In the Zone

How lovely. Vibrant colors, unique shapes, and the urban landscape all coming together to form a beautifully intricate design. But no, the imaginative image seen here is not an artist's rendition of Pittsburgh from above. Rather, it is a snapshot of Pittsburgh's Zoning Map: a legal document establishing how land inside the City boundaries can be used. In this masterpiece, each color represents not a feeling or emotion, but a distinct element of urban existence. Cities are buzzing hubs of activity…

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Volunteer with GTECH

It’s that time of year again. The ground is soft and defrosted, the sun is shining (more or less,) and GTECH is back outside, putting shovels in the ground to transform land-use liabilities into community assets. As our projects enter their implementation phase, the GTECH calendar is filling up with opportunities for you to grab a dig bar, spade, or screwdriver and join us to reclaim land for the benefit of the community. As part of our systems-based approach, we…

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Pittsburgh Land Bank: Resources & Final Public Meeting

What is a land bank exactly? This may be a question you’ve never thought about. But for folks like me, who look at the vacant property in our neighborhoods as an opportunity to enrich communities, I was keen on attending the first Pittsburgh Land Bank public meeting, which happened to be on the West End (also my side of town). The Pittsburgh Land Bank’s role will be to aid in the recycling and repurposing of land, stabilization of standing structures,…

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Welcome Lauren – GTECH GSI Community Liaison

We are very excited to welcome Lauren Bivins as a Community Liaison in Marshall-Shadeland! A couple months ago we highlighted our Community Liaisons that are supporting our GTECH GSI project in Woods Run. We've got a new addition to the team and are excited to introduce her. Lauren Bivins Neighborhood: Marshall-Shadeland What is your favorite thing about your neighborhood? I enjoy the diversity and caring neighbors that keep the community growing with each generation. Why are you excited about this project? When…

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Ambassadors Get Creative In Clairton

With pens and trace paper in hand, 8 designers, landscape architects and architects descended into Clairton to help our Ambassador cohort make their project ideas come to life. As part of ReClaim Clairton, each Ambassador participates in a design workshop where they a paired with a professional designer who helps them think realistically about what is feasible to accomplish on their site with the manpower and money they have available. This also helps each Ambassador visualize their project and gives them…

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walking biking

Northside neighborhood trail maps now available!

Whether you live in Pittsburgh's Northside or not, it's unlikely that you've been able to explore each and every one of its 18 neighborhoods. Now you can do just that! We have trail maps, fresh off the press, for each of the Northside's neighborhoods. Over the past 2 years we've worked alongside One Northside and Northside residents to map out important community treasures and identify the best routes to explore them. Not surprisingly, there are a lot of assets! Our…

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Trauma Informed Community Development: An Interview with Paul Abernathy, Part 2

GTECH is about to embark upon a new round of work in the Hill District, ReClaim Central.  But, as always, we aren’t going it alone. The Hill District Consensus Group brought us on board to help develop some of the vacant lots around Bedford Dwellings as part of the Choice Neighborhood planning process. Meanwhile, down the street, FOCUS Pittsburgh had been working on an intensive project to improve one block on Webster Avenue.  So, rather than pursue another effort separately,…

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Trauma Informed Community Development: An Interview with Paul Abernathy, Part 1

GTECH is about to embark upon a new round of work in the Hill District, ReClaim Central.  But, as always, we aren’t going it alone. The Hill District Consensus Group brought us on board to help develop some of the vacant lots around Bedford Dwellings as part of the Choice Neighborhood planning process. Meanwhile, down the street, FOCUS Pittsburgh had been working on an intensive project to improve one block on Webster Avenue.  So, rather than pursue another effort separately,…

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Welcome GSI Community Liaisons

How can the Pittsburgh region maximize community benefit associated with Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) investments? We just launched the GTECH GSI project in the Woods Run (O-27) sewershed which seeks to apply a methodology to do just this - engage residents in shaping land use decisions related to upcoming stormwater infrastructure investments, so that community benefit can be maximized. Our Foundation: Work Closely with the Community As part of this project, we're delighted to have the opportunity to work with 4 residents from the…

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Vacant Lot Garfield Kincaid

The stress of living with vacant land

There are over 45,000 vacant lots in Allegheny County. If you live here, it's likely you see vacant lots near your home or on your route to the grocery store, work, or school. Have you ever thought about how those vacant lots affect you and your neighbors? Does one lot really make a difference? Well, the research says "yes". One lot really does make a difference. The places that we live in are ingrained in us. When a vacant lot disrupts the…

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Build places people will love

Kaid Benfield, author of the new book, People Habitat: 25 Ways to Think About Greener, Healthier Cities, and one of the the "most influential people in sustainable planning and development" (Partnership for Sustainable Communities), came to Pittsburgh to tell us about  ways that we can make cities healthier. Here are 4 of my favorites: It's not just about 'cities' Kaid stressed the importance of thinking bigger - and smaller - than cities. Regions are the way we live. Neighborhoods are where we encounter our environment…

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