neighborhoods

Essential Pittsburgh
5:28 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Will Larimer be the New Success Story of the East End?

Larimer is one of 4 cities in the United States to receive a special $30 million grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Credit Jessica Nath / 90.5 WESA

For years, East Liberty has been touted as the biggest success story of the East End.

But now Larimer has the potential to add its own chapter to the story, with the help of a $30 million dollar grant from the Choice Neighborhoods Program of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

“We certainly expect that the awarding of this grant is going to serve to kickstart a lot of the work that we’ve been engaged in, over the past seven years in particular," said Malik Bankston, executive director of the Kingsley Association.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:43 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Preserving Pittsburgh's City Steps

Credit Rebecca Selah / Flickr

Pittsburgh is known as the City of Bridges, but it should also been known as the City of Steps. It has by far the most steps of any American city, and if all of Pittsburgh’s stairways were collectively stacked, they would reach the top of Mt. Everest.

Like the bridges, they add a unique touch to the area. Unfortunately, they also suffer from a lack of maintenance, and many of the stairways have fallen into disrepair. It is a problem that the cash-strapped city government has struggled to fix, so the onus of stairwell upkeep has fallen onto the citizens.

A South Side community group recently received a grant to make much-needed repairs to steps of the South Side Slopes. Brad Palmisiano, board member of the South Side Neighborhood Association thinks these repairs will help provide safety and make the steps more aesthetically pleasing.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:21 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Community Design for Changing Demographics

Plant life has overtaken much of a property on Garfield's Brown Way.
Credit Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA


“If a city were a human body, then blight is a disease.”

Like many other older industrial cities, the Pittsburgh region has its share of blight. According to the most recent data from the 2010 census, there are more than 50 thousand vacant houses in Allegheny County. For more than a century, federal, state and city governments have tried to address the issue.

90.5 WESA’s Larkin Paige-Jacobs recently reported on a new generation of tools is being used to try and clean up blighted neighborhoods.

Key to this fight is Land Bank legislation which Mayor Bill Peduto urged city council to pass in order to expedite the claiming of blighted and abandoned property.

"The land bank allows the city to quickly acquire and bundle tax delinquent properties to sell to home developers, rather than the piecemeal and time-consuming approach neighborhood development corporations had taken." 

Beyond Blight...

In our quest to battle blight, how can neighborhood improvements accommodate the current residents and the next generation? How can we revitalize in a way that's adaptive to changing demographics? The Design Center helps local neighborhoods create community driven development plans.

We talked about this with Chris Koch, interim CEO of the Design Center, along with project consultants Rob Pfaffmann, an architect and designer, and Todd Poole, Managing principal and president of 4Ward Planning.

Chris Koch explained how the Design Center balances the developer’s desire for a return on their investment while not driving people out of their communities.

“We want developers in our communities, but there’s anxiety that comes with development. How do we help the communities navigate that? Everything has to be a compromise. When its developer driven, the community doesn't get to be part of the conversation. So it’s finding a way for both groups to come to the table and work with our designers in the city of Pittsburgh to find solutions that work for everybody.”

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:25 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Neighborhood Resurgence Should Not Eliminate Affordable Housing

Credit Joseph A / flickr

Many Pittsburgh neighborhoods are experiencing a resurgence in new development. As new homes and businesses take shape, affordability for the working class.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer Diana Nelson Jones and Richard Swartz, Executive Director of Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation discuss ways to motivate developers to build low-cost housing.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:24 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Proximity to Downtown & Oakland Makes Hazelwood Prime for Revitalization

Architectural assets such as the LTV steel mill, and its proximity to Downtown and Oakland, make Hazelwood a prime area for redevelopment.
Credit Joseph A / Flickr

The history of the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Hazelwood predates the Revolutionary War. White settlers arrived in the 1750’s, tore down towering Native American burial mounds and used the stones to pave a trail that became Second Avenue.

By the middle of the 20th century it was home to more 30 thousand people and several thriving businesses. Today its population has dwindled to 5,000 residents and roughly a quarter of them live in poverty. With Mayor-elect Bill Peduto focused on Hazelwood because of its proximity to downtown and Oakland, it looks to be prime for development.

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Community
2:19 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Years in the Planning – Hill District Grocery Store Opens for Business

Shoppers peruse the prepared foods section in the Hill District's new full-service grocery store.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

A large crowd gathered outside of the Shop n’ Save in the Hill District on ribbon cutting day Thursday; many of the people have waited a long time for a full-service grocery store in the neighborhood and now they have one.

“This is not something that’s been a day or a week in waiting, or even a month or a year, this is something that’s been decades in the making and it’s finally come to fruition,” said Michael Jasper, chairman of the Hill House Association Board.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:20 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

The War at Home: Expansion Plans for the Mexican War Streets

The Mexican War Streets on Pittsburgh's Northside are named after battles from the Mexican War
Credit Via Tsuji / Flickr

Expansion plans to designate more of the North Side as a historic district are causing an uproar in the Mexican War Streets. It's an issue that has neighbors split and calls into question the issue of who has a say in the neighborhood's master plan.

Paul Johnson, president of the Mexican War Streets Society and Post-Gazette reporter Diana Nelson Jones who covers the city's neighborhoods talk about the controversy.

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