Our first community plan, A Vision for East Liberty, produced in 1999, helped guide our neighborhood’s recovery from failed urban renewal efforts of the past. Recognizing the success that followed the 1999 plan, we decided to come together again to include new and old neighbors and expand and refine our vision. Through a process of community meetings, a broad range of people who live, work, shop, play, worship, and invest in East Liberty shared our love for the neighborhood, our concerns, and our dreams for its future.

The guiding principles that emerged from these meetings guide residents, developers, organizers, and stakeholders through the ever-evolving process of planning and development toward our community’s goals.

The 2010 East Liberty Community Plan

The 2010 East Liberty Community Plan is a long-term framework for revitalization. Its purpose, building upon the 1999 East Liberty Community Plan, A Vision for East Liberty, is to guide the development process. Capturing many voices to drive neighborhood change, this plan sets our community’s goals and ensures that we do not stray from our core principles. It is a living document to be re-examined, revised, and updated regularly.

Community Plan Themes

The clear themes that emerged from this plan will guide residents, developers, organizers, and stakeholders toward our community’s goals:

  • Sustainability–Ensure change is economically viable, benefits community members equitably, and protects our environment.
  • Collaboration–Address community-wide and regional issues comprehensively with a coordinated vision and strategy.
  • Information Sharing–Improve neighborhood-wide awareness of programs and services, events, and development plans.
  • Image and Identity–Encourage a positive perception of East Liberty and pride among community members by improving the look and feel of the neighborhood and celebrating our history and culture.

Community Plan Action Steps

Working in eight task forces, community members outlined solutions to the problems facing East Liberty and called for the following primary action steps:

  • Neighborhood Stabilization–Continue a comprehensive housing strategy that reweaves neighborhood fabric through a variety of mixed-income alternatives to provide housing for all.
  • Commercial Core Revitalization–Reinforce East Liberty’s commercial heart as a unique “Town in a City” that serves both nearby residents and regional markets by providing a mix of national and local products, services, and entertainment.
  • Connectivity–Improve transportation infrastructure and connectivity to drive development. Priorities include: pedestrian-friendly streetscapes, bicycling amenities, street grid reconnections, intuitive parking, transit-oriented development, and Penn Circle two-way conversion.
  • Greening— Prioritize green projects and sustainability in every neighborhood development.
  • Workforce–Unify workforce development initiatives into one comprehensive strategy that addresses employers’ and job seekers’ needs.
  • Youth Engagement–Engage youth in community decision-making and sharing information about healthy activities. Engage youth with jobs and career preparation. Promote collaboration among youth service providers.
  • Community Engagement–Improve and create comprehensive systems of collaboration and communication among service providers, neighborhood safety initiatives,small business advocates, block groups, and tenant councils.

Other ELDI Plans & Studies

1999 Community Plan

Our first community plan, laying the groundwork for East Liberty’s recovery work from well-intentioned but ultimately destructive urban renewal efforts.

Larimer Vision Plan

Larimer faces challenges such as high vacancy, an older housing stock and a shrinking and aging population. This plan seeks to address the problem in a state of the art model for the Pittsburgh region.

Streetworks Presentation and Market Plan

Building on previous studies with additional research, Streetworks consultants identified a new development strategy for East Liberty that leveraged its market strength and showed how urban-style retail could succeed in East Liberty. Additional work was done in 2007 to reflect ongoing real estate development, which encouraged a “two-sided” retailing strategy on Centre Avenue.

Bakery Row Plan

In 2006, more than 200 residents, business owners, developers, and other stakeholders met to discuss the future of the stretch of Penn Avenue between Penn Circle East (the edge of East Liberty’s commercial core) and Fifth Avenue (between Larimer, Point Breeze, and Shadyside) that has been designated “Bakery Row.”

Saints Peter and Paul Church Feasibility Study

Compilation of two reports assessing the condition and options for handling the abandoned SS. Peter and Paul Church on Larimer Avenue in East Liberty.

East Liberty Crime Data Analysis

ELDI commissioned a crime study analysis to examine linkages between developments in lowered crime rates, increased property values, and the initiatives of ELDI.

The Population Impact of East Liberty Revitalization

This study from Numeritics looks at the two waves of African American population loss in East Liberty from 2007 to 2015, analyzing the drivers behind each wave and the implications for other neighborhoods.

East Liberty Circulation & Mobility Vision

Vision toward place-based, comprehensive transportation planning in our neighborhood that will allow all types of people to travel to and move around the neighborhood, safely and smoothly, by any mode they choose.

Parking Study

Comprehensive look at East Liberty’s parking capacity and future needs, outlining strategies for future parking needs.

EastSide Transit-oriented Development Analysis

In order to better understand the economic implications of the East Liberty redevelopment strategy, Nabru Lawener (a partnership between ELDI and the Mosites Company) retained Economics Research Associates in 2008 to conduct a comprehensive review of relevant new development initiatives and to determine the direct fiscal impacts resulting from the proposed projects.

Development Guidelines for the Center of East Liberty

Plan for the development of and continued success of areas such as Walnut Street and Ellsworth Avenue in Shadyside, Whole Foods, and the Hillman Cancer Institute on the high-density Center Avenue/Baum Boulevard corridor and the Pittsburgh Glass Center and Penn Avenue Arts Initiative.

East Liberty Green Vision

A “Green Vision” makes concerns of daily life a priority, addressing not just environmental issues, but quality of life issues for every visitor, business owner, employee, and resident of East Liberty. The Green Vision for East Liberty represents a neighborhood planning effort initiated by East Liberty Development, Inc. More than a planning document, the Green Vision offers resources and tools for ELDI and the community to help guide development and provide a foundation for integrating green practices into neighborhood investments – both public and private.

Crime Study Reports

In 2013, East Liberty Development, Inc. (ELDI) Real Estate, LLC commissioned a crime study analysis to examine the linkages between lowered crime rates, increased property values and initiatives of ELDI. Numeritics, a Pittsburgh-based consulting practice, completed the analysis and offers insights to explain ELDI’s role in these developments.

Now, as East Liberty’s revitalization is increasingly in the spotlight, we wanted to take a closer look at the renewal and re-examine the causes behind it. In a series of white papers and reports, Numeritics revisits their findings and expounds further, revealing the groundwork that underlies East Liberty’s current revival.

White Paper One — Crime Trend and Property Prices

The first white paper addresses the correlations between crime trends and property prices.

Read Full Report

White Paper Two — Crime Reduction Strategy

The second white paper examines East Liberty’s revitalization from a theoretical standpoint, using contemporary academic theories in criminology as a framework to help explain why ELDI’s efforts have been successful.

Read Full Report

White Paper Three — Crime Strategy Implementation

The third white paper answers the question, “what exactly did you do?” The goal of this white paper is to summarize the implementation of ELDI’s unique and innovative strategies that helped reduce residential crime in East Liberty by 49% over a five-year period.

Read Full Report

White Paper Four — Gentrification

The fourth white paper breaks down the many elements at play in East Liberty and Pittsburgh at large. Discussing the demographics of the neighborhood, affordable housing and inclusive planning, concerns of gentrification are addressed and analyzed.

Read Full Report

White Paper Five — Indirect Benefits

The fifth white paper discusses the many ways in which our community benefits from revitalization that extend far beyond increases in property values.

Read Full Report