We create, activate, and celebrate Pittsburgh’s riverfronts, connecting people through exceptional places and experiences.
Our Vision and Our Values
At Riverlife, we envision a Pittsburgh where thriving world-class riverfronts are essential to the region and belong to everyone. We believe Pittsburgh’s rivers bring life to our region.
- We elevate social equity. We center our work on the idea that the riverfronts belong to everyone and must be a model for community-driven, equitable development.
- We embrace innovative ideas. We tackle big challenges with creative solutions that drive transformational change.
- We advocate for great design. We cultivate riverfront experiences that are elevated by high-quality, community-focused, and regenerative design.
- We collaborate and connect. We nurture broad-based partnerships with community, philanthropy, and key stakeholders to advance our mission.
- We are a trusted leader. We advance a shared vision through our unique position at the intersection of economic development, arts & culture, and sustainability.
A History of Working Together
Riverlife’s staff team works every day with developers, land owners, and neighborhood groups on issues of riverfront design, access, amenities and programming in Pittsburgh and the region. Find out how you can work with us.
Riverlife is a nonprofit organization formed in 1999 by people like you who saw the opportunity to create a plan for the redevelopment of Pittsburgh’s downtown riverfronts. We conducted hundreds of public meetings and gathered feedback from thousands of residents and visitors, asking:
“What would you like to see along Pittsburgh’s riverbanks?”
Working from the feedback of the community, Riverlife released a vision plan in 2000 for Pittsburgh’s 15-mile, 880-acre loop of riverfront parks, trails, and public open spaces. The riverfront park system has been realized piece by piece, with Riverlife working with land owners, developers, neighborhood groups and elected officials to build and connect Pittsburgh’s downtown riverfront experience. Through Riverlife’s leadership, more than 85% of the 15-mile loop has been established and improved for public use. In 2022 Riverlife released the Completing the Loop plan for how we intend to close the remaining gaps and make major improvements to the loop over the next decade.
Great Riverfronts Benefit Everyone
Riverlife has led a $132 million investment in creating Pittsburgh’s downtown riverfront experience over the past 15 years. That investment helped catalyze nearly $4.2 billion in total riverfront and adjacent development in downtown Pittsburgh. In addition to real estate development, that also means new public trail connections, parks and amenities on Pittsburgh’s riverfronts.
We gratefully acknowledge the Native Peoples on whose ancestral homelands we gather, as well as the diverse and vibrant Native communities who make their home here today.
For more information about riverfront accessibility, please contact Riverlife’s accessibility coordinator Valerie Fleisher, firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-258-6636 x 104
Board of Directors
Kamal Nigam, Chair
The Hear Foundation
Cindy Donohoe, Vice Chair
Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer
Terry Wirginis, Treasurer
Gateway Clipper Fleet
Kathy W. Humphrey, Ph.D., Secretary
Manchester Citizens Corporation
Department of City Planning, City of Pittsburgh
Senior Director, Marketing Administration and Community Outreach
UPMC Health Plan
Southwest Regional Director
Office of the Governor
David Lewis Director of Urban Design and Regional Engagement
Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture
William E. Hunt
President & CEO
Office for Public Art
Chief of Staff
County Executive Rich Fitzgerald
Christine Mondor, FAIA