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Vivien Li’s impressions of Pittsburgh so far

By October 23, 2015October 25th, 2016Blog

Meet Riverlife’s new president and CEO

Vivien Li banner photo

Pittsburgh’s riverfronts are alive with opportunity! 

Since moving from Boston earlier this month to join Riverlife, I have been so impressed with all that I have seen and experienced along the rivers.  The work that Riverlife and its partners have done to create green open spaces and public paths along the downtown riverfronts is spectacular: pedestrians, joggers, and cyclists are enjoying these areas daily.  Future riverfront open spaces to come, including in the Strip District and the North Shore as well as potential open spaces in emerging riverfront areas, offer exciting new frontiers for Riverlife and for everyone who will enjoy these public spaces.

Leaving Boston was not easy, where I worked for 24 years as executive director and then president of The Boston Harbor Association.  I know first-hand the importance of collaboration, partnerships, and teamwork to create a lively public waterfront in the heart of a bustling city.  Similarly, Three Rivers Park, Pittsburgh’s interconnected riverfront park system with 13 miles and over 850 acres of open space, reflects a dynamic partnership between public, private, and non-profit interests to reclaim the riverfront.

As I settle into my new role at Riverlife, my first objective is to listen and learn.  Numerous development proposals for Pittsburgh’s riverfront are beginning to move through the regulatory processes, creating opportunities for new park connections, public amenities, and water-dependent uses to be enjoyed by residents, workers, and visitors.  On my second week here, I was so proud to witness Riverlife staff and partners being recognized by the Urban Land Institute for the exceptional public art project under the Fort Duquesne Bridge.  With your support, I know that Riverlife will continue to be a leader in fostering a vibrant, well designed, and accessible riverfront for all.

Whether you’ve lived here all of your life or are new to the area like me, I hope you’ll agree that we have a beautiful riverfront to celebrate.  As our open spaces and public access system grow and Riverlife charts the course for further riverfront revitalization, I look forward to continuing the celebration with you.


Vivien Li
President and CEO

Photo by Maranie Rae

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