This afternoon, I will be one of eight national leaders to present to top federal officials and community and business leaders at the White House Forum on Urban Innovation. I'm excited to highlight Pittsburgh's ability to create strong partnerships with the public and private sectors to transform neighborhoods and create jobs. While we have many success stories - from The Pittsburgh Promise scholarship program, to Downtown's revitalization - there's no better time to talk about our work to transform an abandoned bakery into high-tech office, commercial and retail space.
More Bakery Investment
I was thrilled to welcome federal officials to our City last week to announce that the U.S. Economic Development Administration has awarded the City a $2 million infrastructure grant for Bakery Square 2.0. The overwhelming success of Bakery Square led to this new $120 million development that will provide more office and high-tech lab space right down the street from our universities. In a competitive grant climate, the parterships we've formed and the success stories we can tell are helping us leverage federal grant dollars to attract millions in private funding to create more jobs. This latest grant dovetails off of the Department of Transportation's recent award of $15 million to help create a rejuvenated transit center in the heart of East Liberty.
Greener Buildings Downtown
I’m proud to say that I’ve teamed up with the Green Building Alliance and other stakeholders to make Downtown Pittsburgh the greenest urban area in the country by establishing the Pittsburgh 2030 District. By year 2030, more than 60 properties in the heart of our City, totaling 23 million square feet, will become more efficient and sustainable through reduced energy consumption. The good news is - we're already getting started. Work has already begun to weatherize and retrofit the historic City-County Building thanks to a $3.4 million federal grant. This project creates jobs, reduces the buidling's carbon footprint by 800 metric tons and saves taxpayers $475,000 every year in reduced energy costs.
Pittsburgh continues to receive worldwide recognition for its successful transition from an industrial steel powerhouse to an innovative, green and safe City that cares about its residents, welcomes its visitors and embraces its opportunities. For the second year in a row, The Economist ranked Pittsburgh 30th among the top 50 most livable cities in the world – the only U.S. city to make the list. To complement that, The Milken Institute ranked Pittsburgh 10th on its first “Best Cities for Successful Aging” index.
Responsible Transit Funding
Earlier this week, the County Executive proposed the use of RAD funds to fund the County's portion of the Port Authority bail out. Nobody wants a real, sustainable solution to the County's latest transit crisis more than I do. And nobody is saying 'no' to this proposal. But now's the time to ask important questions about how this $3 million in taxpayer-funded RAD money will impact the future funding of our City's parks, libraries, museums and arts and cultural institutions. These assets are too important to our residents to not take a hard, thoughtful look at this funding plan.
We must work together to find the most responsible funding solution that funds transit without harming the assets that make Pittsburgh 'America's Most Livable City.'
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Mayor, City of Pittsburgh