The summit program is currently in the works and being edited daily. Please check back regularly for updates!
Sunday, November 3rd - Preconference Events
9:00AM - 12:00PM — Protocol Advisory Meeting
Location – Omni Hotel
11:30AM - 4:45PM — Research Forum
Location – Chatham University Eden Hall Campus
Separate Registration of $25 Required, register on the Summit Eventbrite page.
Neighborhoods are rich places of learning when many people come to share expertise. The Research Forum @ SummitPGH will explore how community-embedded research can equitable benefit both the community and the academic institution.Sometimes called community-based participatory research, the Forum will gather community members, students, and academic professionals to discuss how they can collaborate to equitably advance community efforts and increase knowledge through shared decision-making and ownership.
The Research Forum is a chance for local and national participants to discuss what roles can and should research institutions—both in and beyond universities—play in a transition toward sustainable practices. The Forum will include interactive panels and working sessions that explore:
- How have communities developed, leveraged, and negotiated their relationships with research institutions to pursue equitable sustainable development?
- What are the opportunities and challenges in aligning the goals of research and practice?
- What topics are addressed in regional and national research and where can we collaborate to advance research and practice?
- How can community embedded research create change at a neighborhood and a regional scale?
The Research Forum is a locally hosted, one day event to highlight regional and national research activities and leadership in urban and community development and to discuss opportunities for deeper collaborations regionally and nationally. The Forum is open to all conference registrants and academics and practitioners are encouraged to attend. The Forum activities include presentations on featured research and education, activities to build an ecodistrict agenda, identification of collaboration opportunities, and next steps to build relationships between institutions. The event requires a separate registration and a small fee.
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Registration & Welcome
Eden Hall Campus Tour & Lunch
12:30 PM – 1:00 PM
Welcome to Eden Hall
The Campus as a Living-Learning Lab
1:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Research Forum Introduction
1:30 PM – 2:15 PM
Opening Panel: The community-embedded ecodistrict research experience
Pittsburgh is emerging as a national leader in the development and pursuit of district-scale sustainable urbanism. This panel explores how two Pittsburgh ecodistricts develop, leverage, and negotiate their relationships with research institutions to shape and pursue equitable sustainable development. Their experiences pose opportunities for reflection about how communities can connect their needs for, interests in, and work on sustainable development to the frameworks, practice, and conventions of research at regional universities.
2:15 PM – 4:00PM
Facilitated Working Session
Using Pittsburgh as an example, this session offers participants an opportunity to discuss points of alignment and disjuncture the research community and the priorities, needs, and practices of district-scale sustainability initiatives. Small working groups will be organized according to shared challenges and opportunities associated with pursuing community-embedded ecodistrict research. The session will help define best practices towards community-embedded ecodistrict research and will contribute to the formation of a regional/national research agenda.
4:00 PM – 4:45 PM
Closing Panel: Opportunities for community-embedded ecodistrict research
What roles can and should research institutions—both in and beyond universities—play in Pittsburgh’s sustainability transition? Where are the strengths and gaps in these roles, and how can they be strategically developed to critically engage with and support Pittsburgh’s sustainable development? What relationships between communities and research institutions can and should be cultivated, with what implications for the expertise, responsibility, and scales of impact exercised and experienced by Pittsburgh communities, universities, and other centers of research? How can we re-envision an ethical, financially-viable role for universities in Pittsburgh’s sustainability transition?
