With 'P4' Initiative, Pittsburgh Looks to Future Development

Mar 31, 2015

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto (left) and Heinz Endowments President Grant Oliphant announce the P4 initiative: People, Planet, Place and Performance.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

The city of Pittsburgh along with the Heinz Endowments has announced P4: People, Planet, Place and Performance — a framework for a model of redevelopment of city spaces.

It will consider the four “Ps” when looking at future development and will connect resources and initiatives already working in the city.

“P4 is about how do we pull all of that together,” said Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. “How do we measure it through performance? How do we make it unique through place? How do we make sure that it’s sustainable through planet and how do we make sure it takes care of the people? Then we pull it together by bringing together Pittsburghers, national experts and international experts.”

There are already sites in mind for development.

“The Almono site, owned by a group of foundations. We’re going to look at Uptown and the eco-innovation district that’s happening there, and we’re going to look at downtown and the opportunity the mayor has opened up to reinvent the way people interact with the urban space in the core of the city,” said Grant Oliphant, president of the Heinz Endowments.

Considering people, planet, place and performance will enable developers to create “cities of the future” whereas past development focused on large campuses for businesses without much around but professional space, said Oliphant. New areas will have not just business, but also housing, retail and recreation space.

“They boast an authentic urban environment,” Oliphant said. “Science parks are dying, cities are growing, innovators want to be in cities because they are authentic environments where they can interact in a real way. Pittsburgh has that.”

An international summit from P4 will be held in April. About 250 invited delegates are expected to attend the two-day event – all from outside the area.

“We actually could have populated the entire agenda with people from Pittsburgh doing amazing things,” said Oliphant, “but one of the things that we agreed on at the front end is that this should be Pittsburgh’s opportunity to learn from out-of-the-box, innovative, leading thinkers from around the world.”

In particular, P4 leaders want to look at what Nordic countries have done, said Oliphant. The summit will take place April 16-17 in Pittsburgh.