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Completing the Loop: a movement to link and enhance Pittsburgh’s riverfronts

By September 23, 2021June 14th, 2022Blog, Uncategorized

Our vision for 15 miles and 1,055 acres of Pittsburgh riverfronts.

Since 1999, Riverlife has worked to create, activate, and celebrate Pittsburgh’s riverfronts, overseeing a $132 million investment that has transformed decaying and abandoned spaces along the riverfronts into 15 miles and 1,055 acres of award-winning, nationally recognized parks, trails, and green space.

While today’s riverfronts boast world-class moments, challenges and gaps remain in creating a world-class experience that is enjoyed equally by everyone.

Current Challenges

  • Many neighborhoods are still disconnected from the riverfronts
  • Downtown lacks a signature public destination on the riverfront
  • Insufficient funding for riverfront care and maintenance

We need your help to fill the gaps.

Completing the Loop is a Riverlife-led initiative to link and enhance Pittsburgh’s riverfronts between the West End, Hot Metal, and 31st Street Bridges and beyond. The Completing the Loop plan was shaped by months of evaluating riverfront conditions and interviewing riverfront stakeholders by Riverlife and evolveEA. The process was overseen by a community steering committee over of two dozen volunteers. Findings were presented via community meetings and a large-scale public survey to gather input.

Launch our interactive online StoryMap to see our assessment of Pittsburgh’s riverfronts and learn about the “Completing the Loop” sections that matter to you.

Proposed action steps from the Completing the Loop vision plan include:

  • Connecting neighborhoods that are close in proximity to the rivers but disconnected to the riverfronts by creating access via new parks and trails;
  • Developing a vibrant and dynamic outdoor space with recreation, programming, annd public art to become a signature riverfront destination that will define the region;
  • Creating a permanent fund to protect the investment made in the entire 15-mile, 1,050-acre riverfront Loop and elevate care and maintenance to world-class standards.

As we continue to implement plans and fundraise for riverfront capital improvements and maintenance funding, it’s essential to have the support of community members like you. Your individual donation powers our work, helping us create thriving, world-class riverfronts that are essential to our region and belong to everyone. Thank you!

Funding for our Completing the Loop initiative was provided by the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, Riverlife, and the Environmental Stewardship Fund, a grant program of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.

View the video of our “Completing the Loop” virtual public meeting. You’ll see exciting preliminary design recommendations for projects that will help fill gaps in the city’s riverfront network and make the experience more welcoming for everyone.

Use these time stamps if you’d like to jump to a certain project or portion of the video:

0:00 Introduction
4:32 Presentation Welcome
12:45 The River Today
15:57 Amenities & Programming
20:20 River Rooms & Essential Projects
23:03 Allegheny River Room
32:32 Monongahela River Room
37:32 Confluence River Room
51:02 Presentation Closing Remarks & Thank You
52:55 Q&A
1:29:57 -END-

Download a PDF of the public meeting Q&A report