The Boston Globe ran an article last week on revitalization efforts that are transforming Pittsburgh's three rivers from run-down industrial waterways of the past into destinations that connect the community to the water. The article profiles Vivien Li, who recently stepped down from 25 years as the head of the Boston Harbor Association to become Chief Executive of Riverlife, a non-profit advocating for the restoration of the Pittsburgh's riverfront. Li sees a lot of potential in the Rust Belt city, noting that "it's probably what Boston was, five, eight years ago. That's what made the job particularly exciting."
In 2015, Sasaki worked with Riverlife to complete an economic study for the city's riverfront as well as a masterplan for a 16-block park. The economic study looked at several similar-sized cities that have undergone successful riverfront revitalizations, including Boston, Atlanta, and Cincinnati. The "Three Rivers Park Economic Impact Analysis" draws a strong correlation between public funds spent on riverfront improvements and private investment and property values. In Pittsburgh alone, the city's expenditure of $130 million over the last 15 years can be directly tied to $4.1 billion in private investment.
The Strip District Riverfront Park Master Plan, mentioned in the Globe article, outlines a development strategy for a 16-block area between the city's famed Strip District and the Allegheny River. The plan includes a public plaza, a marina with dockside restaurants, and a fishing pier. The project is currently in the financial planning phase. The district is only a portion of Three Rivers Park, a grand design scheme that will link together some 13 miles of the city's riverfront.
Click here to read the Boston Globe article, and here to read more about our work with Riverlife.