A free — and sure to be inspiring – presentation on urban restoration on June 10

On Monday, June 10 at 6:00 p.m., the Design Center of Pittsburgh presents Behind the Magic of Urban Alchemy:  Stories of Urban Restoration in Action, a presentation by Mindy Fullilove and French urbanist Michel Cantal-Dupart.  Also speaking will be Dan Rothschild, Molly Kaufmann, Terri Baltimore, and Ken Doyno.  The presentation will be in the Hillman Auditorium at the Kaufmann Center at 1835 Center Avenue in the Hill District.

PHCA staff and board members recently attended a talk by Dr. Fullilove at the Community Development Summit, and came away energized and excited by her ideas.  Dr. Fullilove is a great speaker with some very inspiring things to say about community.

In her new book Urban Alchemy, Dr. Mindy Fullilove presents a psychiatrist’s views on how to fix the American city.  She identifies nine elements of urban restoration that are critical tools for repairing our cities and restoring the nation’s neighborhoods to health.  The nine elements are illustrated by stores of connecting communities, “re-discovering home”, celebrating differences, strengthening solidarity, and creating more livable and meaningful places  — shared by the people who are on the ground and make it happen every day.

If you’re interested in issues of urban restoration and community building, we highly recommend this presentation.  Admission is free, but an RSVP is requested.  For more information or to RSVP, contact abekeny@designcenterpgh.org, or call 412.391.4144.

(Above:  Michel Cantal-Dupart and Dr. Mindy Fullilove.  Photo from this article.)

Hill District Greenprint Proposals meeting June 15

The Hill District, as one of our neighbor neighborhoods, has at least a couple of things in common with Polish Hill:  lots of green space and a need for revitalization.  On June 15 from 4-6 pm, the Community Partners Institute will join Find the Rivers! partners and Hood Design /Studio for Spatial Practice as they present the findings and  proposals of the Hill District Greenprint and celebrate its completion. Proposals will include site improvements for Centre Avenue, upgraded city steps, ecological plantings, a Coal Seam Trail in the woods and more!

The presentation will convene at One Hope Square, 1901 Centre Avenue.  For more information, call Denys Candy at 412.953.2716 or check out the Community Partners Institute website.

Master planning for Hill District and Uptown neighborhoods

(from a URA press release)

City, county and community partners today begin the master planning effort for the five Hill District neighborhoods and the Uptown neighborhood of the City of Pittsburgh.

The Hill District Consensus Group, Urban Redevelopment Authority, City of Pittsburgh Department of City Planning, and Allegheny County Economic Development kicked off work on a nine month $350,000 comprehensive master planning effort.

Based on extensive community feedback, three objectives for the master plan include the integration of the Hill District’s historical and cultural legacy; the re-integration of the Hill District with the Central Business District; and new investment and balanced development without displacing existing residents and businesses. “The master planning process is a community organizing process that will guarantee that the people who live and work in the Hill District will benefit from new development “, Carl Redwood, Hill District Consensus Group said.

A series of public forums will be held to gather input and provide updates on progress. Specific information on dates and times of these opportunities will be publicized throughout the community and will be made available on the Hill District Consensus Group’s website www.hdcg.org.

A planning team, lead by CH Planning Ltd., comprised of experts in urban and transportation planning, place-making, eco- technology, real estate market analysis, art history and social sciences will study the area generally bounded by Crosstown Blvd (I-579), Bigelow Blvd, Centre Av, Allequippa St, Robinson St, Fifth Av, Birmingham Bridge, and the Monongahela River. Team members include Sasaki Associates, Basil Bauman Prost & Cole, Kimball Corporation, John J. Clark Associates, Carlos Peterson, Dr. Mindy Fullilove, Dr. Herman Jones, and Dr. Kimberly Ellis.

A final plan will be presented by the end of September 2010.  For more information contact Carl Redwood, of the Hill District Consensus Group, at 412-377-6054, or Charnelle Hicks, of CH Planning Ltd, at 267-872-3377.

August Wilson, Pittsburgh Playwright

For years, Paul Ellis has been working on bring a commemorative destination the the Hill District. Mr. Ellis is August Wilson’s nephew and as many know, August Wilson was one of the foremost voices of Pittsburgh and the Hill District.

The late Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright grew up on the second and third floors of the back end of 1727 Bedford Ave. His nephew, Paul Ellis Jr., bought the building in 2005 and applied for its historic status, which Pittsburgh City Council granted in March. Read the article on Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Ellis’ plan includes properties adjacent to August Willson’s childhood home. The effort is to not only bring these deteriorating properties back to structural integrity but to make them into a showcase. Mr. Ellis is joined in his efforts by Renew Pittsburgh and the Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh. Steve Mellon of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette has documented the current state of the properties in two panoramics.