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Sustainable Pittsburgh

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Pittsburgh, PA

Tag Archive: equity

  • Join us for I Am Sustainable Pittsburgh

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    Challenge Yourself and Others to Take Small Actions for Big Collective Impact

    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.

  • 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 Leadership Forum: Attracting Residents & Building Community Resiliency through Cultivating Diversity

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    City of Duquesne Municipal Building
    12 South Second Street
    Duquesne, PA 15110

    Register Here
    Light dinner will be served

    5:30 pm – Registration opens
    6:00 pm – Speakers begin

    As communities in Southwestern PA struggle to maintain their current populations and work to attract new residents and businesses, it is helpful to understand what current residents expect and what new residents and employers desire. Please join the Sustainable Community Development Network (SCDN), facilitated by Sustainable Pittsburgh, along with the Local Government Academy (LGA) for an evening Leadership Forum discussing the numerous advantages of fostering a diverse and innovative workforce and how communities can improve economic and community growth through implementing equitable policies.

    Please share with your elected municipal officials and community leaders!

    A diverse workforce (age, gender, race, etc.) has been shown to encourage innovation and creativity and is now sought after by employers and jobs seekers alike. A workforce that includes varying socio-economic backgrounds provides the employer with access to broader social networks for talent attraction and other inherent benefits. The SCDN Forum kicks off with a conversation about how your municipality or organization can lead by example by creating an inclusive workplace.

    Melanie Harrington, Executive Director of Vibrant Pittsburgh, will how discuss how to cultivate proactive leadership to foster diverse workforces that accelerate economic growth and workplace success.



    anupama jain, Executive Director, City of Pittsburgh’s Commission on Gender Equity, will introduce her new role with the city and share experiences from her extensive academic and organizational work with gender equity solutions.



    Shon K. Worner, Senior Associate, Campbell Durrant Beatty Palombo & Miller, P.C., specializes in labor and municipal law and will explore the legal aspects of equitable access to employment and human resources.



    The SCDN Forum will also include a discussion of how community policy and the enforcement of municipal laws can affect people with different abilities, incomes, and/or social capital/access to power.

    Shad Henderson, Director of Community Partnerships and Investments, Neighborhood Allies, will talk about the “All In Pittsburgh” initiative and how equitable development can ensure that everyone participates in and benefits from the region’s economic growth.



    Wasi Mohamed, Executive Director, Islamic Center of Pittsburgh and a steering committee member for Change Agency, will talk about the creation of programming that can provide simple actionable steps to improve community equity.



    Laura Poskin, Director of Age Friendly Pittsburgh – an initiative of Southwestern Pennsylvania Partnership for Aging, will illustrate the need for policy that addresses the varied ages and abilities of residents and how it will create a stronger, more resilient region.



    SCDN and LGA are excited to bring together these regional experts who focus on issues of racial, gender, age, religious equity and more.  They will discuss how you can assess the equity of community development work and create policies that will improve the creativity, innovation, and economic development in your workforce and your community.

    Questions?  Please contact Jim Price, Sustainable Community Manager, Sustainable Pittsburgh at or (412) 259-5331.

  • Webinar: Crowdfunding for Racial Justice

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    More info & registration

    Join ioby to learn from project leaders who are addressing their neighborhood’s need for racial justice and have created community solutions around racial equity. They’ll share how crowdfunding supported their grassroots projects and how they got started, built support, and overcame challenges. Indigo Bishop, one of ioby’s Action Strategists, will also share more about how we work to support social justice changemaking.

    You’ll hear from these on-the-ground experts and have the opportunity to ask questions in real time:

    Amanda King, Shooting Without Bullets
    Christin Farmer, The Mothership Connection
    Leah Lewis, The X’s and O’s of Race/ism, a Docu-series
    Indigo Bishop, ioby’s Cleveland Action Strategist

  • The High Cost of Energy: How a Community Can Protect their Most Vulnerable Residents

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    People living at or below the poverty line are more likely to live in older housing with leaky windows and doors, and poorly insulated walls that waste energy, saddling them with much higher energy costs than those in upper income brackets.  There are several ways that municipalities and community-based organizations can help mitigate this challenge.  Options include having well-crafted and enforced occupancy regulations and helping to connect those in need to energy efficiency assistance programs.  Serving in this role advances a community’s sustainable development by improving the lives of residents, the environment, and the local economy.

    Preventing housing from falling into disrepair can solve the problem of unreasonably high energy costs before it becomes one.  Well managed and institutionalized code enforcement is an essential first step.  Adopting and effectively enforcing the International Property Maintenance Code, as suggested in the “Sustainable Neighborhoods” section of the Sustainable Pennsylvania Community Certification, can prevent poorly heated and/or ventilated spaces from being rented to unsuspecting residents.  Community leaders may find homeowners on fixed or limited incomes need assistance to make their homes code compliant or more energy efficient.

    Working with and connecting residents to organizations like Conservation Consultants Inc. (CCI), Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh, and Habitat for Humanity can benefit struggling low income homeowners with energy efficiency upgrades.  In addition, both major regional electric utilities, Duquesne Light and First Energy (Penelec, Penn Power, and West Penn Power), have programs that can offset the costs of energy upgrades.  As a stopgap measure, federal programs such as the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), can provide relief to families living in homes that may be at risk of an outage.  Having these resources available through a community newsletter, website, knowledgeable staff, and community-sponsored events can make a world of difference.

    By administering excellent code enforcement and serving as the conduit to publicly available energy efficiency programs, conscientious leaders can conserve energy, mitigate carbon emissions and protect their community’s most vulnerable residents.  In addition, reducing energy consumption community-wide serves everyone by improving public health with improved air quality and ensuring residents have more income to spend in the local community.  For information on how to incorporate these or other community sustainability recommendations please visit the Sustainable Pennsylvania Community Certification, reference the Library of Sustainable Municipal Policies and Practices, or contact Jim Price at

  • Sustainable Sipping: EQUITY

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    Enjoy beer or wine and insightful fun with fellow nature lovers at one of the greenest buildings on earth!

    Drink, mingle, and learn outdoors (or under a covered space, if raining) at these 21+ events on the second Friday of each month from June through September.

    This month’s theme is EQUITY. Join us for a special outdoor presentation of the 10th and final episode of Sustainability Pioneers, a web-based, short video documentary series that highlights people and communities taking bold steps to address climate change. This final episode follows the evolution of the Frick Environmental Center and chronicles its rise from the ashes like the mythic Phoenix. It also captures how the City of Pittsburgh takes the high road after President Trump reneges on the Paris Climate Treaty. After the video screening, there will be an opportunity to speak with the video producer, Kirsi Jansa.

    Ticket price includes two drink tickets and light refreshments.