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Living Lab | Homewood Children's Village:

homewoodchildrensvillage_logo_mainPROJECT: Living Lab

PROGRAM: 2016 Small & Simple

GRANTEE: Homewood Children’s Village

By promoting EcoDistrict principals, this partnership seeks to empower Homewood residents with the knowledge and understanding to fully participate in the 21st century and create a competitive, sustainable future for the neighborhood. The programming will be supported in part by technical assistance from Hyde Marine, the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering and the Katz School of Business.

To convey the vision encompassed by the EcoDistrict framework, HCV proposes to develop a Living Lab near Westinghouse in Cluster 5 in Homewood. The site sits on nearly one acre at Sterrett Street between Kelly Street and Fleury Way, in the heart of the neighborhood. The partnership will develop the site into an outdoor classroom and educational facility for use by the community and Westinghouse students. The Living Lab will be a public park and an educational facility. Plans will include an air monitoring system, wind turbine, greenhouse, rain garden, bioswale and outdoor micro-farm. The greenhouse will be home to two Mobile Edible Wall units, maintained and managed by OBB, as well as an aquaponics system managed by BCC and OBB. HCV will incorporate the suggestions of the Westinghouse Science Department, which is interested in using an outdoor classroom as a living lab in which to conduct experiments on water, air and soil quality and rainwater capture among other activities.

This grant will help fund Phase 1 (Site Preparation, Planning, Outreach & Programming – Spring 2016) of the Living Lab project. Funding will allow HCV and its partners to engage an environmentally focused landscape architect to draw up professional plans, prepare the site, begin creating educational materials and start engaging the public around the lab, the EcoDistrict model and Sustainable Community Design principals. The Lab aligns with the Cluster Plan in that it calls for the creation of a network of parks and gardens and the neighborhood is envisioned as a food destination. Furthermore, BCC’s Oasis Foods project is creating urban farms and developing food-based businesses.

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