1:00PM - 4:00PM — EcoDistricts Certified Cohort Workshop
Location – Omni Hotel
6:00PM - 7:30PM — Host Committee Reception
Location – Green Building Alliance
Monday, November 4th - Summit Day 1
8:00AM - 9:00AM — Breakfast and Registration
9:00AM - 9:15AM — Emcee Welcome & Announcements
9:15AM - 9:45AM — Summit Welcome
9:45AM - 10:15AM — EcoDistricts Address
10:15AM - 10:45AM — Break
10:45AM - 12:15PM — Breakout Sessions
15 Minute Ignite Talks - International
Places for People (South Africa)
Shaakira Chohan | Architect, Urbanist & Development Manager, Johannesburg Development Agency
Bringing Bellville Back: Exploring the Critical Role of Secondary Cities in an African Context
Warren Hewitt | CEO, Greater Tygerberg Partnership
Neighborhoods as Commons: Housing Coop Renaissance (Zurich)
Stefan Gruber | Associate Professor, Architecture & Urban Design, Carnegie Mellon University
Water, Nutrients, and Food: Innovation at the District Scale
Peter Muñoz | Senior Engineer, Biohabitats
Barton Kirk | Principal, Ethos Collaborative
Buckle up… this is going to be a wild ride. We’ve assembled a group of folks at the leading/bleeding edge of water, nutrients, and food innovation. Each will share a unique perspective, lessons learned, and/or inspiring direction about creative solutions happening at the district scale. The session will use strict pecha kucha format (20 self-advancing slides every 20 seconds)… so each person is given 6 minutes and 40 seconds to share. It will be crazy… and you won’t want to miss a second of it. After eight separate inspiring talks will be a guided question and answer session.
Cultural Resilience: Principles, Practice, and Evaluation
Regina Smith | Managing Director – Arts and Culture, Kresge Foundation
Meghan Venable-Thomas | Program Director, Enterprise Community Partners
Nella Young | Senior Program Director, Enterprise Community Partners
Learn how community development groups are applying Cultural Resilience Principles generated from research on climate resilience, creative placemaking, and public health. Give feedback on a tool being developed to guide others in building cultural resilience in their projects and communities.
Smart Digital EcoDistricts
Moderator: Melanie Nutter | Principal, Nutter Consulting
Aekta Shah | Co-Founder, Streetwyze
Antwi Akom | Streetwyze
Marlon Williams | Assistant Director, Public Sector Innovation, Living Cities
Smart digital services in cities can be designed to better serve the elderly and disabled, enhance mobility and reduce congestion, increase access to healthcare and employment opportunities, increase safety and emergency response, reduce water losses, increase energy savings and optimize waste management services. This session will describe how smart city applications will make a difference for all members of the community by helping them harness the benefits of digital technology. The session will focus on demonstrated built projects that enhance equity, resilience and sustainability needs and outcomes. Presenters will share the methodology and process for implementation to help audience members learn how to implement smart city technologies in their own ecodistrict projects.
Theory to Practice: Equitable Community Development
Marimba Milliones | President and CEO, Hill Community Development Corporation
Irvin Henderson | Principal, Henderson & Company
The role of people, policy and place will be central to this discussion on how to advance equity in real estate development. Tools such as community land trust, community-level review of development projects, advocacy strategies, community benefits agreements and local legislation will be deeply explored. Lessons learned from one of Pittsburgh’s most resilient, celebrated, historic and challenged areas of redevelopment will be anatomically dissected for participants to gain useful insights and practical strategies.
12:15 PM - 1:15 PM — Lunch
1:15 PM - 2:15 PM — Local Leadership Plenary
Moderator: Tracy Certo | Founder & Publisher, NEXT Pittsburgh
Fred Brown | President, The Forbes Funds
Grant Ervin | Chief Resilience Officer, City of Pittsburgh
Christine Mondor | Principal, evolveEA
2:15 PM - 5:30 PM — Studio Tours
A New Model for Community Led Planning + Action
Dr. John Wallace | Professor, University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Howard Slaughter | President & Chief Executive Officer, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh
Raqueeb Bey | Executive Director, Black Urban Farmers
Walter Lewis | President & CEO, Homewood Children’s Village
Demi Kolke | Senior Program Manager of Corridor Revitalization, Neighborhood Allies
Zinna Scott | ReEnergize Pittsburgh Ambassador
Christine Mondor | Principal, evolveEA
Jerome Jackson | Executive Director, Operation Better Block
Matt Madia | Chief Strategy and Development Officer, Bridgeway Capital
Homewood is one of 90 city distinct and historic neighborhoods in the City of Pittsburgh. In April 2019 the community unveiled a new Comprehensive Community Plan includes 21 overarching goals for the neighborhood, from improving air quality to better managing vacant property, providing access to healthy food and increasing transit and affordable housing. The result is a renewed focus on community stabilization and grass roots action, including early organizing to develop a food cooperative that can sell affordable, healthy groceries and expand skill-sharing programs to encourage home gardening and build community knowledge around growing food. During this studio tour participants will unpack and explore the Homewood Community Plan, how the EcoDistricts Protocol was used to guide its development and discuss strategies to inform the future of neighborhood planning in Pittsburgh and beyond.
