Passionate about the intersection of a green economy and community development, we realized just how critical an issue urban vacant land is to a city’s long term vitality.
Recognizing the distinct benefit of turning vacant spaces into green places, the founding team put ideas into action and trialed a range of strategies to help fuel a growing green economy in Pittsburgh. By farming Pittsburgh’s largest remaining brownfield, The Almono site, by hand, GTECH piloted the concept of growing biofuel crops to remediate land and produce biofuel feedstock. Proving that such an approach was successful in not just catalyzing change in a place but effective in bringing together diverse and complementary partnerships, GTECH adapted its approach to a community scale.
At the heart of GTECH’s original strategies is the premise that the process of improving places can be an economic driver. The effort of planning, designing, and most importantly implementing green strategies on vacant land can fuel a community development process – while stemming the often overwhelming challenges of urban decay and disinvestment.
In 2008, the GTECH management team received the prestigious Echoing Green Fellowship, an international award supporting the work of entrepreneurs and their vision for social change. In 2010, Co-Founder and CEO Andrew Butcher received an Hitachi Foundation Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneur Award. Both awards catalyzed the growth of GTECH into a change-making organization and a community leader on both a regional and national level. This enabled the organization to expand their reach, increase the team, and focus on applying innovation and environmental equity to the community development system.
For more than six years, GTECH has worked to foster collaboration and impact at the intersection of a growing green economy and the community development sector. We are passionate about the issues and problems that fall through the cracks. While hard to solve, they are often the ideal starting point for improving people’s lives and for helping ensure an upward spiral of investment. Targeting issues such as vacant land, residential energy efficiency, waste cooking oil, green infrastructure, green jobs, brownfield reuse, and community capacity building, GTECH has developed a track record of innovation and impact.