TRANSFORMATION CITY »
Showcasing a 'New America'
The Pittsburgh region has survived wrenching economic change and emerged with a balanced, innovation-driven economy renowned for health care and life sciences, technology and robotics, higher education and research, financial services, advanced manufacturing and renewable energy.
A City Full of Diversity
As a city full of diversity, you will love exploring the culture, food, and atmosphere of Pittsburgh’s 89 unique and ethnically distinctive neighborhoods. Pittsburgh’s downtown is full of the city hustle and bustle, and Squirrel Hill has the quaint charm of a main street-like community. Meanwhile, Oakland, with its many universities, supplies a uniquely intellectual atmosphere. Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods and the unique people in them are just waiting for you to come and visit!.
Pittsburgh Green Groups + Initiatives
During its industrial heyday, the Pittsburgh skyline was often choked with smoke and smog. Today, blue skies and clean air highlight Pittsburgh's beautiful bridges and downtown skyscrapers. No other industrial American city has undergone an environmental transformation quite like Pittsburgh's.
We have led the nation in renewing and reclaiming our environment through a series of lasting public-private partnerships that date back to the earliest stages of energy and environmental policy - from instrumental involvement in the passage of the first Clean Air Act to the reclamation of Brownfield sites. The following is a list of Pittsburgh's innovative green initiatives and groups committed to making Pittsburgh and the world a greener, more environmentally friendly place.
As part of the Rachel Carson Legacy Challenge, instituted by the Rachel Carson Homestead, numerous Pittsburgh area corporations have taken "green steps" to a sustainable future. Here are some of their contributions:
- Alcoa Technical Center will provide each of the approximately 1,000 employees on site with a four-pack of energy-efficient florescent light bulbs to replace current energy-wasting incandescent light bulbs in their homes.
- Since 1990, Bayer Corp. has cut direct greenhouse gas emissions worldwide by more than 70 percent. Bayer also sponsors the C.A.U.S.E. Challenge Film Festival in partnership with SciTech Spectacular and Pittsburgh Filmmakers. The environmental documentary competition invites high school students to write, produce and edit a five-minute or less video or film on the theme, "Mutual Impact: The Environment and You."
- Chatham College will increase its alternative energy power purchase to 15 percent and expand its efforts to implement environmentally sustainable practices on campus including only using "green" cleaning products on campus and non-VOC paints on campus, among other efforts.
- The City of Pittsburgh is moving forward with its commitment to convert its fleet to clean-burning bio-diesel and reduce the City's dependence on imported oils. In addition, the City is training its road and park crews in Integrated Pest Management practices which will reduce the amount of dangerous chemicals in City neighborhoods. By using less pesticides and alternate methods of pest control, Pittsburgh neighborhoods will be safer, cleaner and greener for our citizens.
- Allegheny County has also established an Integrated Pest Management policy directing its public works employees to make "smart choices" by using a sustainable approach to monitoring, suppressing and managing weeds, insects and diseases in the nine county parks and along Allegheny County rights of way.
- Highmark commits to establishing an Environmental Management Sustainability Program with a full-time coordinator.
- Parkhurst Dining Services, a division of Eat ‘N Park Hospitality Group, committed to purchasing a minimum of 20 percent of its $36 million in food purchases from farmers within 100 to 150 miles of the communities it serves by December 2008. It will also convert all of its "On the Go" containers to corn-based packaging.
- Pittsburgh Public Schools has launched the Healthy School Bus Fund, which will be used to start retrofitting their 350 diesel buses with the best pollution filters available, reducing their dangerous emissions by 90 percent.
- PPG Industries' Springdale Plant, located in Rachel Carson's hometown, has committed to the construction of a new regenerative thermal oxidizer that will reduce greenhouse gases by 1,400 tons a year. Corporate-wide, PPG has voluntarily committed to a Climate RESOLVE greenhouse gas emission reduction goal of 18 percent by 2012 from a 2002 baseline.
Allegheny Trail Alliance
Pittsburgh is setting a national example for "rails-to-trails" conversions by creating a series of natural walking paths on unused sections of railroad tracks. Soon, the Great Allegheny Passage, which now spans over 150 continuous miles, will connect Downtown Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland, where it will join the C&O Canal towpath for a 335-mile motor-free trip from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C.
Air and Waste Management Association
Headquartered in Pittsburgh, the Air and Waste Management Association is a non-profit professional organization network that provides training, information, and employment opportunities to over 12,000 environmental professionals in 65 different countries across the globe.
Bike Pittsburgh is committed to making Pittsburgh increasingly safe, accessible and friendly to bicycle transportation.
Clean Water Action - Pennsylvania
The Pittsburgh branch of this national organization is focused on providing affordable, clean, and safe water through the prevention of water pollution. The Clean Water Action - Pennsylvania branch also focuses on the creation of green and environmentally friendly jobs and businesses.
Conservation Consultants Inc.
A non-profit organization dedicated to a mission of "Responsible energy use in homes and other buildings."
Friends of the Riverfront
Friends of the Riverfront has been on the ground and in the water, working to protect and restore our region's priceless rivers and riverfronts.
GASP: Group Against Smog and Pollution
GASP is a local Pittsburgh non-profit organization dedicated to clean air and water in Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Green Building Alliance
The Green Building Alliance (GBA) is a Pittsburgh-based non-profit organization that provides professional services and expert information to promote green building solutions that support sustainable environmental growth.
Pittsburghgreenstory.org is a non-profit organization that promotes the remarkable story of one of America's oldest industrial cities.
Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture
Founded in 1992, PASA's consistent and driving vision has been to transform agriculture and food systems in Pennsylvania and beyond in a way that makes our farmers more viable, improves the land and restores the health and well being of all our citizens.
Pennsylvania Environmental Council
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) protects and restores the natural and built environments through innovation, collaboration, education and advocacy. PEC believes in the value of partnerships with the private sector, government, communities and individuals to improve the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians.
Pennsylvania Resources Council
The Pennsylvania Resources Council, established in 1939, is one of the Commonwealth's oldest citizen action environmental organizations. Recognized as a state and national leader in waste reduction and recycling, the remainder of PRC's work focuses on litter and visual blight prevention, watershed awareness and composting.
Rachel Carson Homestead
Rachel Carson Homestead, named for "one of the most influential people of the 20th century," according to TIME magazine, was formed in 1975 to preserve and restore this National Register historic site and to offer education programs which advance Rachel Carson's environmental ethic.
Riverlife is a public-private partnership established in 2000 to guide and advocate for the redevelopment of Pittsburgh's riverfronts. At the heart of its plan is the creation of Three Rivers Park: a grand urban waterfront park along the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers that provides a continuous green trail link between existing and future riverfront destinations, as well as exciting new park spaces, amenities and commercial destinations.
Sustainable Pittsburgh affects decision making in the Pittsburgh region to integrate economic prosperity, social equity and environmental quality - bringing sustainable solutions to communities and businesses.
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy protects, conserves and restores land and water for the diversity of the region's plants, animals and their ecosystems.