PITTSBURGH, PA (July 11, 2017) At a community event in Uptown tonight, the City of Pittsburgh is releasing the Uptown / West Oakland EcoInnovation District Plan.
The EcoInnovation District in Pittsburgh is the first of its kind. Focused on the Uptown and West Oakland communities, it is a groundbreaking initiative that combines the goals of both EcoDistricts and Innovation Districts that have helped to positively transform communities across the country.
Pittsburgh’s Uptown / West Oakland EcoInnovation District Plan focuses on healing the environment, supporting the needs of existing residents and expanding job growth. To develop this plan, all members of the community – those who live, work, learn, and play in Uptown – were welcomed participants. Through this process, residents and stakeholders created a vision for their community and identified the key actions for change to help make that vision a reality.
The EcoInnovation District Plan is available here.
Over the last two years, the community voice has been central and powerful. More than 700 people completed surveys, 550 attended public events, 70 were involved in one-on-one interviews or focus groups, and a community steering committee met 10 times to help guide the development of the plan.
The resulting document is organized into four simple chapters that represent the opportunities and challenges facing Uptown: Community, Development, Mobility and Infrastructure. The plan includes a mix of projects, programs and strategies that seek to build both a stronger community of residents and businesses as well as a better physical environment.
Some of the bold ideas including recasting Boulevard of the Allies as Uptown’s riverfront by returning the highway back to the leafy boulevard envisioned by Olmstead when it was originally built. Fifth and Forbes are invigorated with a new bus rapid transit system and all the safety and livability improvements that come with it. And the plan builds on the wisdom of previous projects, for example, by reimagining the hillside between Uptown and the rest of the Greater Hill as a forested trail network that can reconnect these two areas and provide residents with a healthy and natural escape from the city – an idea originating in the Greenprint Plan almost a decade ago.
The plan does not only propose new energy efficient buildings, infrastructure and livability improvements – it also proposes the workforce development programs needed for residents of Uptown and the Greater Hill Community to gain the skills needed to build and maintain these improvements and start the small businesses to grow Pittsburgh’s clean tech economy.
“The EcoInnovation District Plan is a bold vision for the future in which everyone is invited to come, to innovate, to build new businesses and to find a livable community to call home," said Mayor William Peduto. "When we began this project two years ago, we also started two other ventures: the City’s first resilience strategy, OnePGH, and the p4 partnership between the City and The Heinz Endowments. Taking on issues of resilience, equity and growth at both citywide and community scales allowed us to understand the big issues all Pittsburghers will face and the opportunities these challenges create for each of our communities.”
“Uptown and West Oakland have been a great testbed for working with a neighborhood to build a comprehensive vision for the future of our communities,” said Ray Gastil, Director of the Department of City Planning. “Uptown has strong institutions, an amazing location between Downtown and Oakland, and great residents with a vision for the future. We look forward to working with the community to implement this plan, including the new zoning code work that we developed along with the plan. The lessons we’re learning here in Uptown will inform the next generation of neighborhood plans throughout the city.”
Learn more and share your thoughts
The plan is available for review on the project website and comments will be accepted through Friday, August 11th.
Pittsburghers are invited to attend a community celebration and public forum tonight, Tuesday, July 11th, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Old Universal Pictures Film Exchange (entrance near 1830 Locust Street). Sign language interpreters will be present.
A briefing before the Planning Commission is scheduled for July 25th, with a hearing and action expected in September.
About the Uptown / West Oakland EcoInnovation District Project
This project is the product of ongoing collaboration among Uptown Partners of Pittsburgh, Oakland Planning and Development Corporation, City of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University, UPMC Mercy, Envision Downtown, Sustainable Pittsburgh, Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, Port Authority of Allegheny County, neighborhood residents and groups and other partners.
Contact: City Planning Director Ray Gastil, 412-255-2200.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
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