 2009, Councilman Peduto worked with two Carnegie Mellon University professors to create iBurgh — the nation’s first mobile app for city government. iBurgh made it possible for anyone with a smartphone to report neighborhood issues directly to our city’s 311 system. However, the current administration did not keep up the relationship with iBurgh and it is no longer available. But many cities are beginning to understand the value technology can bring to services for residents and to increased civic participation.
Future Tenant, an organization which provides a laboratory setting for artists, arts managers and audiences, and Tree Pittsburgh, an environmental non-profit dedicated to protecting and enhancing our urban forest, are collaborating on a project for Arbor Aid 2013. They’ve put out a call for artists for artwork that is either made out of, or relates to, reclaimed urban wood. That wood can come from downed or removed trees, from fixtures, from flooring, from beams, etc. that have an urban source. The work will be under consideration for use in an exhibit that will be held at Future Tenant from Saturday, November 2 to Sunday, December 1, 2013. The exhibition is part of activities by Tree Pittsburgh for the 2013 Arbor Day Foundation Partners in Community Forestry National Conference and the opening night Arbor Aid event on Saturday, November 2nd.
There are more than a dozen registered historic districts in the City Of Pittsburgh. We have a treasure of both homes and public buildings that are more than one hundred years old — it’s part of what makes Pittsburgh special. But these buildings aren’t just beautiful to look at, they encourage economic development as people find neighborhoods with architectural character a desirable place to live. Additionally, preserving and adapting an existing building is a key element of sustainable development.
While Pittsburgh has been rightly celebrated as America’s “Most Livable City,” the renewal has not been citywide — many neighborhoods have not shared in the growth and progress. The Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development (PPND) mission is to serve as a new catalyst for raising the opportunity level for all of the city’s communities and their residents. One of the ways they do this is through their Catalytic Projects Grant Program.
Can you host a young person (age 14 – 21) as an intern this summer? As part of the City of Pittsburgh’s Summer Youth Employment Program, the Eastside Neighborhood Employment Center (ENEC) and the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation (BGC) are looking for quality work sites at businesses and organizations that can host an intern for a six-week program starting July 1st.
The Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG) is a coalition of nonprofit community groups and their partners dedicated to revitalizing urban neighborhoods. Part of their mission is prioritizing investment in transit infrastructure and bringing the community into transportation planning. GoBurgh is their initiative to bring the community voice into the planning process. Their primary goal is to make transit-oriented development a priority in our region and to develop innovative sources for funding it.
Love Your Block grants are a joint program of the City of Pittsburgh and The Home Depot Foundation to revitalize our city. To date, Love Your Block grants have helped beautify approximately 150 blocks in the City of Pittsburgh. The program invites nonprofit organizations to propose block improvement projects in their neighborhoods. Up to 30 local nonprofit groups will each win $1,000 Home Depot gift cards to achieve their goal. Each project must also demonstrate the ability to mobilize a minimum of 20 neighborhood volunteers to participate. Additionally, city agencies will provide services such as graffiti removal, supplying litter cleanup supplies, pruning city-owned trees, etc., as is feasible.
June is the month when Pittsburghers know they can finally stop worrying about frost in their gardens, safely put away the heavy jackets, and attend all the festivals which blossom in our city. This Sunday, June 9th, is the Pittsburgh Feast of St. Anthony Festival. It’s a traditional Italian festival celebrating St. Anthony, the beloved patron saint of lost objects.
Times have not been easy for those who rely on public transportation. Cuts to routes and fare increases have a direct and immediate effect on their quality of life and their pocketbook. But, the effect is far more reaching than that. Reliable, affordable and safe mass transit is crucial to the health and growth of any city. It is a top consideration among those who are are deciding to move or stay in a region. It lessons traffic congestion, provides environmental benefits and is vital to the economic growth of metropolitan areas.