news & events

13 June 2012

Save the date! Eve Picker, cityLAB’s intrepid CEO, will be a panelist at a discussion on low-income neighborhoods and how they participate in regional economies, including their untapped market potential, at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s Pittsburgh branch on June 20th. Eve will be giving a presentation on cityLAB’s 6% Place experiment — find more about the event here and register for it here.

Connecting to Markets Series:
Exploring Low-Income Neighborhoods in the Regional Context

Wednesday, June 20, 2012, 11:00-3:30pm

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Pittsburgh Branch
717 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

We hope to see you there!

(The event is sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and the Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development.)

UPDATE 6/21/12: See a photo from yesterday’s event here.

4 June 2012

We’re back!  Welcome to the cityLIVE Courtyard Series!

This summer we’ll be screening three great documentary films outdoors, in the courtyard of 947 Liberty Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh. The films include Please Vote for Me on July 13th, Gasland on July 19th, and The Pruitt-Igoe Myth on July 26th. Each of these films deal with themes of community engagement — and, in different ways, people who are challenged to make change in the places where they live.

As always, cityLIVE! is free and open to the public.

Be there or be square!

15 May 2012

We all love to hate potholes. Pittsburgh has plenty, and whether you are on a bike or in a car, it is no fun to hit one. While the city doubled its paving budget to $11 million this year, this will still only cover a fraction of the potholes that have sprung up in the 400 miles of city streets.

Pittsburgh potholes can currently be phoned in by concerned citizens to the city’s 311 help line. New technologies aim to help Pittsburgh and other cities to find and prioritize street repairs. Last year, a team at Carnegie Mellon University launched the RODAS (Road Damage Assessment System) Project. RODAS uses cell phone photos, which are correlated with GPS coordinates, to map potholes. The site currently lists 939 potholes.

New York City’s Department of Transportation maintains “The Daily Pothole,” a Tumblr which includes a form for reporting potholes and a running tally of the number of potholes repaired.

The City of Boston’s Office of New Urban Mechanics is taking a different approach with a smartphone app called Street Bump. Building off the premise that most people won’t make the effort to report potholes themselves, Street Bump uses the gyroscopes in smartphones do the reporting instead: community involvement without people!

photo via flickr user MSVG.

7 May 2012

cityLAB’s president, Eve Picker,  was quoted in yet another article in the Springfield, Illinois State Journal-Register about her work there this week with the AIA Sustainable Design Assessment Team.

Comparing the issues facing downtown Springfield to issues that downtown Pittsburgh struggled with for decades, including “retailers moving out, loss of residents and workers, and convincing developers to invest in an older section of the city,” Eve emphasized multiple measures to encourage investment, including marketing. As Eve said, “A marketing effort helps, especially for first-time residents. There are a number of small things that can happen right away.”

Read more about the SDAT and Springfield here.

photo via flickr user straightedge217.

1 May 2012

cityLAB’s Eve Picker has had some more press coverage about her upcoming trip to Springfield, Illinois from The State Journal-Register and from WUIS Public Radio in Springfield. Drawing on her expertise as architect, urban designer, and real estate developer, Eve will strategize along with the other members of the AIA Sustainable Design Assessment Team about ways to repopulate downtown Springfield’s residential and commercial buildings. The team will hear from Springfield residents at a town hall meeting on May 7th and, after two days of intensive workshopping, will present their findings at a second public meeting on May 9th.

Bon travail, Eve!

photo via flickr user straightedge217.

29 March 2012

cityLAB’s CEO, Eve Picker, has been named to the Springfield Sustainable Design Assessment Team, which will study ways to make downtown Springfield, Illinois more livable. Springfield architect Chuck Pell said of the team in this article: “These are very interesting and creative people who are certainly going to be able to help us.”

Read more about this project and about Eve’s involvement here.

8 March 2012

Micah Toll, a mechanical engineering student at the University of Pittsburgh (and former cityLIVE! panelist), is getting national media coverage for a Pittsburgh start-up he founded with two of his classmates. Pulse Motors designs and produces a two-wheeled electric vehicle called the Personal Electric Vehicle Zero, or PEV0, which can drive 100 miles on $0.25 of electricity and aims to provide an alternative for city commuters. Pulse is accepting applications for PEV0 Beta Testers on their website through the spring of 2012, and plans to expand their business internationally over the next couple of years.

Learn more at Pulse’s website, or read more about them over at Inc. magazine.

27 February 2012

On Friday, The Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation held a ground-breaking ceremony for forty-five new homes in Garfield. As this article in the Post-Gazette describes, this effort is the “last leg of a decade-long, $24 million scattered-site effort that has coincided with a 45 percent drop in crime” in the neighborhood.

Read more about the BGC’s efforts and Garfield residents’ reactions here and here.

photo via Marquette University’s Flickr stream

8 February 2012

Six days from now, Eve Picker, cityLAB’s intrepid CEO, will be meeting at the White House and wants to hear from you:

“Help wanted! 6 days from now I’ll be at the White House, in a meeting with the administration and other Pittsburgh business and civic leaders.They want to hear how they can help spur job creation and economic development in Pittsburgh.They want to hear our ideas about what they could be doing more or, or less of.

While I have ideas, I’ll bet all of you have more. Send them to me and I’ll write them up and take them along!”

Leave your ideas as comments here or send them to

UPDATE: read Eve’s thoughts about her trip here.

3 January 2012

cityLAB’s 6% Place book has been written up in the Bloomfield-Garfield Bulletin. In the article, Rick Swartz, executive director of the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, says, “The book is an impressive piece of work that should fuel conversation and planning discussions for years to come.”

Read the article below and read more of the January issue of The Bulletin here.

Thanks to the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation and to The Bulletin for their support and for the mention.