Representatives of a green advocacy group will be in Pittsburgh for two days to help city officials infuse more environmentally friendly language into building and zoning codes.
Councilman Bill Peduto said Pittsburgh was one of 15 municipalities chosen for the Smart Growth America workshop. He said several hundred of municipalities had applied for the federally funded program.
Mr. Peduto said the Washington, D.C.-based group will show the city how to promote energy conservation and renewable energy, housing diversity and green infrastructure in building and zoning codes.
He said that could include language encouraging the use of solar panels and wind turbines; prefabricated, energy-efficient housing; and green infrastructure, such as permeable sidewalks. Right now, he said, the city doesn't always encourage such practices or make it easy for developers to incorporate them into projects.
Updating the codes "will allow us to catch up to where the rest of the country is on a number of issues," he said.
Labor unions, local nonprofits and builders will take part in the workshop, which began Wednesday and concludes today.
John Schombert, executive director of 3 Rivers Wet Weather, one of the groups taking part, said developers should be encouraged to adopt sustainable building practices.
"We're always struggling to get them to consider green infrastructure," Mr. Schombert said.
"It's not incentivized very well here."Mr. Peduto said he hopes to introduce legislation updating building requirements by the end of the year. He said the legislation would be the focus of a special council meeting and public hearings.
"It will have the full vetting of the community," he said.neigh_city - businessnews
Joe Smydo: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1548. First Published May 3, 2012 12:00 AM