Founder of the woman-owned and operated consulting company, ReMake Group, LLC, Rebecca Flora is deeply committed to sustainable community development practices and the collaborative process. She’s also passionate about translating urban redevelopment issues for audiences of all backgrounds.
The first woman board chair of the U.S. Green Building Council, Rebecca is the authorized agent for Almono LLC, and project director for the 178-acre Hazelwood Green site (read more about the $1 billion project here) along the Monongahela River. Owned by three foundations, Rebecca says that “the unique project is being envisioned as a new model for sustainable development that will transform markets, policy and practice.” A South Side resident, Rebecca is also the “proud mother of two daughters who were homegrown in Pittsburgh.”
How does Pittsburgh inspire and inform your work?
I love how Pittsburgh is a laboratory for advancing “old urbanism” through the reuse of neighborhoods and buildings to revitalize places that are genuine, and occupied by people with roots who care.
What upcoming events are you excited to attend?
Best part of your job?
Working alongside my daughter and planner, Katrina Flora, to push the envelope for advancing sustainable development on a site-wide scale at Hazelwood Green.
Write three words to describe Pittsburgh:
Authentic, hopeful and inspiring.
What is your favorite creative outlet?
Dancing to great oldies music, followed by sailing, makes me feel most free and happy. I suppose my creativity comes into play with photography, growing and cooking healthy food and sewing — I just like making things that can be enjoyed and used by others. This is a throwback to my country roots. I would love to find more time to get back to these basics!
What is the one thing that would surprise Pittsburghers most about you?
I am a country girl at heart having grown up as the fifth generation of French (and Indian) voyageurs in an Adirondack small town where everyone was a “maker” and we all lived “sustainably” as a matter of practicality and affordability.
Your wish for Pittsburgh?
To be creative and bold in the implementation of a mobility strategy that connects all neighborhoods (and the adjacent counties) with safe, easy to access and affordable alternatives to single-occupancy cars. This works to address multiple big issues holding Pittsburgh back from its full potential by connecting people to jobs, education and resources that create barriers to entry and advancement. Do this with the next generation engaged to create a connected city that is built for the future.
What book is on your nightstand or in your e-reader right now?
The New York Times.
Favorite Pittsburgh view?
My fourth-floor office at Windom Hill Place where I have a view of the Downtown skyline, the Monongahela, the Cathedral of Learning, and my favorite neighborhood of South Side (even better, if we could enforce a dark sky ordinance).
Last photo you took on your phone?
Skiing in Park City, Utah, right before I ended up in the ER with a torn meniscus (won’t be dancing for awhile).
Where do you always take out-of-town visitors?
There is something for everyone in Pittsburgh, so it really depends on the age group, interests and of course the weather. Riverfront trails for biking are my first choice; Children’s Museum for the kids; Phipps as an all-around spot; and of course, theater or music options always exist for an evening out.
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