Our newest video tells the story of how Pittsburgh’s former mayor decided to take action on building safer, complete streets, why the city’s new mayor is picking up the baton with a focus on equity, and how city staff are making progress across administrations.
Boise, Denver, Greenville, Minneapolis, Nashville, and Pittsburgh are six of the many cities using a new strategy for economic development. Rather than offering tax breaks to lure companies, these cities are creating walkable, vibrant, inclusive neighborhoods that are attracting residents and employers, supporting existing businesses, and fostering entrepreneurs.
We talk about this new approach in our most recent report, Amazing Place: Six Cities Using the New Recipe for Economic Development. The report takes an in-depth look at the development strategies at work in these six cities, and is designed to show communities everywhere how to create diverse and durable local economies that last beyond the lifecycle of any one employer.
As part of Tuesday’s kickoff for the new report, we hosted an online conversation about creating these amazing places. Participants heard an overview of the guide as well as a detailed discussion about development in Denver, Greenville, and Pittsburgh. A recorded version of the webinar is now available.
A new trend in local economic development is emerging. Talented workers—and the companies who want to employ them—are increasingly moving to walkable neighborhoods served by transit, with a vibrant mix of restaurants, cafes, shops, cultural attractions, and affordable housing options.
For decades, if a community wanted to increase jobs, the go-to approach was to offer companies tax breaks and subsidies to relocate there.
This approach has lots of downsides. But perhaps the biggest problem for economic development officials now is that too often, this strategy simply doesn’t work.
Companies today are less interested in tax breaks and more interested in vibrant neighborhoods with affordable housing options, restaurants, nightlife, and other amenities in walking distance, and a range of transportation options for their employees.
If tax breaks were the old way to do economic development, creating great places is the new way.
On Tuesday, June 28, we’ll release Amazing Place, which details how six cities are using a place-based approach to economic development.
Last year the city of Pittsburgh, PA received a $15 million U.S Department of Transportation TIGER IV Grant for the construction of a multi-modal transit center in the city’s East Liberty neighborhood. The transit center will serve as the hub for nearly 1,000 bus arrivals and departures per day.
The board of the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) recently adopted a Transit Revitalization District Implementation Plan which calls for future real estate tax revenue to secure bonds to finance infrastructure improvements in East Liberty, furthering the city’s transit oriented development goals.
Improvements for the transit center include a two-level station linking bus rapid transit service with street level bus service as well as realignment and reopening of streets, sidewalks, landscaping, a replacement road bridge, adaptive traffic signals, and a bike and pedestrian access bridge.
Pittsburgh, PA skyline. Photo taken by Flickr user wallyg.
In the 20th century, as the result of its booming steel industry, Pittsburgh was thriving as one of the largest cities in the country. But, during the 1970s and 80s, Pittsburgh lost a lot of the success that it once held, due to the collapse of that same industry. The population was cut in half and there was a long period of economic stagnation.
Today, though, Pittsburgh’s economy is on the mend. If there was a golden lining to that period of economic stagnation, it was that the city avoided excess sprawl and financially insolvent development patterns.
Community officials want to use to their advantage as they prime for a new era of prosperity in Pittsburgh. City leaders and residents are gradually reshaping the way Pittsburgh thinks about planning and design, with the goal of transforming the city into a model of sustainable development.