Allegheny River Towns Program

Nestled along the Allegheny River, just north of Pittsburgh, the Allegheny River Towns are fostering river recreation, business growth, and walkable/bikeable communities.

In 2010, we worked with six communities along the Allegheny River, located just north of Pittsburgh: Blawnox, O’Hara, Etna, Millvale, Aspinwall, and Sharpsburg. These urban communities share a common industrial past. PEC had existing relationships with each through their work with community trails and stormwater management. All six areas had involved community leadership that was ready to engage in a more comprehensive approach to sustainable development. While all are located adjacent to the river, access to the riverfront varies by community. Regional priorities across all towns include:

  • Improving gateway signage and wayfinding
  • Providing pedestrian and bike linkages to riverfront trail
  • Improving streetscapes in the business districts
  • Developing community gardens
  • Building a niche economic development strategy for River Towns

Successfully implemented projects include the purchase of the Aspinwall Marina by a community organization, improved access to the riverfront park in Millvale, streetscape planning in Blawnox, gateway design in Sharpsburg, the attraction of several new business ventures in the communities, and plans for a river conservation overlay in the six River Towns as well as neighboring Shaler Township.

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