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

Featured Event


SCDN Webinar Oct. 10: PennSEF – Fund Energy Improvements Today Using $$ from Energy Saved Tomorrow

Wednesday, Oct. 10th, 1:00-2:15 pm
Register Here

Do you have a list of major energy upgrades or building improvements that you would like to make? Do you have rooms with drafty windows, fluorescent lighting or high energy bills? If so, the Pennsylvania Sustainable Energy Financing (PennSEF) program might have the financial tools your organization needs to make those improvements now.

Please join the Sustainable Community Development Network (SCDN), facilitated by Sustainable Pittsburgh, and Local Government Academy for a webinar presented by the Green Building Alliance (GBA) to learn how you can utilize the power an ESCO with the technical assistance provided by the Pennsylvania Sustainable Energy Financing (PennSEF) program. Angelica Ciranni, GBA’s Pittsburgh 2030 District Senior Director, will explain how the PennSEF program, with GBA’s assistance, can help you reduce your energy, water, and operating costs.

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Sharpsburg, Millvale and Etna Pass Complete Streets Policies

Photo credit: Millvale Community Library

As part of the Triboro EcoDistrict Initiative, the Boroughs of Sharpsburg, Millvale, and Etna have joined over 1,300 municipalities across the United States and adopted Complete Streets Policies, becoming just the second, third and fourth communities in Allegheny County to do so.

A Complete Streets Policy is a tool that municipalities use to set the vision for the streets of their community. They help ensure that streets and sidewalks are safe and accessible to people of all ages and abilities, whether they walk, bike, take transit, drive, or roll a wheelchair by ensuring that all users of a roadway are considered early in a street project’s design process. Complete Streets Policies puts the onus on decision makers to show why all modes can’t be accommodated, as opposed to the community needing to prove why the accommodation is necessary.

All three municipalities have previously demonstrated leadership in sustainability by earning certification through the Sustainable Pennsylvania Community Certification program, which recognizes and promotes municipalities in Pennsylvania for completing actions in all aspects of sustainability.

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Influence our region’s transportation future - take the survey!

Please take 5 to 10 minutes of your time to share how you get around and make our region a better place to commute.

Take the survey now!

Make My Trip Count is a survey of Pittsburgh region commuters to figure out how Pittsburghers regularly travel to work or school – and how that commute could be improved. By sharing your transportation decisions and challenges, you can directly influence our region’s transportation future.

All personal information collected will remain confidential.  Survey responses will be used to better inform transportation decisions, access, and choices. Respondents who complete the survey will be entered into a drawing to win one of twenty $50 Visa gift cards.  Make your voice heard by completing the survey!


Responsible Waste Management Guide Released

Sustainable Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Pirates hosted a workshop to detail the latest waste and recycling options for businesses, organizations, institutions, and municipalities located in Southwestern PA.

Local waste management experts and sustainability pros shared updates on recycling and waste management markets, along with best practices for establishing a program, forming a waste hauler contract, getting employees and community citizens on board, and more. Immediately following the workshop, participants got to see responsible waste management in action during a tour of PNC Park and the Pittsburgh Pirates’ cleaning operations.

As a highlight of the workshop, Sustainable Pittsburgh’s Business Sustainability Pros introduced the new Material and Waste Management Resource Guide for Southwestern PA, a project of the Materials and Recycling Group of Sustainable Pittsburgh’s Champions for Sustainability network.

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VIDEO: PBS Recycling Market Update

News, Research, and Innovations


Unprecedented Landfill Solar Project Completed in Maryland
An 18 MW project developed by Building Energy has turned otherwise unusable land into enough generation to power 12% of the city of Annapolis.

Cities Need to Welcome—Not Resist—Refugees
Despite accusations to the contrary, refugees and asylum seekers do not cause a crime surge in cities where they relocate. Crime actually decreased in U.S. cities where refugees and asylum seekers were resettled. Far from being a burden, if properly planned for, refugees and asylum-seekers also tend to generate a net positive impact on local economies.

Self-Driving Cars Could Be Bad for Walkable Cities
An urban planner and transportation scholar who has paid close attention to the discussion around driverless cars has come to understand that autonomous vehicles will not complement modern urban planning goals of building people-centered communities. In fact, he thinks they’re mutually exclusive.

Final call to save the world from ‘climate catastrophe’
This new study says that going past 1.5C is dicing with the planet’s liveability. And the 1.5C temperature ‘guard rail’ could be exceeded in just 12 years, in 2030...