11 Pittsburgh-based grad students are mapping what the Northside has to offer
By: Brittany Schrenker
Have you heard of these spots in the Northside?
This summer I am one of a group of local graduate students that will be working on an asset identification project in the Northside. We are currently in our fifth week of exploration and research, and I would like to share a few of my favorite places while trekking the Northside’s 18 neighborhoods.
- Neukirche is an art center in East Deutschtown that is community focused and works to make art accessible to everyone. Their Fallow Ground installations put art by local and national artists on vacant lots in the neighborhood. The Neu City program allows artists to collaborate with community members to create functional installations at the Food City garden, which happens to be another awesome part of the East Deutschtown/ Spring Garden neighborhood.
- Riverview park, in the Perry North neighborhood, provides 259 acres of greenspace for trails, swimming, a dog
run and even horseback riding. You can also check out the stars at the Allegheny Observatory, or some of the native plant conservation efforts being undertaken by the Parks Conservancy. The hill is intense, so bonus points to anyone who bikes there!
- 9 Ambassador lots in the Northside, which are being developed by a dedicated group of residents from various neighborhoods. The projects provide not only environmental benefits, but also a chance for communities to come together and reactivate a previously dormant space. You can read more about the projects here, and I would recommend visiting each in person.
- Pittsburgh is home to over 700 sets of steps and a good number of them can be found in the Northside. From Manchester to Troy Hill, you can take an urban hike up these iconic paths and be rewarded with some amazing views of the city. Each autumn the Fineview Citizens Council hosts a Stepathon to raise awareness and funds to maintain the neighborhood’s steps.
There are so many interesting things to discover by just wandering around for an hour, or an afternoon. By the end of the AIM project we hope to not only uncover more great places, but how to connect them and encourage people to explore new neighborhoods.
During the Buhl Foundation’s Consensus Plan both safety and getting around were issues that were identified as being important to Northside residents. By collecting asset information and looking into improving connectivity, we hope to lay the groundwork for a future expanded system of trails (both formal and informal) in the Northside!
What is your favorite spot in the Northside? Tell us in the comments below!