Transit Oriented Development Embraces Equity
Kendall Pelling | Director of Land Recycling, East Liberty Development Inc.
Breen Masciotra | TOD Project Manager, Port Authority of Allegheny County
Lynn Colosi | Vice President, Transit Services, Delta Development
Tracey Evans | Executive Director, Wilkinsburg CDC
Malik Bankston | Executive Director, Kingsley Association
Elijah Hughes | Senior Project Manager, EcoDistricts AP, evolveEA
Stanley Holbrook | Larmier Consensus Group
Developing a Transit Oriented Development strategy that addresses equity and environmental sustainability is a challenge for every community. In Pittsburgh, the East Busway has become a vehicle for community redevelopment, and transit stations have become the center of redevelopment. As with all redevelopment projects, the question for the community is how new development can serve the needs of the community, especially the most vulnerable. This Studio will visit three communities undergoing transformation along the East Busway – East Liberty, Larimer and Wilkinsburg – and explore new engagement strategies and tools to develop and finance TOD in a way that balances revitalization with community benefits.
Green Chemistry: Tools and Lessons from Communities to Lessen Cancer and Environmental Risk
Fred Brown | President, The Forbes Funds
Debra Erenberg | Strategic Director, Cancer Free Economy Network
Molly Jacobs | Senior Research Associate/Project Manager, Lowell Center for Sustainable Production
David Levine | Co-Founder & President, American Sustainable Business Council
Matthew Mehalik | Executive Director, The Breathe Project
The Pittsburgh region has long suffered from some of the nation’s most dangerous air and water quality. Drawing on their experience as participants in the national Cancer Free Economy Network, this panel will focus on ways that communities are making sense of the environmental threats they’re facing and collaborating to create healthier places to live, work and play. Panelists will present local examples relating to air pollution, the petrochemical/plastics buildout in the region, and specific chemical contaminants. They will describe the challenges and opportunities of working both on problems and solutions, including using exposure and cancer data to understand and communicate risks to health; alternatives to hazardous materials; green economic development; and working collaboratively through regional and national networks.
Harnessing Water: Communities Embrace Resilience Through Ecological Design
Anna Rosenblum | Senior Project Manager, evolveEA
Pete Munoz | Senior Engineer, Biohabitats
Brian Wolovich | Triboro Ecodistrict Director, New Sun Rising
Dave Ramslie | Principal, Concert Development
Nella Young | Enterprise Community Partners
The Triboro Ecodistrict sits directly NE of the City of Pittsburgh, along the Allegheny River. Led by New Sun Rising, the Triboro Ecodistrict promotes coordinated sustainable community development throughout the Boroughs of Millvale, Etna and Sharpsburg through the shared lenses of Equity, Food, Water, Energy, Air Quality, and Mobility. What started as a plan to revitalize Millvale following a series of devastating floods in 2004 and 2007, has become a seven year community education, planning and implementation effort to reimagine these tight knit communities through the lens of sustainability and resilience. With the climate crisis impacting vulnerable downstream communities like the Triboro, this studio will explore the role of integrated ecological design and green infrastructure to protect against future floods, while building local capacity. Studio tour participants will learn about the work happening in the Triboro and assist with design ideation for specific sites where stormwater management interventions are currently being planned.
Neighborhoods at a Crossroads: Where History & Redevelopment Collide
Daniel Lavelle | Member of Council, City of Pittsburgh
Marimba Millions | President & CEO, Hill Community Development Corporation
Mary Ellen Solomon | Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President, Duquesne University
Kevin Acklin | Senior Vice President & General Council, Pittsburgh Penguins
Liz Ogbu | Founder & Principal, Studio O
Donzell Robinson | COO Justice & Sustainability Associates
Felicity Williams | Programs and Policy Manager, Hill Community Development Corporation
The Hill District and Uptown, directly adjacent to Downtown Pittsburgh are two of the city’s most historic and culturally important communities. Both neighborhoods are on the verge of being transformed through investments in Bus Rapid Transit and high density mixed use development around the Pittsburgh Penguins stadium. In this studio, we will meet with community stakeholders and developers to discuss the opportunities and tension that is created when large public and private investments are needing to be carefully knit together to serve the people who call these neighborhoods home. We will visit Center Avenue in the Hill District, the Fifth/Forbes BRT corridor in Uptown and the redevelopment of the former Civic Arena site in the Lower Hill that is slated to include almost 1.5 million sq. feet of commercial, retail and entertainment uses, along with 1,400 units of housing.
