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

Featured Event


Join us for I Am Sustainable Pittsburgh

Looking to make your community an even better place to live, work, and play, but not sure how? Be part of Sustainable Pittsburgh’s new bi-annual competition that sparks collective action for a more sustainable Pittsburgh region. Invite your residents (and friends and coworkers!) to participate in I Am Sustainable Pittsburgh, a free, 3-week competition that champions hometown pride and your personal commitments to being more sustainable!

I Am Sustainable Pittsburgh is based on the online EcoChallenge platform, and just as the EcoChallenge has engaged more than 200,000 people around the world, I Am Sustainable Pittsburgh enables all our region’s residents to take small steps that lead to big changes. As an added bonus, participants can earn prizes for making strides in their sustainable behaviors and for sustainable practices they have already mastered.

The Spring competition starts February 27th! Participating individuals can be part of teams at campuses, communities, or workplaces, or they can do it on their own. Learn more and register today at Please share this opportunity with your town through social media, email, or newsletters. Contact Sustainable Pittsburgh for resources.


10th Annual Sustainability Conference - Smart Cities: Transforming Cities for a New Era

March 6, 2019 – 8:00 am to 3:00 pm 
August Wilson Center
980 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Register here

Exponentially increased computing power has played an astounding role in driving urban growth in the 21st century. This powerful dynamic presents an opportunity to consider conscious urban planning in a new and “smarter,” data-driven way.

Presenters at this year’s conference will discuss these innovative practices and their significant, tangible benefits for cost savings, the environment and social equity. These technologies span many applications, including energy grids, transportation, water utility systems, waste management, air quality, and public safety. Engineers, city planners, and scientists are implementing innovations such as predictive modeling, interconnected systems integration, and near-real-time smart infrastructure data analytics.

Come learn how Pittsburgh and other leading cities are positioning to reap the benefits of smart infrastructure for greater efficiency and quality of life.

Keynote: Remaking Post-Industrial Cities via Smart Infrastructure
Dr. Donald Carter
Director of Remaking Cities Institute, Carnegie Mellon University

Grant Ervin and City of Pittsburgh Officials – Chief Resilience Officer, City of Pittsburgh
Karen Lightman – Executive Director, Metro21: Smart Cities Institute, Carnegie Mellon Univ.
Christine Mondor – Principal, evolveEA
Anna Siefken ­- Executive Director, Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, Carnegie Mellon Univ.
Thomas Guentner – Program Manager, Landforce

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2019 ICLEI Members Climate Action Plan Cohort Training Session

Is your municipality or county planning to complete or update a climate action plan (CAP), sustainability plan, or energy action plan? The 2019 CAP Cohort Training Session is a structured technical assistance program to guide local governments through outlining and being prepared to develop their CAP. The Training Session is available as an ICLEI member benefit at no additional cost.

The 12-week Training Session will run from approximately March 1st through the end of May (exact dates TBD). Participants should not expect to complete their CAP during the cohort session; rather they will complete the training with a clear scope for what their CAP will focus on and cover, an understanding of how to use the ClearPath tool to support their CAP, and a clear set of next steps.

Apply here by February 8th

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SAVE THE DATE: May 14th SCDN Forum - Local Food Production Fosters Community Resilience and Economic Development

Please join Sustainable Pittsburgh’s Sustainable Community Development Network and Local Government Academy on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 14, 2019 in Sharpsburg for a discussion about what your community can do to improve the local food system. Grow Pittsburgh, The Greater Pittsburgh Food Policy Council, and the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant program are working with us to create a program exploring numerous topics, including: workforce development, land use and reuse, the farm to table experience, restaurant incubators, urban agriculture, and a related model ordinance. We will end the day with an optional kitchen/restaurant incubator tour, and a chef-prepared private dinner!

News, Research, and Innovations


PCRG’s Community Development Summit: Call For Session Proposals
Submissions open for conference sessions addressing the issues that face our communities, providing ideas and strategies that practitioners will be able to take away with them. Submissions due by February 22.

Wolf Sets Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals For Pennsylvania
Wolf issued an executive order that commits his administration to meeting certain targets, putting the state in a league with 20 other states that already set targets.

Pennsylvania signs on to major regional plan to cut car and truck emissions
Pennsylvania and eight other northeastern states have agreed to craft a regional plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and use money from the new carbon market to invest in cleaner transportation infrastructure.

A parking garage that turns down the lights, redirects storm water and welcomes bikes
The Pittsburgh Stadium Authority has found incorporating sustainable strategies into its newest parking facility at Heinz Field has saved energy costs while still doing the job of giving fans and commuters a place to stash their cars.

It’s time for transit agencies to unlock the power of bus shelters
Research indicates that ridership grows at safely accessible, sheltered bus stops. These are relatively inexpensive additions, often supported by existing revenue sources. They might just help reverse the downward spiral of bus ridership if heartily embraced.

The Twelve Days of Safety Myths
12-part series dispelling the most common myths heard from transportation agencies with regard to safety.