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Tag Archive: air quality

  • SCDN Webinar: Urban Agriculture – From Vacant Properties to Green Space

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    Register Here
    FREE

    The presence of vacant properties is a challenge that municipalities face every day, but these spaces can be utilized to benefit the community in several ways: returning properties to the tax rolls, improving community engagement, fostering economic development, and combating food insecurity.

    Interest in urban agriculture and community gardening has seen a major resurgence in the last 15 years. As municipal leaders seek ways to improve the quality of life for their neighborhoods, community gardens have shown to cultivate resident engagement and productive community partnerships. Utilizing vacant lots as green space in some communities has also revealed an improvement in air and water quality, helping with stormwater issues and even calming local traffic.

    As a response to rising interest in community gardening, Grow Pittsburgh formed in 2005 and has since become a go-to resource when it comes to self-sustaining urban agriculture in the region. Join Local Government Academy in partnership with Sustainable Pittsburgh’s Sustainable Community Development Network (SCDN) as we host speaker Rayden Sorock, Director of Community Projects at Grow Pittsburgh, for a webinar describing best practices for starting an urban agricultural project. Learn which policies municipalities can adopt to facilitate growing food, and then hear from Rebecca Bradley, Manager of Wilkins Township, about a real community garden project.

    About the presenters:

    Rayden Sorock is the Director of Community Projects at Grow Pittsburgh. Since 2008, Rayden has been working in community-focused agriculture, and has worked with communities to start or support 80+ community gardens throughout Allegheny County. He lives in Wilkinsburg with his family and backyard garden.

    Rebecca Bradley has been the Manager for Wilkins Township, Allegheny County for the last 15 years. She also serves as a peer-to-peer consultant for the DCED Governor’s Center for Local Government Services. Prior to working for Wilkins, Rebecca spent ten years as the Administrator for the City of Aliquippa, Beaver County. Rebecca has a Masters in Business Administration from Geneva College. Hobbies including running, reading and weeding.

  • October Events Roundup

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    October was an exciting month for Sustainable Pittsburgh, full of opportunities to learn and connect with leaders, experts, and motivated community members! Below are highlights from some events in which SP engaged:

    PML Summit
    October 5-6, 2018

    The 119th annual summit of the Pennsylvania Municipal League (PML) was held in Cranberry Township. Elected and appointed officials from across the state gathered to connect and network with colleagues, attend informative and educational sessions, discuss issues facing the Commonwealth’s municipalities, share resources and best practices, establish legislative policy, and elect officers and members of the Board of Directors for the coming year. A new organizational logo and tagline, “Strength Through Engagement,” were announced; a new website will follow in early 2019. A summary video of the day can be found here.

    Additionally, Jim Price, Sustainable Community Manager at Sustainable Pittsburgh, held an open workshop in the morning to discuss the Sustainable PA Community Certification with interested attendees, and presented an educational session in the afternoon with planners from the City of Pittsburgh on how municipalities can use the EcoDistricts protocol for community development.

    North American Passive House Network Conference
    October 17-21, 2018

    The 2018 annual conference and expo for the North American Passive House Network was in Pittsburgh at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, where sessions included topics such as policy and zoning, social equity, health and wellness, and technological innovations. Passive House principles can play a pivotal role in increasing sustainability for projects and communities by reducing energy demands and costs, increasing indoor air quality and occupant comfort, and providing safe, engaging spaces across a range of housing types and uses.

    Rail~Volution Conference
    October 21-24, 2018

    Rail~Volution’s theme, “Building Livable Communities with Transit,” was explored in depth during the annual conference, this year at the Wyndham Grand in Pittsburgh. The conference discussed the links between land use, transit, and development through four days of sessions and mobile workshops, highlighting the transit infrastructure and development that currently exists, the work being done to advance both technology and equity, and inspiring stories of successes across North America. Local leaders and employees told Pittsburgh’s story and hopes for a more equitable future, while experts from dozens of cities shared their knowledge and lessons learned.

  • SCDN Webinar: Urban Agriculture – From Vacant Properties to Green Space

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    November 15 @ 1:00 – 2:00 pm
    Register Here
    FREE

    The presence of vacant properties is a challenge that municipalities face every day, but these spaces can be utilized to benefit the community in several ways: returning properties to the tax rolls, improving community engagement, fostering economic development, and combating food insecurity.

    Interest in urban agriculture and community gardening has seen a major resurgence in the last 15 years. As municipal leaders seek ways to improve the quality of life for their neighborhoods, community gardens have shown to cultivate resident engagement and productive community partnerships. Utilizing vacant lots as green space in some communities has also revealed an improvement in air and water quality, helping with stormwater issues and even calming local traffic.

    As a response to rising interest in community gardening, Grow Pittsburgh formed in 2005 and has since become a go-to resource when it comes to self-sustaining urban agriculture in the region. Join Local Government Academy in partnership with Sustainable Pittsburgh’s Sustainable Community Development Network (SCDN) as we host speaker Rayden Sorock, Director of Community Projects at Grow Pittsburgh, for a webinar describing best practices for starting an urban agricultural project. Learn which policies municipalities can adopt to facilitate growing food, and then hear from Rebecca Bradley, Manager of Wilkins Township, about a real community garden project.

