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p4 Focuses on Making Equitable Development a Reality in Pittsburgh

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With the central focus on equitable development, this year’s p4 conference cultivated discussion and action to ensure that as our city grows and prospers, our residents and neighborhoods do too.

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Mayor Bill Peduto and Grant Oliphant, President of The Heinz Endowments take the stage the 2nd Annual p4 Conference

A model based around a central unifying framework of: People, Planet, Place and Performance, p4 is a major effort, sponsored by the City of Pittsburgh, Mayor’s Office and The Heinz Endowments, to forge a new model of urban growth and development that is innovative, inclusive and sustainable. At the second annual p4 conference, on October 18-19, 2016, while all aspects of the p4 framework were discussed, the spotlight was on economic and social equity. This focus represents a shift in thinking and a much needed and wanted spotlight being put on creating an “All-In Pittsburgh“, an initiative that Neighborhood Allies is partnering with both Mayor Peduto and Heinz, among others on.

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Presley Gillespie, President of Neighborhood Allies and Marimba Milliones, President & CEO of Hill CDC

Over the past year, we, along with our allies at PolicyLink and Urban Innovation21, have convened community stakeholders and leaders to create a shared definition of equitable development and craft an agenda to make it a reality. Last month, we released the report: Equitable Development: The Path to an All-In Pittsburgh, which outlined a roadmap to put all of the region’s residents on track to reaching their potential and ensure everyone participates in and benefits from the region’s economic transformation.

On day two of p4, we continued this work, presenting the report findings at the conference and engaging local stakeholders in discussing how Pittsburgh and all of the necessary partners and stakeholders will collectively tackle the tough issues through the p4 framework [follow the conversation on twitter]. Our President, Presley Gillespie moderated an esteemed panel of local leaders including, Derrick Tillman, President & CEO, Bridging the Gap Development; Jeanne Pearlman, Senior VP, The Pittsburgh Foundation; Daniel Lavelle, City of Pittsburgh Council District 6; Rosamaria Cristello, Exec., Dir., Latino Family Center; Janera Solomon, Exec. Dir., Kelly Strayhorn Theater; Greg Spencer, Pres., & CEO, Randall Chemical Manufacturing Company; Marimba Milliones, Pres. & CEO, Hill CDC.

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Presley Gillespie, President of Neighborhood Allies, moderates the Equitable Development Recommendations Panel Discussion on day two of the p4 conference

The equitable development conversation continued with breakout sessions that engaged all of the conference attendees in taking a deeper dive into the five-point agenda that was set to achieve an All-In Pittsburgh:

  1. Raise the bar for new development—growth must happen in a way that benefits and does not displace longtime lower-income residents and neighborhood entrepreneurs.
  2. Make all neighborhoods healthy communities of opportunity—the region needs a comprehensive strategy to increase housing affordability and stability and to unlock opportunity in its highest poverty neighborhoods.
  3. Expand employment and ownership opportunities—connecting lower-wealth residents to good, family-sustaining jobs and asset-building opportunities is critical to ensuring they participate in and contribute to the region’s resurgence.
  4. Embed racial equity throughout Pittsburgh’s institutions and businesses—To eliminate wide racial inequities and uproot bias, the region’s institutions, organizations, and businesses need to adopt racial equity-focused approaches
  5. Build community power, voice, and capacity—High-capacity community-rooted organizations and multiracial, multisector coalitions are essential to advancing equitable development policies and practices over the long term

“Through this ongoing engagement and input process, residents, nonprofits and government agencies have come together and produced a results-oriented roadmap to guide us in making equitable development a reality for Pittsburgh. We have and built the momentum and buy-in along the way to get the work done and we have a talented, diverse and passionate group of people at the table to do it. Neighborhood Allies is honored to be part of this important work!”

-Presley Gillespie, President of Neighborhood Allies

In addition to the work that culminated at the 2016 p4 Conference earlier this week, thanks to our supporter and ally, The Heinz Endowments, in November 2015 we served on the project team and helped launch the p4 Performance Measures Project. This project aims to create a quantifiable system of metrics that would inform and improve decision-making on public investments in development projects. The project team created 12 priority focus areas for improvement, that together, provide a comprehensive evaluation tool for the consistent assessment of real estate development projects in the city of Pittsburgh to advance sustainable and equitable development practices. Stay tuned for updates on our equitable development initiative and join the conversation and contribute your thoughts on twitter by using the hashtags #AllInPittsburgh and #p4pgh.

For more information, or to get involved, contact Shad Henderson at shad@neighborhoodallies.org.

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