Community-Driven Development at Pittsburgh Yards

Posted March 21, 2022
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
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About Pittsburgh Yards

For nearly two decades, the Annie E. Casey Foundation has been a key partner in the redevelopment of a 31-acre former industrial site in Atlanta’s Pittsburgh neighborhood. The project — now known as Pittsburgh Yards® — has evolved since UPS first sold the land to AECF Atlanta Realty, which is a subsidiary of the Casey Foundation, in 2006. The project’s mission, however, has remained the same: grow equitable career, entrepreneurship and wealth-building opportunities for the neighborhood’s Black residents.

Prioritizing Community Engagement

Casey’s Atlanta Civic Site serves as primary investor and advisor on the project, and its staff members leaned on the Foundation’s Race Equity and Inclusion Action Guide to help orient their work.

From the very start, Casey and the Pittsburgh Yards development team engaged local residents and businesses to help maximize community-based strengths and assets while also creating pathways for residents to participate in key decision-making processes.

Lessons and Recommendations

This report explores the community engagement efforts that Casey undertook throughout the evolution of Pittsburgh Yards. It also shares lessons and recommendations that may be useful to organizations interested in undertaking similar redevelopment efforts.

Casey’s Commitment to Atlanta

The Casey Foundation has a special connection to Atlanta and is invested in helping the city’s families access the opportunities and resources they need to thrive. Since 2001, the Foundation has been working to revitalize Atlanta’s Adair Park, Mechanicsville, Peoplestown, Pittsburgh, Summerhill and Capitol Gateway neighborhoods — known collectively as Neighborhood Planning Unit V (NPU-V). This work prioritizes resident leadership, equity and inclusion and includes creating and preserving affordable housing, growing entrepreneurship and wealth-building strategies, strengthening community engagement and promoting child development and early learning success.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations

Key Takeaway

Casey viewed community engagement as essential to the success of Pittsburgh Yards

At every step of the redevelopment process, Casey and its partners created opportunities to educate and engage community members and incorporate their feedback into the site’s plans. In 2007, for example, Casey’s Atlanta Civic Site team created an institute aimed at helping residents understand the ins and outs of topics such as transit-oriented development, parks and green space, business attraction, financing and public art. These residents were later tapped to participate in community study circles were neighbors gathered to discuss and help set the priorities for the redevelopment project.