Since 1999, Riverlife has worked to reclaim, restore and promote Pittsburgh’s urban riverfronts.
Formerly known as Riverlife Task Force, Riverlife was formed to conduct hundreds of public meetings, convene property owners, public officials and civic stakeholders and facilitate the creation of a master plan for developing Pittsburgh’s downtown riverfronts.
Ever since then, Riverlife has been thinking about strategies to reconnect people to the rivers. Pittsburgh can now point to dozens of projects of varying scale to demonstrate that reclaiming the riverfront advances economic development, transforms the environment and opens up recreational opportunities. We’ve learned valuable lessons and have created guidelines based on best practices for designing and developing riverfronts of all sizes.
Here we have collected these resources for easy access and application across Southwestern Pennsylvania to launch conversations about the opportunities for improvements in the many river communities throughout the region. We hope this resource will serve as a useful guide for property owners, planners, developers, public agencies, and nonprofit organizations who want to seize moments of opportunity and maximize the potential of their riverfront assets.
This document is not intended to replace a community’s existing zoning code, district plans, or ordinances, but rather is intended to establish optimal planning goals and to aid in enhancing and coordinating riverfront projects, large and small.