To me, accessibility feels like an afterthought in Pittsburgh development

Having spinal muscular atrophy means that I’ve never been able to walk. I’ve used a wheelchair since I was about 3 years old. I rely on help from others for many parts of my day — bathing, getting dressed, making my meals and just generally getting around.
I still try to be independent however I can. Growing up, I went to public school and took classes with my peers. I lived in the dorms with the rest of the students in college. I work as a research coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh and am pursuing my master’s degree in public health.

“The lesson I learned is you don’t have to go anywhere to travel,” said Ariam Ford, the keynote speaker for the third annual student sustainability conference at Chatham, Seeds of Change, in front of a picture of her current home in Pittsburgh “It’s daunting, but the best thing you can do is to start at home.” (Photo by Oliver Morrison/PublicSource)

Students across Pittsburgh learn lesson in sustainability: It’s hard to create public spaces for everyone

More than 100 students of all ages, from public, private and charter schools, traveled across the Pittsburgh region to Chatham University’s bucolic Eden Hall campus 20 miles north of the city. They were presenting sustainability projects they had implemented in their schools and communities for the third annual Seeds of Change: Igniting Student Action for Sustainable Community Conference.

A pedestrian crosses the street in Beechview. (Photo by Kat Procyk/PublicSource)

Some communities view streets as pedestrian spaces. Could Pittsburghers benefit from more room to play?

Given that our streets are one of our largest public assets, can we do more to use them? The city has already embraced some aspects of the open streets concept. There are models for increasing temporary recreational spaces on streets and open lots in cities like New York and Minneapolis. What would it take for residents to take greater advantage of streets on a regular basis, especially in areas with fewer play options, where streets could be connectors instead of barriers?

A meeting for the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh. Photo by Kat Procyk/PublicSource)

Construction and criticism: The history, mission and inner workings of Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority

From modern efforts to make Pittsburgh a Rust Belt success story to missteps in urban renewal, the Urban Redevelopment Authority [URA] has played a critical role in rehabilitation efforts in the city. In the seven decades since its establishment, the agency has contributed to the construction and revitalization of homes, businesses and contaminated brownfields