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City of Pittsburgh releases finalized Neighborhood Plan Guide

 

August 3, 2021



In collaboration with public agencies and community planning partners, the City of Pittsburgh's Department of City Planning has released a finalized Neighborhood Plan Guide. 

The guide establishes a process for bringing together community stakeholders to create high-quality and consistent neighborhood plans and outlines a set of standards that plans must meet to be adopted by the city's Planning Commission and become city policy. 

The Neighborhood Plan Guide lays out how public agencies, Registered Community Organizations (RCOs), and the public work together to create strategic plans for neighborhoods throughout the city, including the framework and phases needed to make sure neighborhood plans can be formally adopted by the Planning Commission. Plans that are formally adopted by the Planning Commission become official City of Pittsburgh policy and guide public investments in the neighborhood, including capital budget decisions, over the next 10 or more years until updated.

The Neighborhood Plan Guide was created based on experiences with the Uptown, Hazelwood, Manchester-Chateau, and Homewood neighborhood plans as well as comments from partner agencies, community stakeholders, and the general public. In the drafting process, more than 500 comments were received and addressed in the guide's three drafts. Some of the changes implemented as a result of public comment include: 

Focusing on equity and inclusion in the planning process 

Including the EcoDistricts Protocol and the P4 framework 

Clarifying roles for Steering Committees, Action Teams, and Technical Advisory Groups 

Adding steps to the process that address existing plans and studies

Explaining mandatory versus optional neighborhood plan topics 

The Neighborhood Plan Guide was presented to the Planning Commission in March 2020. After the presentation and public testimony, the Neighborhood Plan Guide was approved. After this approval, the city partnered with local design agency Fireman Creative to create interactive online and print materials to improve the experience of those using the guide.

"The Neighborhood Plan Guide is the culmination of years of work to empower communities to take a proactive role in their community's future," said City Planning Director Andrew Dash. "Over the last decade, we've learned that this empowerment can only happen through collaboration and dialogue and we now have a tool that will guide us through the planning process." 

Neighborhood Plans are created in five phases: organize, visualize, strategize, formalize, and realize. The guide includes an overview and guidance for each phase as well as resources to support planning teams throughout the process.

The interactive online guide can be found at https://npg.pittsburghpa.gov

 

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