Monday, August 03, 2015

Time For a Long Overdue Talk About Pittsburgh"s Waterfront Stadiums

No time to do a long post about this yet.

To a very large extent, the shift in my posts towards local planning and design issues reflects a disgust and foreboding about the impact of ant-urban policies. 

Pittsburgh as a small city, with specific geographic constraints simply can't afford to waste taxable property.

When I arrived 11 years ago,  the average city resident might have thought the city was lucky to have any development, or economic activity of any kind. Without our benevolent team owners, who would want to visit, work or live in our ugly, post industrial city. What is good for them, surely must be good for us? Um.... perhaps not.

With parking on North Shore in flux, developer gets extension on apartments

After two years, a developer might be allowed to build a 9 story 250 unit apartment building next to PNC Park IF They Replace 531 Parking Spaces Lost.

Which is more important to the teams, surface parking for occasional fans or actual taxable development?

"The stadium authority is required to replace parking under its option agreement with the Pirates, the Steelers and Continental to develop the land between the two sports facilities."

Meaning that taxpayers will likely have to pay for another huge expansion of another huge, hideous parking garage. 

No surprise that actual, livable residential construction is booming in the East End and other places far away from the stadiums.

Meanwhile the specter of gentrification becomes more visible.

Recent Penn Plaza evictions highlight East Liberty's severe lack of affordable housing 

Duh, who would have seen this coming? Certainly, not the new so called, progressive mayor who has so far kissed the ring of any and all team demands.

“It’s critical because if we’re going to be an inclusive city and a city that allows for all income ranges to live here and prosper, you’re always going to need some affordable housing,” he said. “It’s really a conversation that is very timely, that is very needed.”
Followed by a call for the same kind of subsidies and policies that have helped make housing so affordable in New York, Boston and San Francisco.

How about  the city, state and federal government start by not helping sports teams turn the city into a parking lot for occasional fans. 

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