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Aug. 2: Heinz Endowments Grant Funds Remaking Cities Institute in School of Architecture


Eric Sloss

Heinz Endowments Grant Funds Remaking Cities
Institute at Carnegie Mellon's School of Architecture

Luis Rico-Gutierrez Will Lead Effort To Revitalize Pittsburgh Neighborhoods

PITTSBURGH—The Heinz Endowments has awarded $300,000 to create a Remaking Cities Institute (RCI) at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Architecture that will bring university, industry and community leaders together to make responsible, sustainable changes to Pittsburgh neighborhoods. 

"The Remaking Cities Institute is being created to ensure and expand the education, community-visioning, and research efforts of Carnegie Mellon, and to strengthen its partnerships in the Pittsburgh region to catalyze the revitalization of urban regions, neighborhood by neighborhood," said RCI Director Luis Rico-Gutierrez, associate dean of Carnegie Mellon's College of Fine Arts.

The Remaking Cities Institute will use a multidisciplinary work model to make decisions that bring aspects of land use, zoning, transportation, mixed-use development and neighborhood design together with urban geography, economics and policy. During the next year, the institute will use the grant to focus its attention on creating a vision for the former LTV site in Hazelwood and to study its potential for advancing sustainable development in neighboring communities and the region.

A key partner in the effort is the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management's Center for Economic Development (CED), which will allow the institute to leverage academic resources to better understand key regional economic-development issues. Carnegie Mellon's Urban Lab, an outreach program in the School of Architecture that uses faculty and student expertise to address urban-development issues in the Pittsburgh region, will also be an RCI partner. About 40 undergraduate and graduate students of different disciplines will create design proposals and policy strategies using the Urban Lab's design process. Through meetings and focus groups, the Urban Lab works with citizens and leaders in leveraging the energy and creativity of outstanding students to lay the foundation for professional engagement.

"We have high expectations for our work in Hazelwood," Rico-Gutierrez said. "Pittsburgh can become a model that demonstrates the proposition that university-industry-community collaborations can foster sustainable change economically, ecologically and culturally."

Rico-Gutierrez will continue to serve as associate dean of Carnegie Mellon's College of Fine Arts, a position he's held since 2002. He joined the Carnegie Mellon faculty in 1996.