Thank You!

  Thanks to our generous supporters GTECH was able to raise $28,459 in the $15K for $15K year end campaign! With the great success of this campaign we will be able to continue to support Ambassadors like Angela transform a blighted, vacant lot into a space of opportunity and inspiration for all to thrive. Not only will the $28,459 support activities like Angela’s in 2016, it will also ensure: That vacant lots are transformed into vibrant community-driven green spaces for youth with Green Playces…

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ROCIS: What I learned

Let's start with a bit of trivia - True or False: According to the EPA, the air inside the typical home is just as polluted as the air outside. The answer is False, but maybe not for the reason you think. Believe it or not, according to the EPA, air inside the average home is two to five times more polluted than the air outside. I learned firsthand about this through participation in the second round of the ROCIS Low Cost Monitoring Project.…

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5 Funding Sources to Help Sustain Your Greening Projects

Quick recap on the steps to implement a vacant lot project: 1. Use Lots to Love to select your lot and guide you through gaining access to the space. 2. Gather community input and support for your project. 3. Implement your project. 4. Sustain the project by holding events, maintaining and enhancing the space. In this blog, we explore step #4. Below are 5+ potential funding sources to help sustain your vacant lot greening projects.  Love Your Block Love Your Block is a…

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Words of Wisdom and Reflection from a GTECH Ambassador

With the holidays upon us, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment – whether it’s attending the endless holiday parties and family gatherings or running out to get a gift for that last impossible-to-buy-for person on your list – before we know it it’s January and we haven’t gotten a chance to relax and reflect on the past year. Here at GTECH we’re not immune. It’s been a mad dash to get everything finished before the holiday break,…

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Co-Designing with Hilltop Residents

Urban environments are continuously transitioning. As a result, the narrative of permanence in these areas is lost due to shrinkage caused by vacancy (Burkholder 2012). Vacancy is a huge problem facing U.S. cities that once relied heavily on the revenue from industrial production. The moniker "Rustbelt" is one that describes such cities spanning the upper Midwest and parts of some Northeastern states. Many of these cities struggle with turning the corner, and while some have successfully navigated the changing landscape, many continually work…

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Resilience in Your Community

So we've talked about resilience in a national context, about policies and million dollar grants and about resilience on a city level. But what does all of that mean for the average person? For someone just trying to get by, who doesn't work in sustainability or in disaster relief. How does resilience influence my daily life? Resilience is important everywhere. It gets a lot of attention in this day and age because of the looming threats of climate change, the increasingly…

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Two New Green Playces

Last month we celebrated the opening of Green Playces:Homewood – the second of five Green Playces to be created by the end of next year. Every community is different. Every Green Playce ought to reflect that difference. We just hope to tie some common threads between these different Playces, the first of which is in the name. So let’s explore the differences (and the similarities!) between our first two Green Playces. It’s time to Venn Diagram: In the Northside, we took…

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Pittsburgh’s First Blight Bootcamp

November 7th was the first ever Pittsburgh Blight Bootcamp where residents, nonprofit professionals and government representatives were able to meet, mingle, and educate each other on topics surrounding the issues of vacancy and blight in the Pittsburgh region. GTECH had the honor of being a central organizer of the Pittsburgh Blight Bootcamp as a member of the Pittsburgh Blight Working Group, a partnership between the City of Pittsburgh Office of the Mayor and Permits, Neighborhood Allies, PCRG, the Design Center of…

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The Challenges of Reclaiming Vacant Land

  Creating something new out of a vacant lot isn't always easy. There are a number of challenges a person can run into, but getting access from the property owner can be one of the toughest ones. This was the case for Bridget Little, an Ambassador for GTECH's ReClaim Northside program. This is her story. Bridget, along with many of her neighbors, had been eyeing a large vacant lot in Allegheny West for quite some time. In fact, some had already put…

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Creating an Inclusive City for All Ages with Gil Penalosa

Gil Penalosa is the founder and Board Chair of 8 80 Cities, a nonprofit organization that works with cities all around the world to create inclusive cities for all residents - from 8 to 80 years old! (Think about it like this, would you let an eighty year old or an eight year old - or both of them, together - walk to the park together in your neighborhood?) Gil is a community designer, having worked in cities across the globe, he's helped to advise…

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ReClaim Ambassadors Graduate!

We love celebrating the great work of the ReClaim Ambassadors—recently, we were lucky enough to celebrate with two graduations in one week! ReClaim McKeesport Graduation The proclamations, given to each of the Ambassadors at the graduation ceremony, explained the program well; "...ReClaim McKeesport has brought together nine civic-minded individuals for the benefit of this city as the initiative is aimed to beautify neighborhoods and establish a sense of community among those who volunteer..." The Heritage Center was a perfect backdrop - allowing us to celebrate the…

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Two Wheels Lots of Green 2015 Wrap Up!

More than 90 bikers visited just a few of the community-driven spaces that the Northside has to offer. Altogether we visited 14 different Northside-based assets, met 10 awesome, active Northside residents and raised more than $12,500 to support neighborhood-based greening initiatives   Did you bike with us this year? [View the story "2015 Two Wheels Lots of Green" on Storify]

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