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First Public Art Project Selected for Uptown

PITTSBURGH, PA (July 17, 2018)   The Public Art + Civic Design Division (PA+CD) and the Strategic Planning Division of the Department of City Planning are pleased to announce the selection of ProjectCONNECT, proposed by the collective HackPGH (, MetaMesh Wireless Communities (, and Artist Chiaka Zule Howze for a public art project in Uptown.

This is the first project of three public art interventions to be deployed in Uptown as part of the new Uptown Public Art Program. This Program was developed in collaboration with the Uptown community as an implementation project of the adopted Uptown / West Oakland EcoInnovation District Plan.

As part of the Comprehensive Plan, the Public Art Plan provides a vision for how public art will be created, maintained, and displayed in the City of Pittsburgh for the next decade and calls for the integration of art in the “built environment” as an element of urban and building design and as a means of reinforcing public gathering places, infrastructure, neighborhoods, and communities. 

This public art project and others are happening in cooperation with city neighborhoods and advocates, and the City of Pittsburgh is committed to planning, public art and communication with its community partners.

On February 2, 2018, the Office of Management and Budget released a Request for Proposals to solicit artists, artist collectives, designers, and educational and arts institutions to create public art for the City of Pittsburgh’s Tustin Park in the Uptown area.

An Advisory Committee was created to help the City shortlist proposals; this committee included City staff, business owners or stakeholders of the area, residents, and two visual artists. The final selection was made by a City Committee who evaluated the projects under a scoring system that took into consideration the project's creativity, innovation, aesthetics, public value, and integration to the site as well as other components from the EcoInnovation District Plan such as potential for equity, identity, connectivity, and performance.

ProjectCONNECT is a multi-phased intervention that proposes the creation of an innovative utilitarian public art project -- a solar-powered charging station bench that provides residents and the surrounding area of Tustin Park with free WiFi. Artistic elements such as a mural and markings that represent the history, equality, and united community voice of Uptown tie the project together as a whole.  In addition, a small demonstration stormwater project is part of the intervention.

In the following months the PA+CD and the community will be working with this collective to refine their proposal and bring the project to fruition.


Yesica Guerra

Public Art and Civic Design Manager

City of Pittsburgh

Department of City Planning

200 Ross St. 4th floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

[p] 412.255.8996


Anthony Cavalline

Arts, Culture, and History Specialist

City of Pittsburgh

Department of City Planning

200 Ross St., 4th Floor Pittsburgh, PA 15219

[p] 412.255.8996           



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