  • Making the Connection: Manganese Exposure and Children’s IQ

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    Manganese is an essential additive in the steel making process, with as much as 90% of manganese consumption worldwide being used by the steel industry alone. Throughout this process stray manganese particles escape into the air. These particles are related to a variety of adverse health effects, and are especially harmful to the central nervous system. During this presentation, Drs. Erin Haynes and Vincent Schmithorst will discuss the links between manganese in air pollution to neurodevelopment and lowered IQ in children.

    Dr. Haynes, an environmental epidemiologist at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, will discuss her research on impacts of manganese in two Appalachian communities in Ohio. Dr. Schmithorst, of UPMC Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital, will discuss how advanced MRI imagining can be used to further understand the relation between neurotoxicity and neurodevelopmental outcome.

    This event is part of GASP’s Making the Connection series, intended for medical professionals as well as community members interested in learning more about the links between air pollution and various health problems. It will begin with an hour of networking and refreshments from 5pm-6pm outside of the Hutchinson and Hayashi Auditorium, before moving into the auditorium for the main program. Walk in registration is welcomed.

  • Building a Future Full of Hope and Promise

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    Join Clean Air Council to kick off our Southwest PA Neighbors for Clean Air Initiative!

    Clean Air Council is launching its Southwest Pennsylvania Neighbors for Clean Air initiative on April 12 to raise awareness and recruit additional volunteers. This free event will feature Lois Marie Gibbs, the primary organizer in Love Canal, winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize and Heinz award in the Environment, and Nobel Peace Prize nominee.

    Southwest Pennsylvania, particularly Allegheny County, continues to receive poor air quality grades. Residents are demanding that industry and government protect their health, environment, and quality of life.

    The Southwest Pennsylvania Neighbors for Clean Air initiative will establish at least 100 groups of 10 neighbors in southwest Pennsylvania to educate 1,000 new volunteer leaders about air pollution sources and build their capacity to address air quality issues affecting their lives.

    For more information, contact Dave Smith at 412-854-8494 or dsmith@cleanair.org.

    Transportation – Clean Air Council is providing transportation from the following locations (specific pick-up times will be provided when they are available) please email dsmith@cleanair.org to reserve a space.

    Bus one pick-up:
    Community Library of Allegheny Valley – 1522 Broadview Blvd, Natrona Heights, PA 15065
    Possible pick up in Aspinwall/Fox Chapel

    Bus two pick-up:
    St Clare of Assisi – 460 Reed St, Clairton, PA 15025
    Braddock Carnegie Library – 419 Library St, Braddock PA 15104

    Bus three pick-up:
    Beaver Historic Train Station – 276 East End Ave, Beaver PA 15009
    Possible pick-up in Aliquippa

  • The Air We Breathe: A Regional Summit on Air Pollution and Asthma

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    The 2017 Asthma Summit will highlight the impact of
    pollution in the Pittsburgh region on health outcomes,
    including asthma. The Summit will present the latest
    findings on the relationship between local air pollution
    and asthma prevalence and feature local
    and national Keynote Speakers.
    The Summit will also address public health measures
    and the use of emerging technology to monitor and
    improve health outcomes related to air pollution.
  • Making the Connection: Physical Activity, Air Pollution and Asthma in the Urban Environment

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    Join GASP for its next event: “Making the Connection Series: Physical Activity, Air Pollution and Asthma in the Urban Environment” on Wednesday, May 3rd from 5pm – 8pm at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC. Dr. Stephanie Lovinsky-Desir will discuss her research and afterwards there will be a panel of health and community experts to respond to her presentation. Networking and refreshments will be from 5pm – 6pm in the Hutchinson and Hayashi Auditorium.

  • Webinar: Cancer and Early Life Exposures to Environmental Pollutants

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    While pediatric cancer is still a rare disease, the rate of new cancers has increased nearly 30% since 1975. In the last decade, a growing body of research associates increased risk of pediatric cancer with environmental exposures in utero and in childhood. Recent science also points to a role for early life exposures in priming the body for developing cancer in adulthood.

    In this webinar, presenters will review the state of the science on the contribution of environmental exposures in early life to cancer, and reflect on its implications for clinical practice and engagement of health professionals in policy change. A special focus of the webinar will be on air pollution, with information on exposures in the Allegheny County region.

  • Creating Healthy Communities Conference

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    Creating Healthy Communities conference is a one-day summit addressing how the environment impacts public health. Dynamic, nationally-recognized speakers will discuss the scientific, medical, political and community-based approaches to creating healthier communities across the country. Local experts will highlight multiple health topics as they relate to our homes, schools and communities. The conference will educate and encourage attendees to become champions in having a positive impact on the health of our region.

    Keynote Speakers:

    • Dr. Rober Atkins, Director of New Jersey Health Initiatives, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
    • Dr. Sally Perreault Darney, Editor-in-Chief of Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
    • Dr. Maida Galvez, Pediatrician; Associate Professor, Departments of Preventive Medicine and Pediatrics, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine
    • Dr. Marion Nestle, Paulette Goddard Professor, Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, New York University; Professor of Sociology, NYU; Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University