Students at Heinz College have tacked a broad range of system projects related to improving economic, community, or workforce development over the years. Within a few years after the establishment of the CED in the 80s, students engaged in projects focusing on topics such as development around airport corridors, improving math and science education in Mon Valley schools, labor conditions in southwestern Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh region’s job training system, and the feasibility of bringing Maglev to Pittsburgh.
Recent projects students have engaged include:
Assessing the social economic impact of the Allegheny Grows Community Gardening Program, Allegheny County Economic Development
Assessing social entrepreneurship models for the largest greenouse in southwestern Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation
Developing a GPS enabled mobile application to help the Red Cross emergency services manage needs assessment for small scale disasters, United Way of Allegheny County
Determining safe routes for school and associated development opportunities associated with new school construction in the neighborhood of Homewood in Pittsburgh PA
Examining the implications of implementing Bus Rapid Transit through the Oakland to Downtown Corridor in Pittsburgh, Port Authority of Allegheny County
Iron Roots: an analysis of entrepreneurial opportunity for urban farming in Youngstown OH, Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation
Assessing the marketability of rehabilitated housing in Wilkinsburg, Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation
Examining the reuse of the Allegheny Center development (an urban renewal project on Pittsburgh’s North Side), Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation
Developing IT and policy to enable the delivery of real-time bus location and estimated arrival times to riders for Port Authority of Allegheny County
Developing a tool to help community development practitioners identify corridor selection methods and effective investment strategies for blighted communities with vacant land for GTECH Strategies.
Examining the barriers to using food stamps at the city’s farmer’s markets for Just Harvest
Other related projects undertaken by students at the College during the last several decades include:
What started as a system project is now an award winning model that combines urban redevelopment with environmental sustainability. GTECHs three pronged strategy involves reclaiming blighted and brownfield land, planting renewable bio-fuel crops, and providing job training communities.
A study of the downtown residential market for the Downtown Living Initiative.
A team of students examined Pittsburgh's Hill District neighborhood for the URA to determine the true market size and determine if it was sufficient to support a grocery store, and if so, what other issues needed to be addressed to attract a store.
An examination of six potential areas of public services consolidation between the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.
This project explored alternatives to traditional marketing measures related to retail location decisions, such as household income, vs. measures that reflect the total purchasing power of an area, including population and density within a given distance of, for example, a grocery store. Project clients included the URA and Allegheny County Economic Development.
A project focusing on connecting communities in need to jobs at the airport corridor for Sustainable Pittsburgh.
A project focused on developing neighborhood indicators to benchmark Pittsburgh vs. Other U.S. Cities.
An assessment of the role foundations play in economic development, for the Heinz Foundation.
This project examined ways to connect neighborhood needs and assets with regional industrial strategy. Clients included the community development corporations of East Liberty Development Inc. and South Side Local Development Corporation.
An examination of Port Authority’s financial crisis in 2003, and strategies for managing financial and social deficits in urban public transit systems. Client: Port Authority.
A historical analysis of the decisions in the design, funding, construction, and operations of the East Busway capital project. Client: Port Authority.
An examination of the links between environment and competitiveness across regions, and the potential for Pittsburgh to link the environment to economic growth.
Analysis and recommendations for improving the region’s entrepreneurial infrastructure.
A study of stakeholder roles in development decision making.
An examination of issues surrounding University tech transfer.
A comparison and critique of measurement systems for urban/regional benchmarking.
Examination of entrepreneurial activity in local arts organizations.
A review of the policy context for entrepreneurship in Pennsylvania for the Pennsylvania Department of Commerce.
Examines the benefits and feasibility of implementing of tax base sharing for the six county region.
An examination of four different economic development institutions in Pittsburgh.
An examination of the challenges of ushering high performance manufacturing into southwestern Pennsylvania for SPIRC.
An examination of technology policy issues with creating and diffusing industrial innovations in the US.