The Blight Bootcamp Website is now live!
In early November, over 150 individuals came together for a full day of learning and networking on ideas, challenges, and resources that exist in the space in the fight against blight – for Pittsburgh’s first Blight Bootcamp.
While blight is a common obstacle in the path to revitalizing all of our many communities across Allegheny County and beyond, there are many individuals, organizations, and institutions working on cleaning up our region’s derelict properties. The reasons blight exist are many and are nothing new to the region. We are all collectively working to overcome the root causes and impacts that it has in our neighborhoods and on our daily lives.
The day featured a lunchtime keynote by Ian Beniston of Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation as well as a series of 9 panels and workshops including topics like ‘Using Community Arts to Fight Blight’, ‘Data Driven Decision Making’, ‘Planning Your Vacant Lot Project’, and more. There was something for all attendees, from community development workers to community members. PCRG’s LaShawna Russ presented in the session ‘Data Driven Decision Making’ on her work in the field as part of the Reimagining Communities Initiative’s property condition surveying in the neighborhood of Beltzhoover.
This truly successful first workshop was put together by a group of organizations, including the Mayor’s Office and the Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections of the City of Pittsburgh, GTECH Strategies, Neighborhood Allies, Design Center of Pittsburgh, and PCRG.
For more background on the history of blight and vacancy in the region and the tools, resources and partners working at different levels to eradicate it, check out this companion news piece that aired a few days after Blight Bootcamp, featuring PCRG members the Housing Alliance, GTECH Strategies, and Operation Better Block!
A quick snapshot of the feedback from the day’s participants points towards another bootcamp in 2016. Stay tuned!