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ABOUT CITY PLANNING

About DCP

MISSION

The Department of City Planning establishes and sustains an orderly and consistent approach to land use in the City of Pittsburgh that incorporates sustainability, city design, resilience, equity, and opportunity into ongoing practice and long-range planning. To achieve this end, Planning works with communities, civic organizations, and public entities at both the scale zoning districts and land development plans and individual project applications The overriding goal is to sustain and enhance a thriving city of neighborhoods for people who live, work, learn, and visit here. Planning works to integrate completed and evolving major citywide strategies including but not limited to ONE PGH resilience strategy, Climate Action Plan, and People, Planet, Place, and Performance (p4) into policy, code, and the Comprehensive Plan.


Community Development 

Administers all federal funds received by the City. Oversight: 1) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)—grants to develop viable urban communities; 2) Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG)—grants to support essential services related to emergency shelter and street outreach, emergency shelter operation and renovation, short and medium-term rental assistance, housing relocation and stabilization for individuals and families who are homeless/at risk); 3) Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)—grants for projects that benefit low and moderate-income persons living with HIV/AIDS and their families. 4) Home Investment Partnership Program (HOME) – Grants to fund activities including building, buying, and/or rehabilitating affordable housing for rent/homeownership or providing direct rental assistance. 

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) 

Provides data and analysis services to City Departments and Authorities, and works collaboratively to improve internal and external Interactive Web Applications. It incorporates Open Data into divisional workflow for better sharing and more standardized data use by all. Key responsibilities include addressing, as well as development and application of improved tools for 2- and 3-D mapping and analysis. This division collaborates with outside agencies to establish critical authoritative data with a focus on greater accuracy for the 2020 Census.

Public Art & Civic Design 

Promotes and ensures high quality public art and civic design for on city-owned property, including architecture, visible infrastructure, and landscape, in order to sustain and enhance meaningful, memorable, and enjoyable experience. Develops and supports inclusion of art/programming that reflect the city's history, diversity, and culture. Key tasks: staffing City's Art Commission; conservation and maintenance of the City's collection of public artwork, monuments, and memorials, and planning and implementing new commissions of public art/programs.

Sustainability & Resilience 

Partners to protect and improve the built and natural environment of the City of Pittsburgh for present and future generations. Leadership for integration of sustainability and resilience practices into the city’s operations, policies and investments, and develops and works to implement the climate planning and resilience strategy for the City. Principle activities include: measurement and performance benchmarking, policy research and development to assist City operations, community education for sustainability, and identification of innovation and strategic investment opportunities.

Strategic Planning

Develops planning processes to enhance quality of life and efficient development of real property within the City of Pittsburgh. Conducts project development reviews related to Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, storm water management, and other environmental reviews. Neighborhood Planners serve to empower neighborhoods to plan for their future, providing a key link to city government and resources. The division is also charged with coordinating and developing the City’s Comprehensive Plan, a resource combining analysis of neighborhood and system-wide challenges with identification of opportunities

Zoning and Development Review 

Reviews all permits for compliance with the City's Zoning Code. Staffs Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Adjustment, Contextual Design Advisory Panel, and Historic Review Commission. Functions include: proposing Zoning Code text amendments and map changes in order to adopt best management practices and regulations to promote high quality planning and development; reviewing for and providing consultation on a project basis, and working on proposed text amendments, map changes, special planning districts, signage, and other land use and development activity. In addition, the division processes lot subdivisions and consolidations, evaluates and processes Zoning Certificates for real estate closings and refinances, and reviews historic review applications.