Resilient Pittsburgh

Why does Pittsburgh need Resilience?

Air quality issues. Inequality. Public health challenges. Flash floods. Infrastructure failure. Extreme weather.

These are just a few of the chronic stresses and acute shocks that challenge and threaten Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh has made significant progress in improving environmental stewardship and transitioning from a city in decline to a thriving hub of innovation, technology, education and medicine. However, we recognize there is still a need for focused, inclusive efforts to ensure all Pittsburgh residents and visitors live well and succeed.

In December 2014, Pittsburgh was selected as a member of the second cohort of 100 Resilient Cities, pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation (100RC). 


What is 100RC?

100RC is dedicated to helping cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century.

100RC defines urban resilience as “the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses within a city to survive, adapt and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience.”

Chronic stresses are endemic issues that challenge the success of a city on a daily basis, such as inefficient transportation, crime and poverty. Acute shocks are the sudden disasters that threaten cities, such as fires, disease outbreaks and terrorist attacks.


Chief Resilience Officer (CRO)

The Chief Resilience Officer is responsible for engaging stakeholders from the region’s communities, local governments, civic sector, business sector and other institutions; consult with an international platform of resilience experts; and collaborate with a global coalition of Chief Resilience Officers in cities around the world. Pittsburgh’s Chief Resilience Officer, Grant Ervin, is a dynamic, engaging, game-changing individual in an innovative top-level advisory position in city government who reports directly to our Mayor, and guides the development of the city resilience strategy. Follow Grant on Twitter for more updates. 


Our Team

On June 5, 2015, Mayor William Peduto named City Sustainability Manager Grant Ervin to the position of Chief Resilience Officer.

With the support of 100RC, the City of Pittsburgh was able to add Senior Resilience Coordinator Rebecca Kiernan to the project team.

Pittsburgh was selected as one of ten cities to pilot the new Resilience AmeriCorps program, which added four AmeriCorps VISTA fellows over a two year period. In the first year, 2016, Emily Costello and Alexander Cupo led the Love Your Resilient Block (LYRB) initiative and hosted a number of community resilience events. The second year VISTA team, Leah Friedman and Michael Roth, worked with the second cohort of LYRB and creating community resilience seminars. 


Our Partner

The RAND Corporation, our strategy partner, provides expertise and strategic support to the city on a wide variety of topics including resilience, infrastructure development, sustainability, climate mitigation and adaptation, water policy, public health, education and workforce issues, social equity and economic development.