Our people

Eve Picker’s expertise in inner city redevelopment and regeneration has earned her broad recognition both in the Pittsburgh community at large and nationally. She has even been called a local ‘folk hero’. Committed to good design, her work consistently aims to make a positive contribution to the public realm with every project. 

Eve has a background as an architect, city planner, urban designer, real estate developer, economic development strategist, publisher (founding publisher of Pop City), and co-founder of a provocative public forum for urban issues. All of these have provided her with a rich understanding of how cities work, how urban neighborhoods can be revitalized, what policies are needed to do so, and the unique marketing that creates the buzz necessary for regeneration. With cityLAB, her first non-profit venture, Eve is turning her passion for cities to broader, city-wide revitalization issues. Read more about Eve at evepicker.com, and get in touch by emailing eve (at) citylabpgh.org or calling 412-434-7080.

Since 2007, Audrey Russo has been serving the technology business sector for Southwestern PA as President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Tech Council (PTC), the oldest (1983) and largest technology trade association in all of North America. In order to ensure the original vision of a vital innovation and technology ecosystem, Audrey has used her role to facilitate strong interaction across all business sectors of the regional economy who will only succeed and grow through technology innovation and commercialization. With a background in information technology, operations and finance, Audrey previously worked for large multi-national Fortune 500 companies (Alcoa, Reynolds Metals), as well as at MAYA Design, and in an adjunct faculty and project role at Virginia Commonwealth University. Audrey believes that vital cities are the moral imperative in achieving competitive, diverse and vibrant economies, and the complexity of Pittsburgh’s physical, literal and metaphorical terrain, has been added to her list of loves over the past ten years.

Darla J. Cravotta, a resident of the City of Pittsburgh, has 25 years' experience working in the non-profit and government sectors. Specific interests include project management, project development, organizing and planning. Over the years, Darla's worked on some very cool projects including the recent Green Roof on the County Office Building, the renovation and revitalization of the Carnegie Library system in Pittsburgh, trail development within the City of Pittsburgh (the Eliza Furnace Trail is considered her 2nd child), and trail projects within Allegheny County. Playgrounds, parks, communities and neighborhood development are of keen interest. Darla is a true believer in community engagement and the power of people and public libraries.

Donald F. Smith is president of the Regional Industrial Development Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania (RIDC), one of the region’s best known economic development agencies. Don’s career in economic development began with the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, and the Pennsylvania Department of Commerce as lead analyst on the state's economic development strategy. After receiving his PhD on research related to venture capital, technological innovation and patterns of Japanese investment in the U.S., he worked at RAND's Critical Technology Institute in D.C. as a policy analyst specializing in the financing of new technologies and regional technology clusters. After RAND he served as director of the Center for Economic Development at Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University for seven years, during which time he has also served as president of the Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse. From 2002 until he joined the RIDC, he held a joint economic development post at both Pitt University and Carnegie Mellon University known as the University Partnership.

Adam Paulisick is a Vice President of Marketing at Nielsen Catalina Solutions, an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business, and the founder of Data Driven Creative, his own marketing and market research company.

our experiments

Tiny House Journal

Follow along as cityLAB builds a Tiny House in Garfield, the first of its kind, and shares the lessons we learn along the way.

Tiny Houses

An exploration of living small as a potential driver of economic development, Tiny Houses are part of our 6% Place experiment.

Cure for the
Common City

cityLAB's Eve Picker describes the economic development impact of bottom-up thinking—thinking small writ large—at 2013's TedxCMU.

Garfield Night Market

A brand new market to bring more people to Garfield, support local entrepreneurs, and create a great place for everyone to spend a Friday night.

6% Place
Tracking Tools

The 6% Place Tracking Tools are a series of maps and charts that visualize development in Garfield and on Penn Avenue.

The Garfield Freelancers Database

Looking for an artist, an architect, a coder, a chef or an urban farmer? Look no further. Find local talent in our growing database of creative freelancers.

6% Place

6% is the number, the tipping point. If a neighborhood can get that many creative workers, it becomes an attraction in its own right.

Lessons from the
6% Place

A series of free business education workshops for freelancers and creative entrepreneurs centered in Garfield to support the neighborhood's creative economy.

6% Place book

cityLAB's 6% Place book and ebook, available for purchase (and as a free downloadable PDF), examines how people, and not just physical investment, can drive economic development.

The Garfield
Creative Census

The 2012 Creative Census counted and connected the people engaged in the creative economy of Pittsburgh's Garfield neighborhood.

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