Pittsburgh Master Plans & Design Guidelines

Start Here

Looking for guidelines for your riverfront real estate project? Start by checking out our printable guides to riverfront development on the page that best describes your project:

On these pages, you’ll find a helpful step-by-step guide of tips and recommendations for making your riverfront project great.

Once you’ve visited one of our “Start a Project” pages, take a look at the additional master plans and design guidelines below from the Riverlife archives.

A Vision Plan for Pittsburgh’s Riverfronts (2001)
Original master plan document for the redevelopment of Pittsburgh’s downtown riverfronts.

Three Rivers Park Design Guidelines (2002)
Resource handbook for landowners and developers with expectations for development along Pittsburgh’s riverfronts and especially in and around Three Rivers Park.

Connecting the Loop Plan (2003)
Riverlife plan outlining ways to establish a continuous riverfront park system with acquisition, design and construction that can be phased over a decade.

Three Rivers Park Lighting Strategy (2004)
Vision plan with recommendations for artistic, ambient, utility and safety lighting of Three Rivers Park

Landscape Management Guidelines (2006)
Guidelines for the use, restoration and management of Pittsburgh’s riverbanks based on sustainable design strategies such as inclusion of native plants, water conservation, and stormwater management.

Three Rivers Park Public Art Strategy  (2006)
Recommendations for public artwork throughout Three Rivers Park that embodies the identity and values of the riverfront, elevates the experience of the visitor, and bolsters Pittsburgh’s distinctive sense of place.

Stormwater is the Communicator  (2009)
Proposal for an integrated approach to calming, collecting and cleansing stormwater runoff throughout Pittsburgh’s downtown riverfront landscapes.

Allegheny Riverfront Vision Plan (2010)
Joint plan by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, City of Pittsburgh Department of City Planning, and Riverlife for the redevelopment of the banks of the Allegheny River and for the Strip District and Lawrenceville riverfront communities.

Allegheny Riverfront Green Boulevard Plan (2013)
Federally-funded plan created by a public process for the redevelopment of a 6.5-mile corridor along the Allegheny River. Encompasses the neighborhoods of Downtown, Strip District, Lawrenceville, Highland Park and Morningside.

Strip District Riverfront Park Vision Plan (2016)
Building on the larger Green Boulevard plan, this vision plan narrows in on riverfront access and open space between 11th Street and 31st Street along the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh’s Strip District neighborhood

Guide to Riverfront Development (2014)
Riverlife’s guide to successful riverfront development includes recommendations about design, connections to the river, public art, environmental sustainability and more.

Completing the Loop Report (2021)
Riverlife’s vision for transforming 15 miles and 1,055 acres of riverfront space into award-winning, nationally recognized parks, trails, and green space.

Studies and Reports

Three Rivers Park Economic Impact Analysis (2014)
Looking for solid evidence that quality riverfronts are a good investment for the local economy?  The Three Rivers Park Economic Impact Analysis summarizes a meaningful link between investments in park infrastructure along Pittsburgh’s riverfronts and the ability to catalyze development and increase property value.