PublicSource is thrilled to announce the debut of Develop PGH — a focused reporting project with a goal to provide vital information, transparency and accountability about the design, planning and development of the Pittsburgh region.

Our weekly coverage will track the ins and outs of economic development and how it’s shaping communities.

Who is this for?

Develop PGH is in-depth enough for developers and government officials, but accessible to everyone invested in the long-term prosperity of our city and region. We’ll aim to always illuminate the issues from all perspectives, from developers to activists and government officials to residents. We are planning coverage that we expect will create a community primed for fair and open discussions.

What can you expect?

While in-depth coverage remains a hallmark of the PublicSource experience, we’ll be doing things a bit differently for Develop PGH. You’ll still see deeply reported stories (and we have some exciting ones to share soon), but you’ll also see more regular, incremental reporting each week. This way, you’ll know the latest about changes and decisions that may affect you and what you do next.

We hired reporter Tom Lisi to focus entirely on producing Develop PGH stories. And we promoted longtime public safety reporter Jeffrey Benzing to assistant editor to focus on this coverage. The team will be demystifying the process and policies related to economic development issues and talking with the key players, institutions and communities that guide change.

PublicSource’s Develop PGH team: assistant editor Jeff Benzing (left) and reporter Tom Lisi. (Photo by Ryan Loew/PublicSource)

In this vein of reporting, we will continue our coverage of the affordable housing shortage and transportation infrastructure, among other related issues. Our focus areas will be within the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.

You’ll see our stories here on PublicSource.org and in a new newsletter featuring our original reporting and a weekly rundown of everything you need to know on economic development. Sign up here.

We also want to hear from you — really!

Development isn’t just bricks and mortar. It’s not just policy. It’s how a community works and affects who gets to participate in the process. We are a resource for you, and we see our new endeavor as an invitation to a conversation.

If you have story tips and ideas, people or groups we should know about, or a perspective to share in an essay or some other creative means, send them to tom@publicsource.org or to jeff@publicsource.org.

Thank you for learning more about Develop PGH, We hope you’ll check back regularly for the exciting stories we have in the pipeline.

The project is made possible with the generous support from The Heinz Endowments.

This fact-based local reporting drives impact and creates change. Help power that impact.

James Baldwin wrote, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” PublicSource exists to help the Pittsburgh region face its realities and create opportunities for change. When we shine a light on inequity in our region, like the “completely unacceptable” conditions in low-income housing in McKeesport, things change. When we ask questions about policymakers’ decisions, like how Allegheny County is handling COVID-19 safety for its employees, things change. When we push for transparency on issues that affect the public, like in the use of facial recognition software by Pittsburgh police, things change.

It takes a lot of time, skill and resources to produce journalism like this. Our stories are always made available for free so that they can benefit the most people, regardless of ability to pay. But as an independent, nonprofit newsroom, we count on donations from our readers to support this crucial work. Can you make a contribution of any amount (or better yet, set up a recurring monthly gift) to help ensure we can continue to report on what matters and tell stories for a better Pittsburgh?