The bustling streets of American cities are full of design flaws, and Pittsburgh is no exception.
So, on Tuesday, from 5 to 9 p.m., three local architects and Design Pittsburgh are inviting the public to identify ways to improve a typical Pittsburgh street. The event is free and light refreshments will be served.
This problem-solving ex-ercise, which architects call a charette, will be held at Downtown's Cultural Trust Education Center, 805-807 Liberty Ave. The program is "You and Your Architect: Solving Regional Issues through Good Design."
People will pair off into teams led by local architects and devise design strategies for improving local streets for pedestrians, cyclists, children and passengers who use mass transit. Team members will present their ideas at the end of the evening.
Paul Rosenblatt, principal architect with Springboard Design of the South Side, will lead the charette along with fellow architects Matt Diersen of Rothschild Doyno Collaborative and Carl Bolton of Carlton Bolton Design. The event is sponsored by AIA Pittsburgh, a local chapter of The American Institute of Architects.
"Everyone gets involved in exploring what the problem is and creating constructive solutions. We want to surprise people with the specific location. We're going to focus on a typical Pittsburgh street that contains typical Pittsburgh urban space issues. We wanted to make Design Pittsburgh much more interactive than it has been in the past," Mr. Rosenblatt said.
Many streets with thriving business districts have become bustling thoroughfares, often hindering the comfort and safety of pedestrians, cyclists and people using mass transportation.
In Toronto and many European cities, Mr. Rosenblatt said, urban planners are designing "living streets" to slow the speed of motorists and allow people to walk, ride a bicycle or sit outside on the sidewalk.
"The most livable communities are the ones that have living streets," Mr. Rosenblatt said, adding that living or complete streets have sidewalks, crosswalks, audible cues for people with low vision, planters in the center, staggered parking, wider shoulders to accommodate bicyclists and bus lanes.
Information: www.aiapgh.org or 412-471-9548.
Marylynne Pitz: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1648.