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

October 2017 - eNewsletter


VIDEO: Pro Bono Specialized Expertise for Sustainability Projects in Local Communities

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Municipalities are gaining momentum in implementing sustainability projects.  Through a unique partnership, regional corporate professionals are consulting with local municipalities to provide pro bono sustainability expertise.  Outcomes include the corporate professionals gaining stronger connections with their communities and municipalities benefiting from technical assistance to further the adoption of sustainable policies and practices.

During the first round of this Pro-Bono Technical Assistance program Local Government Academy, the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University, and Sustainable Pittsburgh matched municipalities with employees from Alcoa.  These employees, which included attorneys, strategic analysts, engineers, real estate and ethics specialists, and compliance managers, were allotted time off work to offer their free professional services.  Alcoa volunteers prioritized the projects based on their skillsets, interests, and the community where the project was located.  (Several volunteers were matched with the communities where they live.)

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Wilkinsburg and Baldwin selected for Round 2 Pro Bono Technical Assistance to Municipalities

On Friday, September 29, 2017 at their Baywood facility in Moon Township, a generous group of highly skilled volunteers from Covestro learned which municipalities and nonprofits with which they would be matched to provide pro bono sustainability assistance over the course of three months.  The Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management (BCNM) at Robert Morris University, in collaboration with Sustainable Pittsburgh, worked with Covestro to recruit more than 20 corporate volunteers, who learned the basics of professional consulting, nonprofit management, and local government from Peggy Outon and Yvonne Van Haitsma of BCNM, and Jim Price of Sustainable Pittsburgh, before hearing from the leaders of their respective projects.

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Sustainable Policies and Practices Earns Chambersburg Borough Gold!

Sustainable Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Municipal League are proud to announce Chambersburg Borough has earned Gold in the Sustainable Pennsylvania Community Certification!  Through this sustainability performance program, Chambersburg has demonstrated such sustainable policies and practices as generating their own power supply, promoting land-use, and neighborhood preservation.  Chambersburg, the County Seat of Franklin County, is a full-service municipality, offering all municipal services and utilities to the town.  It is the only municipality in Pennsylvania to do so.  Chambersburg provides natural gas, electricity, water, sewer, parking and trash for the residents and businesses throughout most of the Borough.  It runs Pennsylvania’s only municipal natural gas utility, owned and operated by the citizens of the Borough. Chambersburg is also Pennsylvania’s largest municipal electric utility and the only one that owns and operates generation stations, including one that harnesses methane gas from a nearby landfill.  Because these authorities and utilities are under local control, rates, policies, etc., are directed locally by the Chambersburg Town Council.

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Historic Homestead Borough has achieved Gold Sustainable Certification

Homestead Borough has achieved Gold in the Sustainable Pennsylvania Community Certification a program managed jointly by the Pennsylvania Municipal League and Sustainable Pittsburgh.  Rich in history, the Steel Valley community on the Monongahela River has embraced sustainability and is reinventing itself through hard work and dedication.  Local trails and pathways provide a healthier alternative for residents while reducing emissions, and entrepreneurs in the central business district are hoping to improve trail connections for increased economic prosperity.  The focused mitigation of blight has increased home ownership and property values in the Borough.  The combination of these factors and others is leading Homestead Borough towards a more sustainable future.

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WEBINAR: Taking Back the Streets to Promote Health and Public Safety

Thursday, October 26
1:00 pm – 2:15 pm
More information and registration

“Complete Streets” is the simple idea that streets and sidewalks should be accessible to all residents, regardless of their age or how they get around. Eric Boerer, the Advocacy Director of BikePGH, will discuss how communities benefit when they pass Complete Streets policies, ingraining this concept into the day to day operations and policy of a municipality.

The session will give a brief overview of Complete Streets, what it means to adopt a policy, and Eric’s experiences working with the City of Pittsburgh on the adoption of their Policy, one of the highly ranked policies in the nation.  Join Sustainable Pittsburgh’s Sustainable Community Development Network, Local Government Academy and BikePGH in exploring how a transportation policy designed for all users can improve the health, public safety and economic viability of your community.

Innovations in Local Government


Fighting Urban Blight with Dainty Dwellings
Tiny homes in Detroit are part of a rent-to-buy housing program giving low-income residents the chance to achieve home ownership

Sidewalk Cafes: A Powerful Tool for Walkability

Would you Let your Child Bike Here?

How to Keep Young Families Downtown

New Mapping Brings Tourism to Businesses
The “time map” is designed for instances when you don’t know where you are going yet and helps you decide what destination makes the most sense for the situation you’re in.

Cleveland Police Diversity Training Aimed to Combat Biases