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Research

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This research project was undertaken to identify and assess the feasibility of strategies to improve the safety and enhance the quality of access between Millvale and the Allegheny Riverfront, particularly at the complicated intersection of PA Route 28 Exit 3 and East Ohio Street, known locally as “The Curve.” The prominence of this gateway location makes improvement of the area a potential catalyst for further revitalization of the Borough.
 

This report outlines the three focuses of these design solutions, existing schemes, methods of stakeholder engagement, a menu of strategies determined, funding research, methods for the evaluation of any intervention, and final recommendations for the connection. Building on design concepts created in a graduate urban design studio in the fall of 2017, the Remaking Cities Institute research team has developed a set of interventions in the built environment that improve access and safety and contribute to the Borough’s economic and social vitality.

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The key to optimizing the location and functionality of existing postal facilities to increase community resilience is to partner with the network of approximately 24,000 privately owned postal facilities. Targeting multi-tenant buildings in zip codes with high poverty indicators, declining population, and/or low broadband capacity yield priority locations for identifying facilities at risk of suspension or permanent discontinuation. Discontinuation of postal facilities in vulnerable places can have a disproportionately negative effect on a community. Proactively engaging property owners, engaging and assessing community assets, and assembling a menu of complimentary services could mitigate facility discontinuation and unnecessary costs for both USPS and communities.


Based upon the recommendations and findings of this report a pilot project will launch in Pittsburgh in 2019 as a collaboration between Postal facility owners and local community based organizations. The pilot project will serve as the subject of an interdisciplinary course at Carnegie Mellon University between the Heinz College, The School of Architecture and the School of Design.

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Globally renowned experts in the field of climate science are incredibly concerned that human beings and their activities have become so invasive that they combat the forces of nature and are now pushing the earth into an unknown territory. Due to this invasive behavior, the Earth is slowly declining into a much wetter and stormier state. It goes without saying that the destructive phenomena such as Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy and many more are directly affecting the coastlines for a number of years. With the added threat of sea-level rise now, it is these coastlines we will be depending on as the first line of defense from flooding of our world’s cities.
 

This literature review offers a look into current conditions of the coastlines, (using the Northern California Bay Area as an example), human impacts on the coastal regions, concluding with postulating various coastline restoration trends and their implications on the rising sea levels. These readings should be considered vital to policy-makers, and designers. It would also raise interest and awareness in communities living in coastal regions globally.

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In current times, environmental health is a critical topic, with the citizen-led initiatives in full speed towards the accountability of the state’s and market’s ignorance of community health and sanitary living conditions. However, before aiding communities in their fight for the right of the planet and their health, a thorough community study is required, one that constitutes all parties involved, in order to understand the varying mindsets involved that resulted in the abhorrent decisions that may have resulted in the loss of life and place.
 

To understand this better, it would be best to look at the epicenter of the environmental health movement - Love Canal, New York. This paper looks at the creation of Love Canal and its transition in the 1950s from a municipal dumping ground to a residential neighborhood emanating from a school. The history of Love Canal will be followed by a brief summary of the events of the tragedy that led to the creation of the Superfund Era. This paper also attempts a community study of the two main parties of the Love Canal incident - the neighborhood of Love Canal and the Hooker Chemical Corporation.