The Greater Hill District Master Plan

The Oakland Plan

The City of Pittsburgh is working with the Hill District community to update and adopt the Greater Hill District Master Plan.

Once adopted by the Planning Commission, the Greater Hill District Master Plan will become City policy and guide public and private investments in the area. New land use regulations, transportation and infrastructure improvements, and public programs may be recommended in the plan. The plan area generally includes the neighborhoods of Crawford-Roberts, Middle Hill, Terrace Village, Bedford Dwellings, Upper Hill, and the Lower Hill.


Planning Process

SUMMER 2020 -
STAGE 1 Organize
Prepare for the planning process.
WINTER 2021 -
STAGE 2 Visualize
Identify issues and opportunities not addressed by previous plans.
SUMMER 2021 -
STAGE 3 Strategize
Develop project & programs.
SPRING 2022 -
STAGE 4 Formalize
Assemble, review, & adopt the plan.
STAGE 5 Realize
Implement the plan’s actions.

The Greater Hill District Master Plan Steering Committee spent Winter 2020 collaborating with staff to develop a Public Engagement Plan. During Winter 2020 and Spring 2020, Steering Committee meetings focused on establishing a firm baseline of knowledge about the topics of the planning process by completing a Gap analysis based on the original Greater Hill District Master Plan and the Neighborhood Plan Guide. All presentations can be found on the Steering Committee page. The next step is to engage the broader community through the City's online engagement portal - Engage PGH - to build upon the existing vision and goals for the Hill District to guide the Action Teams as they focus on the four topic areas of the plan: community, development, mobility, and infrastructure. This process will update and enhance the Greater Hill District Master Plan (2011) and incorporate other community plans including the Greenprint (2009) and the Centre Avenue Redevelopment and Design Plan (2015), adopting it as city policy.


As one of Pittsburgh’s earliest and largest neighborhoods, the Hill District continues to play an important role in the story of African-Americans in the United States. During the first half of the 20th century, the Hill District was the “crossroads of the world,” contributing music, literature, and arts that shaped American culture. During the latter half of the 20th century through today, the neighborhood and its leaders played important roles in the Civil Rights movement, as well as a nationwide push for community-led development. The Greater Hill District Master Plan articulates the importance of continuing to “Build Upon the African American Cultural Legacy”.

The Hill District Greenprint (2009) created a bold vision for a natural and healthy community, the Greater Hill District Master Plan (2011) established fundamental values and development principles that have been central to development activities and the neighborhood ecosystem. The Centre Avenue Redevelopment and Design Plan (2015)using a market study as its basis, created a detailed vision for how new development and amenities on Centre Avenue could serve a variety of community needs.

Multiple waves of development have built new office, commercial and community spaces along Centre Avenue, along with new housing throughout the neighborhood. Development activities in Downtown and Oakland have the potential to bring new opportunities and challenges to the Hill District the plan will seek to address.

Staff from the Department of City Planning manage the overall planning process and support planning partners who lead discussions by topic as shown below.

  • Steering Committee: co-chaired by Councilman Daniel Lavelle and Marimba Milliones, President and CEO of the Hill CDC
  • Community: Department of City Planning and Mayor's Office, Office of Equity
  • Development: Department of City Planning, Urban Redevelopment Authority
  • Mobility: Department of Mobility & Infrastructure, Port Authority
  • Infrastructure: Green Building Alliance, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, Department of City Planning

Key Contacts:

The Steering Committee is a collaborative group comprised of residents , representatives for the organizations, businesses, and institutions of the Hill District. The Committee works with public agency staff to develop the Public Engagement Plan, review the work of the Action Teams, help to update the current Greater Hill District Master Plan and support the plan's adoption. Organizations will also be asked to commit to working on the plan's implementation. Committee members are expected to participate fully in the planning process, represent their organization and themselves, and report back to the community.

Representatives come from the following organizations:

  • ACH Clear Pathways
  • Amani Christian CDC
  • Arts In HD
  • Bridging the Gap Development
  • City of Pittsburgh - City Council
  • Council District 6 
  • Crawford Square Home Owners Association
  • Dinwinddie Community Alliance
  • Duquesne University
  • Eat Initiative 
  • Energy Innovation Center
  • Hill Community Development Corporation
  • Hill District Consensus Group
  • Hill District Education Council
  • Hill District Federal Credit Union
  • Housing Authority of Pittsburgh
  • Neighborhood Allies
  • Neighborhood Resilience Project
  • New Hill District Business Association
  • Omicelo
  • Schenley Heights Collaborative
  • Ujamaa Collective 
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • YMCA
Year Name of Plan Description
2009 Hill District Green Print This plan was initiated by a consortium of Hill District organizations called Find the Rivers! and revolves around the concept that the Hill District should take advantage of its unique landscape, history, and nature to create a more livable and healthy “village in the woods.” Noted landscape architect Walter Hood led the project and continues to invest his time and expertise in the Hill District.
2011 Greater Hill District Master Plan This plan was created by a large Steering Committee of community leaders in partnership with the City of Pittsburgh and the URA. The plan established community goals and principles that continue to guide community programs, development decisions, and investments.
2011 Herron Avenue Revitalization Planning Strategy This strategy was funded by the U.S. EPA and engaged a group of community organizations called the Herron Avenue Corridor Coalition to identify viable near- and long-term development opportunities for this important street. These ranged from residential, retail, and commercial development with a potential park as a near term use.
2012 Schenley Heights Toolkit This document was developed by UDREAM fellows from Carnegie Mellong University in collaboration with community organizations to provide a reference for residents to use as they undertake residential infill and green space projects in the Schenley Heights area of the Hill District.
2013 Hill District Vacant Property Study This study analyzed vacant properties and stated development objectives from past plans to make specific recommendations about which buildings should be reused and which should be demolished to allow for open space or other community-desired projects. It also includes five recommended development focus areas and the GIS dataset used to conduct the study.
2015 Centre Ave Corridor Redevelopment and Design Plan This award-winning plan focuses on an economic and residential development future for the Centre Avenue corridor with specific concepts for nodes or “centres” of activity focused on culture, opportunity, or cultivation.
2018 Choice Neighborhood Plan (Bedford Connects Transformation Plan) This plan for the Middle Hill was funded by the HUD Choice Program and was part of an application for funding that would replace the Housing Authority’s existing Bedford Dwellings complex with a range of housing options for current and future residents. Additional aspects of the Choice program and this plan included physical and programmatic investments in the community.