Pittsburgh receives $5 million pledge toward infrastructure with 'Resilient City' initiative

Flood control, facilities and road maintenance top Mayor William Peduto’s list for expenditures in the near future, with at least 10 percent of Pittsburgh’s operating and capital budget earmarked for infrastructure improvements.

In return for that infrastructure pledge, Pittsburgh is one of 67 cities that will receive $5 million in technical and financial support over the next five years from The Rockefeller Foundation/100 Resilient Cities, which held a resilience summit with Peduto and other world leaders in Bellagio, Italy on Saturday.

The summit addressed the concept of resilience planning: how municipalities prepare for and respond to challenges, including consciously investing assets to strategically avoid them. For Pittsburgh, that means focusing on flooding issues in relationship to aging streets, bridges and other structures, along with an aging population with its own anticipated special needs.

“This pledge builds on our already fiscally sound budgeting practices, and allows us to further target city resources toward making our neighborhoods and financial structures even more resilient,” Peduto said. “We’re looking at how we allocate our expenditures to reduce our carbon footprint and impact on the environment, while at the same time improving the services and efficiency of local government.”

Having already designated flood remediation, street paving and improved senior centers as top priorities, the city hopes to persuade its internal authorities to see the big picture similarly. Already, the parking and sports authorities have converted to LED lighting to reduce electricity overhead; housing, transit, and energy overseers are currently working to refine development planning; and public safety personnel are studying counter-terrorism action, a first for Pittsburgh.

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