Pittsburgh's First Comprehensive Plan, 252 Years Later

The city of Pittsburgh is making progress on its first comprehensive plan. Next American City talks with Director of City Planning Noor Ismail about its process and potential impact.

The interview covers what the plan hopes to achieve, how its being crafted, and what the city did for the 252 years before it had a comprehensive plan.

"Next American City: PLANPGH is Pittsburgh's first-ever comprehensive plan. What does this mean?

It is Pittsburgh's first comprehensive plan in several respects; it is the first such plan that meets the intentions of the Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Code (PA MPC) enacted in 1968-though it should be noted that Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are exempted from the mandate to produce comprehensive plans in Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh has undertaken many neighborhood plans, project-based plans (redevelopment/renewal area plans), and the like over its history. Going further back in history, back to the formative years of city planning as a profession, Pittsburgh commissioned Frederick Law Olmstead to complete a comprehensive plan for the city. Political and personal battles intervened, and the plan was scaled back in scope from a comprehensive, citywide effort to a plan focused on the Central Business District and several main thoroughfares in the city. The Olmstead plan was completed and presented to the city in 1911. Following this, a number of efforts to complete a comprehensive plan were undertaken. Committees and commissions had been formed and undertook studies at various times, but none had been successful in pushing a true and complete comprehensive plan through an official process to completion and adoption."

Full Story: PLANPGH: What It Means for Pittsburgh

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