Nine Mile Run Greenway Project: The Community Workshop



Friday, July 23 - 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm -- Greenway Tours & Picnic Dinner

Community Resource Trailer, off of Commercial Street in the Valley

4:00 pm -- Greenway Tours

Workshop participants will meet at the trailer for the tours. Participants will divide into Upstream and Downstream facilitated work groups. (Upstream includes Regent Square Gateway, Lower Frick Park and Commercial Street. Downstream includes Commercial Street, Mid-slag node and Duck Hollow.) The project co-directors, serving as tour leaders, will review the challenges and opportunities related to each node, share community comments that have been gathered, and explain the design alternatives that are being proposed. The Upper Greenway tour will be lead by co-directors Tim Collins and Reiko Goto. The Lower Greenway tour will be lead by co-directors Bob Bingham and John Stephen. The tour is to familiarize workshop participants with key issues through first hand inspection of the five designated nodes.

6:30 pm - 9:00 pm -- Picnic Dinner

Workshop participants will reconvene for a picnic dinner.


Saturday, July 24 - 9:00 am to 3:00 pm -- Work Sessions

Wood Street Galleries, 601 Wood Street, downtown Pittsburgh

9:00 am -- Panel: Nine Mile Run Greenway Conceptual Design Alternatives Review

Continental breakfast will be provided.

A presentation by the artists of the Nine Mile Run Greenway Project will provide a context for consideration of the design alternatives and discussion of options to follow later in the morning. This is followed by presentations on the status of initiatives currently underway. Panel presenters include the Army Corps of Engineers, the 3 Rivers Wet Weather Demonstration Program, the Rocky Mountain Institute (stormwater), and the Department of City Planning.

10:30 am -Community Brainstorming

Based on the introductory presentations, the workshop participants and the attending public will participate in a brainstorming session about the greenway; i.e. what should be enhanced and protected in the greenway, what recreational activities to encourage, what are some potential educational programs, etc. The preferences will be tracked on a matrix which will identify which nodes are most ideally suited for that purpose. This matrix will be used during the work sessions to inform the work on the upper and lower greenways.

11:30 am - 3:00 pm -- Work Session

Lunch will be provided.

Participants will divide into the assigned work groups. The participants will use the posterboards, cost estimates, and programmatic preferences to evaluate options and develop a preferred conceptual design, including volunteer initiatives and community education programs, for each node. Each group will attempt to complete two nodes on Saturday. The Upper Greenway group will start with the Lower Frick Park node and work through the Regent Square Gateway node on Saturday. The Lower Greenway group will start with the Duck Hollow node and work through the Mid-slag node on Saturday.


Sunday, July 25 - 10:00 am to 3:00 pm - Work Session & Presentation

Wood Street Galleries, 601 Wood Street, downtown Pittsburgh

10:00 am -- Work Session

Brunch will be provided.

The groups could continue to refine their program/design concepts from their work on Saturday and complete the Commercial Avenue node.

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm -- Presentation of Results and Greenway Futures

The Sunday afternoon session will be a synthesis of the workshop. The public will be invited. After a short introduction of the workshop process by the project artists, each work group will present their recommendations. This will be followed with an exercise in which all participants will evaluate a range of administrative options using criteria to measure fit with program/design goals, legal requirements, funding potential and ongoing stewardship. The product of this session would be a preferred and do-able administrative option which, when added to the preferred program and design elements, will lead to a complete package.


Nine Mile Run Greenway Project:

The Community Design Workshop


Workshop participants will be asked to develop three specific products:

  • Specific (conceptual) design guideline for each of the five nodes: Duck Hollow, Mid-slag, Commercial Street, Lower Frick Park, and Regent Square Gateway;
  • Any additional programming, educational or creative products which may have been missed in the Conceptual Design Alternatives and can be integrated into the intent of the guidelines.
  • An institutional structure for the sustainable financing, construction, management and maintenance of the greenway


Products should embrace the following ideals:

I. Employ a process of multi-benefit problem solving and creativity.

II. Target long term sustainability.

III. Products should be reviewed for their cause and affect on culture (care/stewardship), economy (construction and long term maintenance) and ecology (bio-diversity and human/nature interface aesthetic). IV. Each final design guideline should be considered for its relative value in terms of natural and cultural benefit as well as costs.


Specific programming, institutional, educational and creative products can be developed after a guideline is identified through a process of community consensus.

Each team will include a chair to keep the work focused and moving, a reporter to keep track of the diverse ideas which are generated at these events and numerous community members with an intimate knowledge of the site and its experiences, opportunities, problems and uses. Each team will be complimented by an artist, architect, ecologist, landscape architect, urban planner who can help with details of the conceptual design guidelines.

For the design recommendations, please draw initially from the posterboard content produced for the exhibition. The posterboards, describe current conditions, ecosystem alternatives, and infrastructure options for each node. The posterboards, were carefully assembled after two years work and a variety of cultural and scientific analysis. The participants are asked to review the materials, analyze the options and collaboratively produce a board defining the preferred conceptual design for each node. The conceptual design should be developed in a manner complimentary to the existing boards. Images created during the Community Design Workshop will be scanned, attributed for authorship and formatted with computer tools in the fall. Working versions of the boards, drawing materials, sketch, and poster markers will be provided at the Galleries. Various computer tools and STUDIO resource assistants will be available as well. Elements of the community workshop designs will be presented in the Galleries in the remaining weeks of the exhibition.

Each table will be provided with cost estimates of the different design elements. The cost estimate information will be provided by Biohabitats, Inc., a nationally recognized ecological planning firm. These estimates are not intended to constrain our choices but they will provide an understanding of their financial consequences. The preferred conceptual design board should include narrative descriptions of volunteer initiatives and community education programs.

The institutional alternatives and preferred greenway node designs will be principal elements of the final Greenway Plan to be completed later in the year. Although you will have a chance to review this document in the fall, the Workshop will be the best opportunity for an in-depth and comprehensive shaping of this product.