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

January 2021 Sustainable Communities Updates:


Introducing: Solsmart

Sustainable Pittsburgh is teaming up with the Great Plains Institute and the Solsmart program staff to bring technical expertise and recognition to local municipalities looking to improve their potential for attracting solar investment. Solsmart, a program of The Solar Foundation and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), is a voluntary recognition program for municipalities that uses objective criteria to assess and guide local governments seeking to streamline the process of reviewing and approving solar photovoltaic energy systems. 

Installing solar voltaic energy to power a home or business is an excellent way to save money, lower carbon pollution, and improve regional air quality. But one of the largest barriers to installing solar energy is not the cost of the system itself, but the soft cost of obtaining permits, waiting for reviews, and navigating the inconsistent and sometimes dated regulations of local government. The solar landscape has changed dramatically over the past 15 years and we are working with national partners to assist local governments in updating and streamlining their processes.

Read More


Save the Date: 11th Sustainability Conference

Save the Date! Thursday, May 6 (pm) and Friday, May 7 (am)

Sustainable Pittsburgh and Local Government Academy (LGA) are joining forces with Pittsburgh’s Chapter of the American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE) and their Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI) to bring you the 11th Sustainability Conference. This year’s conference will highlight issues of equity, health, climate change, and the risk and opportunity those create for our communities. We have a host of local and national presenters slated to share what they have learned, collaboratively work through challenges, and discuss solutions.

More information and registration coming soon.


Catch up on the Run for Office series!

Did you miss Run for Office, a non-partisan, educational webinar series hosted by Local Government Academy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, in partnership with Sustainable Pittsburgh? 

Now you can watch all the previous sessions and unlock the invaluable resources & tools at your own convenience! Register before the final session on February 6th and you’ll receive access to the previous 4 weeks of material on campaigning,  financing, messaging, relationship building, and more.

Learn more and register here. 

News, Research, and Innovations


The pandemic cost public transit dearly. Will Pittsburgh-area riders return in 2021?

Allegheny Eats: A Meal Kit Service To Help Restaurant Workers, Farmers & Producers
Featuring Sustainable Pittsburgh's new project, Allegheny Eats.

Sustaining COVID-era urgency for the long run

French city targets smarter parking, buildings and waste with Internet of Things (IoT) network

Crafting COVID-19 recovery plans to recycle more could slash emissions

How Chief Equity Officers Helped Address Inequity During Two Pandemics

Viewpoint: EPA Needs to Return to Its Public Health Roots

How to Improve Workplace Diversity in Pittsburgh

The future of cities is walkable, healthy, resilient places