Globally and Act Locally!
Nine Mile Run is a historic stream valley in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, identified by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. as an ideal site for a city park in 1910. Between 1920 and 1972 twenty stories of steel mill slag were dumped on the site by the steel industry. In 1996 the property was targeted for a new community and an extension of a major city park by the City of Pittsburgh.
Over the last two years, research fellows at the STUDIO for the Creative Inquiry, Carnegie Mellon University, in collaboration with The Pittsburgh Children's Museum, have developed classroom activities that invite school children, their teachers and families to carry out investigations of brownfield* site opportunities. The Nine Mile Run site became a case study. We have worked with the Homewood Montessori School, Dickson Intermediate School and John Minadeo School. The students' homework and activities are documented on these web pages.
* Brownfields are post-industrial sites. They are the places that have been abandoned by steel and other industries. They are often best described in comparison to greenfields. Greenfields are undeveloped lands like fields and forests, which are often beyond the suburban edge. Redeveloping brownfields reinforces the function of cities and takes development pressure off forests and farms. There are many current and former brownfields properties in Pennsylvania.