Blog

Blog

Trauma Informed Community Development: An Interview with Paul Abernathy, Part 1

GTECH is about to embark upon a new round of work in the Hill District, ReClaim Central.  But, as always, we aren’t going it alone. The Hill District Consensus Group brought us on board to help develop some of the vacant lots around Bedford Dwellings as part of the Choice Neighborhood planning process. Meanwhile, down the street, FOCUS Pittsburgh had been working on an intensive project to improve one block on Webster Avenue.  So, rather than pursue another effort separately,…

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What GTECHers Are Thankful For

What a year 2016 has been. Over the last 365 days, GTECH has celebrated the completion of four new Green Playces, launched our second Ambassador program in the Mon Valley and reimagined how we calculate the impact of our work, just to name a few of our successes. This season, and throughout the year, we are reminded that we have so much to be thankful for. Recently, the GTECH staff took a few minutes to assemble a gratitude list, highlighting…

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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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Vacant Lot Garfield Kincaid

The stress of living with vacant land

There are over 45,000 vacant lots in Allegheny County. If you live here, it's likely you see vacant lots near your home or on your route to the grocery store, work, or school. Have you ever thought about how those vacant lots affect you and your neighbors? Does one lot really make a difference? Well, the research says "yes". One lot really does make a difference. The places that we live in are ingrained in us. When a vacant lot disrupts the…

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Leadership lessons #412: Let the Brilliance Flow

Organizations are a lot like watersheds - with tributaries of brilliance flowing towards a central channel of organizational knowledge and capability.  Embracing that flow - and in fact even being directed by it - seems to be the mark of successful leadership.  In my case, I have been incredibly fortunate to be at the delta of two rivers of wisdom and expertise…(I hope everyone is appreciating the rich Pittsburgh analogies) that come together to form the power and prowess of…

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SuROI: Impact Calculated

The results are in! Remember when we said someone can measure the social and environmental impact beyond the market-value of itemized goods? Well, now we have proof! Check out the summary of how we applied a Sustainable Return on Investment (SuROI) process in this one-pager, which presents the social and ecological value of our ReClaim McKeesport Ambassador Program completed in 2015. If you don't know what we're talking about yet, get caught up on the terms by reading our last blog on measuring intangibles. Questions? Email e.sing@gtechstrategies.org and stay…

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Check out our new site!

As you may have noticed, we have a super awesome, newly updated website that was re-designed for us by Pittsburgh-based Imagebox (they're awesome, by the way). We're loving our revamped site. We asked GTECH staff one rainy Thursday what their favorite thing about the new website was. Here's what they said: Sarah - "The Instagram feed!" We've also got a twitter and Facebook feed, and you can see our upcoming events and recent blogs - keep track of all of…

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ReClaim Halloween

My earliest memory is of my neighbor popping out of his front door in a full pumpkin costume when I was trick-or-treating with my parents. I don’t know if there’s a causal link here, but Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. And, sort of relatedly, my favorite color is orange (which, if we believe this study, is one of the rarest favorite colors). I’ve always looked forward to having a house with a yard that I could decorate like…

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Opening Green Playces: McKeesport

  Last week in partnership with Trinity Church of God in Christ and Youth CAST, we successfully opened our fourth Green Playce! Every Green Playce is unique, and Green Playces: McKeesport in no exception.  The City of McKeesport has a rich history and our Green Playces Team wanted to honor the tradition of ingenuity as well as the connection to steel.  According to Tube City Online, "In 1872, the National Tube Works Company was founded to make steel and iron pipes…

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Welcome Tom! An Interview with GTECH’s Newest PULSE Fellow

This month, the GTECH family gained another member. We are proud to welcome Tom Mulholland to the GTECH team. Tom is a participant in PULSE (Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience) an organization that places talented university graduates with partners at Pittsburgh nonprofits in order to develop the next generation of servant leaders in our city. Between conducting outreach for the Blight Bootcamp Conference and revamping the Lots to Love website, Tom has been pretty busy in his first few weeks. Luckily, we were able to…

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The Elephant in the Room

This post has been authored by Tacumba Turner, GTECH's newest Project Coordinator!  Remembering the Reclaiming Vacant  Properties Conference : “The Elephant in the room” By Tacumba Turner During the three day Reclaiming Vacant Properties conference I got the chance to observe an array of innovative strategies that have been implemented in recent years across the country. In reflecting on what was my first time attending the conference, there was one break-out session in particular that resonated with me. The topic was…

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“Growth” v. Growth – Remembering the Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference, 2016

GTECH stands for Growth Through Energy and Community Health.  It goes without saying that we think growth is important.  But we should clarify what we mean by growth, because not all growth is positive.  In fact, when growth becomes synonymous with success and excludes other metrics, it can be downright detrimental.  At the Reclaiming Vacant Properties conference (Baltimore, September 28-30), Congressman Dan Kildee referred to this phenomenon by insisting that we live in “a culture based entirely on the conflation…

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