annual meeting
Travis Williams of the Penguins, Governor Tom Corbett and Dr. Paul Henningan of Point Park University at the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership's annual meeting earlier today.

Last year, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership (PDP) more than doubled the size of its holiday market in Market Square, expanded its weekly Farmer’s Market and Night Market events, helped lobby for transit funding and successfully staged various types of programs, including the first Urban Supper,  in nearly every corner of the Golden Triangle.

The PDP released its annual report this morning during its annual meeting–and 20th anniversary–at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, outlining its 2013 activities and its goals for the coming year.

Among the highlights for 2014, the PDP will:

  • Look to install 10 solar-powered trash compactors and recycling bins in high-traffic areas of
    Downtown in an effort to reduce the need for daily maintenance.
  • Work with the city and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy to reopen Mellon Square Park.
  • Initiate talks with government officials regarding the feasibility of expanding Pittsburgh’s
    Amtrak service downtown.
  • Complete the design of a comprehensive way-finding system for the neighborhood and pursue
    its creation with the help of both private and public funding.
  • Attempt to foster the creation of a bike lane that connects both commuters and recreational
    cyclists with all of Downtown’s major assets.

PDP President and CEO Jeremy Waldrup also revealed a series of events for the coming months to help celebrate the PDP’s 20th anniversary.

“We’re planning to produce a week of activities from July 15 to 24 that highlights all the things which make Downtown such a special place,” said Waldrup. “This week is not about the PDP. It’s about the people who are investing in our community and making this place such a fantastic city throughout the year.”

Among the other initiatives Waldrup announced are 13 weeks of free yoga classes in Market Square on Sunday morning, two more urban suppers and a sequel to last year’s Pop Up Patio project.

“We’re building on the success of last year’s temporary Pop Up Patio to announce new, crowdsourced mobile placemaking initiative that will create roving public space selected by Downtown office workers and residents,” said Waldrup.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto delivered the keynote address. “Downtown Pittsburgh is the living room for all of Western Pennsylvania,” he said. “Later this year, we’ll be announcing a new initiative to create a model of complete streets, where we can create streets that will include protected bike lanes which are completely separated from traffic so that you’ll be able to get north, south, east and west in our European-style city.”

Matthew Wein is a local writer, editor, blogger, storyteller and proud native Pittsburgher. Once described as "a man of things," he covers city design, spirits and craft beer for NEXT, where he keeps all of the editorial meetings light-hearted and interesting. His interests include sorting books, looking at old things and candles which smell like old-growth pine forests.