While each of Pittsburgh's neighborhoods is unique, adjacent neighborhoods also have common strengths and problems. Identifying those multi-neighborhood issues will allow the City to more effectively apply its scarce resources and expedite neighborhood improvements.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and a number of community advocates joined Department of Community ad Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Yablonsky today to announce a $200,000 state grant that will allow the department of city planning (DCP) to jumpstart the creation of Strategic Community Planning in Pittsburgh (SCPP), which will combine its 90 neighborhoods into 16 strategic planning sectors.
"Most neighborhoods are interdependent with one another, sharing business districts, parks, and transportation corridors," said Noor Ismail, DCP Director. "It is our goal to develop a coordinated vision that transcends neighborhood lines, taking economic development and neighborhood revitalization to a new level."
Providing the foundation for the SCPP process, the DCP has spent the last year developing Sector Neighborhood Asset Profiles (SNAP). SNAP plans gather neighborhood information such as census data, physical conditions and amenities. The result is essentially a snapshot of the positive and negative elements of each of the City's 90 neighborhoods.
Through the grant, the SNAP project will be completed in two years time, twice as fast as originally estimated. At an approximate cost of $1 million, SCPP sector plans are expected to be complete in three years.
"The relationship the City of Pittsburgh has created between other government agencies, neighborhood stakeholders, foundation representatives and others to implement the first ever city wide Strategic Community Plan is a textbook example of one of the Rendell administrations biggest priorities - different organizations teaming up to enhance the lives of Pennsylvanians," DCED Secretary Yablonsky said. "Anytime a project shows such positive potential, we will find a way to support it."
A consortium of government agencies, city wide technical assistance providers, and foundation representatives will conduct studies to gauge the best prospects for each sector's community development.
"No neighborhood can thrive alone; it is how each neighborhood contributes to the surrounding community as a whole that makes Pittsburgh so livable," Mayor Ravenstahl said. "These strategic sector plans will be developed with all neighborhood stakeholders at the table, ensuring that everyone has a voice in the process."
Working with the DCP, neighborhood stakeholders will develop a vision for their sector, so that shared resources such as business districts, parks, and transportation corridors are used most effectively.
"Our future success as neighborhoods depends on our ability to collaborate, leverage new investment, and create innovative solutions to difficult problems," said Kate Trimble, executive director of the Lawrenceville Corporation.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
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Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687