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Sustainable Community Development Network of Southwestern Pennsylvania | For Leaders Advancing High Performing Communities

December 2017 - eNewsletter


WEBINAR: Compete, Save, and Win with the Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge

Wednesday, December 20, 2017
1:00 pm to 2:15 pm
Register here

Are you seeking ways to save taxpayer dollars, attract investment, and cultivate a vibrant community? The Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge can help.

Join Autumn Secrest and Jim Price of Sustainable Pittsburgh for this SCDN Webinar, hosted by Local Government Academy, to learn about the Sustainable Pittsburgh Challenge.  This free and friendly competition offers organizations of all types the ability to track sustainability actions—and receive positive recognition for achievements.

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Well Planned "Tiny Homes" Can Provide Huge Benefits

Tiny homes can be a useful asset when working to create a more sustainable community.  They use less energy, less space and are often more affordable than their more conventional counterparts.  When tiny homes are incorporated into a larger municipal land use plan they can help bridge the housing gap for those seeking their first home, retiring to their last, or provide options for our most vulnerable populations.

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Eco-Districts: An Engaged and Inclusive Community Development Process

A community is best positioned to create vibrant, thriving places when a neighborhood, including its residents and businesses, are fully engaged in the planning and implementation process.  Also essential is grassroots and municipal leadership.  To maximize effectiveness, some basic tools and capacities are needed to steer community driven ideas.  One such tool is the EcoDistrict approach to holistic community improvement.  It takes a collaborative and neighborhood-scale approach to achieve positive outcomes in equity, resilience and climate protection.  The EcoDistrict process and the ideals that ground it are based on inclusive community engagement.  Local work to date with a number of regional communities shows that EcoDistricts align well with the Sustainable Pennsylvania Community Certification, a free voluntary municipal recognition program of the Pennsylvania Municipal League (PML) and Sustainable Pittsburgh.  Sustainable Pittsburgh readily endorses the EcoDistrict process as an effective means for municipalities to create and reach their community development goals.

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Hard Work Gains Ambridge Borough Gold

Ambridge Borough has achieved Gold in the Sustainable Pennsylvania Community Certification, a program managed jointly by the Pennsylvania Municipal League and Sustainable Pittsburgh.  The Borough’s sustainable policies and practices have advanced community improvement efforts such as streetscape projects, vacant land reuse, a thriving green business district, and efficient material use and recycling.  Several structures in the Historic District have been purchased and restored, and remediating brownfield sites is an integral part of the Borough’s vision.

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Sustainable Policies and Practices Earns North Fayette Township Silver

Sustainable Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Municipal League are pleased to announce North Fayette Township has earned Silver in the Sustainable Pennsylvania Community Certification!  The Township applies sustainable policies and practices in numerous ways, including its efficient recycling services, the utilization of Agricultural Security Areas (ASA), good community planning, and its stormwater Best Management Practices (BMP).  North Fayette has cut the consumption and cost involved with its municipal waste collection by incorporating more for sustainable practices.  The Township’s comprehensive plan encourages green infrastructure and BMPs, conserving water and preserving land.

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Innovations in Local Government


The Suburbs are Tapping into Geothermal
Planned communities are embracing geothermal power with incentives for developers and applying steam-power to denser urban neighborhoods.

Are Public-Private Partnerships Driving Modernization?
Bikeshare programs brought collaboration between public-private entities. Marking the ten year anniversary of the first bike share program, will private-public partnerships tackle infrastructure projects like highways?

Better Transportation Outcomes by Using Apps like Waze
Data collection through apps, like Waze, are giving local governments a new tool to examine traffic flows.

Using Front Porches as a Venue promotes Walkable Model Communities

Greenprint is a Tool for Green Planning in Parks
The Nature Conservancy, Trust for Public Land and the Conservation Fund launched "Greenprint," a tool to help policymakers, practitioners and communities plan better parks and open spaces by looking at maps and existing natural resources.