Returning to Sustainable Return on Investment

This blog post was authored by GTECH's Research & Policy Intern, Lilli Kashef Hamadani. Email Lilli at l.kashef@gtechstrategies.org.  Returning to Sustainable Return on Investment Measuring the Social, Environmental, and Economic Impacts of the URA LandCare Program GTECH has been working on evaluating its programs through a Sustainable Return on Investment (SuROI) methodology. You might remember when our intern, Kate, wrote about SuROI lingo and shared the results of GTECH's first SuROI analysis, which measured the social and ecological value of…

Read More

Say Hello to the CommunityCare Stewards!

Meet the residents stewarding community greenspace through GTECH's new pilot program, CommunityCare. Our CommunityCare Pilot Program started in September and is now in full swing! GTECH is working closely with 11 CommunityCare Stewards that are maintaining and improving vacant land in the Homewood community. Our stewards are proud Homewood residents and passionate community members! They will dedicate 3 to 10 hours per month from now until May 2018 maintaining green and open spaces. In return, the stewards receive incentives of their…

Read More

Green Spaces as Nature’s Medicine

Today's blog is by GTECH's Policy & Research Intern, Lilli Kashef Hamadani. Over the past two years, GTECH has been working with the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to maintain vacant lots in Pittsburgh by contracting small business and nonprofits through the LandCare Program. Programs such as LandCare have been popping up all over the nation, and have been found to be largely beneficial to the residents, participants, and the city itself. Since programs like these impact thousands of residents nationally…

Read More

Get The Election Choices Here!

People have been talking a lot about politics recently. Maybe you’ve noticed. Maybe you’ve wanted to do something about it. Maybe you’ve been struggling to find a way to make a difference. Sometimes government seems big, opaque, and far away, but next week we have a chance to vote in an election that will undoubtedly have real, tangible, local results.  At GTECH, we work regularly with fantastic public officials (and aspiring public officials) throughout the county, from Mayors, to council people, to…

Read More

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,…

Read More
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…

Read More

Using Community Input and Data to Make Informed Decisions

Some of the many things we love here at GTECH include community input, innovative solutions, working with great people to improve our region's community and environmental health, data, and transforming liabilities into assets. For these reasons and many more, we were very excited to partner recently with Economic Development South (EDS) and the Saw Mill Run Watershed Association (SMRWA) to conduct a Green Boulevard Property Acquisition Study along Route 51 and Library Road. The long-term vision for the Green Boulevard…

Read More

What Prompted AE Works to B the Change & Become a B Corp?

Pittsburgh is home to four B Corps, businesses that have taken social and environmental factors into their business plans. With a traditional business, shareholders can challenge management decisions to maximize profits. When a business becomes a B Corp, shareholders no longer have that legal authority. This is a fascinating way to structure a corporation and often attracts shareholders despite the diminished power they wield. The GTECH Social Capital Council is a cadre of energetic and socially-conscious professionals who actively support and…

Read More

Green Schools and Beyond

GTECH was able to attend the Green Schools Conference and Expo at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center from March 31 through April 1. Some would ask, why is GTECH at a Green Schools Conference and how does it apply to their work to date? While we don't work in a school setting, our Green Playces Initiative hopes to work with educators and students to help explore our natural settings and think about local environmental issues. Eco-literacy and environmental justice are issues…

Read More

Community Benefit in Vacant Lot Maintenance

RSVP here! GTECH is partnering with UrbanKind Institute (Dr. Jamil Bey), Fourth Economy Consulting, Pitt’s University Center on Social Urban Research (UCSUR), A. Phillip Randolph Institute, City Source Associaties, KRJ Contracting, Landforce, the Hilltop Men’s Group, and YouthPlaces to help redesign the Urban Redevelopment Authority's (URA) vacant land maintenance process. While the URA only owns less than 10% of the publicly owned vacant land in Pittsburgh, we want your input to help ensure more awareness, transparency, and ultimately community benefit. To begin…

Read More

Building Blocks for Green Infrastructure

On March 7, 2016, over 60 people attended our Livability Solutions Green Infrastructure Workshop, co-hosted with One Northside. Attendees spanned a variety of sectors, including representatives of non-profits and public agencies, academics, citizens and more. Workshop topics included some of the Center for Neighborhood Technology's  green infrastructure tools, including: Green Valuation Guide: a tool to help quantify the co-benefits of green infrastructure, including improved air quality, reduced cost of water treatment, reduced energy use and more. Green Portfolio Standard: a planning tool to…

Read More

GTECH’s Policy Framework

GTECH is at a pivotal point in our young history, this April, GTECH will celebrate our 9th Birthday.  We can no longer claim we are a young, scrappy startup organization and need to think about how and what contributions GTECH will make 5, 10, or 20 years from now to the Pittsburgh Region. Later this month, GTECH will officially roll out our Policy Framework document which will be used to to clarify our strategic relationship to key regional policy issues.…

Read More