This is the EngagePGH site for Pittsburgh's Comprehensive Plan.


In more than 200 years as a chartered city, Pittsburgh has never created an integrated comprehensive plan to guide its growth.

Most plans have been completed at the neighborhood level, with each having its own distinct character, history, and culture. While these neighborhood plans are important, the process has resulted in a patchwork of plans. An integrated, citywide comprehensive plan will ensure that future neighborhood plans have a consistent and shared vision for the future.

Get Involved

The Comprehensive Plan must be a Plan driven by the Pittsburgh community for the Pittsburgh community.

Community engagement will be a top priority in the comprehensive planning process, as this needs to be a plan that guides the future growth and advancement of all Pittsburghers.

The City and its consulting team intend to plan with the community, not on behalf of the community.

There will be various ways to engage with the plan including: Public events, working groups, and surveys!

Please fill out the form on this page to stay in the loop!

Learn More

A comprehensive plan is the expression of a holistic, community-wide vision of the city's future. This includes the creation of strategic goals, programs, policies, and actions to reach that vision.

Pittsburgh’s Comprehensive Plan will advance the City’s vision to build a Pittsburgh that is safe, welcoming, and thriving for all our residents by following the principles of a Just Transition and climate justice frameworks. Read on for more information about these principles.

The city’s Comprehensive Plan will:

  • Guide future development for all parts of the city.
  • Provide the overall foundation for all land use regulation in the city by developing a map of future land uses.
  • Consider the impact of physical and environmental conditions throughout the city (for example, topography, rivers, soil and air quality, etc.).
  • Set a planning horizon of about 20 years, a duration in which we can reasonably anticipate economic and population growth while also avoiding the pitfalls of short-term thinking.
  • Inform and substantiates the development decisions of City Council and other municipal leaders.

Pittsburgh’s Comprehensive Plan, and subsequent policy recommendations, should be rooted in racial and social equity, climate justice, and the pillars of regenerative economies.

To achieve this, the City anticipates deep engagement through a community-led process, which will be coordinated by an engagement consultant team.

The City anticipates the planning process to be a two-year effort.

Pittsburgh is the second-largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It's home to roughly 300,000 people living in 90 neighborhoods within 58 square miles.

Pittsburgh has a storied and well-documented history of growth and prosperity, decline and collapse, and eventual rebound.

As the domestic steel industry collapsed, Pittsburgh faced widespread decline and population loss. However, over the past 30 years, Pittsburgh has diversified its economy, focusing on higher education, medical and life science industries, tourism, and technology sectors.

Before we look to the future, we need to acknowledge our past: from the legacy of heavy industry to the heavy-handed government policies that disrupted neighborhoods, displaced residents and contributed to the degradation of the region’s air, soil and water.

Today, Pittsburgh is a city that is both prosperous and unequal. The city faces an increase in its unhoused population, rents and house prices are increasing at a pace that threatens our status as an “affordable city,” and historically marginalized communities continue to experience high rates of poverty, environmental injustices, poor health outcomes, and unequal access to opportunity.

The foundational approach to Pittsburgh’s citywide comprehensive plan must adhere to climate justice and Just Transition principles.

Just Transition is a term that means a healthy economy and a clean environment can and should co-exist. The process for achieving this vision should be a fair one that should not cost workers or community residents their health, environment, jobs, or economic assets.

The City seeks to address the root causes and adapt to the effects of climate change, while simultaneously addressing a range of racial, social, and environmental injustices that continue to exist for many residents and communities throughout the city.

Racist land use policies and practices at the federal, state and municipal levels of government that targeted Black residents in many U.S. cities, including Pittsburgh, have left a legacy of spatial and economic segregation that has persisted through generations. Therefore, the foundational approach to Pittsburgh’s citywide Comprehensive Plan must adhere to climate justice and Just Transition principles.

This comprehensive planning process should not only strive to address past land-use failures but ensure every resident in every neighborhood sees themselves as part of the future prosperity of the city. For this reason, the city and its consultants working to develop this Plan will consider the interrelated impacts of cultural, social, environmental and economic factors on land use, zoning, and related policies proposed in the Plan.

The Pittsburgh Transition Report (2022) provides significant insight to the challenges facing the city.

Eight themes emerged from the transition report that add context to what the Comprehensive Plan will cover:

  1. A Welcoming Community
  2. A Safe City
  3. Young People’s Plan
  4. Economic Opportunity
  5. A Connected City
  6. Healthy Residents;
  7. Aging in Place
  8. Thriving Neighborhoods.

The following are examples of needs that incorporate future land use, climate action, scenario planning, and just and equitable future outcomes that will be considered for the Comprehensive Plan:

  • Environmental Justice
  • Climate Action
  • Vacant Land
  • Housing
  • Technology & Digital Equity
  • Historic Preservation
  • Waste
  • Stormwater Management
  • Food
  • Economic Opportunity
  • Mobility & Transportation
  • Neighborhood Planning
  • Energy
  • Parks & Open Space
  • Youth
  • Public Health
  • Arts & Culture
  • Urban Design
  • Civic Engagement, Democracy & Participation

Helpful Visuals

Just Transition

View the graphic above to see what it means for the Comprehensive Plan to be built with a "Just Transition" in mind, or read about it below.

A Just Pittsburgh Comprehensive Plan Built on the Just Transition

This plan requires solidarity at all scales (regional, citywide, and neighborhood level) to build the world we need now that focuses on our challenges, opportunities, and targets.

The Just Transition Values are: well-being for all; meaningful, life-affirming work; self-determination through democratic governance; redistribution of resources and power; and retaining cultural heritage.

Core Engagement Strategies will: build on past labor and wisdom; create a vibrant public digital square; practice equitable decision making; center youth leadership; engage Pittsburgh and build advocates; and adapt to community feedback.

Just Transition outcomes will: Meet and exceed our basic needs; build wealth and economic prosperity at all scales; advance participation, engagement, and inclusion in city processes; promote a climate-resilient civic commons; and celebrate authentic design, identity, and preservation.

Plan Framework

View the graphic above to read about how comprehensive plans are typically organized, or read about it below.

Comprehensive Plans tend to be organized as a framework with elements. These plan elements include the following:

  • Geographies, including neighborhoods and planning districts.
  • Policy goals and priorities, including Just Transition policies, Mayor Ed Gainey's transition priorities, and others.
  • City systems, including land uses, infrastructure and services, the public realm and facilities.

These plan elements incorporate supplemental strategies to ensure implementation, measurement, and accountability.

Implementation can be assessed through:

  • Land use plans and descriptions
  • Zoning implications
  • City and capital budgets
  • Neighborhood plans
  • City equity plans
  • City sustainability plans

Measurement can be assessed with:

  • Just transition metrics
  • City equity metrics
  • City Sustainability metrics

Accountability can be assessed through:

  • City budget
  • Capital budget
  • Department of City Planning Strategic Plan
  • Sustained community engagement protocols
  • Planning Commission
  • Zoning Commission