Regenerative Design & Innovation Comes to a Steel Mill Community
Don Johnson | Senior Development Manager, RIDC
Katrina Flora | Special Projects Manager, Remake Group
Dave Brewton | Senior Director of Real Estate, Hazelwood Initiative
Jeryl Aman | MSR
Walker Wells | Ramie and Associates
May So | Mithun
As a former steel mill community, the greater Hazelwood neighborhood was once a literal and metaphorical economic powerhouse of the Pittsburgh region. The 1,305-acre neighborhood and 178-acre brownfield site along the Monongahela River have entered into a new revitalization effort that centers on the redevelopment of the mill site and restoring the heart of the community’s once bustling main street. The decline and eventual closing of the mill was a significant economic blow to the neighborhood. However, given the mill’s decades of pollution and negative impact on public health, its closure has created a chance to build a regenerative community development strategy focused on inclusion, ecological design, and innovation that paves the way for future industrial site redevelopment and restoration of the neighborhood’s physical and cultural fabric. On this tour we will explore redevelopment projects along the Hazelwood business district designed to attract new businesses and residents and Mill 19, a former steel mill that houses teams from CMU’s Manufacturing Futures Initiative, the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute and the economic development nonprofit Catalyst Connection.
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM — Break
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM — Block Party
Location – Phipps Conservatory, Special Events Hall
Tuesday, November 5th - Summit Day 2
8:00 AM - 8:30 AM — Breakfast and Registration
8:30 AM - 8:35 AM — Emcee Welcome & Announcements
8:35 AM - 9:30 AM — Keynote
Introduction by: Regina Smith | Managing Director – Arts and Culture, Kresge Foundation
Liz Ogbu | Founder & Principal, Studio O
Do No Harm: What it Means to Work for Spatial Justice
Concepts like equity have become part of mainstream conversations of what it means to build more inclusive cities is something that we should celebrate. But as we see increasing inequality, rising social and political tensions, and growing areas of exclusion, it’s becoming clear that catalyzing more just cities requires more. This talk will explore what it means to think of community development work in this context and how we need to move beyond basic notions of equity to the more critical framing of justice, one that holds more challenging concepts like harm, complicity, and healing.
9:30 AM - 9:45 AM — Break
9:45 AM - 10:45 AM — Breakout Sessions
15 Minute Ignite Talks - Climate
Making Motley Decisions: Fulfilling District Goals
Sam Rockwell | Director of Community Development and Innovation, University of Minnesota Foundation Real Estate Advisors
Scaling up Green Infrastructure Initiatives
Steve Whitman, EdD, AICP | Founder & Principal, Resilience Planning & Design. LLC
Smart Surfaces for Human Health & Resilient Cities
Vivian Loftness | Professor of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University
Environmental Justice for Atlanta's Westside
Dhiru Thadani | Thadani Architects + Urbanists
Atlanta’s Westside consists of several low- and middle-income historic African-American neighborhoods that have been flooding for several years. Largely caused by negligent infrastructure planning and an increase in impervious surfaces in the downtown area. Enlisting funds from Atlanta’s commercial and philanthropic groups, a plan was adopted to regenerate over 1,700 acres of blighted historic urban fabric and create a eco-district, promote urban agriculture, and develop a comprehensive stormwater infrastructure plan.
A Case Study for Urban Waterfront Regeneration
Blake Jackson | Stantec
This session looks at The Eddy, a case study for urban waterfront regeneration in Boston, MA. It is a mixed-use multifamily project adjacent to Boston Harbor and is the product of a rigorous design brief targeting LEED Gold. It also weaves in tenets of the ImagineBoston2030 masterplan, Boston’s first comprehensive plan in 50+ years, which addresses the need for resilience along Boston’s 47-mile coast. This presentation illustrates how the developer, community, and municipality worked together to weave this project into the masterplan to the benefit of each party and the citizens “upstream”, now and into the future.
