East Liberty’s Penn Avenue
Reaching the goal of sustainability should be desirable in every community to ensure its overall health and efficiency. One of Sustainable Pittsburgh’s many programs, the Sustainable Business Designation, focuses on rewarding local businesses in Downtown and providing them with a certificate. More information on the program can be found here.
Revitalization is rewarding to a community because of potential economic growth, the achievement of a common goal, and the transformation of a community into a safe and livable place. The most recent revitalization efforts have taken place in neighborhoods like Lawrenceville, East Liberty, and Millvale.
At one point or another while traveling through the city, most Pittsburghers have probably trekked along Butler Street, one of the most important streets in Lawrenceville. The goal of revitalization in Lawrenceville has been a work in progress for quite some time now, and continues to be so today. An important principle that has been applied to the redevelopment of Butler Street is economic integration. Upscale, high-end restaurants coexist side by side with affordable cafes and entertainment. This allows a multitude of businesses from many different economic backgrounds to thrive. This also creates a level of equity in the community, in the sense that it caters to almost all income levels. Lawrenceville appears to be a growing, thriving community and the area can only expect more great things to follow.
As Butler Street is to Lawrenceville, Penn Avenue is to East Liberty, another neighborhood that is becoming a beacon for sustainability. Though many argue that the recently added Target on Penn Avenue has begun to gentrify the area, more residential space has been provided. In spite of the displaced denizens of where the Target now stands, affordable housing was built specifically for those citizens located behind the business.
Within East Liberty, three different grocery stores exist within a mile radius of one another. Some communities in Pittsburgh, like Hazelwood, do not have a single grocery store. East Liberty’s selection of grocery stores accommodates different levels of economic and dietary needs. Though many argue that three businesses selling similar products within a single neighborhood is unnecessary, the three stores help to promote equity among residents, provide a plethora of food sources, and add to its economic health.
As a Shaler Area graduate, I am always excited to hear about all of the progress being made in Millvale. The community has always been full of potential, and, finally, its committed, involved members are taking action. A huge, nearly finished flourishing work in progress is the Millvale library. Despite the fact that the Millvale Library has not yet opened, the space already has played host to concerts, gardening spots, and weekly book clubs. Once it opens to the public on August 18th, the library will be a place for residents of all ages to learn, discuss, plant, and grow as a community. Another task that the Millvale library plans to spearhead is GED tutoring sessions for those seeking to receive their high school diplomas.
The library could not have been finished, let alone created, without the help and ingenuity of Mr. Brian Wolovich, a full time teacher and dedicated member of the community who has taken the project to new heights. Due, in part, to his never-ending commitment to the library’s fruition, the library’s impact on the community is sure to bring success and positivity to the area. Once again, the grand opening is August 18th, and all are welcome to come and see the amazing finished product that has been years in the making.
Revitalization: simply building up and enhancing assets that already exist – not necessarily starting from ground zero. With motivation, the tireless work of others, and many willing hands, you could be on your way to redeveloping a community in need. Pittsburgh itself is living example of revitalization! Our city shows us, and will continue to show us, that there will always be a new tomorrow to improve and revitalize a community.
By: Alexandra Sorce