Community Resilience

Pittsburgh: Building resilience for the ‘Steel City’

An interview with Grant Ervin, Chief Resilience Officer in Pittsburgh, USA.

The ‘steel city’ of Pittsburgh has faced extreme challenges in recent decades. In the first of a series of interviews with Chief Resilience Officers around the globe, we ask the city’s Grant Ervin about the CRO role.

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When Donald Trump announced his intention to take the US out of the Paris Climate Accord in June last year, it was Pittsburgh he cited. “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” he said. Some of the most notable responses came from individual US cities and Pittsburgh led the way. The city’s mayor, Bill Peduto, fired back on Trump’s favourite medium, Twitter: “As the Mayor of Pittsburgh, I can assure you that we will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy and future.

A few months prior to the president’s announcement, in March, Pittsburgh had released its first Resilience Strategy.

The Strategy sets out the city’s priorities. The Steel City, it states, “must still overcome the stresses associated with its industrial legacy and crumbling infrastructure, while responding to ongoing pressures stemming from urbanization, globalization, and climate change. Persistent socioeconomic inequities, coupled with a history of fragmented governance, planning and service delivery, continue to undercut resident quality of life and strain city resources.

Every city is different and this shapes the resilience efforts. Ervin describes Pittsburgh as “90 distinct neighbourhoods that have grown up along topographical, geographical, racial and ethnic lines”.

Read entire article Pittsburgh: Building resilience for the ‘Steel City’ |

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