10:45 AM - 11:00 AM — Break
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM — Breakout Sessions
15 Minute Ignite Talks - Food
A Systems Perspective of Food in a World of Climate Change
Steven Baumgartner | Urban Systems Strategist, Principal SmithGroup
Access to Food: An Urban Livability Metric
Urban Designer/Project Coordinator, Crandall Arambula
Converting Urban Food Deserts to Food Oases
Mark Buehrer | Director, 2020 ENGINEERING
Planning for the Future of Food
Dawn Plummer | Executive Director, Pittsburgh Food Policy Council
UNDER THE HOOD OF THE TWIN CITIES URBAN REGENERATION EFFORTS
Stephen Klimek | Project Manager, Towerside Innovation District
Catherine Reid Day | Board Chair, Creative Enterprise Zone
Learn how Creative Clustering and Innovation District approaches to community and economic development are actively being used in conjunction with the EcoDistricts Protocol to transform several neighborhoods in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Panelists will present case studies of community-born visions for cohesive neighborhood redevelopment in post-industrial areas with multiple property owners and an influx of investment and real estate development. The session will explore successes and challenges in equitable transit oriented development, integrated district-scale infrastructure systems, creative placemaking and public realm projects – as well as organizational structures, governance, and strategies for influencing real estate development and public policy.
How to Develop a Roadmap to Achieve Equity in Your Community
Victoria Johnson | Jacobs Engineering
Oluwole McFoy | Buffalo Sewer Authority
Jamil Bey | UrbanKind Institute
Anchor institutions in the community, such as water and wastewater utilities, in partnership with community-based organizations, have a unique opportunity to go beyond their traditional mandate of providing clean water to rate payers, and serve as community leaders that can boost the economy, create jobs and achieve equity in underserved communities. This panel consists of 3 cities: Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Louisville. Each city has developed a customized roadmap to achieve equity in its local communities.
Reality Check: Administration of Place-based Metrics
Uwe Brandes | Georgetown University
Is the practice of place management in alignment with prevailing theory? This session will report on a year-long research project to identify the actual metrics being used by place management organizations across the Washington D.C. metropolitan region through the Georgetown Place Leadership Project. An interactive discussion with the executive directors of place-based organizations will follow.
Creating Healthy Communities: Engage, Execute, Evaluate
Michaella Whittmann | HDR, Inc.
Doug Bisson | HDR, Inc.
Jeri Brittin | HDR, Inc.
Charlie Hales | HDR, Inc.
Sustainability and health and wellness goals are continuing to converge as priorities on projects. This session will leave attendees with information on how to integrate and address both types of goals on projects ranging from building to neighborhood scale, using one overarching example. Attendees will leave with tools on how to plan for success in meeting these goals, information on rating systems that can be used to measure success and ideas on using pre and post-evaluations to measure outcomes.
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM — Lunch
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM — Breakout Sessions
Building Healthy Cities: Can We Distribute Health and Wellbeing Equitably?
Greg Zucca | Director, Economic and Community Development, MetroHealth
Ricardo Leon | Executive Director, Metro West Community Development Organization
Adam Perzynski | Associate Professor of Medicine and Sociology, Center for Healthcare Research and Policy, MetroHealth
Keisha Mary González Robert | Program Officer for Community Revitalization and Engagement, Cleveland Foundation
The US, like most developed and developing nations worldwide, struggles to meet the ever-increasing demand for healthcare. While life expectancy has increased for most middle and high-income citizens, it has stagnated and even declined in most cities’ poorest neighborhoods and in communities of color. MetroHealth believes that the national approach to health has to transform and, as part of a major campus transformation, MetroHealth seeks to create better health outcomes in the community it anchors, Clark-Fulton on Cleveland’s near west side. Attend this informative panel discussion to hear how Cleveland’s MetroHealth hospital, the local Council Representative, the local CDC and area philanthropies are using the EcoDistricts Protocol to foster cross-sector collaboration moving from isolated projects and programs to systems of programs and projects that are deeply interrelated and mutually reinforcing.
