Tag: Environment

#12 Pittsburgh Transit Districts: Zoning for Transit Funding and Expansion

#12 Pittsburgh Transit Districts: Zoning for Transit Funding and Expansion

In 2004, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed the Transit Revitalization Investment District (TRID) law. This law allows municipalities and redevelopment authorities to create TRID Districts so new revenue can be utilized to expand and create new public transit opportunities. Stakeholders in East Liberty are working on implementing the city’s first TRID District in conjunction with new developments in the area. The TRID will allow a portion of the new property taxes created through redevelopment efforts to be dedicated to improvements in public transit, pedestrian, and bicycle infrastructure in the surrounding area. Our hope is that this TRID District becomes a model that can be used in other neighborhoods. But creating TRID may not be enough. To supplement the district and ensure that the development within it is in line with the goals of expanding and creating transit opportunities, I will work with our City Planning Department to create the city’s first Transit Oriented Development zoning overlay.

Celebrate Earth Day With Bill Peduto

Celebrate Earth Day With Bill Peduto

Earth Day is coming up on Monday, April 22nd, and I’d love for you to join me and a hundred of our closest friends to celebrate in style at the Mansions on Fifth from 6-8pm.

#48 Energy Benchmarking: Using Technology to Make Our Buildings More Efficient

#48 Energy Benchmarking: Using Technology to Make Our Buildings More Efficient

The energy used by buildings to keep our offices, stores, homes, and stadiums heated in the winter, cooled in the summer, and lighted all year round represents a significant portion of the total energy used every year. It also represents a lot of greenhouse gases pumped into the atmosphere and a lot of money wasted on inefficiencies. Cities around the country have started to look more closely at how large buildings use energy, and through this process of examining usage they have been able to take concrete steps to make buildings more efficient and save energy and money. Through partnerships with the federal government, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and organizations like Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future and the Green Building Alliance, we can create a program to help building owners and managers track their energy use and make adjustments to save them energy and money.

#57 Walk Your City: Showcasing Neighborhoods Through Pedestrian Way-finding

#57 Walk Your City: Showcasing Neighborhoods Through Pedestrian Way-finding

Encouraging pedestrians to get out and walk their neighborhoods is one of the best ways to increase public health, keep eyes on our streets, and keep our neighborhood business districts vibrant. However, most of our way-finding and place-making infrastructure is geared toward drivers, is outdated, and was created in a top-down manner without much input from residents and community groups. We should gear our way-finding tools to appeal to and support pedestrians and cyclists as well as drivers. These tools should help find innovative ways to get residents and neighborhoods involved to promote local attractions and businesses and to create a stronger, more vibrant, human-scale city.

#59 Rebuilding Building Inspection: Strengthening Our Ability to Fight Blight

#59 Rebuilding Building Inspection: Strengthening Our Ability to Fight Blight

There is no doubt that blight and abandonment have a significant impact on our neighborhoods. Blight is an economic crime committed on our residents. I have attended dozens of meetings across the city, where the topic of conversation invariably goes to what can be done about homes that are in poor condition. I truly believe that we cannot sit idly by and let blight claim streets and blocks throughout the city. Our Bureau of Building Inspection has made strides in recent years, but it is still woefully understaffed and without the most critical technology to do the vital work of keeping our neighborhoods up to code. Pittsburgh deserves a code enforcement division that will support the work of our community organizations in weeding out eyesores and public safety hazards.

#64 Clean Construction: Recycling Construction Materials to Save Money and Protect Our Environment

#64 Clean Construction: Recycling Construction Materials to Save Money and Protect Our Environment

Pittsburgh’s construction industry is booming, thanks to a healthy regional economy and some of the best developers and contractors in the United States. We all want to see high-quality, community-supported development happening across the City of Pittsburgh and as Mayor I will make sure that this development boom continues and starts to spread to neighborhoods that have lacked investment for far too long. In supporting development, we also need to take some steps to make sure that we minimize waste and environmental impacts. One way to do this is to work with developers and construction companies to help them recycle or reuse as much building material as possible when they demolish or renovate existing buildings and to preserve historical materials and building components.

#67 It’s Always Sunny in Allegheny County: Creating New Markets for Solar Technologies

#67 It’s Always Sunny in Allegheny County: Creating New Markets for Solar Technologies

Despite our region’s reputation as a bit overcast, we have vast untapped solar energy potential and a dedicated group of solar manufacturers and installers both small and large. However, Allegheny County is one of the most fractionalized governments in the country and, with well over 100 local governments with their own rules and regulations, it can be very difficult for these companies to market their solar panels and have them installed. This presents us with a great opportunity to work collaboratively with environmental organizations, labor unions, solar manufacturers and installers, and leaders from all of the County’s municipalities to find ways to standardize regulations for solar panels, while protecting the interests of residents.

# 70 Clean Air, Clean Water, and Fair Wages

# 70 Clean Air, Clean Water, and Fair Wages

In 2009 a broad-based coalition of faith-based groups, labor unions, environmental organizations, and community leaders came together to help City Council pass three groundbreaking new laws that promised to dramatically change how public dollars are spent on private developments. This package of laws offered fair wages to employees at new developments, cleaner air through cleaner construction practices, and cleaner water through modern stormwater management techniques. City Council passed these laws unanimously and they went to the Mayor’s office to sit on a shelf and never be implemented.

#72 The Pittsburgh Green Roof Project: Creating Incentives for Green Roofs

#72 The Pittsburgh Green Roof Project: Creating Incentives for Green Roofs

A green roof, a low-maintenance layer of native vegetation covering most or all of the flat surface of a building, can substantially reduce energy costs, provide a stormwater management function, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Cities across the world have seen a dramatic increase in the number of buildings with green roofs as energy costs rise and the threat of climate change becomes more apparent. Pittsburgh has millions of square feet of flat roof surface and an opportunity to promote the installation of green roofs throughout the city.

Attend a Tree Tender Course in Homewood

Attend a Tree Tender Course in Homewood

Trees provide a myriad of benefits to our city and its residents. They clean our air, provide oxygen, and cool our streets and homes which lessens energy consumption. They help to control storm water runoff and increase our water quality. They lessen our stress and improve our mood. Tree Pittsburgh is dedicated to protecting and growing our urban forest and they have a class for you if you’d like to help keep Pittsburgh green one tree at a time.