Building a Resilient City: Pittsburgh Style

Broadcast on 2017/10/17 (PT)

Grant Ervin, Chief Resilience Officer (CRO), City of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is known for many things, rich family traditions; excellence in education; community of hard working people; championship sport teams among them. Today, we can add its leadership in creating a city that values sustainability, environment protection, thriving economy and social justice. Mayor William Peduto’s administration cites sustainability as a guiding principle and Grant Ervin is leading that principle into action on a daily basis. In 2015, the City of Pittsburgh, joined by 100 Resilient Cities – pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC), to kick off the process of developing a comprehensive resilience strategy that will enable the cities involved to better survive, adapt, and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks it experiences. Join us to learn how Pittsburgh is creating opportunity for resiliency and demonstrating for the world how to put your values into action. This show made possible due to the generous support of The Fairfax Companies.


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INSIGHTS

  • Grant’s mission is to serve as an integrator across the city’s platform of service – working with various areas (agencies, non-profits, private sector, etc) to solve challenges of sustainability and resilience. How do we build planned strategies, as well as the departments and policies to implement those strategies?
  • How does one go about getting “buy in” from the team of people that works for the city and those that are stakeholders in the city? Grant has an effective plan and shares it on this podcast.
  • How did the city of Pittsburgh begin the process of becoming one of the 100 Resilient Cities? It began with connecting at the local level, being inclusive and then effectively working from a foundation that was already built. Learn from Grant’s success during this show.
  • Preparation and adaptive infrastructure are essential keys when you assess a city’s level of resiliency.
  • Cities that are partnered through the 100 Resilient Cities are truly a unified team – the richness of the support network is empowering but it also accelerates the application of knowledge so that all cities can rise up to the challenge of preparing for tomorrow.
  • The people quotient is the place where you start – people make Pittsburgh. If you are able to create a resilient person, a resilient family, a resilient neighborhood….you will get a resilient city. There are true social, economic and environmental benefits to starting with the people.
  • A great illustration of the initiatives coming through Grant’s work: 70% of the houses within the city of Pittsburgh were built before 1940 – the resilience dividend is the ability to leverage multiple assets to accomplish multiple objectives – there is a big upstream benefit to reducing a households’ energy costs and factoring in a person’s health/well-being in that process.
  • Pittsburgh is a 2030 District – Grant shares how the entire city is working to achieve the goals of being a 2030 District and how they are using the 2030 benchmarks for the Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan.
  • What role does technology have to support the work of creating a resilient city? Grant shares tools, during this podcast, which they are using today to intersect public health and public safety officials to address various issues.
  • How do you incorporate health, wellness and happiness in your sustainability plan? People live where they live because they tend to love it. Grant’s work is tying quality of life for the people to the objectives of creating a sustainable, resilient city.

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