Designing for Zero Waste Districts
Clare Miflin | ThinkWoven
Christina Grace | Foodprint Group
Juliette Spertus | ClosedLoop, LLC
District-scale solutions are often the most effective way of achieving zero waste and improving the quality of the public realm. In this session the team that led the development of the Zero Waste Design Guidelines share best practice strategies and case studies for waste management from e-waste to food waste. Learn the multiple benefits from taking a collaborative approach to developing neighborhood solutions for reducing waste, and how engaging residents and business owners creates transformative and resilient solutions. Attendees will have an opportunity to workshop solutions for a zero waste district.
An Equitable Approach to Governance and Consensus Building
Don Edwards | CEO, Justice and Sustainability Associates
Emily McKenzie | Project Coordinator, Justice & Sustainability Associates
Donzell Robinson | Chief Operating Officer, Justice and Sustainability Associates, LLC
Justice and Sustainability Associates will conduct an interactive session around the design and implementation of large and small group, multi-stakeholder processes that combine impartial facilitation and mediation, information and education with stakeholder engagement to support equity in decision making.
Introducing Digital Community Currencies in Urban Areas
Michael Marks |Groundswell Research Associates, Daniel Little | involveMINT
Miriam Parson | ioby Pittsburgh
Chardae Jones | Mayor, City of Braddock, PA
This session reviews innovations in digital community currencies (DCCs) and how communities use DCCs to maximize existing and build new community assets/resources that enhance community resilience and self-determination, [MM1] augment quality of life, address health/income inequities and foster circular economies. Presenters will review history and examples of DCCs; highlighting commonalities/differences in mission/vision, governance, architecture, transactionality and stakeholder involvement. Panelists will discuss the potential benefits and challenges of integrating the currency within existing community change efforts. Participants knowledgeable about alternative economies and those initial learners will benefit from the presentations and lively discussion.
Public Realm and Resilience: Inspiring Accelerators
Debra Guenther | Design Partner Mithun
Connie Chung | Managing Principal, HR&A Advisors
Kathy Blaha | President, Kathy Blaha Consulting
How can parks, streets and open spaces in cities be designed to help communities adapt to climate change, resilience in an equitable way? What is the technical knowledge needed and how can it be shared to advance this work and build neighborhood advocacy? Built on reciprocal exchange of information and self-determination in underserved neighborhoods public realm investments can become tools for social change. This session will ground how to use climate change data, and highlight risk and park management strategies. A reciprocal exchange of information with the audience in a workshop will use each participant’s experience to identify and envision potential ways to accelerate their own neighborhood projects.
3:00 PM - 3:15 PM — Break
3:15 PM - 4:20 PM — Closing Keynote
Kofi Boone, ASLA | Professor of Landscape Architecture, North Carolina State University, College of Design
The Just and the Green: Confronting Green Inequities
The impact of racism has long influenced the design of cities and cultural landscapes. Kofi Boone, a Detroit native and Professor of Landscape Architecture at NC State University in the College of Design, has been at the forefront of challenging the design community to confront racism and work towards environmental justice. His award winning design work in landscape architecture focuses on making culture and democratic design fundamental. Kofi will illustrate his research, case studies, and insights from project work in his provocative keynote presentation “The Just and the Green: Confronting Green Inequities”.
Kofi’s work illustrates the need for “green” advocates to reckon with the legacy of assuming a focus on non-human ecological processes superseding people, places, and cultural practices. He offers up strategies for reconciling environmental best practices with authentic community engagement will be offered as a way forward in the shared pursuit of a green and just society for all.
The design field is grappling with the consequences of global climate change and how it is revealing the long-standing processes entrenching social inequality and environmental injustice. Our most vulnerable communities facing the consequences of massive environmental disruption and change are rarely first in line to benefit from green planning and design innovations. This green divide between the “just” seeking social and environmental equity and the “green” seeking ecological and economic opportunity represents one of the most important conflicts in need of reconciliation.
4:20 PM - 4:30 PM — Closing Reflections
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM — Networking Dinners / Bar Crawl
Wednesday, November 6 - Post-Conference Events
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM — EcoDistricts Foundation Course
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM — EcoDistricts Board Meeting
Location – TBA