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Downtown & The Cultural District : Innovation & Startups

334 Downtown & The Cultural District Articles | Page: | Show All

Pop City previews the latest local blogs, apps and n'at

Among the latest Pittsburgh-based websites, blogs and apps to surface in recent weeks:
 
Treading Art is the region’s latest resource for cultural happenings in the city.
 
Christine Smith and Melissa LuVisi moved to Pittsburgh after graduating from UCLA, where they met. They were drawn to our region’s thriving arts community and the city’s drive to redevelop and expand.
 
Their background in business development, museum administration and curatorial management is perfect for reaching out to the creative communities in the city. TreadingArt will highlight the scene, promote cultural happenings and post reviews, photographs, interviews, commentary and critiques.
 
In the coming year, the duo plan to launch a membership program with access to arts events—underground openings, panels, tours and workshops.
 
“Eventually we would like to see this transpire into a physical space,” says LuVisi.  “We are truly thankful to have landed in such a receptive and innovative city.”
 
Look for the Weekend Treadings newsletter and agenda events in January of 2013.
 
Built In Pgh is connecting the dots for local entrepreneurs and innovators. The website, brought to you by the same people behind the RustBuilt Initiative, is a clearinghouse for the startup community, listing events, forums, job postings and company news.
 
And here’s several apps and games to keep small minds busy during the holidays.
 
IOnFuture is a cool way for middle schoolers to explore potential careers in the STEM fields. Considering a career as an ecologist or urban planner? How about an industrial designer or Veterinarian? This gives students an opportunity to learn different activities and hobbies they might try as they explore various career paths in science, technology, engineering and math fields.
 
The Lemonade Stand is a free educational iPad game that teaches children ages 3-6 about money and work by letting them actually run a virtual lemonade stand. The app was created through Idea Foundry’s Riveted program.
 
Online reviews comments that it teaches youngsters literacy and math skills while offering kudos for the rocking music.  
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Melissa LuVisi, Kit Mueller

Pittsburgh marketing guru Dan Droz rocks the AMA awards

“Effective marketing campaigns personify the value of a product or company in some way,” says Pittsburgh marketing guru Dan Droz. “It’s a gift that keeps on giving.”
 
The founder of the downtown boutique firm Droz and Associates is obviously on to something. Last Friday the firm rocked the local American Marketing Association’s (AMA) 6th Annual Marketer of the Year Celebration, capturing no less than seven of the 10 awards presented.
 
The AMA awards recognize the top campaigns in the region for creativity and successfully strategy in 10 categories--including education, consumer services and technology. For the 32-year-old firm, it was a slam dunk.
 
“It was ‘oh no, not Meryl Streep again!'” Droz admits.
 
How do they do it? Take the Pittsburgh-based ProGrass campaign. When the makers of artificial turf for stadiums and sports facilities wanted to take on the mega-brand AstroTurf, Droz and Associates created a company mascot, a bauble-headed rhino named Rocky with a great physique.
 
Not only did the campaign put ProGrass on the artificially turfed map, but business shot up more quickly than real grass. The company could barely keep up with demand.
 
“It’s not about being different, it’s about being meaningfully distinctive,” says Droz. “Coming up with something that actually touches people. That’s the hard part.”
 
Droz has handled strategy and branding campaigns for more than 500 companies during his years in the business. He lectures and consults around the world, too, and has won numerous awards. But marketing wasn’t his first career. Droz was an adjunct professor at CMU, a position he held for 17 years until he retired.
 
He made a mark in this field as well. During the 1980s, he co-founded the Interdisciplinary Product Development Program at CMU, the first school in the country to offer a program that brought three distinct disciplines together: engineering, marketing and design.
 
Today, interdisciplinary programs are standard practice.
 
The recent spate of awards not only gave the firm seven awards, but a Grand Marketer of the Year nod for a campaign that expanded hospital linen company CleanCare. The campaign included the clever placement of humorous slogans on the company’s fleet of trucks.
 
Another winner was the Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures campaign, which publicized the non-profit speakers series through large banners that were displayed across an Oakland construction site.
 
“Within three weeks, the series was sold out,” says Droz. “Now there’s a waiting list for tickets that were readily available a year ago.
 
“Part of what we’re doing is making an emotional connection,” he adds. “When we’re personifying a brand, we’re helping people to make an emotional connection. Creating light, designing with a sense of humor. “
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Dan Droz, Droz and Associates
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Birchmere Labs poised to fund two new Pittsburgh digital media startups

 
Birchmere Labs, the $10 million studio seed fund created by Birchmere Ventures to support digital media startups, plans to fund two Pittsburgh-based companies in the near future.
 
While the announcement is not yet official, Birchmere Partner Sean Sebastian confirmed that two local startups will be among the first to receive studio funding. 
 
One of the companies is a digital media technology developed by a professor at Carnegie Mellon. Sebastian declined to provide details on the second, but said both companies would be developed in house initially through Birchmere Lab.
 
“A CMU professor came to us with an interesting idea that has never been done, but he didn’t want to run the company,” says Sebastian. “We struck an agreement and plan to build a company from scratch around the idea.”
 
Birchmere Labs operates as a seed studio fund, a novel approach that allows Birchmere to fund established startups through seed monies and support and build new companies through the studio funding. 
 
“We saw all the internet, media and web 2.0 activity coming, which really didn’t fit into Birchmere IV,” says Sebastian. “It was like putting a square peg into a round hole.”
 
Birchmere Lab was formed with the help of Sean Ammirati, who joined as a principal partner last August. Ammirati has a national reputation in digital media and mobile technologies. He was formerly the COO of tech blog ReadWriteWeb (now ReadWrite) and CEO of mSpoke, which sold to LinkedIn in 2010.
 
Last August Birchmere announced a $40 million venture capital fund, Birchmere IV. The fund has invested in eight companies so far, two local companies among them. Uptown-based NoWait received $2 million and Ross Township-based The Resumator received $2.1 million. Both were Innovation Works’ Alpha Lab companies.
 
While Birchmere continues to invest in the best companies it can find, regardless of geographic location, the recent activity does suggest that local startups might have an advantage.
 
“While there’s no official edict, the closer we are to an earlier stage company, the less heavy lifting is required,” says Sebastian.
 
Writer: Debra Smit
Source: Sean Sebastian, Birchmere Ventures 

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Sarah Heinz House, Advanticom and more

The Sarah Heinz House, a nonprofit providing a nurturing environment for local youth and their families, is looking for an executive director.
 
The ideal candidate shall provide visionary leadership and support to the board in setting and achieving organization goals, obtaining and allocating resources and carrying out established organizational policies. Additional tasks include managing and working closely with staff.
 
As reported this week in Pop City, Astrobotic Technologies is moving to the Strip District, which will make room for two additional hires in the coming months, including a principal software engineer.
 
Advanticom in Pittsburgh is looking for a full-time sales engineer. The position is a combination of sales, support, technical writing, inside sales and sales engineering. Strong networking, visualization and data center technology understanding is essential.
 
Winchester Thurston School in Shadyside is hiring a Technology Support Professional immediately to provide support to the Director of Technology. The position requires an Associates Degree or Bachelor’s degree or equivalent and experience in academic computing environments. Knowledge of Microsoft and Apple operating systems and software, Google Apps for Education, Blackbaud, Active Directory, and multi-platform environments is preferred.
 
UPMC is hiring a technical writer to work regularly business hours full-time or as needed.
 
Smith Micro Software is hiring a Senior Technical Recruiter, responsible for managing positive relationships and hiring mid to executive level job candidates.

Got hiring news? Contact Pop City! 

Writer: Deb Smit


Where the cool people are. TEDxGrandview Ave is coming.

Imagine some of the most innovative people in Pittsburgh, all in one room. Braddock’s John Fetterman. Serial social entrepreneur Ji Jai. Architect and sustainability champion Christine Mondor. Culinary pioneer Kevin Sousa.
 
It’s a glimpse of the lineup for TEDxGrandviewAve, the latest local incarnation of Tedx, the fast-talking, idea-popping brain fest.
 
Taking a cue from the scenic stretch of road along Mt. Washington, TEDxGrandviewAve will embrace the strengths of Pittsburgh, from key brands to dedicated entrepreneurs, inspired artists and perceptive humanitarians says Kacey Wherley, founder and director of TEDxGrandviewAve.
 
“TEDxGrandviewAve will celebrate how Pittsburgh, as an exceptional whole, stands on the edge of innovation,” she says.
 
This event, independently organized and operated under license from TEDx, will be held on Feb. 23rd, 2013, downtown Pittsburgh, at The Pierce Studio, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Arts Education Center. Reserve tickets are going fast.
 
TEDx is a nationwide forum for bringing people together to share great ideas and stories. Talks feature live speakers and combine to spark deep discussion and connections in smalls group.
 
In addition to the above mentioned local celebrities, speakers will include: Matthew Keener, professor at University of Pittsburgh, CEO and founder of Emodt Health Design; Justin McElhattan, President and CEO, Industrial Scientific Corporation; Nicki Zevola, CEO of Alpha Lab company FutureDerm; Rory Varrato, Graduate Student, School of Politics and Global Studies, Arizona State University, originally from western Pennsylvania; and Dr. Justin Hill of the Neurorehabilitation Department, Cornell University, a former UPMC physician.
 
The Pillow Project will perform. For more information and reserve tickets, click here.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Kacey Wherley, TEdxGrandviewAve 

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Cardinal Resources, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and more

This week’s Pop City hiring report highlights a slew of jobs, from 12 positions at Cardinal Resources to 18+ at Ansaldo, three at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and another at Point Park University.
 
South Side-based Cardinal Resources is bringing cleaner water to the world through its patented Red Bird System, a solar powered, community-sized water purifying system. The company recently won a $9 million contract to install 12 of its water purification systems in Nigeria, which will create 12 jobs, primarily for engineers and technicians.
 
The company is also opening a manufacturing center next door, the former Hall Industries property, where it will begin building the filters for the Red Bird units later this month, reports Kevin Jones, president.  
 
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust reports three openings in its marketing and communications department. The arts nonprofit is looking for a Director of Public Relations, Show Marketing Manager and Digital Designer. 
 
The Director of Public Relations is responsible for developing public relations campaigns for Trust presentations and oversees the overall marketing strategy to publicize all events, including the placement of advance features, reviews, and artist interviews. A degree in marketing or communications or related and three years experience is preferred.
 
The Show Marketing Manager will coordinate all aspects of marketing for the Trust. A degree in marketing or communications or related and three years experience is preferred.
 
The Digital Designer will be responsible for designing, writing, trafficking and gaining approval
for all organizational e-marketing messages. The Digital Designer works on a number of print,
video and multimedia projects.
 
Ansaldo, a supplier of high-speed railway and urban transportation technology, has 18 openings in its Pittsburgh office, most of them in the engineering field. Jobs include software and project engineers, sales and telecommunications engineers. Ansaldo emerged from Union Switch & Signal in 2009, a company originally founded by George Westinghouse in 1881.
 
Point Park University is hiring a Director of Recruitment for its School of Business who will be responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive recruitment plan in collaboration with the Admissions offices and the Dean of the School of Communication.

Have hiring news? Email Pop City!

Writer: Deb Smit

Point Park's president peddling Pittsburgh to students through a city bike tour

Point Park president Paul Hennigan is taking the college tour to the next level.
 
By bike, actually.  The Pittsburgh native and avid biker decided last year that the best way to indoctrinate incoming students—especially those working on campus as RAs—was to personally take them on a bike tour of the city.
 
“It’s an eye opening, fun experience for many of the students,” says Hennigan. “As our student ambassadors, this is a great thing to do and know about.”
 
Hennigan meets with the students twice before the tour and they are given an assignment: a one-page summary of the history behind the points of interest along the way.
 
How did the Hot Metal Bridge get its name? What’s the story behind the South Side Boat launch? How did the Pittsburgh Technology Center come to be?
 
“I’ve watched the evolution of this city and the creation of these bike trails.,” he tells the students. “I know these stories. Now its your job to learn the history.”
 
The tour begins at the Golden Triangle bike rental downtown and continues along the Eliza Furnace Trail to the Hot Metal Bridge. Crossing the bridge, the tour continues west on the South Side Trail to the Duquesne Incline, veers sharply left on the hairpin turn that winds up to the Fort Pitt Bridge, crosses the river and traverses Point State Park.
 
From there its over the Duquesne Bridge to the north side and onto Washington’s Landing where the tour breaks for lunch. Then its back across the Fort Duquesne Bridge to The Point and back to the bike rental.
 
Hennigan’s favorite stop is on the Hot Metal Bridge, which he points out was once a conduit that helped moved steel across the river.
 
“We stop in the middle of the bridge. To the right is the gleaming metropolis, to the left is nothing,” he says. “It’s a great juxtaposition.” 
 
The city is our campus, Hennigan says.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Paul Hennigan
 

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Google and PNC for starters...

The top hiring story for this week is the news of Google Pittsburgh hiring eight.
 
Earlier media reports that Google  may be moving from Bakery Square were inaccurate, reports Jordan Newsman, Google spokesman.
 
“We are definitely growing, but we have no plans to expand,” he said. “We have been hiring for awhile and we continue to grow. There’s a ton of great talent in the city.”
 
The company, currently at 220 people, is hiring for a variety of technical positions, engineers all, including software engineers, data scientists and evaluators, product managers, system engineers and technical program managers.
 
Google is also seeking a human resources business partner.

PNC is posting 340+ jobs across all sectors, everything from mortgage and technical specialists to business bankers and systems analysts. 
 
Sierra w/o Wires reports this week the hiring of eight people, everything from experienced engineers to an entry level support analyst. 
 
While construction on the Shop N Save grocery store in the Hill District has been pushed back to 2013, Massaro, general contractor, reports that interested parties will be collecting applications for a number of construction, hospitality, restaurant, banking and grocery store jobs opening up.
 
The Hill House will hold an orientation and application intake session Wednesday night, Aug. 1, at the Hill House, 1 Hope Center, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

And from last week...
As reported last week, Aquion Energy is hiring more than 20 people including a director of research and development. In fact, the company, which plans to establish a manufacturing center in Pittsburgh, is always on the lookout for intelligent, committed innovative thinkers to join their world-class team of scientists, engineers and business people. 
 
Hundreds of jobs are projected at Aquion by 2014; current postings are in every area for those with extensive experience in the fields of electrochemistry, materials science, manufacturing, mechanical design, fabrication, electrical engineering, chemical engineering and physics.
 
Avere Systems, developers of high performance storage solutions for data enterprise centers, is at 75 and continues to grow. The company has 10 job openings including: product marketing manager, technical writer, regional sales manager, inside sales rep and various engineers. 
 
The Pittsburgh headquarter of ANSYS in Canonsburg is always hiring, the company reports. Currently the developer of engineering simulation software has more than a dozen postings for its home office, including software developers, engineers and human resources.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Google Pittsburgh, PNC Bank, Sierra w/o Wires, Aquion Energy, Avere Systems, ANSYS and ImaginePittsburghJobs.com
 

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh?

This week Pop City begins a regular roundup of just who’s hiring in Pittsburgh.
 
Whether your company is hiring one or many, we encourage you to contact us for inclusion in our regular list. We'll report on a handful of companies or more looking for talent. Up this week:
 
Aquion Energy is hiring more than 20 people including a director of research and development. In fact, the company, which plans to establish a manufacturing center in Pittsburgh, is always on the lookout for intelligent, committed innovative thinkers to join their world-class team of scientists, engineers and business people. 
 
Hundreds of jobs are projected at Aquion by 2014; current postings are in every area for those with extensive experience in the fields of electrochemistry, materials science, manufacturing, mechanical design, fabrication, electrical engineering, chemical engineering and physics.
 
Avere Systems, developers of high performance storage solutions for data enterprise centers, is at 75 and continues to grow. The company has 10 job openings including: product marketing manager, technical writer, regional sales manager, inside sales rep and various engineers. 
 
The Pittsburgh headquarter of ANSYS in Canonsburg is always hiring, the company reports. Currently the developer of engineering simulation software has more than a dozen postings for its home office, including software developers, engineers and human resources.
 
News radio station 1020 KDKA Pittsburgh is looking for an afternoon Show Host to anchor the KDKA Afternoon News. The position calls for a talent with a distinctive style, someone with strong writing skills and the creative dexterity to go from a discussion of pop culture to breaking news.
 
Dobil Laboratories in Pittsburgh, an audiovisual systems integrator since 1971, is hiring experienced AV technicians and project managers. Email resumes to info@dobil.com

And last but not least, MAYA, design consultancy and technology research lab now housed at Four Gateway Center, is hiring designers, researchers and engineers. Check it out here.
 
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Aquion Energy, Avere Systems, ANSYS, CBS News, Dobil Labs and ImaginePittsburghJobs.com

Sprout announces a call to action for our SiX events and winning project(s)

Hundreds of ideas sprang forth at the kick-off social innovation eXchange (SiX) on civic design and placemaking held yesterday at Point Park University.

That was just the beginning. The Sprout Fund, a partner in the event, stands ready to turn some of these ideas into innovative community solutions and invites the community to get involved. To see the first SiX idea that will move forward, go here and learn how you can join other thought leaders in producing good civic design solutions for our region. All the final ideas and concept posters from yesterday can be seen on this site.

Stay tuned to Pop City for more information on the event, including a video on the ideation session hosted by the LUMA Institute. And look for three more SiX events rolling out this year and how you can get involved.

SiX is brought to you by the Pittsburgh Foundation and the Sprout Fund in concert with Pop City and with support from the Buhl Foundation.



Photo of SiX event by Tracy Certo

Fitting Group wins Pixie for "Brilliant" video for Pittsburgh Social Venture Partners

Fitting Group is up to their old ANT-ics, winning two Pixie Awards, honoring outstanding work in graphics, effects and animation by the American Pixel Academy.

They won a gold for the “Brilliant” video  for Pittsburgh Social Venture Partners which uses ants as its theme in an inspiring and clever message to urge people to join PSVP. (We highly recommend viewing the video.)

"Simplicity works. In this case, it works very well," said the judges, who also commended the excellent use of type.

“Evoking emotion through music and typographic animation is very powerful, and although we won an award for the work, we are equally proud that the ant video succeeded in showcasing PSVP’s worthy mission and got them some much deserved attention, says Belinda Yeager Carter of Fitting Group.
 
Fitting Group also scooped up a platinum award for the “Connect to Greatness” video for the Mason School of Business at The College of William & Mary.



Writer: Tracy Certo
Source: Belinda Yeager Carter


Social media users at the ready: it's almost time for PodCamp Pittsburgh

Share it. Like it. Retweet it.

Social media is about all interaction and so is PodCamp Pittsburgh.
 
The self-described “un-conference” is back September 17-18, giving Pittsburghers of all technical abilities a new chance to talk new media. 
 
The free event is designed to cover a range of topics of interest to casual users, bloggers, programmers, business owners and others. 
 
Now in its sixth year, PodCamp is known for its laid-back approach and open discussions between attendees and speakers. 
 
Popular sessions in previous years featured the KISS Morning Freak Show hosts (avid users of social media) and local blogger Virginia Montanez a.k.a. PittGirl.
 
PodCamp attracts a healthy mix of old hands and social media newbies, says Missy Sorg, a member of the organizing team.  For Sorg, the people make the event.
 
“The nice thing is that it’s completely our city.  We have local presenters and local attendees,” she says.  “It’s for everybody.  You can be an individual, a business, a newbie, or someone concretely in social media.”
 
This year PodCamp moves down the street from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh to Point Park University.  The new location offers more space for the event, including overflow rooms with live video feed, and a separate lunch area for continued conversation. 
 
It’s not too late to present at PodCamp yourself. Submit your session topic by August 31.  PodCamp Pittsburgh will announce this year’s sessions on September 1. 
 
Writer: Lindsay Derda
Source: Missy Sorg, PodCamp Pittsburgh

Focus on the environment: clean energy panel and Marcellus Shale

Two of the hottest topics--Marcellus Shale and clean energy--will be the focus of two different environmental events in the next few weeks.

The Carnegie Science Center will host Dr. Charles E. Jones, a geologist from the Department of Geology and Planetary Science at the University of Pittsburgh, for a discussion about Marcellus Shale and what it means for western Pennsylvania.

As part of the Science & Society Town Square lecture series, attendees can listen and discuss the science relevant to Shale and the future of Pennsylvania's economy and environment.

"It will be covering the basic science," Jones says, such as how and when the Shale formed and why it's full of organic matter.  The audience will learn more about the Shale, he notes,so "if someone wants to drill on their land, they can ask better questions." 

The lecture will be held Thursday, March 24 from 7 to 9 p.m. Registration is $12 for Science Center members and $15 for non-members. Coffee and dessert are included. Click here to register.

On April 3, PennFuture hosts the 2011 Southwest Pennsylvania Global Warming Conference: Clean Energy for a Cool Pittsburgh.

"Clean energy is a really important part of the global warming debate,"  says Tiffany Hickman, spokesperson for PennFuture,. "Changing how and what kind of energy we use is the most important thing we can do to combat global warming, because the energy that we use currently in this country contributes so much to heat trapping gases."

The Conference features a list of local, state and national speakers. They include Kate Gordon, vice president for energy policy at the Center for American Progress; U.S. Representative Mike Doyle, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and the subcommittees on Communications and Technology and Energy and Power; and Dr. Robert Sroufe, director of sustainability at the Beard Institute at Duquesne University.

"I think Pittsburgh is poised right now to make a big difference for the environment" Hickman adds. "For Pittsburgh to take a stance now on clean energy is going to put it far above its competition in other cities. It's really important for us to set a precedent here, especially with our legacy of dirty energy."

Learn more by attending the Conference on Sunday, April 3 from 1 to 5:30 p.m. at Duquesne University's Power Center. Registration is free to PennFuture members and students with an ID and $10 for others. Click here for more information and to register.

Writer: Alex Audia
Source: Tiffany Hickman, PennFuture




An app for those nasty potholes; Deeplocal sells transit app RouteShout

Just in time for the spring thaw comes a new weapon against  Pittsburgh potholes, a smartphone app that tracks their location and subtly takes the city to task for leaving them unattended over time.

Carnegie Mellon University's RODAS Project--that's Road Damage Assessment System--gives GPS-linked smartphone users the tools to snap pictures of potholes and upload them on Facebook. The photos are then automatically tagged on an online map, marked by bright red dots, creating a virtual overview of potholes to alert officials (and drivers) where the potholes are.

The project, started last summer, was the original idea of Chilean Heinz grad Veronica Acha-Alvarez and inspired by a similar successful project in Chile. The Chilean app offers contests, (subtly timed with local elections) to identify the largest potholes.

"We are creating a secure, independent source of information about potholes that can be used to alert government agencies and to monitor their response," says Robert Strauss, professor of economics and public policy in the H. John Heinz III College.

Widespread publicity this week drove more than 800 hits to the site in one day, he adds.

Involving the community in identifying and monitoring the pothole problem is the primary goal of the project. The team also is considering other ways citizens may assist, including an adopt-a-pothole program that gets the community more involved with repairs.

"Kind of like a  pet rock," says Stauss.

"PennDOT found it interesting," he adds. "This new public database is a new tool people can use to monitor what road crews are doing and to judge the efficiency of government."

In other app news, Deeplocal's award-winning transit technology, RouteShout, was acquired by Atlanta-based RouteMatch Software Inc., developers of traveler information systems. Financial terms were not disclosed.

RouteShout, which marks the first sale of a Deeplocal asset, allows riders to access up-to-the-second transit arrival times from their mobile phones. It will provide the "missing link" of real-time arrival data needed for intelligent transit systems, says Tim Quinn of RouteMatch.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Robert Strauss, CMU; Deeplocal



Running late to a show? ParkPGH is the city's first smart parking app

Finding a last-minute parking spot on the night of a show just got easier with the region's first "smart" parking solution launched this week by The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

ParkPGH (that's Park P-G-H) is a tech-based strategy that gives users up-to-the-minute information on parking space availability in the Cultural District in one of five ways: iPhone app, mobile website, website, text messaging and a call-in phone service. Eight parking lots are participating and the remaining Cultural District garage, located at 9th and Penn Avenue, will be added in January 2011.

"I'm a regular attendee and it occurred to me that one of the big psychological impediments (to coming into the city for a show) is uncertainty about the parking," says Bill Benter, president of The Benter Foundation, who helped fund the project. "We're looking to make this a less stressful experience for all."

By January, ParkPGH.org will give patrons access to information on the more than 5,300 spaces in the Cultural District, which makes up 25% of all the parking in the city. The easy-to-use site  color-codes the garages in three ways: near capacity, approaching capacity or availability. If all goes well, the program will be expanded for citywide use.

The program was built by Deeplocal with assistance from the Pittsburgh Parking Authority, Alco Parking, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, Hillman Foundation and Numeritics. ParkPGH is designed to integrate with a larger project, Traffic21, a Carnegie Mellon initiative that is developing and deploying an intelligent transportation system that hopes to brand the region internationally as a place for "smart transportation."

"We want to make it available to the broadest possible audience," says Marc Fleming, vice president of marketing for The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Marc Fleming, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust; Bill Benter, The Benter Foundation

Image courtesy of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust





334 Downtown & The Cultural District Articles | Page: | Show All
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