While the neighborhoods adjacent to the Allegheny River have undergone a
heavy transition from industrial zones to thriving commercial districts
in the last two decades, their connection to the river itself was lost
long ago following the advent of industrialism, leaving a large swath of
land underutilized and ecologically impaired. On Monday, the City
released its sweeping 77-page, 20-year
Allegheny Riverfront Vision Plan
, designed to reorient the city toward the riverfront and generate new transit systems, housing, and businesses.
Since 2009, Mayor Ravenstahl and the City of Pittsburgh, Riverlife
, and the URA
have been working with consultants Perkins Eastman Architects
to develop the multi-phase plan that covers 6.5 miles of sustainable
development along the Allegheny riverfront from Downtown through
Highland Park. The plan incorporates several major redevelopment
projects already on the table, such as the proposed Green River
Boulevard project, which entails a new commuter rail line, riverfront
commercial and residential development, and environmentally-minded
landscaping. Another component includes Buncher Co.'s redevelopment of
the Terminal Produce Building on Smallman Street, as well as the
construction of new residential buildings. A proposed trolley and new
bike lines would better connect the Strip to Lawrenceville and take the
traffic burden off of Butler Street, Smallman Street, and Penn Avenue.
plan includes a lengthy list of initiatives to be implemented in
different phases, such as the creation of new tax credits to aid
potential developers, improvement of the sewage overflow system to clean
up the river, the reintroduction of native plant and animal species, a
focus on developmental "hot spots" like Lawrenceville's Heppenstall
Plant, the repurposing and maintenance of several historic structures,
and the movement of Strip District and Lawrenceville industry to a new
site near the 62nd Street Bridge.
phases laid out in the Allegheny Riverfront Vision are predominantly
public projects to be initiated by the URA and the City of Pittsburgh in
collaboration with a 16-member steering committee, with the assumption
that these projects will quickly draw in private investment for the
later and less concrete parts of the plan.
An event is being held to celebrate the plan on March 14 at 6:30 p.m. in The Roberto Clemente Museum at 3339 Penn Avenue.Sign up
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Writer: John Farley
Sources: Joanna Doven, press secretary for the Mayor's Office