Pittsburgh Building Comprehensive Growth Plan With Participation From Thousands Of Residents

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Pittsburgh is establishing a comprehensive growth plan to “right size” the city after years of population loss.  Year one has already been completed with thousands of residents taking part in helping to shape a way forward for Pennsylvania’s second largest city.

This plan, which is expected to be completed in 2014, will focus on the following areas in order:

Open spaces and parks – wrapping up

Cultural heritage and preservation – up and running

The next ten have yet to be started:


Public art



City-owned buildings


Economic development




Land Use

The Pittsburgh planning department is enthusiastically seeking participation from city residents!  The cost of this long-range plan is $2.3 million dollars.  Cities are not required to submit comprehensive plans but they can opt to do so.  Only a handful of cities have done this.  Pittsburgh is once again being a leading innovator in their approach to managed growth and sustainability.

These components were not accidentally chosen.  Open space is first because vacant land use will influence every other category on the list.  Pittsburgh has 5,500 acres of open space.   Half is parks and 14,000 vacant lots make up the rest.  Pittsburgh realizes that green space has an impact on property values.

These meetings last two hours and are held on various nights and in several locations around Pittsburgh to maximize citizen involvement.

Pittsburgh is consistently ranked as one of America’s most livable cities.

6 comments on “Pittsburgh Building Comprehensive Growth Plan With Participation From Thousands Of Residents

  1. AND NOW, (on the heels of a video about the conference center by the river), you’re tellin’ us, Roy, that Pittsburgh is soliciting PARTICIPATION FROM THEIR RESIDENTS to participate in a comprehensive growth plan….STOP yer killn’ me kid.

  2. Believe it or not, Pottstown has it’s own Comprehensive Plan. In fact, it is currently in the process of being reviewed and fully updated. In March, there was a public meeting specifically for community input to the plan. Sadly, few showed up.

  3. Well that’s sad that people didn’t show up. And how could these things be publicized and hyped so that people could get excited about them? I mean, I know the borough said they held 2 public meetings about the senior housing. Except for the council meeting where people demonstrated there was no real fan fare or effort made to get people to attend. Is it enough to feature a small blurp in the Merc and say they tried when nobody shows up? When big development or changes to things as important as the comprehensive plans are on the table it is common for towns to reach out that extra mile for public involvement? Does Pottstown do that? If they did I was asleep at the wheel, regretfully.

    • The Pittsburgh plan is a five year process with regular meetings, held on different nights and in different locations, for the duration. It’s not a meeting or two. They appear to be using resident input to shape the policy for each of the 12 components, not write something and then ask for input after the fact.

      Not sure what Pottstown’s process was but if there was only one meeting for community input that certainly limits participation. I can’t attend as many things as I would like because of other commitments. Others may be in the same boat??

      Like Olive, I don’t remember seeing anything about a meeting for Pottstown’s plan either. This is definitely an area of interest for me. Of course, now I have Chris to keep me better informed 🙂

  4. That’s the point Roy. I felt it was a bit back handed for council to “pen the letter” to PHFA re: low-income senior housing, in a pissing contest with the citizens. In the letter they state that they held 2 public meetings at which the public was “allowed to comment”. Months, (6 or 7 of them to be exact), of discussion, planning and working with PIRHL under the radar. They did not encourage public participation and could barely stomach the fact that people showed up to speak out at the Sept. 8th council meeting. This cannot happen again. Look to our fine feathered friends of Pittsburgh and set a new standard for public involvement. They are a role model of functional local government.

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