NMR Greenway Community
Design Workshop Options
for Creative Inquiry
Pittsburgh Department of City Planning
input and involvement to achieve a healthy urban ecosystem, improving recreational,
educational and aesthetic values and finally resolving the century old problems
of water quality
1. Clean the stream and keep it clean
2. Manage the stormwater
3. Restore and support a healthy diverse ecoystem
4. Link Frick Park to the Monongahela River
5. Provide recreational opportunities
6. Provide educational opportunities
7. Provide a model of institutional partnerships, involve municipalities and
8. Enhance regional and neighborhood assets, quality of life and property values
Click on each board for an interactive
content was developed by the NMR team, final graphic design by Suzy Meyer of
Node 1: Braddock
Cultural Restoration, images of a new relationship to stormwater and lost
Water flow is a safety concern. Invitation for more people to
view a natural phenomenon, means we have to address the safety concerns.
- Culvert steps
should be designed for sitting and watching and provide access for maintenance
- Establish a warning
system for storm surge, provide points of egress.
- Public art
opportunity whereby/bells or other devices can be activated by storm
- Establish a "stream
mark" beginning at Braddock Ave. which can be used to outline the culverted
stream in the upper watershed communities
community ed center/info at foodland entrance
- Target homeowners
to education about benefitting the stream
- Explore corporate
sponsorship of homeowner retrofit
- Municipal partnerships
should be highlighted here
- Celebrate the
- Create cultural
access to the park
- Encourage community
education through pro-active signage and icons
- Address difficult
- Constrain access
to the culvert
- Floatables control
- collect debris, allowing for the flow of water
- Traffic at the
entrance is a problem
- Action: Focus
on the design as a local PEDESTRIAN access point
- Should allow maintenance
equipment, and cleanout access to the stilling pond
- Maintain parking
Node 2: Frick
- Ecological restoration
which separates the stream ecosystem from sewer infrastructure
- Restore the floodplain,
stabilize waterflow and minimize sewage impact
model for region
- CSO management
model for country
- Transform the
lower Frick Park experience
- Create a better
ballfield in a new location
- Add stream meanders
and flood plain
- Use natural materials
and minimize concrete wherever possible.
- Design, plan and
- Interpret, information-
education and establishing signage
- Trail design for
- Create limited
walkways in sensitive areas for ADA access and education
- Reconsider parking-
Fern Hollow Creek relationship
- Make sure peak
parking use is accommodated
- Design with
permeable surface or other appropriate stormwater applications
Node 3: Commercial
A meadow restoration would provide the best possible design
solution given the greenway goal of restored and supported healthy diverse
An integrated design including a ballfield,
a meadow restoration and an interpretive center on this singular site.
Each element should embrace multi-benefit solutions and a green design
program targeting innovative structure, utilities and systems.
a Commercial Avenue pedestrian crossway just south of the parkway bridge
with user-activated traffic control
- Use the Summerset
entrance and its periphery for vehicular access and parking
- Create a sidewalk
on the URA (slag) side of the road
- Put the interpretive
center close to the stream but visible from the pedestrian crossing
- If the Commercial
Avenue bridge is reconstructed, refurbish the underpass in such a way
as to be wildlife friendly
- Design the
playing field to mitigate stormwater flow
- Preserve as much
meadow as possible
- Develop the interpretive
center with an onsite steward and integrate the ecological reality of
the site into the body of the architecture
- Explore the possibility
of removing the concrete fill, and dropping the entire field to its
- Use no pesticides
or herbicides in the management of the site
- No ballfield lighting,
no sound sytem
- Design the site
for multi-benefit use, realize diverse human needs and create a threshold
for the diverse audience to access an ecosystem based experience
- Explore the potential
for the existing field to be lowered, allowing for dual function as
playing field and ecologically designed flood plain
- Design the ballfield
and its meadow environment in such a way that stormwater runoff from
the Parkway and Commercial Avenue can be detained, cleaned and infiltrated
into the groundwater
- Pedestrian crossing
of the road is a problem
- Parking and vehicular
entry onto Commercial is an issue
- Anything that
adds to the traffic will negatively affect the wildlife
- The playing field
will interrupt the ecosystem and minimize biological connectivity at
a key point in the greenway -- this is counter to the greenway-plans
stated vision and goals
While the preference is for a meadow restoration, the
community planners recognize the value of diverse human uses and recognize
the need for ballfields in Pittsburgh. If there is to be a ballfield at
this site, it must consider the above goals and guidelines.
Node 4: Slag
Maintaining silence in the quietest point in the greenway.
Restore the site through a mix of ecological and cultural processes.
Target education, art and revegetation.
- The stream (clean
and ecologically restored!)
- Existing bridge
and its downstream area
- Two areas of
existing floodplain: shale
cliffs, natural soils and Trillium on the North facing bank
- Equitable handicap
- Integrating the
Summerset bridge into the intent of the greenway
Renovate the existing bridge for pedestrians
public access to the stream
steep slopes using natural succession processes
the heart of the greenway with ecological art
Node 5: Duck
Restored riparian ecosystem, minimal effort maximum benefit.
- Safe pedestrian
connectivity between the slag entry and Duck Hollow.
- Bus service for
residents and recreational users.
- Celebrate the
entry to the slag site/trail.
- Enable public
access to the stream and river.
- Army Corp of
Engineers project to improve the aquatic habitat in the NMR embayment.
- Duck Hollow/flood
plain wildlife sanctuary (complimenting the above).
- Celebrate the
Greenway entry with a butterfly-habitat garden.
- Simple kiosk
with water, toilets, fishermans sink, info board, locking bike rack.
- Mon-Fayette Expressway
(Potential public trail investment opportunity)
- Pedestrian safety
under the existing RR bridge.
- Property ownership.
content developed by Nine Mile Run team with:
landscape architect, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture, Pennsylvania
State University; urban greenways and ecological public design.
Andy Cole, Research Associate, Cooperative Wetlands Center; comparison
of natural and constructed wetlands, cumulative effects of development on wetlands.
Peggy Johnson, Geomorphologist, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental
Engineering, Pennsylvania State University; water resources, including river
hydraulics and watershed modeling.
David Dzombak, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental
Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University. Research includes water and soil chemistry,
Sue Thompson, Botanist, Assistant Curator, Carnegie Museum of Natural
history; plant insect interactions, documentation of plant biodiversity.
design and final content of the boards was developed by Suzy Meyer of
Mile Run Greenway Project
STUDIO for Creative Inquiry
Carnegie Mellon University