PPND uses a green toolbox to repair the fabric of Pittsburgh's Hilltop neighborhoods

LISC's partner in Southwest Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development (PPND), has received recognition in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for its work in Hilltop neighborhoods. While many looked at abandoned lots and vacant fields and despaired, the PPND saw an opportunity for green development. Working with community members, the PPND uses innovative, low-cost solutions to improve quality of life. Once blighted areas are being transformed by community gardens, green pathways and solar energy generating facilities. It's just one example of how LISC helps change communities nationwide.

Hilltop neighborhoods shape green strategy

26 Feb 2013 - Diana Nelson Jones, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Pittsburgh's southern Hilltop neighborhoods haven't changed much in appearance in six years. Hundreds of lots and houses remain vacant. A few cultural amenities still exist but no big market drivers or institutions. A series of steps since 2007, however, has led to a new strategy for making green improvements to lure bigger investment that for decades has eluded Beltzhoover, Bon Air, Carrick, Knoxville, Arlington, Arlington Heights, Allentown, St. Clair, Mount Oliver and Mount Oliver Borough.

With a $50,000 grant from the Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development last year, the Hilltop Alliance commissioned a thorough investigation of the Hilltop by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and GTECH Strategies. At a recent meeting in Knoxville, they unveiled the Green Toolbox Report.

Judy Wagner, senior director of the conservancy's community garden program, and Chris Koch, who was then chief operating officer at GTECH, led the study. They assembled Hilltop residents and a technical team — a city planner, a data analyst and specialists in forestry, streetscapes and community development.

They walked, surveyed and mapped the neighborhoods, gathered demographic data and made notes. The area had no greenways or designated trails, no viable community gardens and just one full-service grocery.

A list of projects took shape. Some would take one or two years and cost less than $10,000 each; others are long-term and costlier: commercial agriculture, a solar power enterprise, green pathways connecting the neighborhoods. Continued[+]...

> Read the full Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article.

> Visit the Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development's website.

Article Type: News