This is an exciting time for the City of Pittsburgh as we are now in the midst of our Third Renaissance. What does this mean for Pittsburgh? We are currently experiencing a population increase after being on the decline for the last fifty years. We are undergoing incredible economic growth that combines new state-of-the-art infrastructure with our wealth of charming older buildings. We are emerging as a destination city that blends an energetic urban cosmopolitan aura with proud but humble residents and a unique sense of place. Importantly, Pittsburgh has also been identified by national publications as one of the most livable cities in the America. Here, the City’s planners have been at the forefront to ensure that Pittsburgh continues to experience social and economic growth that is both dynamic and sustainable.
To maintain and further foster Pittsburgh’s development patterns, the organizational structure of the Department of City Planning centers around five key divisions, each of which is tasked with specialized responsibilities. They are:
Geographic Information Systems Division: This division is responsible for the management of city-wide data and GIS (geographic information system) mapping services, a critical source of information made available to City staff and the public.
Strategic Planning Division: This division is responsible for implementing the City’s first ever Comprehensive Plan, PLANPGH. It houses various planners tasked with specific subject areas; neighborhood planning, environmental planning, ADA, transportation planning, Bicycle/Pedestrian planning, and the web-based permitting. While each planner has a specialization, the whole team also regularly assists with various development review and project permitting tasks.
Public Art Division: This division is responsible for the management and maintenance of the City’s public art installations. It also provides administrative support to the City’s Mayor-appointed Art Commission.
Zoning and Development Review Division: This division is responsible for the processes pertaining to development review, project permitting, and lot subdivision/consolidation services. It also provides administrative support for the Planning Commission, the Historic Review Commission, Zoning Board of Adjustment, and the Contextual Design and Advisory Panel (CDAP).
The Department of City Planning organizational chart is provided here.
As Director, I personally believe in providing accessibility of information to City residents and the general public, especially those relating to demographic data. For this purpose, the City is proud to showcase its national award-winning PGHSNAP website. One of only a few such sites throughout the country, it has helped users find important information on Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods for purposes of both business and general research. Also integral to providing the public with valuable and useful data is our GIS Data Library--you can download layers with neighborhood boundaries, topography, public assets, and much more. These sites are companion products to the City’s pioneering PLANPGH, and are a testimony of the Department of City Planning’s serious mission to facilitate Pittsburgh’s social-economic development in a way that further enhances the City’s quality of life and continued sustainable economic growth.