The Heinz Endowments is redirecting resources toward smart urban planning to seize upon an “amazing moment” in Pittsburgh’s development, foundation president Grant Oliphant said Thursday.
A citywide building boom, an infusion of young professionals and heightened partnerships between foundation and civic officials are among factors jump-starting conversations about long-term planning strategies.
“Suddenly, in 2015, Pittsburgh is a place to be,” Oliphant said. “There is an energy in Pittsburgh around development that makes possible things that were really not possible to push forward 10 years ago.”
Oliphant’s remarks emerge 18 months after a major personnel shakeup at The Heinz Endowments, Western Pennsylvania’s second largest foundation with more than $1.5 billion in net assets. A string of executive departures in 2013 left the foundation without an executive director for eight months, amid an apparent clash between the Heinz family and departing staffers over the foundation’s ties to an industry-backed environmental group.