Pittsburgh Launches Roadmap for Inclusion Innovation

The Roadmap for Inclusive Innovation plan encompasses more than 100 projects and initiatives to improve the quality of life for all residents

Office of Mayor William Peduto

PITTSBURGH, PA (September 8, 2015) – The City of Pittsburgh launched the “Pittsburgh Roadmap for Inclusive Innovation,” a strategic plan that will support equitable access to technology, City resources, and information.

Championed by Mayor William Peduto’s Department of Innovation & Performance and the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, the Roadmap for Inclusive Innovation is a strategic plan aimed to improve the quality of life for all residents. The Roadmap encompasses more than 100 projects and initiatives the City of Pittsburgh will undertake in the coming months and years.

“To be truly successful, Pittsburgh’s technology boom has to be accessible for all — this plan will enable us to be a model for cities around the country in providing equitable services and opportunities for residents and businesses in every neighborhood citywide,” Mayor Peduto said.

“The innovative city we are building together will never reach its full potential unless it strengthens and supports innovation in all communities, and we will get there through efforts such as promoting digital literacy, opening up contract bidding to small businesses, and ensuring a healthy and sustainable environment for everyone. This Roadmap will intelligently move Pittsburgh into the future by recognizing and adapting to meet the immense opportunities for growth in the digital age.”

Since its inception in 2014, the Department of Innovation & Performance has been working to develop this inclusive plan through community engagement, extensive research and analysis of the City as well as best practices from around the world.

“Today is an exciting day for I&P and the residents of Pittsburgh,” said Chief Innovation and Performance Officer Debra Lam. “I am very proud of this team and the work we’ve accomplished over the past year. This is a living document that will continue to evolve over time. Our goal is to continue to incorporate new programs and projects using the Roadmap as a foundation.”

“We are excited about Mayor Peduto’s vision for Inclusive Innovation as a driving force for revitalization,” said URA Acting Executive Director Robert Rubinstein. “The URA is uniquely qualified to implement and deliver key elements of the Roadmap through our support of job creation, business development and technology.”

The Roadmap includes three primary goals, and potential actions to meet those goals, which utilize the City government as a conduit for forging noticeable and inclusive change to strengthen the community.

1) Bridge the Digital Divide and Facilitate Residents’ Participation in the New Economy

  • Expand digital literacy training throughout the City and pilot library options to the public in community spaces

  • Increase public wireless internet accessibility in communities through public locations such as Citiparks facilities and communities that lack connectivity in the home

  • Connect underserved communities with Maker and STEAM programming through existing AmeriCorps program funding.

  • Bring government to the people through a mobile or centralized city service center that makes it easier for residents to report issues and learn more about available resources

  • Highlight municipal events, sustainability programming, interviews with city leadership, and cablecast community content centered on civic policies and events through the City Cable Channel.

2) Improve the City’s Capacity to Serve the Public in the Digital Age

  • Establishing a Western PA Regional Data Center to collect and distribute useful data (i.e. crime and 311 inquiries) to entities that can turn it into comprehensible, actionable information

  • Better ensure operations are data driven. For example, develop a 3-5 year citywide paving decision plan to help coordinate with local utility companies and authorities to reduce the City’s financial burden on paving city streets

  • Increase awareness of public service announcements and other communications through 311

  • Improve the City’s procurement process: three Code for America fellows are in the process of creating a web-based application to streamline the purchasing process, improving procurement efficiency, transparency, and effectiveness.

  • Modernize public infrastructure: developing Bus shelters and stops that are accessible, provide information, and are integrated within the context of the community’s needs

  • Expand the number of “smart” trash cans which send out alerts when full, making waste management more efficient and reducing litter and operational costs in business areas

3) Increase Pittsburgh’s Resilience in the Digital Age by Strengthening the Clean Tech and Local Business Sectors

  • Monitor and meter indoor air quality, water quality, water consumption and electricity consumption in City buildings order to establish baselines and encourage regional stakeholders to do the same

  • Continue the development of the Uptown Eco-Innovation District. The program will attract new residents and firms, and use sustainable infrastructure to redevelop this high-potential neighborhood

  • Provide leadership through the City’s participation in the 2030 District Challenge, which aims to reduce energy and water consumption by 50% by the year 2030.

  • Engage with businesses through programs that could include; mobile trucks, pop up business sites, or temporary retail kiosks for entrepreneurs to test their business concepts

The Roadmap is available here, and is broken down into six focus areas: Address the Digital Divide; Empower City-to-Citizen Engagement; Provide Open Data to Pittsburgh; Improve Internal Operations & Capacity of the City; Advance the Clean Technology Sector; and Promote the Local Business Environment.

Each focus area lists different initiatives to meet each objective, progress reports on their implementation, and best practices followed by other cities.

Improving City operations and delivering on promises are key goals for the Roadmap. Information on project status and completion will be tracked on the Roadmap website and updated in order to keep the public informed on progress.

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