The Master Plan for the former Civic Arena site will evolve over a number of years with input from residents, stakeholders and public leaders. The master plan is based on a series of planning and design goals:
Regulating plans present development standards and goals that ensure that the vision of the Master Plan is brought to fruition over time. The standards are: set strong urban design principles, establish density thresholds, propose streetscape designs and depict building placement and form standards. The goal is to establish predictability in the quality of the human spaces while allowing for creativity in design and flexibility within the development.
Balance of Uses and Densities
The Illustrative Master Plan concept included in the PLDP represents a targeted mix of uses in response to anticipated market demand. The regulating plans and zoning text allow for flexibility in development patterns to account for varying market demands while maintaining the necessary balance of density and uses to ensure success in every phase of development.
Transportation and Infrastructure
The design proposes to reestablish an urban street grid on the site in order to reconnect the greater Hill District to Downtown through better vehicular, transit, bicycle and pedestrian connections. Site-wide innovative stormwater techniques to reduce, reuse and recapture stormwater. Alternative energy sources such as co-generation and geo-thermal technologies have been investigated and are encouraged practices.
The project seeks to establish a new standard for large-scale sustainable development in the City of Pittsburgh. Sustainability will be a central tenant in design, construction and operations including a broad and dynamic use of landscaping to address heat island, light pollution and stormwater concerns. The project will be seeking LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) – a system for rating and certifying green neighborhoods. LEED-ND builds on the principals of leadership in energy and environmental design.
Universal Design and Accessibility
The site has a significant change in topography, and that combined with the goal of providing equal opportunities to all users make the integration of Universal Design parameters an important component of the design. Care should be given to the alignment of and grades of streets and the location of public open spaces to allow for an accessible public realm.
Open Community Process
The project has been and will continue to engage the public through the design and implementation process. Involvement has been channeled through focus groups, stakeholder gatherings and open public meetings and has brought meaningful improvements to the plan along the way. A Community Collaboration and Implementation Plan (CCIP) has been created and describes specific goals, strategies, and processes to create a positive impact and for maximizing the inclusion of the Greater Hill District community and its residents in certain aspects of the redevelopment project.
An Implementation Program for development has been established between the Penguins and the public and community partners. Planning, design and construction will be undertaken in phases as funding and market demand is identified with complete blocks and open space being created.
The Master Plan will evolve over a number of years responding to market conditions, improvements in technology and community input. The key master plan concepts are identified in a Preliminary Land Development Plan (PLDP) which creates the framework of regulating plans for streets, blocks and open spaces and defines the relationship between buildings and the public rights of way. Subsequent specific development proposals will be evaluated for consistency to the PLDP. The PLDP will be presented for public input and is ultimately adopted by the City of Pittsburgh Planning Commission. New zoning is being created for the site under the Special Planned District (SPD) mechanism; the new zoning code will support flexibility of uses and embody the form-based code tools of the PLDP to create a dense urban district. The SPD is presented for approval by the Pittsburgh City Council.