Which American city has an “Avenues of Hope” initiative to reconnect and revitalize Black neighborhoods for economic justice?

In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Mayor William Peduto and the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority have launched the Avenues of Hope revitalization initiative to reprioritize business district investments in diverse city neighborhoods.

Avenues of Hope is a place-based, people-first approach that intervenes across all layers of successful, healthy, and sustainable Main Street redevelopment in largely Black and diverse neighborhoods across Pittsburgh, focusing on seven major business corridors.

Historical photo of Perrysville Avenue in Pittsburgh by unknown.

The URA was asked by the City to prioritize development with a focus on building black wealth and community health. What would it mean to intentionally drive investment into Black neighborhoods in a way that centers the preservation and celebration of Black life in Pittsburgh?” said Diamonte Walker, Deputy Executive Director of the URA

Avenues of Hope takes the first step towards this kind of holistic community revitalization, revealing economic justice is about action, not rhetoric,” she added.

This initiative seeks to invest in existing small businesses and residents, supporting the inclusive growth of these neighborhoods.

The initiative will boost neighborhoods and help support middle-class jobs, families and entrepreneurship. The URA focus will be on housing investment, workforce connectivity, commercial corridor activation, façade renovations, and other impactful MWBE and small business supports.

The Department of Mobility and Infrastructure will assist with paving, sidewalk improvements, traffic calming and pedestrian enhancement, and Public Works will assist in land maintenance, with the assistance of City Planning.

Avenues of Hope will also have an affordable housing component and work in conjunction with the City/URA Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

Retail follows rooftops. By supporting both business districts and high-quality affordable housing, Avenues of Hope will bring a holistic approach to community revitalization,” Mayor Peduto said.

The avenues currently targeted for the program are Homewood, Larimer, Centre, Perrysville, Chartiers, Warrington and Irvine Street in Hazelwood.

See Avenues of Hope webpage.

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