In partnership with the South West Pittsburgh Community Development Corporation (SWPCDC) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority, Design Center staff surveyed all commercial parcels in the Chartiers Avenue corridor to identify opportunities for positive improvements to the neighborhoods in the West End. Design Center staff developed a commercial property assessment tool, and using Loveland Technologies as a platform, mobilized its network to survey properties for current conditions including gathering important data about condition, use, amenities, and vacancy. This type of assessment helps communities plan redevelopment, assists new businesses looking for space, and identifies target rehabilitation needs.
On May 24th & 25th, the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG) hosted their 7th Annual Community Development Summit to facilitate best practices focused on the theme of this year’s conference: “CommUNITY: The Power of People in Action." Featured keynote speakers Andy Berke, Mayor of Chattanooga, and Peggy Shepard, Executive Director of WE ACT for Environmental Justice, showcased how people take concepts, build support, and put them into action. Design Center CEO Chris Koch partnered with evolveEA's Christine Mondor and UrbanKind Institute's Jason Beery to lead a session highlighting how clear awareness of community identity can make healthier and civically-engaged neighborhoods. Also during the summit, PCRG membership ratified the election of Design Center's Chris Koch as a member of their board. She will go on to serve PCRG for the 2017-2019 term.
Congratulations to PCRG for another successful Summit!
We’re looking forward to next year!
Nestled along the Monongahela River, the river towns of Monongahela and Fredericktown are fostering new river recreation, business growth, and walkable communities initiatives. Design Center Pittsburgh has partnered with the National Road Heritage Corridor, McCollom Development Strategies, Riverlife, The City of Monongahela, and East Bethlehem Township to support design and planning projects that help these local communities expand their current work focusing on the river as an asset and on the redevelopment of key infrastructure projects. In Monongahela, we are providing technical assistance and support to a community plan that connects the Monongahela Aquatorium into the business district in partnership with Klavon Design Associates. In Fredericktown, we are facilitating a design process with Pashek + MTR to develop a placemaking and gateway opportunity for the main street area.
As part of the Buhl Foundation's One Northside Initiative, Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School Time (APOST) is looking to create a transportation network that serves its affiliated after school program providers on the North Side. Using data provided by APOST, Design Center Pittsburgh created a series of maps detailing the links between the Northside’s schools, APOST programs, students, and existing transportation infrastructure to aid in the development of a network to help improve access to educational opportunities outside the classroom for North Side students. The data-driven assessment will be used by APOST to identify gaps in the current transportation system and help partners align resources to increase out-of-school education and employment opportunities for K-12 students.
We are excited to have welcomed Tamara Cartwright, Krupa Patel, Chun (Pure) Zheng, and Leigh Carroll as Community Design Associates for the summer of 2017! Our team of summer staff will be working on tackling some interesting design projects with a particular focus on social justice in several Pittsburgh communities including Bedford Dwellings in the Hill District, Homewood and Bloomfield. Learn more about them below!
If you ruled the world what would you change in one day?
“Stop the ongoing wave of hatred and terrorism and spread peace and unity for all. The concept of 'Unity in Diversity' would be my priority”
"I would break the perception of boundaries between countries and create spaces for open dialogue... and change the cost of dark chocolate covered strawberries… "
"I definitely want to change all the parking lots into farms and force people to cultivate a lot of food!! Yum"
"Shift a large portion of US military spending to racial and climate justice work"
Our Design Consults program matches property-owners with professional designers who provide low-cost, on-site consultations to discuss property improvement ideas and renovation options. For a small fee, a professional designer can help a property owner understand the impact of their investments and realize how the value of design can add value to their homes and neighborhoods.
Call Earl Pearson, Community Programs Associate at
(412) 391-4144 x24 to get started!
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Design Center Pittsburgh sponsored the 11th annual Renovation Inspiration Contest to honor home- and business-owners doing inspiring renovations in the region. Read about some of the winners: