A Story of Vacant Land (Part 1): Costs & Benefits

Numbers don’t lie.  Well, if we are being honest, they sometimes do.  As community leaders, advocates, and policy analysts, it’s our job to think critically about data.  In short, numbers mean something, which is why it’s so important to contextualize them. They represent real people associated with real costs.  When analyzing costs and benefits, nothing is more important than humanizing the numbers. Let’s consider some of the numbers and truths with regards to vacant lot maintenance.  In Allegheny County, 67.3%…

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Grounded in East Hills

As part of our investigative process, Grounded Strategies is exploring East Hills for further intervention. Having recently installed rain gardens in the Park Hill Drive Community, we're now working with the East Hills Consensus Group (EHCG) to help them advocate for improvements in the entire East Hills neighborhood. The main focus points for EHCG in terms of community strategy are Stormwater, Public Safety, and Community Beautification.     During our tour of the neighborhood, it became apparent just how important…

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Following a rain drop at Park Hill Drive

Grounded continues its Green Stormwater Infrastructure work in the Park Hill Drive community in East Hills. Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) design and implementation are just one of the services we offer here at Grounded Strategies. As we plan each such project, we consider the fate of rainwater as it encounters the built environment. Let's follow a raindrop through one of our GSI facilities in the Park Hill Drive community! The first thing that a raindrop is likely to encounter in…

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Sustainability Education

We recently came across a study published in The Journal of Environmental Education focused on the effectiveness of sustainability education in four different unique schools. The study lead to interesting results about which methods of sustainability messaging are most effective at encouraging youth to be environmentally conscious members of society. Schools must immerse students in sustainable practices and possess a culture of equality and sustainability in order to impact students. After interviewing students at each of the four schools, this…

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Returning to Sustainable Return on Investment

This blog post was authored by GTECH's Research & Policy Intern, Lilli Kashef Hamadani. Email Lilli at l.kashef@gtechstrategies.org.  Returning to Sustainable Return on Investment Measuring the Social, Environmental, and Economic Impacts of the URA LandCare Program GTECH has been working on evaluating its programs through a Sustainable Return on Investment (SuROI) methodology. You might remember when our intern, Kate, wrote about SuROI lingo and shared the results of GTECH's first SuROI analysis, which measured the social and ecological value of…

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stormwater survey pipe

Take a Survey! – Stormwater in the East End

Do you live in East Hills, East Liberty, Larimer, Lincoln-Lemington-Belmar, or Homewood? If so, you can take our survey to help shape stormwater infrastructure efforts in your neighborhood. Click the button below to take the survey, or read on to learn more about the project first. Please take the 10 minute survey by clicking the button below. If you'd rather take a survey on paper, please contact us.  

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Meet our new GTECH GSI Neighborhood Liaisons

As we complete our GTECH Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) project in the Woods Run/O-27 sewershed on Pittsburgh's Northside, we are beginning the process in our next sewershed: the Negley Run/A-42 sewershed in the East End. As we did on the Northside, the first order of business for our GTECH GSI process was to hire neighborhood liaisons to represent the communities that make up this high-priority sewershed; Homewood, Larimer, Lincoln-Lemington-Belmar, East Hills, and East Liberty. These liaisons will serve as GTECH's front…

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Welcome Lauren – GTECH GSI Community Liaison

We are very excited to welcome Lauren Bivins as a Community Liaison in Marshall-Shadeland! A couple months ago we highlighted our Community Liaisons that are supporting our GTECH GSI project in Woods Run. We've got a new addition to the team and are excited to introduce her. Lauren Bivins Neighborhood: Marshall-Shadeland What is your favorite thing about your neighborhood? I enjoy the diversity and caring neighbors that keep the community growing with each generation. Why are you excited about this project? When…

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walking biking

Northside neighborhood trail maps now available!

Whether you live in Pittsburgh's Northside or not, it's unlikely that you've been able to explore each and every one of its 18 neighborhoods. Now you can do just that! We have trail maps, fresh off the press, for each of the Northside's neighborhoods. Over the past 2 years we've worked alongside One Northside and Northside residents to map out important community treasures and identify the best routes to explore them. Not surprisingly, there are a lot of assets! Our…

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Welcome GSI Community Liaisons

How can the Pittsburgh region maximize community benefit associated with Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) investments? We just launched the GTECH GSI project in the Woods Run (O-27) sewershed which seeks to apply a methodology to do just this - engage residents in shaping land use decisions related to upcoming stormwater infrastructure investments, so that community benefit can be maximized. Our Foundation: Work Closely with the Community As part of this project, we're delighted to have the opportunity to work with 4 residents from the…

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Volunteer 10 minutes to refine routes for the Northside trail

Over the past four months, GTECH and One Northside have been working on a plan for a neighborhood trail system that would connect all 18 neighborhoods in Pittsburgh's Northside and show off the amazing destinations in each. Opinion polls done by One Northside showed that Northsiders want safe connections between neighborhoods, and want their side of the city to be known as a hub for arts and culture. Once you get visitors walking around the Northside, it's easy to show…

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Getting a Handle On Your Housing Stock

We've been talking a lot this year about the Pittsburgh LocalData Collaborative (PLDC), the need for accessible data in our region and GTECH's role in making sure accurate information is used in community development decisions. Many organizations, from PCRG to Lawrenceville United, have partnered with us through the PLDC to launch innovative data collection projects over the past year and the results have been astounding. Since 2014, partnering organizations in the PLDC have collected 35,252 data points across 44 communities on everything…

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