(PITTSBURGH) March 26, 2013 Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today announced the launch of TALKPGH, the City’s first mobile outreach vehicle program. TALKPGH will creatively engage residents to gather insight about their neighborhoods, which will be used to develop the City’s public art and urban design plans - ARTPGH and DESIGNPGH. From April 6th through the 25th, the TALKPGH vehicle will visit each of the City’s 90 neighborhoods to interview residents about their communities, and collect ideas about how they can be improved through public art and urban design. TALKPGH is an initiative of PLANPGH, the City’s first-ever 25-year comprehensive plan, which includes 12 components and is anticipated to be completed in 2014.
“Through this creative and innovative planning process, residents will have the opportunity to share what makes their neighborhood special, and how it can be improved through public art and urban design,” Ravenstahl said. “TALKPGH is an exciting way to actively engage residents in creating policies that will help preserve and enhance those qualities. We want to make it easy and exciting for residents to work with us on this important effort.”
The City has teamed up with local artist Jon Rubin to facilitate the project. Rubin and his film crew will conduct interviews, alongside City staff, and will ask residents general, open-ended questions about their neighborhood. Residents are encouraged to speak about what they feel are strengths and weaknesses, and how they think art and design can be improved.
The unique vehicle features a cargo area with transparent sides, which will act as windows for the public to watch “live” as residents are being interviewed. Interviews will be taped and will air as a web series this summer on the TALKPGH website. TALKPGH aims to engage residents in the planning process as well as drive attendance and participation at public meetings and workshops. A round of community workshops for the ARTPGH and DESIGNPGH plans will be held from April 22nd through 30th.
To aid in this endeavor, the City of Pittsburgh is looking for liaisons, interviewees and suggested locations in which to film the 90-neighborhood talk show. Residents who are interested in being interviewed about their neighborhood may sign up on the project’s website or by calling the auto set-up system at 408-800-3176. Interviewees will be predetermined in each neighborhood prior to the vehicle visiting that neighborhood. If the schedule is not filled during the time of filming, residents who are not pre-determined may also be interviewed. Residents are also encouraged to recommend neighbors to be interviewed as well as feasible locations where the vehicle may park legally for a one-hour filming session.
About ARTPGH and DESIGNPGH
ARTPGH will create a strategy for the City to engage local, regional and national artists, facilitate care for its extensive art collection, and involve artists in public space, facility and infrastructure design. DESIGNPGH will examine existing types of urban design and devise a plan with set guidelines to inform future developers about the quality and character of design that is expected and feasible in our neighborhoods.
ARTPGH and DESIGNPGH are being conducted by the Department of City Planning and partnering consultants, including Urban Design Associates, Barbara Goldstein and local artist Jon Rubin.
Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687