Mobile Workshops

This year's mobile workshops were a huge success! Read below for descriptions of our 2018 mobile workshops and interactive seminar. Sign up for our Summit newsletter to stay informed for 2019. 


Sxsw N'at: Transforming Leftover Open Spaces into Community Assets 

(West End, South Hills)

Every community has its own unique assets and challenges, but one challenge that Western Pennsylvania communities share is the leftover space created by the region’s topography, historic planning decisions, and economic hurdles. These spaces are often uncared for, leading to lower property values, negative perception of the community, and ecological degradation from illegal dumping, invasive species, and improper stormwater management.

Recent efforts in the City of Pittsburgh and the greater region are transforming these liabilities into stormwater and open space assets that solve system-wide problems while building community capacity and improving quality of life. This panel will describe how communities and their residents are building capacity to work together and solve problems, while creating value in the region’s interstitial spaces through green infrastructure and open space preservation and management.

Artists and Communities in Dialogue: Addressing Neighborhood Change through Public Art


For the past 18 months, the Office of Public Art and Neighborhood Allies have been hosting an initiative that brings six artists into partnership with six community based-organizations to create temporary public art projects. This mobile workshop will feature a visit to the Larimer neighborhood, where artist John Peña has been working collaboratively with the Larimer Consensus Group and senior citizens to create a work that explores the relationship of this rapidly changing community with its long-time residents. Attendees will learn about the program, learn best practices for working with artists and commissioning public art, hear from artists and community members who participated from other communities, and participate in a walking tour of the neighborhood, which is also Choice Neighborhoods site.

Creating a Meaningful Community Participation Plan: Part 2, Solutions for a Better Community 

(World Cafe Style Session)

During the 2017 Summit, planners, community advocates, nonprofit organizations, and developers challenged themselves to define the key elements that make a productive community engagement process. This session will review and affirm the groups’ findings and apply them to five semi-real scenarios. We’ll assess two types of capacity building: processes where a subject matter expert, usually the design professional or developer, does the outreach in the context of a project or planning process; and processes that occur independent of any project or planning exercise.

This exercise will build upon the key building blocks for creating a meaningful community participation plan, which will address concerns of the community, and help improve relations and communications between developers, planners, and stakeholders. The outcomes will be documented and presented as best practices that anyone can use to further productive communication in open-sourced community participation plan processes.